Therapists have been using vibration as a tool to massage for centuries. Vibrations can be varied in frequency and magnitude and adjusted to how a patient responds.
Historical accounts of massage go back to the 5th century, of which vibration has always been an essential part. Hippocrates wrote, “rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose and loosen a joint that is too rigid”.
Today percussion massage machines that use vibration to massage have become hugely popular. Any search with Google or Amazon will bring up many manufacturers of massage guns. Prices range from £50 to £600 for handheld devices.
The devices can be helpful tools to massage. They can reduce the time it takes to create a therapeutic effect, and they save stressing the hands of a therapist.
However, using the devices without a diagnostic rationale can be a bit of a challenge. If the device is used solely because a muscle feels tight or painful, this may not be an appropriate approach to resolve a condition.
Also, using the device on yourself is less effective for certain areas of the body. Ideally, you want to be relaxed; this means laying down with your arms relaxed, not holding a massage gun to massage your shoulders.
Nevertheless, they are valuable tools in the right hands. As such, I use the Theragun PRO 4th generation, the latest and probably best handheld device on the market.