There’s been a ton of buzz about home massagers lately — and for good reason. These devices bring therapeutic massage to the comfort of your home, and they seem like the perfect way to unwind and relax after a long day.
But if you’ve come across any of these tools, you might be wondering: Are massagers good for you, and are they really worth the money? What are the benefits of home massagers for your health and well-being?
In this post, learn about the many health benefits of massagers, how they work, and what to know before getting started.
How Do Massagers Work?
So, what exactly is a home massager, and how does it work?
In a nutshell, a home massager is any device that uses vibration, kneading, or percussion to soothe and relax the body.
Many massagers are marketed for general tension relief. But some tools have specific uses for wellness. These include massage guns for sore muscles, medical massagers for pain, and foot massagers for circulation.
Because there are so many different massagers on the market, their prices and quality can vastly differ. For example, cheap, generic massagers may not offer as many benefits as the ones from therapeutic brands.
Most of the time, the best massage tools are those that physicians and other health professionals use and trust.
Are Massagers Good for You? The Surprising Health Benefits
You might feel tempted to splurge on a fancy massage machine, but are massagers actually good for you? What are the health benefits that make them worth investing in?
Below are eight extraordinary ways a home massager could boost your health.
1. Promotes the Body’s Relaxation Response
Stress is seemingly never-ending these days, with looming deadlines, social life, and trying to stay healthy. Fortunately, massage therapy can be useful for helping you unwind and relax. And with a therapeutic massager, you can reap these benefits in your own home.
So, how can exactly does it work?
Well, massage invokes the body’s relaxation response, which is a natural physical reaction to massage. It involves:
- Slowed breathing
- Calmer heart rate
- Lower stress hormones
- Relaxed muscles
One benefit of home massagers is that they may boost healthy circulation. This is because massage stimulates soft tissue, which encourages nutrient-rich blood to flow into any given area.
In theory, it makes sense that massage can improve blood flow. However, emerging research also seems to support these benefits. One study found that self-Thai foot massage could help people improve their skin blood flow and range of motion.
Another 2014 study found that massage therapy increased skin temperature, which also points to a boost in healthy blood flow.
3. Better Sleep
One of the leading causes of sleep problems in the U.S. is stress. In fact, 43 percent of adults in the 2013 Stress in America survey reported lying awake due to stress in the previous month.
Fortunately, one of the benefits of home massagers is that they can reduce stress. And in turn, this could help you get more restorative sleep each night.
Researchers in a 2011 study set out to see if postmenopausal women could benefit from massage therapy. The women in the study reported better sleep after massage, including falling asleep faster and feeling better upon waking up.
4. Soothe Stress and Anxiousness
When you feel anxious or stressed out, you might try deep breathing, meditation, or exercise to feel better. But a high-quality home massager may also help you reduce and manage stress.
One 2009 study found that light pressure massage helped people reduce feelings of anxiety and increased levels of self-confidence.
Another 2018 study found that massage therapy could lower feelings of perceived stress in fibromyalgia patients.
The best type of massage for stress seems to be the Swedish modality, which uses light pressure and long, soft strokes. To mimic this modality at home, you can opt for gentle settings on your massager.
5. Muscle Soreness
At some point in your life, you’ve likely experienced muscle soreness after physical activity. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it’s especially common after a fast-paced workout, heavy lifting, or hard labor.
One benefit of using a massager is that it may boost muscle recovery while reducing soreness. Massage guns (or percussive massagers) are the most popular option for this purpose. However, many other therapeutic massagers can also help with achy muscles and recovery.
6. Pain-Relieving Effects
Nowadays, many people seek alternative ways to manage pain — whether it stems from a recent injury, chronic condition, or something else. Fortunately, therapeutic home massagers may help to relieve some types of pain.
These results are promising, but researchers still don’t fully understand the “how” behind massage’s incredible pain-relieving effects.
One popular theory is that positive mood and relaxation can soothe the body’s feelings of pain. Another idea is that massage “closes the pain gate” by stimulating nerves and blocking pain signals from traveling.
7. Range of Motion and Flexibility
As we get older and our bodies experience wear and tear, our range of motion and flexibility can start to suffer. The good news is that at-home massagers could help break up tension around your joints and help you move better.
8. Complements Certain Healthcare Routines
People from all walks of life use massage therapy to find relief from specific health issues.
This might be to manage their pain, promote circulation and healing near an injury, or even boost mental well-being. With this in mind, one benefit of home massagers is that they can complement some healthcare routines.
It’s important to note that although massagers can be healing, they can’t always help with every medical issue. And they might enhance your routine, but they shouldn’t be used in place of medical treatment.
In any case, your doctor can help you decide whether or not massage is a safe and beneficial choice for your health-related needs.
Types of Home Massagers
After learning about the benefits, you might be wondering: How many types of massagers are there, and which kind is best for me?
Here are several types of massagers to know about, along with their popular uses and benefits.
Body massagers are handheld devices that use oscillating, vibrating, or kneading motions to soothe muscles. For example, the MedMassager MMB05 is one high-quality body massager that uses oscillating motions for tension relief.
These machines come in various designs, and they all function a little bit differently. At any rate, a good body massager should be safe, practical, and easy to use — no matter your previous experience with massage tools.
These are an excellent choice for someone who wants to target whole-body aches, pains, and tension.
Foot massagers are popular these days, with countless variations and models to choose from. Some machines use oscillating or vibrating technology, while others use kneading balls to target pressure points in the feet.
Most of these devices are incredibly user-friendly. You’ll simply need to place your feet on (or in) the machine and turn it to the intensity that suits your needs.
Your feet have many different ligaments, tendons, and muscles, so it’s essential to be selective with the type of foot massager you use. Some can be too harsh and rough on your delicate foot tissue. So, keep an eye out for the foot massagers that physicians recommend and trust.
Percussion massagers (or massage guns) have become wildly popular recently — and for good reason. These devices use a mini “hammering” motion to break up muscle tension and scar tissue for targeted relief.
Massage guns are well-loved by athletes, who use them to prevent soreness and promote muscle recovery after exercise.
However, many people can benefit from this type of massager, and you don’t necessarily have to be a gym-goer to use one.
Chair massagers are a much bigger investment than other home massagers and can cost up to several thousand dollars. While the price can be steep, there are understandable reasons for it. For example, they are much larger than other massage tools, and they can target many parts of your body at once.
Compared to other home massagers, chair massagers offer many similar benefits. They can boost circulation, soothe your muscles, and relieve stress. These machines are ideal for people who want whole-body relaxation and wouldn’t mind spending extra money on it.
Other Massage Tools
Beyond electric massagers, many other home massage tools can nourish your body and boost your health.
The difference with these tools is that you have to use them manually — so they’re not as effortless as other devices. But they still do offer some phenomenal benefits.
Massage balls are one of the most cost-effective forms of home massagers out there.
These are great for relieving muscle tightness, working out knots, and breaking up tension. They’re also useful for self trigger-point massage and at-home acupressure. While massage balls have many uses, they’re not the best option for overall relaxation. Instead, they’re excellent for targeting specific areas of tightness or pain.
A basic, low-cost massage ball is a great introductory tool for self-massage. But to upgrade your experience, you can also try an oscillating massage ball like this one.
Foam or Silicone Rollers
Foam rollers have two main benefits: improving recovery after exercise and boosting flexibility. Aside from that, you can also use them for self-myofascial release.
Many people reach for foam rollers when they need to work out tension in large regions of the body. For instance, these are great for the hamstrings, quadriceps, and back muscles.
Overall, foam rollers offer a bang for their buck, and they’re quite versatile once you know how to do a few exercises.
Massage canes are another easy-to-use massage tool. These are helpful for self-massaging trigger points and working out knots in your back and shoulders.
To use one, you’d hold it with both hands and align the end of the cane on your back. Then, you would pull it forward and move it around to create pressure and knead out muscle tension.
How Often Should You Use a Massager? Can You Use It Too Much?
One common question is, “How often should you use a massager?”
The answer here is a bit complex, as it entirely depends on your body and choice of massager.
Typically, the first thing you should do is check your product’s manual for guidelines. If you’re using a massager for a specific health issue, you should ask your doctor for their advice and recommendations.
For example, the MedMassager MMB05 body massager is a device that you can use whenever you like. But for some health issues, it’s best only to use it for short bursts of time.
However, if your only goal is relaxation, you could extend your massage session for a while longer. All in all, it depends on your body, injuries, conditions, preferences, and the massager itself.
Are Massagers Safe?
As you now know, there are some remarkable benefits of home massagers. But are they safe for everyone, or are there some risks you should be aware of?
To answer that, massagers are safe and beneficial most of the time. However, they might not always be an ideal choice for every person (or purpose.)
Before you start enjoying the benefits of using a massager, here are some things to bear in mind:
- Learn about any massage contraindications you may have. This could be an open wound, a cardiovascular issue, or another health problem. Having a condition like this doesn’t always mean you can’t use a massager. Sometimes, it just means you need to be careful or avoid certain areas. In any case, your doctor can help you determine whether massage is a good option for you, and how to go about it safely.
- Avoid using massagers at high pressure for too long. Many people opt for deep tissue massage for every ache and pain they feel. But sometimes, light pressure is all your body needs. Plus, too much pressure can sometimes worsen pain or cause your muscles to tense up.
How to Choose a Home Massager: 3 Things to Keep In Mind
If you’re curious about purchasing a home massager, there are some ways to tell which ones are quality — and which ones aren’t.
Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind before you buy a massager.
1. Customizable Settings
Since your body and preferences are unique, you’ll want to be able to personalize your massage experience. With that in mind, make sure to look for an adjustable massager with a range of speed and pressure options.
Some lower-end massagers might not easily “align” with your muscles, and they might even feel awkward to use. However, reputable massage tools are designed to be user-friendly, simple, and effective. So, while you browse massagers, look for products with sleek and practical designs.
3. Trusted by Physicians
One telltale sign of a fantastic home massage tool is one that doctors and other health professionals trust. No matter your reason for trying massage, physician-trusted devices often bring the best results.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Home Massage Routine
Below, you can find some tips for maximizing the benefits of home massagers. By following these tips, you’re setting yourself up for a powerful therapeutic experience each and every day.
- Read the instructions. The manual for the massager can give you a plethora of information to help you get started.
- Identify your problem. You might feel the urge to reach for your massager any time you feel an ache or pain — no matter how small. However, massage isn’t a solution for everything. Make sure to identify your problem, so you can figure out whether your device can help.
- Start slow. Turning your massager up to the highest setting right away can overstress your muscles. So, remember to start at a slow and gentle setting. This way, you can warm your muscles up before moving to deeper pressure.
Ready to Reap the Benefits of Home Massagers?
When you decide to purchase a home massager, you’re bringing incredible benefits to your body, mind, and spirit. On top of that, you’re investing in your self-care for the long term.
The benefits of massagers range from relaxation to better sleep, and even pain relief. And when used regularly, these tools can make a powerful difference in your well-being.
If you want to try an at-home massager but aren’t sure where to find quality products, MedMassager is a great place to start. Our home massage units are trusted by physicians and wellness-minded people around the world. Beyond that, each device is expertly designed for ultimate self-care and tension relief.