Massage gadgets have been popular for some time now. Neck massagers and similar stuff could’ve been found in every home at a certain time, but to be fair, they didn’t do anything. It was a device that did vibrate a bit, but nowhere near enough to properly relax a muscle. But, nowadays, we have these powerful devices that could easily replace a massage therapist in some cases. These devices are called massage guns. You could tell by their name they pack a punch. It got is name because it resembles a nail gun and it sort of works the same way, by using outward force. This amazing tool is very simple, yet very effective. It can penetrate deep tissues and really get to those sore muscles in a way that not even an experienced therapist could. So, before we get into why this is good for runners or other professional athletes, let’s first take a peek at how this thing works.
Like we’ve said, it’s shaped like a nail gun and it has a foam head attached to the front which is the part you are going to be massaging with. So, how do they work? It uses force to offer what’s known as a percussive or vibration therapy. The ‘head’ moves rapidly, providing us with kind of mini punches, creating this pressure that penetrates deep into your muscles and tissues, so it’s really good for those annoying pains or cramps you feel ‘inside’ your back or thigh, but you can’t really get to them any way you try. It can be used in all areas of the body, just make sure you steer clear of the bones. Okay, now that we understand the basics of how it works, let’s move on to the benefits of massage guns, aside from the obvious ones like it’s way cheaper than a massage therapy five times a week.
1. Reduces soreness
If you run a lot of workout in general, you tend to get sore. That’s just what happens when your muscles do a little bit more work than they’re used to. It’s perfectly normal, not a cause for concern, but instead of taking some anti-inflammatory meds to dull that weird soreness pain, you could use a massage gun. However, make sure you set it up adequately, so it does it more softly, you don’t need to penetrate deep in this case, just to stimulate the muscles. What this achieves, is a better blood flow in our muscles which is always helpful, because blood transmits all kinds of goodies and reparative stuff that make the muscle feel brand new again. Some recent studies have also shown that massage can benefit the muscle on a cellular level, stimulating mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell, yes) into converting sugar into more energy to better the cell functions that will stimulate the repair, but more on that later.
2. Deep vibrations relax muscle
The important thing to remember is that not every vibration will relax your muscles and do you well. So, make sure you pay attention to how many hertz does the tool vibrate. For example, a 300 Hz vibration will in no way help you relax, on the contrary, it will slow down both the blood flow and nerve conduction. But, if you use one of the massage guns healsage.com.au has to offer, you can be certain that the vibrations will hit that sweet, 50 Hz spot that will relax your muscles.
3. It helps you sleep better
We all know that if sometimes you can get so tired and sore from training that you just can’t fall asleep. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. You can use the massage gun to relax your muscles, your body, and therefore your mind. And when you’re that relaxed, there is nothing better do to than fall asleep. We all know how important sleep is in recovery, you can train as much as you want, but if you don’t sleep well and long enough, the body will never heal properly, and aside from crippling your progress, you may risk an injury that will set you back even further.
4. Stimulates muscle recovery
We’ve said that it was a great way to relax your muscles, get rid of soreness and we’ve mentioned something about muscle repair. Muscle grows and becomes stronger when it’s healing, contrary to popular belief that it grows when it works. To be fair, just laying down will not get you runner’s thighs, but then again, running all time won’t do either. There has to be a balance. After you’ve finished your training, you’ve run several miles, did some squats, and more, your muscle needs to relax and repair. A deep tissue massage can be extremely helpful during this process because it can stimulate the whole muscle, not just the part that’s close to the skin. Therefore, after you’ve trained, do a 15-minute massage session and stimulate your body to do what it has to do, only quicker, so you’re up and ready for tomorrow and another morning run.
5. Chronic pain relief
This is essentially a combination of all the things we’ve previously mentioned. Massaging an area will deliver you a feeling of relaxation, satisfaction, all of which contribute to the overall well-being which greatly affects how we perceive pain. Another thing that helps support this claim is directly tied to our nervous system and how the signals we interpret as pain travel. Do you know how sometimes touching the spot that hurts kind of dulls the pain? That’s because the nerves that send those signals to the brain are slower than the nerves that are closer to the surface. So, when you start massaging the spot, your brain will receive the information about the pressure you’re applying first and kind of close the door on the signals from the painful spots. That’s the same reason some sports creams and gels are either hot or cold in a sense – because they’re trying to flood the gates with other information to make you not feel the pain.
That would be all for our list of the benefits massage gun offers and hopefully it’s enough to understand how it beats a hand massage we all tend to give ourselves after we’ve sat down after few miles.