If you buy a massage gun, do you really know how to use it? Principles, skills and precautions
Muscle massage gun is also called vibration massage gun or fascia gun. In recent years, with the rise of fitness trend and the rise of health care awareness, coupled with the fact that modern people often suffer from back pain, muscle soreness after exercise, or stiffness in the shoulders and neck caused by sitting for a long time using a computer, it has led to the development of muscle massage guns. Popularity.
However, the principle and efficacy of muscle massage guns involve professional medical knowledge, and the general public without background knowledge is actually not very clear. This article is written by a licensed physiotherapist, with professional opinions compiled with reference to professional literature and the opinions of medical experts such as rehabilitation physicians and physiotherapists.
How the fascia gun works
Relax muscles and fascia with high frequency vibrations. The massage gun has the effect of quickly relaxing muscles and fascia through high-speed and high-frequency vibration. The principles are roughly as follows:
1. Increase pain threshold (reduce pain)
Pain is a sensory signal sent by the nervous system. When the intensity of the signal exceeds a certain value, called the threshold of pain, the brain will feel pain. The lower the pain threshold, the more sensitive to pain, the easier it means to feel pain, and the higher the threshold, the less sensitive to pain and the less likely to feel pain. Massaging tissue in a vibrating way has been confirmed by academic research to effectively increase the pain threshold, that is, it has analgesic effect, can inhibit pain, and reduce pain.
2. Promote muscle relaxation
Vibration is a kind of sensory stimulation, which stimulates the body's proprioceptive receptors, produces inhibitory signals, and makes a reflex response to relax muscles. This is the main principle of the vibration massage gun, which can effectively promote the relaxation of tight muscles.
3. Increase tissue temperature and increase muscle blood flow
After the vibration energy is transmitted into the tissue, it will be converted into heat energy, which will increase the temperature of the tissue. Higher tissue temperature will relax local blood vessels, increase muscle blood flow, improve blood circulation, speed up metabolism, and make muscles softer and more relaxed.
Where should the massage gun hit?
1. Muscles and Fascia
Massage guns are of course used to hit sore and uncomfortable areas, but do you know what tissue you relax with a massage gun? In addition to muscles, massage guns can also be used to relax "fascia".
2. Trigger points
Trigger points (Trigger Points) are tight bandages located in muscles. As the name suggests, they are points that are prone to intense pain. In addition to the pain caused by pressing hard, activated trigger points are sometimes accompanied by transfer pain, that is, not only the trigger point is painful in one place. , it will also affect other parts of the pain. If not treated properly, pain from trigger points can become chronic pain and even affect muscle strength. Massage guns, on the other hand, are considered very suitable for treating trigger points.
3. TCM acupuncture points
Trigger points are a concept proposed by Western medicine based on anatomy, while acupuncture points are a concept advocated by traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, there are many similarities between the two. For example, studies have found that of the 255 trigger points in the 147 muscles of the human body, more than 90% of them correspond to the positions of acupuncture points, and the paths that generate conductive pain are also similar. Acupuncture stimulates trigger pain. Points and acupoints, both showed similar responses. Most of the trigger points belong to the "Ashi point" in the theory of traditional Chinese medicine. There is no fixed position for the Ashi point. The way of selecting acupoints is "taking pain as the acupoint", that is, the pain point is the meaning of the Ashi point. This point It is very similar to the concept of trigger points.
The most suitable muscle group
The most suitable for relaxing with a massage gun is the large muscle groups, such as the muscles of the buttocks, thighs, calves, etc., because the muscle layers of the large muscle groups are thicker and more able to withstand high-energy vibration stimulation, it is less likely that the vibration force is too large or Improper use of the vibration position, etc., can cause muscle injury.
Prohibited groups and parts
Although the massage gun is convenient and easy to use, because the vibration will not only affect the superficial muscles, but also deeply transmit to the bones, so it is not suitable for all ethnic groups, and not all body parts can be relaxed with the massage gun. The following are vibration massages. Prohibited groups and prohibited parts of guns.
Banned ethnic groups
1. Pregnant women
2. Cancer patients
3. Patients with severe diabetes
4. Patients with cardiovascular disease
5. Those with heart pacemakers
6. Patients with venous thromboembolic disease
7. There is trauma
8. Osteoporosis (do not use for a long time)
2. Near the spine
3. At the condyles and joint ligaments
4. There are more blood vessels and nerves
5. Bruised or inflamed trauma site
Precautions for the use of massage guns
1. Identify trigger points
The concept of trigger points is mentioned above. Compared with picking up the massage gun and playing it all at once, you can try to find the trigger points first, and then use the massage gun at the trigger points, and the effect is better. In addition to pressing muscles to find trigger points by yourself, you can also search for "body part English + trigger point" on google, and you will find a schematic diagram of trigger points. *Note: It may be difficult for non-professionals to find trigger points on their own
2. Choose a suitable massage head according to the part
Many massage guns are equipped with various massage heads of different shapes and sizes, so users can choose a suitable massage head to use according to the massage part. For example, a larger ball-shaped massage head is suitable for relaxing a large range of muscles, and a smaller pointed cone-shaped massage head is suitable for relaxing small muscles such as arms. Reluctantly massaging with an unsuitable massage head may cause excessive stimulation to small muscle groups, which will not relieve soreness, but will have the opposite effect.
3. Change the massage angle and force point
As mentioned above, the fascia may stick, and the trigger points are hidden in the muscles, and the fascia and the trigger points in the muscles are different in depth and position in the tissue. When using the massage gun to massage, you can try to change the massage angle. For example, in addition to aligning the massage gun vertically with the muscles, you can also hold the massage gun obliquely and change it to different angles such as 45-degree and 30-degree angles. Try using different angles to massage and relax the muscles, and find the most suitable massage gun massage angle for you, you may achieve better muscle relaxation effect.
4. The vibration intensity should not be too strong
The vibration intensity of the massage gun is not as strong as possible. As mentioned above, vibration can suppress pain, so during use, the feeling of the massage part may become dull, which means that it is less likely to feel pain. At this time, if the strength of the massage gun is too strong and exceeds the capacity of the tissue, the user may not feel pain, and after use, it is likely to have the opposite effect. Therefore, it is recommended that when using the massage gun, the vibration intensity should only be adjusted to a certain level, and you can feel the vibration or slight soreness when using it. It is not necessary or recommended to adjust to a high intensity.
5. Do not use it for too long
The use time of the massage gun is not the longer the more effective. According to many experts, 5 to 10 seconds at a time on each area, repeated for 3 to 5 minutes, is effective. If the massage head has a pointed shape with a small contact area, you must pay more attention to try not to use it for more than 3 minutes, and the ball-shaped massage head with a larger contact area can be used for at most 5 minutes.
6. Do not use if there is obvious inflammation
The purpose of massage guns is to relax and relieve general muscle soreness and tightness, not to treat diseases. Therefore, if the muscles have obvious symptoms of inflammation (redness, swelling, heat, pain, etc.), or severe pain, etc., it is not recommended to use the massage gun by yourself, but to seek professional assistance such as a medically licensed physician, physical therapist, etc. . If there is only some muscle soreness and tension, but after using the massage gun, abnormal conditions such as more and more pain occur, it is also recommended to stop using the massage gun immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.