I do some crazy things for work. But trialling a Theragun – those odd-looking, hammering massage devices you’ve seen on Instagram and probably celeb IG Stories – has to be one of the weirdest.
I’ve always been intrigued by the device, mainly because (like most of you I’m sure) I have TERRIBLE posture and frequently end the day with a cricked neck and some sort of weird knot in my back.
Most recently, I had a HORRIBLE knot that made me feel sick. You know the kind, where you really should go to the physio but also ceebs? That kind. It did eventually pass, but took around two weeks – I just couldn’t get into it well enough. I tried forced massages from my sister. One of those hard massage ball thingies. A foam roller. Nothing could hit the spot, because it was jammed up behind my shoulder blade.
Anyway, that’s what got me super interested in the Theragun, because one of their ads had the woman using it SPECIFICALLY ON THAT SPOT. Fate? Destiny? Yes.
I also knew HEAPS of celebs had endorsed the Theragun. People like Michael B. Jordan, Chris Hemsworth and Justin Timberlake. Sports people like NBA star Kyrie Irving and Christiano Renaldo. Not that celebs telling me shit is good necessarily makes me hyped… haha who am I kidding – it totally does.
The first thing to note is the packaging is INTIMIDATING. It comes in this huge box, with heaps of little tools inside. Most of these are attachments to the arm, targeting different muscle groups and body areas.
For example, there’s a dampener that is good for bony spots so you don’t bash up, say, your shins. There’s a terrifying-looking pointy attachment that’s actually AMAZING for hands and feet, or getting a targeted spot.
The dampener is what comes on the device when you take it out of the box, and it’s the one I used most. Because until you’re used to the device, it can be quite confronting.
Ok, let’s discuss that – how scary is a loud, slamming hammer-thing IRL? Not very, it turns out. When I first turned the Theragun on, I was hesitant to actually, y’know, put it anywhere near my body.
The Theragun 4th Generation, the one I tried, is their latest model and is actually the quietest, too. That’s not to say it’s a soft whisper as it massages you, oh no. My dog, for example, is scared of it so I can’t use it in her presence.
That being said, you’d kind of expect something that’s pummelling your muscles at a chill FORTY BEATS PER SECOND to be a bit loud. Those beats are called Percussive Therapy, and it’s all about penetrating deeper into your muscles in quick succession, apparently so your brain doesn’t acclimate to it. Here’s how they explain it on site:
Dr. Jason created percussive therapy to increase blood flow and decrease tension deep within the muscle, using scientifically-calibrated combination of speed and depth to treat your muscles comfortably by overriding the pain signals sent to the brain.
According to their site, the benefits run from dcreasing muscle soreness & stiffness to faster warmup & recovery. Percussive therapy also apparently reduces lactic acid and hydrates the tissue – all great things, especially if you’re into fitness and working your body out a lot.
It’s a surprising sensation. You’re meant to “glide” the Theragun over the area you’re targeting – say, your upper back – not press it in. So the feeling is a vibration through the muscle and the wider area. It’s definitely a pleasant sensation and not a horrible, painful one – in fact, it’s not painful at all. When you hit some spots you might get a weird twitch, much in the same way as when you get massaged on areas where there’s a nerve (or whatever happens) but like massages, it doesn’t hurt.
Relief-wise, I felt an almost immediate tension release when I hit up my sore neck and shoulders after a day at the desk. Like, I used the thing for 30 seconds and felt that release. That being said, it’s not like it miraculously healed my deeper muscle issues – I developed that annoying behind-the-shoulder-blade knot again, and while the Theragun gave relief to the area, you can’t just go BAM! Muscle problem solved! You have to use it regularly to get long-term results. Der.
You can also now connect it to their app, Therabody, which can give you guided and monitored massages using your Theragun. Like literally it’ll tell you if you’re pressing too hard or too soft, when to move on to a different section, and so on. Even if you’re a shit masseuse, it means you won’t screw up your treatment.
Are there down-sides? Yeah. Like with anything, there are a few things that I didn’t like. For one, it’s quite heavy. Obviously it has to be given the power it’s pushing out, but it can make for tired arms if you’re not all max gains (I have spaghetti arms over here).
It’s also difficult to reach your back – one of the key spots you’d want to target. It’s not impossible – you basically have to hold the Theragun from the back handle, and drape it over your shoulder. But it’s harder to keep stability with the Theragun this way, and I found it easier to make my sister do my back for me. So if you live alone or can’t bully partners / housemates into using it on your back, you’ll be struggling a little.
So, do I think you should buy one.
First – hold up. The Theragun is NOT cheap. Again – it’s got a lot of tech and power in it, I’m sure you weren’t expecting it to be some $29.99 deal. The 4th Generation PRO, the one I used, retails at a cool $899. That is a LOT of dollarydoos. But there are other versions that might be more affordable for you.
Their Elite version retails at $649 (bday + Chrissy gift?) and has almost all the excellent features of the PRO – plus, it’s the quietest model. The Prime model is like the PRO minus some of the additional bells and whistles, and comes in at $499.
There’s also the Mini, which is designed to be on the go but if you’re not a pro athlete or anything, you could probably make it work for day-to-day niggles, tbh. It’s $349.
So yeah, the price point is WAY high if you’re not earning six figures or whatever. It really comes down to how often you’ll use it. If you’re an avid cyclist, gym-goer or athlete, I’m thinking you’ll use it regularly, and will find the most benefits from percussive therapy. If you’re just suffering from the occasional neck crick, you probably don’t need it.
But hey – if you’ve got the cashola, it’s a damn good feeling to Theragun your neck at the end of every day.
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