Massage guns are a fairly new device on the market, using massage or vibration therapy to provide relief to muscles, fascia and soft tissue. It subsequently improves blood circulation and relaxes, or stimulates, your nervous system. Express.co.uk chatted to Joel Gottehrer, co-founder of Lifepro, to find out everything you need to know about massage guns.
During the pandemic, we’ve all had to get creative with our self-care as gyms, salons, and spas are closed.
If you’re used to working out and getting a regular massage to soothe your muscles from the gym or a painful condition you have, you may be considering buying a massage gun.
Express.co.uk chatted to the co-founder of fitness recovery brand Lifepro to find out whether they’re worth it or not.
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Massage gun benefits
Massage guns aren’t just for athletes – anyone can benefit from a deep massage using this device.
Joel said: “Currently we see massage guns being marketed especially for athletes, I think it is a disservice as anyone can use the device to experience a benefit from it, from common injuries that need increased circulation to athletes trying to warm-up and elderly with aches and pain.”
A massage can provide similar relief to that of a massage therapist, and you don’t need to leave your house or tire out your hands.
Whether you’ve got a painful injury or just feel like relaxing, a massage gun can help just about anyone.
Joel added: “I wouldn’t limit it to any specific condition – I currently use it as part of my recovery from ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] surgery. It can be used for any type of circulatory issues, muscle stimulation, nervous system activation, the list is endless.”
Some of the benefits include:
- Retraining your fascia and muscle tissues
- Improved circulation
- Lymphatic drainage
- Reduced muscle spasms
- Reduced stress
- Reduced muscle soreness
- Production of happy hormones
- Improved mobility
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Just like anything else, you can overuse a massage gun, so be careful not to get too addicted!
Joel recommends sticking to 15-minute sessions to avoid over-stimulating the tissue.
He said: “ Of course it depends on your goals; for example, with my recent ACL surgery I used it just for 5 minutes on my upper thigh to stimulate circulation, and limited my use to avoid overstimulating.”
How to use a massage gun
You should always turn on your device prior to using it to ensure you have good control, Joel said.
He explained: “If you are using it to warm up then I would move the massage gun quickly up the large muscle groups.
“What this does is it stimulates more blood flow and gets your nervous system going, which will help you get sharp and ready for the sport or activity you are about to do.”
If you want to use a massage gun after a workout, opt for a slow pace motion.
Joel said: “This will help calm down the nervous system. It is also important to mention not to apply much pressure on the body but rather let the device float, if you apply too much pressure you can get hurt and you limit the amplitude and pressure of the device, listen to your body and let is just communicate what it needs.”
You might notice your skin start to tingle or itch, and this is perfectly normal.
Joel explained: “It’s a normal histamine response in your body; it happens because the skin and fascia release chemicals into the bloodstream due to being stimulated by the massage gun.
“This should improve over time, but if it’s too much to handle you can either decrease the intensity or place a towel over the area, which would soften the absorption.
“I have also heard the people use peppermint oil, which has a cooling effect, to reduce the itching sensation. But it is definitely nothing to worry about.”
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