Introducing Theragun Percussive Therapy Devices
Relatively new to the market, Therabody Theragun percussive therapy devices have attracted a lot of attention in the fitness world, with their mesmerising online videos and celebrity and athlete endorsements. Seen as the gold standard in percussion, Theragun's are not cheap but may be seen as an investment in your wellbeing; a tool for recovery as well as for the prevention and treatment of injury. Furthermore, Theragun is a safe, natural option for muscle maintenance and self-treatment, at a time when the preference could be to stay at home.
What is Percussive Therapy?
"The rapid and repetitive application of pressure perpendicular to the body"
Percussive therapy uses the combination of pressure and vibration to get deeper into the muscles and tissues resulting in a physiological and neurological response, which can result in a strong therapeutic benefit.
Percussion as a treatment tool
A fairly new concept, there are a number of on-going studies to prove the efficacy of percussive therapy. As well as the relaxing effect a massage device can have, a number of therapeutic benefits have been noted:
- Decreased pain and reduced muscle tension
- Enhancement of the stretch reflex
- Improved soft tissue functioning, blood circulation and range of motion, and the clearance of metabolic waste products
- Its use pre-exercise can reduce post-exercise Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Theragun was created in 2007 by chiropractor Dr. Jason Wersland out of the need for treatment after a serious motorcycle injury. 9 years on and the original G1 was officially launched, giving many athletes access to a new form of self-treatment to incorporate into their recovery and maintenance regime.
Since launching, the range has expanded hugely with the devices becoming more and more sophisticated with every generation, and with a rebranding to Therabody, there are now a selection of other wellness products available.
The company sells themselves as offering ‘natural solutions for your wellness journey’ with its mission to provide effective and natural whole-body solutions to help people feel better and do more of what moves them.
Research & Development
Therabody’s education division provides certification courses to personal trainers and therapists and aims to shed some light on the science behind their devices, proving the technology and maximising the benefits.
The research spans a number of key areas where Theragun may help you and covers a huge range of potential users, from professional to amateur athletes, as well as people looking for some general improvements. Pretty much anyone can incorporate percussive therapy into their routine, as part of a wider treatment plan or simply for quick rejuvenation of tired, knotted or sore muscles.
It’s early days in terms of solid evidence but a number of published abstracts and further research papers, under peer review and in progress, highlight the benefits of Theragun use.
Small-scale studies have shown an instant analgesic effect, reducing sensitivity and allowing more effective treatment, and the device has been shown to improve blood flow over a competitor device. Other research suggests the Theragun increases range of movement and improves muscle oxygenation, both essential for effective warm-up pre-exercise.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there and one of the main selling points of this type of unit is the convenient way you can treat yourself in a timely manner, gaining the benefits of a much longer foam roller session or even a massage in just minutes. Treatment is completely natural and immediate, so there’s no need to wait for a massage appointment post-event. It’s important to use the Theragun in the correct way in order to fully benefit, so there’s a Theragun App to help you do so.
The Therabody app is an integral part of your treatment if you choose one of the top three models. Using Bluetooth, pairing is seamless, and you can use the app for setup and to remotely control the device, as well as to learn how best to treat different areas of the body. The app will even be able to track your usage and adapt goals and routines to suit. Don’t worry though, if you leave home without your phone, the Theragun won’t be rendered useless as you can pre-install routines in advance.
Four Theragun Models
Every one of the Theragun devices has the same purpose; preventing and treating injuries, improving mobility and easing the discomfort of tight, knotted muscles be that from sport or sitting at a computer all day. The four options offer something for different budgets and situations, from the professional-level Pro down to the highly portable Mini. All are ergonomically shaped for ease of use, and every attachment works across the range.
The 4th generation devices all use QuietForce Technology, a form of sound insulation that cuts down the noise dramatically - around 50% compared to the previous model - and they’ve come a long way from the power tool-esque originals.
The flagship model, Theragun Pro is the device chosen by professionals for treatment of clients. A unique motor was created especially for the Pro - one that is both incredibly powerful and quiet at the same time. If you want to imagine the level of noise, it's similar to that of an electric toothbrush - pretty impressive for a unit delivering 60lbs of force.
The Pro gives you the most control over your treatment. Four arm positions make it easier to comfortably reach awkward areas, and it's supplied with 6 attachments and 2 batteries so you can charge one while using the other. You can control the speed via the app, selecting any PPM (percussions per minute) of your choosing between 1750 - 2400, or from 5 presets. When you don't have your phone to hand, you can simply choose from 3 presets on the OLED screen.
Advanced sound insulation makes the Theragun Elite the quietest model, yet it still delivers 40lbs of force. Use it any time you need, with minimal disturbance to those around you. The arm may not be adjustable on this model but it's still ergonomically designed to reduce strain to your hands and arms while treating the rest of your body. Preset speeds mean you can use it without access to the app, and the Elite is provided with 5 attachments.
All the essential features and nothing more, the Theragun Prime simplifies the device without taking away the power (30lbs of force) or its credentials as an effective muscle treatment. It sits between the Elite and the Pro in terms of noise levels, so is still extremely quiet, and uses the same ergonomic multi-grip as the Elite for comfortable operation.
Small and light, the Theragun Mini still delivers a powerful punch. This compact device won't take up too much space in a bag or may even fit into a jacket pocket so you can take it with you everywhere for on-the-go, discrete relief from knots and tension. There are three preset speed settings and the long 150 minute battery life makes it perfect for a weekend away when there's no access to a charging point.
The Theragun could become your go-to for quick and effective treatment and is perfect when incorporated into a wider wellness plan. The range of devices offer something to suit most people, from the Theragun Pro, a professional-level model, down to the Mini, ideal for quick relief or keeping your muscles in shape when away from home.
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