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How To Properly Use A Percussion Massager (Massage Gun)

Massage therapy is a soothing manipulation of the body's muscle tissues, tendons and ligaments with the aim to achieve a state of well-being and body relaxation.  A percussion massager is way more effective than the traditional techniques as it makes use of high-intensity pressure on affected areas. The percussion massager is used to massage the muscles in the body and since it applies bursts of pressure, it has a more intense and faster healing effect and helps to increase blood circulation and oxygen distribution to various parts of your body, especially on the local topical area.

“Percussive therapy is rapid tapping used to relax tight tissue and promote circulation,”

– Cassie Holzmann, Equinox Body Lab

How to Use a Massage Gun

Percussive therapy is simple, safe and suitable for everyone. However, when using the percussion massager, it is ideal to have a trained professional such as a physical therapist or licensed massage therapist, but we cannot always have them around, at least that is why we purchased them in the first place. So, in this piece, we examine how to properly use these guns especially in private, or publicly, in the absence of a therapist. Afterall, one of the reasons these devices are becoming voguish is the ease of use we get from them and their availability anywhere and anytime.

There are important measures to take before and during usage, and they are as follows:

  • Turn on the massage gun. Simple right? Not quite. Various devices have various locations of the power button, but they are easy to find. Some massage guns require you power them on first, and an additional button to begin usage. However, ensure you start one/both buttons before pressing it onto your skin, turning on the gun when in contact with your skin may cause a bruise.
  • Hover rather than press! Massage guns are loaded with some torque force, pressing down too hard might have adverse effects or provide more pressure to the muscles than is needed.
  • Just like a rollercoaster, you should start from a slower speed level/setting and increase gradually to a faster or desired speed level. Slightly add more pressure before you add more speed. 
  • Spend extra time on areas with bulky tissue and avoid bone areas like the tailbone while being extra careful around the spine and neck. The device might start to jump and feel uncomfortable, so it’s advisable to be calm or better still get a professional to help out.
  • The head attachments are there for your use, many don’t even unbox them! Spice things up and change the head attachments to soot your momentary muscle need, for optimum results.
  • Try not to run down the battery. Most massage guns have LED indicators that show the battery usage, it is advisable you recharge if/when the battery is low.
  • Find the desired speed that works best for you, same goes for head attachment and technique.


How NOT to Use a Massage Gun

Massage guns are primarily for muscle recovery. Muscles are some of the strongest part of the body, but not every part of the body can handle the pressure of a massage gun. So please desist from unrecommend use of these guns particularly on non-muscle parts of the body, to avoid negative side effects or consequences.

  • Do not run a massage gun in front of the neck can cause a stroke or rupture of the internal carotid artery, the front of the throat is also a bad idea.
  • The head, especially the face is also not appropriate for massage guns. Facial injuries may be sustained from the pressure.
  • You should not rest the massage gun on a particular part of the body for a long period of time.
  • Bone are different from muscles, avoid placing or running your gun on any bone, especially on a broken bone. Inadvertently, this will do more harm than good as percussive therapy on bones may lead to serious internal bleeding.
  • A great deal of help is knowing when to stop! Whenever you notice a red sign on a particular part of the body after running the device over that part of the body, this shows the free flow of blood in that part of the body, you should stop, and not run the massage gun over that part of the body any further.
  • ‘The kids’ is also a terrible idea. Keep your massage gun(s) away from your children’s reach; while adults can use massage guns with little or no supervision, the case is entirely different with kids. Also, do not apply or use massage guns or children or aged persons, without medical training or without the supervision of a medical personnel or a licensed therapist.
  • Also, patients with muscular diseases or conditions such as muscular dystrophy, arthritis or osteoporosis should not be treated with a massage gun without medical training or without the supervision of a medical personnel or a licensed therapist, for optimum results and safety.
  • Persons with medical implants or devices in their body should not use massage guns without the supervision of a medical personnel or a licensed therapist, for optimum results and safety.

Finally, proper care should be given to your massage gun to ensure its sustained functionality and effective use. Avoid overuse of the guns, and when the device appears to be faulty, see a professional who can help. Most massage gun manufacturers have a warranty, do not attempt to do a self-repair. Keep the device away from sunlight and ensure it is free from water and dust as much as possible.

You should also read the instruction manual to know if there are any additional or special instructions on how to use or maintain your own massage gun.

Percussion massagers are indeed a precious resource, money and time saving tool to man as it also improves one’s physical condition, emotional, mental and physiological state, but it benefits may be hinged to it’s proper usage, if/when done.

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