The Science Behind Massage Guns

What’s this massage gun thing?

Lately, there’s been a new craze for these so-called massage guns. These massage guns have been taking over the market. All competing for that number one spot in your eyes. They range differently in price. Some going for as high as $600. Others are going for as low as $50. That leads to a saying I’ve often heard in the sourcing market; “You pay what. You get what.” Or said a bit easier, “You get what you pay for.” Now I’m all about finding a good deal. That deal would be all focused on the average amount of quality that you would get. In today's world, you don’t always necessarily get more when you pay more. Sometimes you do, but now, normally it all averages out. There’s that median price range that you find that gives you everything the lower and higher priced points offer. More recently I saw an article talking about one massage gun brand that is exclusively sold at Costco, which had been recalled because a majority of them were catching fire. Talk about a hot purchase. Pun intended* We definitely don’t want that happening. That just brings up my point about “you get what you pay for.” Now before I proceed, I’m not saying that all cheap products have this problem. Some products are great but that just goes into another situation such as the brand and who makes it. Super important. Remember that.

Now back to the massage gun craze. I’m sure that at some point in time that you’ve come across something that remotely looks like a massage gun or know otherwise as a percussion massager. Well, whatever the name may be, their main purpose is to massage you. Some have statements that may go as far as to say that they cure diseases or cure muscle problems. Let me make this statement. I’m don’t have a doctorate in muscle treatment, but I do know my own body. Do I use a massage gun? Sure, I do. Does it help? Of course, it does. Do I recommend it to you? Most certainly, I do unless you have some sort of ailment that prohibits you from ever using a massage gun.

Is a massage gun going to do all the wonderful things the makers say they’re going to do? I don’t know. One way to make sure that these things can be answered is by looking at the science. Such questions like, how does a Massage work? In what ways does a massage help you? Does a massage gun do the same thing as a conventional massage? Does it help me lose weight? Does it help me build muscle? What’s better, a massage or a massage gun? All these will be answered below.

How does a Massage work?

According to a blog and study were done by the University of Minnesota, a massage causes physiological changes in your body through 2 responses; such as a relaxation response and a mechanical response. Further defined in their article, a relaxation response is involuntary, yet the predictable response of the nervous system to massage techniques and touch. Furthermore, the other, a mechanical response that produces physical effects that occur in the body when pressure is applied to the soft tissue. They go on to state: Together, these responses can produce physical and emotional benefits.

That’s somewhat a simple understanding as to why massages work. We could all understand what an emotional response would be, correct? Something like the pain relief from serotonin levels being increased is a wonderful thing. Then you have the mechanical responses that are physical. It has healing properties such as soothing muscle pain, increasing blood flow, and lymph circulation. I’m pretty sure that we can all benefit from this. In short, a massage is much needed.

In what ways does a massage help you?

The age-old question of what does what, and is it good or not. Ask yourself this simple question. Is the food good for you? Well yes, it depends on who you are, what you like, and what you eat. The same goes for a massage but in reality, a massage is good for everyone. With a massage, it helps you benefit from many things. Many people, young to a bit more aged, suffer from several types of different ailments. With that being said, I’m sure that you there, reading this article, also suffer from one or more of the ailments I’m about to list here. Just know that I have tested many of these myself. Since I do many things in my everyday life such as work, walk, talk, sports, go to the gym, read eat sit, and all, we acquire ailments and issues. Some of these issues are anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, soft tissue injuries, insomnia (especially thinking too much), sports injuries, anxiety (did I say that already? ANXIETY), fibromyalgia, and much much more. What’s worse is getting a headache. Not one person likes a headache. Headaches are likened to one of those pesky siblings that are always trying to interrupt your peacetime (note that not all siblings are annoying and unruly, but we know some that are.) and interfere with your well-planned vacation and/or a night out. Furthermore, I should mention that we should all love our siblings and come together (this I advocate for) through the toughest of times.

It’s nice to have someone rub your sore, over-worked, and strained muscles. Since a massage can reduce your pain and anxiety in amounts unmeasurable, you’re just going to have to take my word for it, or you can see for yourself by going and getting one. Yet, you can continue to read this article, which I hope you do, and see other ways you can cleanse the muscle issues. Let’s just appreciate the fact that a massage can do so much for us. It would sound like a loving parent listing all the things that you should be thankful for as they always remind you. In the back of your mind, just imagine your parent figure rambling saying you should appreciate me putting a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back.

If I haven’t answered your question yet, then I’m about to. Yes, a massage can do many beneficial things for you. The biggest killer in the world, yep, you guessed it, STRESS! It can help reduce the physiological burden of stress. Other things that can be treated by a massage are treating conditions that are stress-related tensions, sleep disorders, cancer-related fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, lower back pain, and depression. These are just a few other things but these are the most common. So, in today's world, it’s best that you get a massage as often as you can, especially if you’re a fitness enthusiast and go to the gym frequently. Just remember this, your body is your car. If you maintain your car well, it will last a long time. Your body is just the same. Take care of your body. Do some maintenance, move some things around, change some parts (<whatever that means), and yea you know the rest. Be good to yourself.

Does a massage gun do the same thing as a conventional massage?

Does a massage gun do the same thing as a conventional massage? Well… That’s a really good question. Most would be quick to say that it does while others would say it doesn’t (probably because they’ve never used one before and devalue anything that is technology). Not sure why people wouldn’t agree, but that’s when we start asking the right questions. Why don’t you think a massage gun does the same thing as a conventional massage? Does it do better or worse? In particular, does it get the job done? If you had the same questions, then please continue to read. If you didn’t, then continue to read. We’re going to dive right into this.

The first thing you should ask yourself is this; What’s the difference? In the past, more people were inclined to getting a more classical relaxing massage. This would consist of you taking a decent amount of time out of your day by making an appointment.

How does a massage gun work?

The magic behind the massage gun phenomenon is something to be amazed by. The more you try to understand how it works and why the more you’ll understand that you need one. First, let’s look back in history a little. I remember back in the early 90s when massage machines were being made and making quite the impact like their predecessors were. The craze that was going on then. Belt massagers were being made in the 70s and 80s. In the 80s and 90s, you had similar contraptions that needed 2 people to operate some sort of flat iron-looking massage (which worked quite well) but inevitably it was very inconvenient if you needed to get parts of your back, and plus, it was very targeted. You could only massage an area of your body and not a specific muscle. It was always the muscle group, as a whole (or one section of your body).

In the early 2000s, massage guns were being made from power tools. They were finally grabbing the concept of being used as a handy tool. Something that you could bring with you rather than always needing to be plugged up to a power source. Portability and use were getting better and better. Then… With such a great idea that was, then came the issue with sound and true applicable force. Not everyone was built like a steel iron machine like we were before. Plus, the actual benefit didn’t come from taking the massager at full force to the muscle group. Knowing some things in physical therapy would definitely help out but ultimately the massage guns were being used by professionals and not just your everyday consumer like they’re becoming more of nowadays.

These days, a massage gun is supposed to simulate that movement of a percussive vibration. Most massage guns, percussive massagers, are built to vibrate. Their electric motors push and pull the rod that connected to a detachable head that extends outside of the case. These motors are built and programmed to operate at high speeds so they can deliver a certain depth and vibration that is needed to activate a muscle and give you the benefits that is advertised. It’s actually a pretty easy concept. Easily said, they create levels of vibration that help move muscle tissue around.

One company did reach out to me and asked me to review their product. I did and I’ll be releasing a video on it soon on my YouTube Channel. There were actually a couple of companies that reached out and sent me their product. One was ABOX and the other was Urikar. I like both. A big thing here that took the cake was the Urikar Pro 1. Though the Abox massager was pretty awesome, the Pro 1 was what caught me. At first glance, the Pro 1 is really something an average person would be likened to due to the football (or bullet) shaped design. Honestly after getting past that is when the magic starts. Not only is this massage built for everyone, but it’s also built for just about everyone. I’m saying that because, if you’ve ever used a massage gun, then you know that reach is an issue. That is unless you’re just super flexible and can reach every part of your body with ease. Me, on the other hand, I cannot. Not that flexible yet. It has a rotatable handle that allows your different reachability and the extended curved handle allows you to get to spots that you normally couldn’t reach with the regular massage gun that you see on the market. Even the Theragun series of massagers couldn’t get these spots. You’d have to be a world-class contortionist. Then you’d have to have the strength of a bear if you were to use the Theragun, which isn’t practical for the average everyday user. You can click the links that I left and check it out for yourself. You won’t be sorry.

What are the benefits of a massage gun and will it help me lose weight?

Knowing the pros and cons of things are certainly important. Before even purchasing something, you really need to know if there’s a benefit to buying and then ultimately using it. When you start looking for reasons to buy a massage gun, then you need to make sure you know your stuff. Brands are particularly important because they care most about how their product is made and used. So, here’s 5 benefits of using a massage gun.

The first benefit of using a massage is that it helps get rid of lactic acid build-up in the muscles. When you’re moving about or exercising, lactic acid builds up and starts to mess with your muscles. Getting rid of the lactic acid build-up helps with using that muscle the way it’s supposed to be used and provide the oxygen that your muscles need.

The second benefit is the assistance in increasing muscle range of motion. Take a rope for instance. Wiggle the rope around and bend it back and forth. It’s pretty easy, right? Next, tie that rope into a big knot. Make sure it's tight. After you tighten it, try to bend the knot back and forth as you did before. Unless you’re super strong, then you’re probably not going to get the same flexibility that you did before. You’re muscles act in the same way. They need to loosen up before they can be used again. I’m certain you can take a massage gun to the knot of the rope and really loosen up the knot too. Try it.

The third benefit is muscle recovery. Like I mentioned in the previous benefit when you use your muscles, they tend to start producing lactic acid and once it builds up too much, your muscles tend to not work as they did initially. Furthermore, when you use your muscles, they’re always tearing apart and rebuilding. It’s a continuous process. One way to recover is to move the tissue around and help it out a bit. It will reduce the pain and soreness at the same time.

The fourth benefit you’ll be surprised about is that it helps in the repair of scar tissue. Since scar tissue binds irregularly, massaging it and helping break it up really helps in making that tissue go back the right way. This is by far a nice piece of knowledge for all of us.

The fifth and other reason is that it helps increase blood flow to your muscles. This is particularly important due to the fact that your muscles need oxygen. Now I know you’re saying, duh. Well… What better way to increase the oxygen getting to your muscles than improving the blood flow since that is literally how your muscles get oxygen. If you knew that, that’s great. I think we all knew that but just in case you didn’t, now you know.

There are many other benefits that you can get from using a massage gun. The ones above are just the tip of the iceberg. I also stand by these because I constantly use mine while going to the gym, pre-and post-workout.

Does it help me build muscle?

This really depends on how you look at it. If you dissect the question, does it help? Yes, it helps in the breakdown of harmful lactic acid and aids in the recovery of your muscles so you can use them again with added strength and resistance. So yes, in that sense it does help you with building muscle. The massage gun is the genie in a bottle that we’ve all been looking for. The way to gain cosmic powers in a tiny little place called a massage gun. All you have to do is rub (switch or press) that power button and voila, the power to control the massage gun will be yours. Magic control buttons and power adjustments. It’s everything you could imagine. Ok. Ok. I’m just speaking hypothetically here and running on a tangent for what could become the next big hit movie produced by Disney but in reality, I don’t mean that you can get any of the power stuff. What I’m not saying is to stop going to the gym and only use a massage gun. I’m also not saying that the massage gun is an end-all solution to stop exercising.

What’s better, a massage or a massage gun?

Finally, here I’d like to discuss which one is better, a conventional massage or a massage gun. Let’s look at a few key takeaways here. A conventional massage is just amazing, depending on the one administering the massage.

One of the other articles that I had written, ‘The Top 5 Massage Styles’ it discussed a bit in detail about the types of conventional massages that you could get. It brings me joy in saying that it could help you make a better-informed decision on the next type of massage you should get. Since I’m not really the one that likes to toot my own horn, so to speak, you could click that link and see for yourself. Conventional massages are hands down some of the most relaxing and healing things you could do for yourself. If you’ve ever been to get a massage, you know what I’m talking about. Don’t ever stop if you can help it.

After reading all this, one would be quick to say that I’m heavily advocating for getting a massage gun. In that sense, you are correct. 100% correct. I’ll tell you this. It was one of the best choices I could make when I purchased my massage gun. The worst choice I made was pretty dumb. What I did, I’m sure many of us do, is I bought this massage gun. I took it home. I placed it on the shelf. Several days went by as I admired the way that the box kept looking at me every time, I passed by it. Soon, before I knew it, 3 months had passed by. Then one exhausting day when I returned home from the gym, after a couple of weeks or so from taking off, I was super sore. I walked in my front door, looked back at the massage gun that I had purchased, and then it spoke to me. “Use me”, it said. (not really). It was about time I had opened that box and used it. After that night, there wasn’t a day at the gym that passed by that I didn’t use it. Since then, I’ve been able to actively combat fatigue and soreness. You’ll see. Try it. You won’t be sorry. Keep in mind, you’ll need to buy the right one. Don’t skimp out and buy a super cheap one because you’ll be wasting both your time and money.

In conclusion, the science is there. Massage guns are hitting the market all the time. Many massage guns have very similar features and offer the same thing while a select few offer way more and others not so much. A good price range to stick around is between $100 and $250 when buying a massage gun. The reason I’m saying this is because if you’re going higher than that, then you’re not really getting anything different than what you’d get if you just spent between the range I listed above. If you take a look at my YouTube channel, you can see that I’ve done a few reviews and comparisons on some massage guns. There are heaps of information out there and it’s growing daily. So finally, in the end, just make sure you’re taking care of yourself. I mentioned earlier in the article that your body is your car. Take care of your body, so you can keep going.

I want to thank you for reading my article. As I continue to release new articles, I hope that I can receive your feedback, so I can improve the content creation. I hope this is beneficial and helps you with what you’re looking for as well as giving you some entertainment. Since it’s a new year, 2021 I truly look forward to the new tech and innovation that the world can bring.