For the past couple of years, I have always incorporated regular massages into my routine; partly to relax and partly to relieve sore muscles. I am a firm believer in both the physical and psychological benefits of massage. While I was not necessarily looking for a cheaper alternative, the recent popularity of massage guns has piqued my interest.
Since the first products came out, I have tried a few brands. Some are more expensive and high-end, while others are much more affordable. My goal was to find out if this was a better alternative to regular massages, especially since I could deal with my sore muscles anytime and anywhere.
After that, I wanted to see if it does make sense to fork out so much more money on the high-end devices or if the cheaper ones are just as good.
What Is A Massage Gun?
When I go for a massage, a therapist uses her hands to work on my sore muscles. The massage gun replaces those hands.
The experience is not necessarily the same, since the hand movements may vary, unlike the massage guns. These devices use vibration or percussion therapy, which is different from the older deep tissue massagers that used circular motions.
Based on its name, it looks like a nail gun with a head that massages to the deep tissue. It reaches much deeper than a foam roller and uses vibration instead of circular motions so that it feels more intense. I have to admit, I do miss those expert hands massaging my muscles, although, for a machine, the massage gun feels just as good.
There is no science that proves the benefits of these products, although some studies are already recognizing that it is good for muscle relaxation, blood flow, flexibility, and even muscle strength.
Should You Go for The More Expensive Massage Gun?
This is a tough question to answer. First of all, tons of people have the habit of buying stuff and using them a lot in the beginning, before it gets hidden in the back of some cabinet. If you tend to do this with your gadgets, then you do not want to for out more than $500 on something that will end up gathering dust.
If you are like me and tend to be very faithful to your gadgets (and keep using them for years), then an investment is worthwhile. Moreover, massage guns are marketed to athletes and active people who need it for sore muscles, muscle recovery, and even to reach optimal performance (like me).
Thus, I end up using the gadgets more often and make the most of the money I spent on it. Over time, my $600 massage gun will have served its purpose and made the purchase worthwhile.
My personal experience with the cheaper massage guns, however, has convinced me that these products are good enough for most people, as the massage they deliver is both relaxing and good for sore muscles. But to find a good one, I will recommend looking at some key features:
- Speed – how much you can regulate the intensity
- Amplitude – how deep the massage gun reaches
- Variety – how many tool heads are available and how they hit your muscles differently
- Easy to hold and grasp
- Warranty – especially if the massage gun is on the pricier side
- Battery life – the longer-lasting, the better
To find the best massage guns in Australia, you can refer to this review of the many massage gun brands out there.
A massage gun has not eliminated all of my visits to the therapist, as I find the experience still different. But my visits are much rarer because I end up using my massage gun in between sessions.
Given my lifestyle and how often I use it, I still find the more expensive products worthwhile. For others, the cheaper ones are enough to deliver the relaxing but deep stimulation to the muscles their body likes.