The touted benefits of a massage gun are pretty impressive: boosting immunity, muscle recovery, flexibility and joint mobility, to name a few. The massage gun is a hand-held device that uses vibration therapy to replicate a technique called “tapping,” in which therapists move their hands in a rapid, rhythmic fashion to stimulate nerve endings in the targeted area.
This nerve stimulation promotes several things, including increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which can contribute to increased muscle flexibility and joint mobility.
Massage guns can also help relieve strained shoulders, neck or back from sitting at the desk. They can also be used to warm up muscles before hitting the gym or as part of post-workout recovery.
To use a massage gun, it is advisable to avoid bony areas and concentrate on the muscles, moving the device in a circular fashion up and down or left and right. A massage gun can be used every day. For best practice, do not use it for more than 10 minutes on one area and avoid it if you have a pacemaker. Read on to find out more potential benefits of this handy device.
PROMOTE BLOOD CIRCULATION.
Applying a massage gun to an area of the body creates a sort of rippling effect along the skin, like waves. This improves the rate of blood circulation in the affected area, as found in a 2014 study.
By stimulating blood flow, the targeted muscle benefits from a higher rate of delivery of fresh blood with higher levels of oxygen and nutrients, both essential for muscle recovery and healing. This increase may also help reduce swelling and inflammation, along with a host of other benefits.
PROMOTES LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE.
Massage guns can help our body fight infections because they give the lymphatic system a boost. This part of the body is responsible for our immunity, and its role is to protect us against disease.
In addition to fighting infection, the lymphatic system moves lymphatic fluid from body tissues into the blood and removes wastes and toxins from the body.
You may have heard of the lymph nodes, which act as a filter. They are actually the body’s “waste disposal points”. They trap or destroy anything harmful that the body doesn’t need, filtering out lymphatic fluid and waste products. Such as lactic acid and deoxygenated blood, which the body expels or excretes through sweat, urine or stool.
By reducing the amount of lymph fluid in the body, muscles can function optimally and won’t feel as heavy after a workout.
INCREASES MUSCLE FLEXIBILITY.
A massage gun can also relieve pain and stress in the body by releasing tension and fluid deep in the muscles to improve tissue metabolism.
A massage gun can help a muscle and its thousands of fibers to relax and be less tense. Numerous studies have proven this. In a 2013 study, massage guns were found to significantly increase hamstring flexibility.
A 2021 study also found that just 10 minutes of using a massage gun on the lower limbs could promote flexibility.
BETTER JOINT MOBILITY.
Any benefit of using a massage gun on a muscle indirectly helps improve joint mobility as well. This is due to the way our muscles are connected by tendons to bone origins. If you take some of the tension out of a muscle or help it relax, then the subsequent tension on the joint is reduced.
A 2013 study conducted on the impact of massage guns on joint mobility concluded that these effectively improved hamstring flexibility and eased tension. Meanwhile, research from 2019 found them to be particularly good for the knees.