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Home massage: a technique that will help you relieve stress and relax

28.06.2024 13:18

Perhaps for some, a clean, tidy room or spinning the drum of a washing machine are ways to relax, but there is a technique that is much better suited for this — massagers. They allow you to perform various types of massage right at home, in the office or even in the car. Massage can benefit different people at different times: some types of massage can be soothing, while others can stimulate or release muscles. It is important to note that using an electric massager incorrectly can cause harm. There are a few key aspects to consider when choosing a home massager.

Vibration massage

Vibrations in massagers, according to sports medicine, do not have a deep effect on the muscles, but promote their relaxation and improve lymphatic drainage. This helps relieve swelling and restore a feeling of lightness in the treated areas of the body. In addition, vibrations can distract from unpleasant sensations in trigger points. Vibromassage is often included in the functionality of even more advanced massagers as an additional feature that enhances the effect of other types of massage.

In addition, vibration massage, as the most delicate, is used for sensitive areas — for example, the head, face, eyes.

In addition, vibration massage, as the most delicate, is used for sensitive areas — for example, the head, face, eyes.

Acupressure (acupuncture) massage, shiatsu massage

Acupressure is aimed at specific points on the body, although in traditional medicine the term “biologically active points” does not imply passivity or special activity of these points in connection with internal organs. However, this does not detract from the positive effects of acupressure: improving blood circulation, stimulating lymphatic drainage, relieving tension and other beneficial effects remain.

Acupuncture massage includes such well-known techniques as shiatsu, where special rollers, instead of the massage therapist's fingers, press on certain points to break the clamps and restore vital energy, although the exact meaning of this expression remains unknown. In household massagers, rollers are replaced with rollers that imitate the movement of the hands and fingers of a massage therapist, and their location is close to the traditional points that are processed in this technique. The shiatsu massage function is most often present in back and cervical massagers, in massage chairs and less often in mats. However, when using massagers instead of a master, hitting the so-called biologically active points can only be approximate, since we all have different builds.

Acupuncture massage of large areas of the body is considered more universal and includes various acupuncture massage mats with spikes. Vibration complements the point action of an applicator with plastic spikes, as in the well-known Kuznetsov apparatus, or thick metal needles, as in the Lyapko applicator.

Although we do not recommend using acupuncture devices as a medical treatment or panacea (as is sometimes presented in instructions that cover everything from psoriasis to varicose veins), acupuncture mats (body, leg, head and back cushions) have two important functions: improvement local blood circulation and a distracting, relaxing effect.

Percussion massage

Percussion massage is aimed at relaxing muscles and relieving tension; it is especially useful after sitting in one position for a long time (for example, during sedentary work), an uncomfortable position during sleep or intense training. Originally developed by American doctor Jason Wersland to speed up the rehabilitation of soft tissue after injury and muscle after sprain, the percussion massager is designed to allow patients to perform therapy without the need to see a massage therapist. This device resembles a drill, but instead of a drill it has a ball attachment that quickly taps areas that require recovery and relieves pain caused by muscle strain.

Percussion massage is contraindicated for hypertension, thrombosis and thrombophlebitis, skin lesions, as well as during pregnancy and when taking anticoagulants. It is also not recommended on areas where the pulse can be felt (eg, wrist, front neck, heart area), head, areas with prosthetics or implants, lymph nodes, solar plexus, ankles and intimate areas.

The percussion massager was developed by Dr. Jason Wersland to accelerate muscle and tissue recovery after injury and intense exercise, using a tapping mechanism with a drill-like ball. It is important to note that when choosing a percussion massager, you should take into account the noise level (the best models operate at a level of 65-70 dB, comparable to a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer) and weight (usually 0.65-1 kg). Genuine percussion massagers are characterized by high impact force (for example, 25-27 kg) and speed of blows (up to several thousand per minute), have various attachments for working muscles and specifications indicating a percussive massage mode.

Microcurrent or myostimulating massage

Homemade microcurrent body massagers, especially cheap Chinese butterfly muscle stimulators, are controversial. Manufacturers promise improved blood circulation, muscle relaxation and even an anti-cellulite effect thanks to microcurrents, but this type of physiotherapy is best used under the guidance of a specialist in the office of a physiotherapist or cosmetologist using professional equipment. Homemade options often cause negative reviews associated with unpleasant sensations from the current, unnecessary vibration and insufficient effect, and are often viewed as just toys. The exception is beauty gadgets specially developed by serious manufacturers for the face, which use microcurrents and are not positioned as universal solutions for all problems.

There are many butterfly muscle stimulators on the market of varying quality, so it is important to pay attention to consumer reviews. One of the main disadvantages of such devices is often the Velcro that is needed to attach them to the body. Without reliable fixation, using the massager becomes impossible. However, with a successful choice, you can, for little money, get the opportunity to locally influence trigger zones, which can relieve the unpleasant sensations of tension and muscle stiffness.

Separately, it is worth noting butterfly muscle stimulators for the press. They are significantly larger than regular models and are designed to be used while sitting, to relax the abdominal muscles after exercise or to stimulate them during activity such as walking. This type of massager can help improve muscle condition, but don't expect miracles.

Massagers for the cervical spine

One of the most popular types of massagers is the Shiatsu massage device. Most often they are presented in the form of clamps with loops for hands or pillows, the inner side of which is equipped with massage rollers that imitate shiatsu massage and other types of acupressure. These devices can also combine massage with vibration and infrared heating, and allow you to adjust the intensity and type of impact. It is important to take into account the contraindications specified in the instructions for the device. After conducting a detailed review of the work of a cervical massager, we were convinced that such devices are great for relaxing muscles and improving overall well-being.

When choosing a massager, you should pay attention not so much to the number of modes (although their presence is important), but to the ability to regulate the strength of the impact and battery life. In practice, we found that the massager we tested exceeded the manufacturer's stated operating time by more than five times. This is truly amazing and pleasant.

Massagers for back and whole body

These include both massage chairs and rugs, chair covers and mats on which you can simply sit or lie and enjoy a massage. The main thing is to pay attention to the type of massage that the device provides: acupressure, shiatsu or vibration. Sometimes manufacturers may describe it as relaxing.

Foot massagers

There are many different devices: acupuncture mats, pads, lymphatic drainage compression boots (for consultation with a doctor), massage sneakers and special massage foot baths. In the latter, you can not only massage your feet (often including vibration and acupuncture massage functions), but also perform a pedicure using abrasive attachments.

The combination of a relaxing and massage effect with the influence of water (the addition of aromatic oils or magnesium salt is possible) gives wonderful results. The disadvantage is the need for space for such devices in the bathroom. When choosing, you should pay attention to the presence of the IR heating function — it is pleasant and useful if there are no medical contraindications.

There is another interesting type of household foot massagers — air-compression ones. The legs are placed in bags that inflate and massage the limbs through compression, providing vibration and heat, as well as a shiatsu massage-like effect.

Face and eye massagers

Before using the massager for medicinal or serious cosmetic purposes, be sure to consult your doctor. Our review is aimed at introducing different types of massage and types of massagers to help you navigate their diversity.