You probably have a massage gun, or you have a friend that has a massage gun, or you’ve seen or used a massage gun, or maybe you know someone who told you about someone they know that has a massage gun. The bottom line is that at this point most of us are familiar with the existence of massage guns, but do you know how they work?
Massage guns use what is called Percussion Therapy. It is exactly how it sounds. It is therapy through repeated impact. Think of your muscles like a drum and the massage gun like a zealous drummer hammering away with his drumsticks. Percussion therapy is very similar to vibration therapy in many ways.
Vibration and Percussion Therapy both:
- Increase Blood Flow
- Decrease muscle stiffness
- Speed lactic acid reuptake
- Feel really good
Unfortunately, there isn’t sufficient research done to compare the difference in effectiveness between the two modalities. There is one common measurement that is very important however, and that is frequency. The Meteor has therapeutic frequencies that have been heavily researched and shown to relax your muscles and decrease pain. Some studies have even found vibration therapy to be more effective than massage at decreasing pain from exercise.(1)
The main differentiating factor between percussion and vibration is the amplitude. The amplitude (or depth) measures the distance that the device travels while shaking. If the amplitude is larger, then impact on your body is greater. Think of the difference between a masseuse delivering swift percussion to your back and a boxer reeling back for a powerful uppercut. While there can be times where the deeper and more powerful impact can reach deep knots in your muscles, fine tuned vibration offers more calming relief. In some cases, especially in injuries or those with more delicate bodies, percussion can actually be damaging.
Why choose Vibration?
There is one main advantage that the Meteor has over percussion devices. It helps lower your body’s natural defenses that can actually fight against recovery. Your body is a marvelous system designed to protect you and when it detects a threat, it prepares itself. If you have an injury, the muscles surrounding the area all work to support the weakened tissue.(5) This is called Muscle Guarding. This is generally a good thing at first, but often your muscles continue to stay contracted even after the injury is healed. This muscle guarding can actually become the cause of pain instead of a protector against it. Quick, jarring motions (such as a percussion device) will spur your body into this defensive mode.
Therapists treating pain of this type use techniques such as massage with long, slow movements that apply pressure helping the body to relax. Your nervous system is made up of many different types of Proprioceptors (a fancy name for nerves that detect changes in motion, position and pressure). You can read more about specific types below.(2)(3)(4) Two important proprioceptors for this situation are your Golgi Tendon Organ and Muscle Spindle Fibers. The GTO detects changes in tension, while the muscle spindles detect changes in length. Any time your muscles receive any sensation that changes these, these proprioceptors make your muscles flex to stop you from injuring yourself. With constant pressure or stretching, these nerves relax and let you get a deeper stretch and treat parts of your body that are damaged. With percussion therapy you never apply pressure long enough to overcome these systems, but with the Meteor you can apply steady pressure to any muscle group and let the therapeutic vibration take maximum effect.
That's not even to mention the phenomenal benefits the Heat from the Meteor brings! Read more about the effects of heat here.
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3939523/ (Vibration and Massage)
2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golgi_tendon_organ (Golgi Tendon Organ)
3.https://www.physio-pedia.com/Muscle_spindles (Muscle Spindle Fibers)
4.https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/ace-answers/exam-preparation-blog/5336/golgi-tendon-organs-and-muscle-spindles-explained/ (overcoming nervous system inhibitions)5.https://chiropractorofstlouis.com/blog-post/muscle-guarding (muscle guarding)