If your muscles are riddled with knots, it may be a clear sign that you’re in dire need of a massage. The only thing is, massage therapists can get expensive, especially if you need to visit often.
Introducing deep tissue massage guns. These devices are handheld, rechargeable tools that can massage away, up to around 2,500 times a minute for as long as your body can handle it.
Within a few minutes, a massage gun can powerfully work over a big muscle group to loosen tissue, increase blood flow, and temporarily reduce pain and soreness. And another plus? You don’t even have to tip it at the end.
If you’ve never used a massage gun before, you may be full of questions. That’s where we come in to help.
Welcome to our beginner’s guide to massage guns. Here’s everything you need to know about the tool.
How Do Massage Guns Work?
To be honest, it’s not completely clear on how massage guns work on the body.
It’s suggested that they may help ease sore muscles by stimulating the GTO (Golgi tendon organ). This is a structure found in a muscle that constrains contraction.
Massage guns may also ease the feeling of pain within a tender muscle in the same way you might stroke your forehead after hitting it slap-bang into a door. This is coined the Gate Control Theory of Pain.
However, the most likely mechanism of soft tissue work is neural. That’s whether a foam roller, a massage gun, or the expertly trained hands of a masseuse are used.
These tools affect your brain’s skill to recognize tightness or laxity in soft tissue. That’s whether it’s a muscle, tendon, or fascia. They demand your attention on the tight muscles, letting your brain focus on the feeling and letting it go.
What Are the Effects of Massage Guns?
One of the benefits of massage guns is that massage guns increase blood flow. This transports nutrients into the muscle while also removing blood that may have gathered with the muscles.
While this sounds scary, this is a common process that occurs after long periods of inactivity. In extreme circumstances, swelling can occur.
If you use the massage gun straight after exercise, it may help remove metabolites. These are waste products linked with working out that can result in burning in the muscles.
The massage gun promotes an ‘out with the bad, in with the good effect’, like what you can gain from foam rolling, yoga, and gentle exercise.
What’s the Best Way to Use a Massage Gun?
When using a massage gun, a little goes a long way. For example, one to two minutes of use on a big muscle group, like the quadriceps, is more than enough.
Otherwise, you can risk over-stimulating the muscle. Overdoing it can encourage fluid to move into the muscle without it flowing out again.
Remember, the massage gun is a powerful device, so be sure to keep it on a low setting. The high settings are used by massive heavyweights – like the hulk.
It may be that novelty is part of the device’s success, and if you use it daily the effects may reduce. Instead of using the massage gun frequently, mix up your approach.
For example, you could foam roll one day, opt for contrast baths another, and then grab the massage gun on the third day, and rotate.
How Shouldn’t You Use a Massage Gun?
There are also ways you shouldn’t use a massage gun.
People tend to believe the ‘no pain, no gain’ approach. For example, if a cool compress works well, many athletes decide that dry ice must work even better.
This tends to run true for the massage gun. People pinpoint the area on their body that hurts and believe they must keep using the massage gun on it. This isn’t a good idea though.
That’s because they may be prodding a vein-artery nerve bundle. With time, constant poking on vulnerable parts of the body can result in a host of issues. These can include neuropathy and numb hands.
While the massage gun is a great replacement for a skilled massage therapist – remember that doesn’t mean it is a skilled massage therapist.
A massage gun can’t differentiate between bone, muscles, fascia, and nerves. It can’t tell where you’re injured. It won’t know if muscle tissue is too tight or too loose.
So, as tempting as it may be when you’re holding the device in your hands, try not to get too trigger-happy with the tool. Steer clear from painful areas and spend at most a couple of minutes on each muscle area. This can be following exercise, or on rest days.
A great idea is to combine massage gun use by working with a professional massage therapist. That way your professional massages can feel more like a treat, and the massage gun can complement the sessions in between.
For a deep tissue massage gun that will speed up recovery effectively, check out the Neck and Back Store.
Ready to Buy Deep Tissue Massage Guns?
Deep tissue massage guns work wonderfully to ease pain all over the body. To save constant visits to your massage therapist, consider investing in a massage gun to use at home. That way, you don’t even need to leave the house to lessen your pain following a tough workout.
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