All electric massagers have the particularity of offering higher frequencies and intensities than traditional massages, in which the palms of the hands and fingertips do not offer the uniformity that the tissues require. However, it is always advisable to have the initial guidance of a specialist.
In this article we will explain what electric massagers are, what types exist and what are the main benefits you can get from them when using them at home. And as everything in excess is bad, we will tell you the consequences of misusing these massagers.
What are electric massagers and what types are there?
Electric massagers were created to cover some of the weaknesses of conventional massagers, such as the lack of uniformity in the stimulations that generated greater benefits in some areas and little stimulation in others.
They are devices that are powered by electrical energy to provide strokes (percussion), rotations (friction) and heat (thermotherapy), thus keeping the muscle fibres active and regulating the circulatory system and the lymphatic system.
There are different types of massage machines on the market, but they can all be grouped into 3 types:
- Percussion massagers: these are devices that seek to inhibit the function of pain receptors, which are responsible for sending signals to the spinal cord and brain that there is an injury or bodily ailment that needs to be addressed. Percussion guns are one of the products used in this type of massage that also offer relaxation and elasticity in the myofascial tissue.
- Rotation massagers are devices that are best used on the neck, shoulders and back, because the circular motion of the stimulators relaxes the dense muscles in these parts of the body. Most friction machines also have the option to increase the temperature locally, but it is common to see machines that only massage with rotations.
- Heat massagers: these machines generate localised temperatures of between 34-36°C (93-97°F) to dilate vessels and veins, resulting in increased blood flow, which in turn transports more oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues. The first thermotherapy massagers were designed to stimulate the feet, but it is now quite common to see these devices for other areas of the body such as the shoulders and back.
What are the health benefits of using electric massagers?
Although no device should replace a medical consultation, when a specialist recommends massages to obtain a quick recovery, then it is valid to use them at home to have the following benefits:
- Increases sporting performance: in fact, there is talk of the possibility of being a better athlete by spending more time training and competing. Whether it is to avoid injury or to quickly overcome an ailment, massagers offer this possibility to prevent the body from cooling down and losing the strength it has gained.
- It dilates vessels and veins: this improves the circulatory system and allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach soft tissues such as muscles. When these elements reach the muscle fibres better, they can be better prepared to withstand the demands of sport.
- Reduce tension: whether it’s a change in sporting intensity or a day of heavy walking, the body sometimes fails to recover from these tensions and irregular muscle bunching occurs, leaving pain and stiffness when performing certain joint movements.
- Reduces pain: when it comes to physical injuries, these electric massagers are great for soothing contractures by activating trigger points, which help to relieve aches and pains in the areas where they are located and associated areas, such as migraine relief when the neck and shoulders are stimulated.
- It releases endorphins: this wonderful natural component has a significant analgesic effect, which also helps to soothe pain related to minor physical injuries such as contractures and cramps, leaving muscle fatigue in athletes and people who are active all day.
- It lowers stress and anxiety: when the mind is busy solving problems on a daily basis, emotions are disturbed and the body reacts with frequent muscle tension. Electric massagers allow a total relaxation process to take place from the muscle fibres to the thoughts.
What are electric muscle massagers for?
You already know that there are different types of electric massagers that you can use, but almost all of them share utilities that are beneficial to your health:
- To relax the muscles: when the fibres are relaxed, they have a better capacity for flexibility and elasticity, this causes the muscles to obtain greater strength and resistance that will allow them to be in tune with the physical activity that people carry out.
- As a recovery therapy: both the heat and the stimulating movements make the muscles rest better and have all the components they require to overcome minor physical injuries such as elongations and contractures, which are quite common in the sporting world.
- To prevent injuries: these massagers can be used to warm up specific muscle groups and to cool down the body after a workout. Both phases are important for maintaining healthy muscles and a better functioning of the lymphatic system.
- To stay relaxed: the mind and body are more connected than you think, so the muscle stimulations will allow to calm tensions and this is reflected in the emotional stability of people, thus reducing the possibility of entering into depressive pictures.
- Allows you to stay active: part of the function of electric massagers is to inhibit muscle pain, which will give more space for people to continue doing the activities they need to do every day.
- Protects myofascial tissue: although this is not their strength, these massagers also stimulate the fascia, which needs to be healthy so that there is more flexibility in the natural movements that people need to make. We also have different products that better treat the fascia’s own problems through massage.
- Avoid inflammations: to treat this point, foot massagers are the best products you can have on hand. When people have blood circulation problems, the feet and legs are often swollen and it is best to use friction stimulation and increased temperature to support circulatory function.
- It boosts nerve function: massages tend to lower muscle tensions that generate nerve compressions, but it has also been proven that stimulations protect the nerve endings that affect the movements that people make.
- Reduces muscle adhesions: these are the joining of tissues and organs that should not be joined together naturally. It is common for adhesions to occur with constant injuries to the same part of the body, the tissues lose the ability to regenerate correctly and form adhesions that are usually avoided with massages.
- Improves joint movement: although it is not recommended that there is direct stimulation on the bones, when the muscles work correctly it allows the tendons and ligaments to function correctly, which protects the joints.
What are the risks and side effects of using electric massagers?
There are cases in which it is not advisable to use electric massagers, and these are cases in which it is not advisable to resort to conventional massages either.
- Chronic illnesses: people suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis and chronic vascular problems must have the approval and guidance of a medical specialist before using this type of massaging product.
- Acute inflammations: there are severe and chronic physical injuries that should not be treated directly on these areas because they can hinder the body’s natural anti-inflammatory process. In addition, there are swellings that are not due to muscular ailments and should be assessed by a specialist.
- Traumatisms: massages should not be applied directly to the skin when there are strong blows, especially during traffic accidents and falls from stairs; these ailments should be treated from a clinical point of view before massaging.
- Avoid massaging open wounds: the pain that cuts and scrapes leave behind are not types of pain that can be relieved by massage or muscle stimulation. In these cases, it is better not to expose wounds to stimulation because there may be a greater blood supply that will complicate the injury.
- Do not massage in case of infections: from contact allergies to scabies, massages are not recommended when the skin presents these allergic reactions, as the reaction may be greater due to the constant stimulation of the dermis.
- Contraindicated in case of fever and general malaise: one of the functions of massages is to increase body temperature, so it is not allowed to use these products when people have fever because they can complicate febrile conditions and generate dangerous convulsions for neuronal functions.
- Avoid massaging without previous experience: although these products are simple to use, there are basic rules of use regarding the time of stimulation, when and where to stimulate, and for what type of lesions it is more convenient to use these products.