Do Massage Guns Really Work?
- Massage Therapy
- August 6, 2020
- 512 views
- 3 min read
A favorite of athletes on social media, massage guns have been touted as an essential part of any gym-goer’s or sportsperson’s recovery kit. In this article, we’ll be looking at what a massage gun is, how they work, and how they compare to actual massage therapy.
Do Massage Guns Really Work?
What Is a Massage Gun?
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a power tool, massage guns are basically a handheld motor attached to a rubber head. The massage gun provides percussive or vibration therapy, similar to what you might expect from Swedish or sports massage.
What Does Vibration Therapy Do?
Vibration therapy is based on the idea that rapid bursts of pressure into the body’s muscle tissue can result in myofascial release, reducing muscle tension and soreness while encouraging your body to repair damage by increasing blood flow.
The idea is similar to that found in Tapotement, a Swedish massage technique that involves delivering rapid light blows to muscle tissue in a tapping or hammering motion (hence the name) in order to reduce muscle pain or tightness.
Does Vibration Therapy Work?
While there isn’t a massive amount of scientific research around the topic, it is generally accepted that vibration therapy, as with other styles of massage, can help with muscle recovery and DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, a common after-effect of a hard workout or high impact sports.
A study in 2014 found a significant link between vibration or percussion used on muscle groups and reduced levels of pain and tightness after strenuous activity. Many professional athletes include percussive massage as part of their recovery routine.
Is a Massage Gun a Replacement for Massage Therapy?
While massage guns might be touted as giving you all the benefits of a massage without you needing to leave your home, the fact is they can never replicate the effectiveness of a trained massage therapist, in the same way a home coffee machine can’t replace an award-https://www.northwestcareercollege.edu/can-massage-therapy-improve-thyroid-health/winning barista.
If you are suffering from significant muscle pain or stiffness, a massage therapist will be able to isolate the cause and adapt their technique to suit you, something no gadget is going to be able to do.
That being said, as with other myofascial release tools, such as foam rollers, the massage gun does have its place as an accessory that can provide targeted effective relief from pain and stiffness in situations where spending the time to visit a massage therapist isn’t practical.
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