by Valerie Demetros
Since its introduction in 2008, the massage gun has developed into a go-to device for athletes around the world looking to ease the recovery process and aid muscle therapy.
The massage gun can offer a professional-level massage at a fraction of the price and has gone from a physical therapy device to an at-home staple for non-athletes looking to relieve aches and pains.
Also called a percussive massage gun, it is a handheld device providing rapid, short bursts of pressure to the muscles. This quick, intense vibration helps muscles release knots, reduce soreness and increase circulation. It also improves range of motion in some cases.
Even better, when done correctly, massage guns can help release dopamine and serotonin, chemicals responsible for happiness and relaxation.
Do the research to find just the right spots and the right amount of pressure needed.
Regular use of the gun also has been linked to increased blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and increased focus.
How often you use it is up to you, but some experts suggest that anyone who engages in regular physical activity should use it before training to prime muscles and afterward to relieve tension and soreness.
Just be sure to steer away from bony areas, and be careful to move around to avoid soreness in one spot.
Many people use a foam roller for muscle tension, but the massage gun goes much deeper and provides quicker relief. It is also easier to throw a massage gun into your workout bag rather than a large foam roller.
Of course, if you’re on a budget, you may want to stick to the foam roller since massage guns can run from $65 to $500. You can grab a foam roller for about $10.
However, the gun can be cost effective by reducing visits to a massage therapist when used regularly. One study showed that percussive massagers can provide the same benefit as a 15-minute massage in as little as two minutes of use.