From relieving pain to warding off stress, and boosting circulation, the benefits of massage are more than a handful. There are also many different types of massage as you might already know, from deep tissue massage to lymphatic, Swedish, and sports massage, most of which require you to visit a massage therapist.
You might also have heard about massage guns, which let you perform massages on yourself or with the help of a loved one so you don’t have to visit your therapist every time. Perhaps you’ve even considered giving them a try for various reasons.
But how can a massage gun help you, and when should you use it? What happens if you overuse this handheld device? Read on to discover how to properly use a massage gun, alongside some tips and tricks to make the most out of the increasingly popular device.
What’s A Massage Gun?
Synonymously called a percussion massager, a massage gun is simply a handheld device used for massaging muscles to relieve pain, soreness, stiffness, and other medical issues. The device is electrically powered with just the right amount of power to give a vigorous massage to the patient.
There are currently several types of massage guns in the market by brand, with Theragun Prime being among the most sought-after options. Despite having a range of designs, most of them also come with a range of attachments that are specifically made for massaging different sites of the body. These guns are quite common among athletes, but anyone can use them without necessarily having to visit a professional massage therapist.
When to Use Massage Gun and the Benefits
As mentioned earlier, the benefits of massage therapy are more than a dozen. When using a massage gun, you get the same benefits at a potentially cheaper cost and more convenience compared to booking a massage therapy session. Nonetheless, some of the most common times to use a massage gun include when:
- Suffering from muscle stiffness
- You need to relieve pain
- Dealing with post-exercise muscle soreness
On top of this, massage guns also help improve blood flow as the attachments vibrate against the massaged muscles. They are specifically great for athletes and exercise enthusiasts looking to improve their flexibility, reduce workout recovery time, and enhance overall performance on the track, in the field, or in the gym. According to Karen Asp’s publication on everyday health, massage guns are best used within 48h after an intense workout, especially if your muscles feel sore. When properly used, these devices can go a long way in supporting your health and fitness levels.
Signs You Could Be Overdoing Massage Gun Therapy
For the best outcome, massage gun therapy requires just the right force and frequency. If overdone, it could lead to various unpleasant effects on your health and wellness. Some of the signs you could be overdoing self-massage with a handheld massager include the following:
- It hurts more: One of the main goals of massagers is to relieve pain. If the area being massaged feels extremely painful, you might be overusing the massage gun. This is especially the case on vulnerable sites like vein-artery nerve bundles or bony prominence. Too much of it could lead to health problems like numbness or even neuropathy.
- The skin turns red: If you notice some unexplained redness on your skin during or after a massage gun session, it could indicate that you’ve done it a little too much. Reddening is usually a sign that a particular site is receiving a lot of blood flow, so you might as well give it a rest.
- Soreness or bruising: Keeping a massage gun on the same site for too long can – in some cases – lead to increased skin soreness, tenderness, or even bruising.
Tips When Using a Massage Gun
Massage guns require being used effectively for one to get the most out of each massage. For starters, it is always recommended to speak to your doctor to find out if using a massage gun is good for you before you get started. Once you have a go-ahead and you’ve chosen a good massager, below are a few more tips to observe:
- Watch your usage frequency: To get the best results from a massage gun, it is best to use it only when you need to. Also, it is a good idea to vary your massage therapy approach, skipping one or two days between sessions. You can even mix it up with baths and foam roll as opposed to using the gun massager every day.
- Avoid bony and injured sites: It is best to avoid operating on areas with acute pain with your massager. The vibrations from the device could cause more harm than good.
- Usage time: Also, you want to avoid keeping the device on the same site for too long. For larger muscle groups, just a minute or two are enough.
Massage guns are beneficial in many ways. Nonetheless, you want to pick the best device and use it in the recommended way so you can reap these benefits. Hopefully, you now know how a handheld massager can help you, and how to use it properly.