Massage guns are one of the latest innovations made to aid muscle recovery. Since their invention in 2008, Massage guns have gained the attention of pro athletes and health care professionals.
It has become a favorite tool for many across the globe who are seeking fast recovery and therapy for muscle pain.
Several studies have shown that a massage with a massage gun is as effective as a deep tissue massage by a professional. In just a few minutes, you can enjoy all the advantages of these services at your convenience.
It makes getting a massage easier, whether you are the average Joe who loves fitness or just a sports enthusiast.
Many have now started purchasing massage guns since they came to the limelight in late 2019 and early last year.
It is relatively new to the masses and thus, a common question arises – Do Massage Guns Really Work? And if they do, What are their advantages?
In the last few years, I used 20+ massage guns ranging from a mere $50 to all the way up to half a grand.
Whether I am traveling or working out in the gym, I always carry a massage gun with me.
So, over the years of experience with massage guns, I have to say that Massage guns DO work! and there are several benefits of using one!
Here are a few of them –
Massage Gun Benefits You Should Know
1.Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness(DOMS)
In simple terms, delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is muscle soreness that occurs when you engage in eccentric physical activity that exceeds your usual limits.
A study published by the American College of Sports Medicine found that DOMS symptoms typically appear between 12 and 24 hours after workouts. Hence, the name “Delayed”.
One to three days after your workout, the pain may peak, and then it will subside.
A high-intensity workout can damage your muscle fibers at a microscopic level. In response to such damage, your body increases inflammation, which can result in muscle soreness that begins afterward.
Fortunately, percussive therapy can help you heal quickly. The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research reported in 2014 that vibration therapy “improves muscular strength, power development, and kinesthetic awareness.” Additionally, it is reported that it “improves muscle performance, which could prevent DOMS.”
A massage gun works by applying pressure to muscles, tendons, and ligaments to help them become relaxed, thereby reducing spasms and painful contractions.
There are obviously other things you can do, such as diet and rest, but having a massage gun can give you a big boost.
2.Relaxation and Mind-Body Wellness
Do you know that your body and mind are powerful allies? Feelings are influenced by how you think. The way you feel can affect the way you think.
The way your body responds to stress is one example of the mind-body connection. When you worry constantly about jobs, finances, or other concerns, you can experience tense muscles, headaches, and stomachaches.
Additionally, it can increase blood pressure or cause other serious problems.
So the only thing that matters is your health, right? According to some studies With percussion massage, you can relax your body and mind at the same time. The question is, how?
Research from 2004 shows that the levels of serotonin and dopamine increase after a massage, especially by a massage therapist. It is also proved that massage increases endorphins and oxytocin levels.
Both of these chemicals are responsible for happiness and relaxation. However, you must know where and how to hit with the right amount of pressure.
When done correctly, you can get these benefits from a massage gun.
Around 70 million people suffer from some form of sleep dysfunction every day.
In 2005, the National Institutes of Health published a report suggesting that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep. There are two primary ways in which massage guns can improve sleep.
The other way that massage may help with sleep is by managing pain. Sleep loss and pain can lead to a vicious circle.
Biostrap, a sleep tracking specialist, worked with Therabody on a project to learn more about how percussive massage affects sleep.
70 percent of participants also experienced fewer sleep disruptions as well as before taking part. Each participant was instructed to use a Theragun for 30 minutes before going to sleep for five weeks.
The results showed that 87% of people fell asleep faster after using the percussive device.
Boost On The Immune System
Researchers have found that regular massage boosts immunity and flushes toxins, which increases blood flow throughout the body. After a massage, white blood cells become more active which helps to fight diseases and thereby reduce cortisol levels.
This means that white blood cells and the lymphocytes that fight off bacterial infection can get through the body faster. The relaxation effect of percussive therapy generally means that the body is always ready to fend off attacks.
Less muscle tightness and knots in the muscles indicate better lymphatic drainage. Toxins and waste can be effectively excreted when the lymph moves freely. Immunity and metabolism are improved by having a healthy lymphatic system.
Percussive therapy helps improve blood circulation, which increases the amount of oxygen provided to your brain so it performs at its best.
A higher level of oxygen in the brain increases cognition, allowing for a better sense of focus.
In order to experience the full benefits, you’re probably going to need a deep tissue massage therapist.
However, the good news is that you can accomplish all this with a good percussion massager. All you’ll need is a good massage gun!
If you do not know how to choose the best massage gun then you can read our in-depth article.
3. Increased Blood and Lymphatic Circulation
Your overall health is negatively impacted by poor blood circulation. Here are some signs that your blood is not flowing properly through your body:
- Constant fatigue
- Swollen legs and arms
- Lack of focus and concentration
- Painful muscle cramps
- Cold feet and arms
Many studies have shown that massage guns can increase blood flow and stimulates nerve receptors that dilate blood vessels.
It also means that the body gets more oxygen and nutrients. In order to repair muscle cells and function efficiently, the body needs nutrients and oxygen.
The lymphatic system removes waste products and toxins from the body. The flow of lymph is controlled by muscle contractions.
Less active people may not stimulate enough lymph circulation, while very active people may accumulate too much. If not controlled, this could lead to lymphedema. The human body contains several lymph nodes. Nodes within the body serve as mini-bunkers where weapons are stored to fight infection.
Often, they are hidden deep within the body or beneath the skin. They are known as lymph nodes.
A massage gun helps to stimulate these nodes which in turn release the lymphatic fluids to areas of the body where they are needed. This helps to restore balance since it improves circulation throughout your lymphatic system.
4. ENHANCES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
The percussion provided by a massage gun improves muscle contraction, which causes the muscles and fascial tissues to lengthen and strengthen. As part of your lifestyle and post-workout routine, massage therapy is a great way to relieve stress.
A massage helps you relax your muscles and relieve tension in your body.
Toxic debris is continuously eliminated from the body so that muscles can bounce back as quickly as possible after exercising and can help shorten the muscle recovery time between workouts.
According to a study conducted by Alvarado Hernandez, Fan (.California State University) Effects of Percussion Therapy (Theragun) on Range of Motion and Athletic Performance, the researcher found that –
- There was an increase in passive Range of Motion or ROM of the hip, hamstring, and ankle immediately after treatment.
- Percussion treatment improved flexibility in most participants. Higher levels of flexibility might help lower the risk of injury, which suggests that percussion treatment is beneficial in athletes seeking higher ROM.
- Thirty seconds of percussion treatment per muscle group increased ROM flexibility without negatively affecting performance variables.
Mixed martial arts experts Evolve, explain that this technique works aggressively, deep into the muscle. The benefits of percussive therapy include a healthy circulation of blood throughout the body. An athlete knows how essential it is to keep his body relaxed.
5. Pain Relief
Pain isn’t just relieved by painkillers, needles, and dietary supplements. An alternative more natural and soothing method for treating chronic pain is by using massage therapy.
Millions of people around the world suffer from chronic pain, and percussion massage therapy may provide some relief.
In order to increase circulation and soften stiff joints, massage the pain area gently. It may feel like pins and needles at first as the distended muscles enlarge and contract.
Over time, and with carefully targeted therapy, the tissue relaxes as new oxygenated blood floods in.
6.Nervous System Stimulation
The nervous system stimulates and regulates muscle activity and maintains the body’s homeostasis. The nervous system alerts the muscles every time they move.
A massage gun stimulates the sympathetic nervous system’s receptors. As a result, the skin and muscles are dilated, thereby releasing tension and improving mobility.
Massage therapy is considered to be one of the most effective ways of treating injuries, not just because it speeds up recovery time, but also because it helps prevent re-injury.
In addition to standard injury rehabilitation, massage guns are a useful adjunct. Furthermore, it helps heal atrophied muscles due to trauma or disease.
By improving circulation within the muscles and fascia, injured areas are more flexible and heal within a short period.
It’s recommended to use massage guns if your injuries are related to:
- Muscle soreness
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- TMJ syndrome
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Shin Splints
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Plantar Flex
According to a study in 2020 conducted by J Sports Sci Med about Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance, researchers found that – percussive massage treatment as part of a warm-up regimen enhances flexibility without compromising muscle performance.
8.Facilitates Lactic Acid Release
Lactic acid forms in the bloodstream when the oxygen levels in the body are low.
Lactate is converted into energy by the body as a means of compensation. It can be difficult for the body to burn it off. You may experience cramps shortly after intense exercise.
In this situation, a massage gun can be used, as it facilitates the release of lactic acid and other toxins from the muscles to the surrounding areas.
Thus, you will experience less muscle soreness after exerting yourself for a prolonged period of time.
9. Injury Prevention
Many sports injuries occur due to muscle cramps and the inability to recover dexterously before pulling a muscle again. The use of a massage gun can improve blood and oxygen circulation, reducing the likelihood of overtraining and wearing out a muscle too quickly.
A massage gun can be used before a workout to wake up the muscles. It is an excellent way to warm up. Massage gun therapy ensures adequate oxygenation of your muscles during a warm-up session. Additionally, massage can raise the temperature of your muscles, which contributes to increased flexibility.
10. Breaks Up Scar Tissue
Scar tissue is composed of collagen fibers that help with the repair of damaged fibers in the body.
Although massage gun therapy has not been proven in scientific research, there is evidence that it can reduce scar tissue. Additionally, percussive therapy has been reported to ease the pain around these issues.
According to research massage, as well as high-intensity light therapy, seem to be the most effective agents in reducing pain in burn scars.
Due to its benefits, massage gun therapy is not only recommended for treating sports injuries, but also for the treatment of scar tissue after surgery as well.
11. Enhance Range of Motion Quickly
With regular use of massage guns, joints will be more flexible and less prone to sprains and strains.
Research conducted at the Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport, and Health, the University of Graz on how much it could improve range of motion.
This study was the first to examine the effect of a 5-min handheld percussive massage treatment of the calf muscles on the ROM and muscle performance (MVC) of the plantar flexor muscles.
They observed an increase in ROM, but no change in MVC torque output. Therefore, we suggest including a percussive massage treatment in a warm-up regimen to optimize the flexibility level of an athlete, without losing muscle performance.
In addition to the relaxed muscles and fascia, the improved circulation allows the body to move more freely and with greater flexibility.
By improving range of motion, you will also be able to improve athletic performance and stimulate the body’s natural lubricants to help keep the body flexible.
12. Improved Flexibility
The research was conducted at the Institute of Human Movement Science in Austria on how much it could improve range of motion. The experiment was conducted with a Hypervolt gun massager for just five minutes to study how it affected calf muscles.
They discovered that a percussive massage treatment in a warm-up regimen optimizes the flexibility level of an athlete, without losing muscle performance.
Massage guns can help release tension, speed up circulation, and flush out harmful fluids. As a result, tissue metabolism is improved. In addition to preventing injuries, it can speed up tissue repair.
13. AT-HOME USE
The last benefit of percussion massage is that it can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. You can experiment with the treatment, and find exactly what works best for you, after purchasing a percussive massage gun.
They’re also portable and thus perfect for your post-workout recovery routine at the gym. So no need to go to a therapist regularly.
Practical Benefits of Having a Massage Gun
Massage gun therapy offers health benefits, but there are other reasons why you may want one of these devices.
Some of them are:
- They are an indication of an extremely proficient massage therapist. In our recommendation, a massage is best done by a professional, however, if you have a massage gun you can use it without worrying about paying every time.
- Massage guns are a cheaper therapist. You can use a massage gun for self-care at home. When we have no energy or are tired, leaving the house for a massage can be a hassle. You can now turn on your massage gun and start working on your muscles.
- Visits to a SPA are expensive, but taking your entire family there will be even more costly. It is possible to use your massage gun on family members or loved ones. Another example of how cheap a massage gun can be.
- A massage gun can be carried anywhere. I generally carry a massage gun with 2 attachments on my journey.
Are massage guns worth it?
Yes; a massage gun is a cheaper therapist. You can use a massage gun at home or anywhere. And also we mention 13 reasons why you should buy it.
Is Percussion Therapy Safe?
Among the best exercise options for muscle recovery is percussion therapy. In order to get the best results from the massage gun, you should use it correctly. In addition, you should consult a professional if you are unsure you can use these devices. The problem is that too much of anything is poison, so you should be careful not to overdo it.
Can Massage guns cause pain?
Yes; Massage guns can cause pain. Pain is usually a sign that something is too much. As you massage, make sure you apply the right amount of pressure to the area or its causes damage.
Are There Any Cons of Massage Guns?
Yes, As a matter of fact, massage guns have disadvantages. You can easily fix these issues in order to enjoy these powerful tools once again.
Like all things in this world massage guns have some downsides but, the number of massage gun benefits vastly outnumber concerns or disadvantages.
For us, however, and I’m sure also for most users as well, one of the greatest benefits of percussion Massagers is that you get to perform deep tissue therapy on yourself.
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to visit a masseuse or chiropractor but need relief immediately. In that case, individualized therapy is your friend. You can combine passive and active recovery methods (the active recovery being you massaging yourself) to get efficient healing of your muscles and relief from pain.
We all get stressed from daily life activities. However, failure to manage this stress properly could hurt your health over time. A massage gun could be a hack to successfully managing stress within the shortest possible time and in the most convenient way while getting the many other benefits attached to it.
Ayaz is the co-founder of Massage Gear Advisor and manages SEO and web publishing. Traveling is one of his favorite things to do and he always keeps a massage gun around. Over the years Ayaz has tried over 20 different types of massage guns and is in love with them.