Massage guns are great – But they can’t replace your massage therapist

Let's face it: Your body probably deserves more TLC than it's getting. From carrying past traumas and stressors to sticking with you through everyday wear and tear, your muscles and articulations work hard every day to keep you healthy. So when the time comes to give back, regular massage makes up the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. 

However, with the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be challenging to find the time to book yourself a session with a licensed massage therapist. As a result, fitness influencers have recently turned to an alternative: Massage guns! But can this tool replace regular massage therapy? Well, I wouldn't put one in my Amazon cart just yet.

What is a massage gun?

Massage guns are portable devices that use vibrations to help reduce the tension in your muscles and fascia. The technique used by massage guns, called "percussive therapy", is used to simulate deep tissue massage, to reduce soreness, increase blood circulation, and improve range of motion.

The benefits of massage guns

While the benefits of massage guns still require some investigation, it's said that they're incredibly helpful in aiding recovery after a workout and helping you to warm up for an incoming one


Massage guns can be used before exercise to activate the muscles, ensuring that they are supplied with enough oxygen and blood flow and increasing flexibility. This helps boost performance and hugely reduces the risk of injury. 


Massage guns promote recovery by draining built-up lactic acid and increasing blood flow, transporting more nutrients into the muscles and boosting the restoration of the muscle fibres. They also have a similar effect to massage therapy in terms of limiting delayed-onset muscle soreness (soreness felt a few days post-workout). 

Furthermore, massage guns might also help reduce day-to-day muscle soreness due to inactivity or long days spent at the computer, similar to massage therapy. 

Should massage guns replace massage therapy?

The short answer? No, massage guns cannot replace regular massage therapy. 

The percussive therapy or vibrations employed by massage guns is a common technique used by massage therapists. However, your massage therapist combines vibrations with personalized kneading and stroking techniques. This combination better addresses your goals and complaints and offers a less intense, more pleasant sensation, allowing you to relax more deeply. 

Furthermore, massage therapists can identify trigger points and problem areas while avoiding higher-risk "danger zones", such as bones and nerves. Until massage guns receive some kind of built-in AI technology (which, I'm sure, is not far around the corner), your massage gun doesn't know if the area you're targeting is safe. This might lead to you either: 

  • Apply too much pressure to an already-sore spot, leading to more soreness and injury risk, or

  • Apply pressure to dangerous areas, such as a bone prominence or a vein-artery nerve bundle, which can lead to severe neuropathies. 

Moreover, people with chronic pain or low bone density should proceed with caution regarding massage guns. For example, for those who have fibromyalgia, the deep pressure could aggravate pain. Massage guns might also be unsafe for people with certain medical conditions, such as deep vein thrombosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, acute inflammation, or pregnant women. 

The bottom line? Massage guns are no match for a skilled massage therapist to address specific complaints. They can't tell whether you're injured, a tissue is too tight or loose, or when to give your muscles a break. With that being said, they can be a great supplement to regular massage therapy treatments, providing immediate relief if you just don't have time to commit to a full massage. 

Minimize the risk associated with massage guns

Suppose you do decide to invest in a massage gun. In that case, it's essential to ensure that you use this tool correctly to avoid injury and experience the desired results. If you'd like to learn how, this article by provides a great step-by-step guide to ensure their safe and effective use.

Massage should be a relaxing and healing experience. If massage guns aren't the right fit for you, there are plenty of alternatives that allow you to save time (and money) while still giving your body the care it needs.

No time? One of our massage therapists can be there in no-time! 

We know finding time in your busy schedule for massage therapy can be challenging. Sometimes, it can feel like yet another thing to add to your endless to-do list. That's why at BigToe, we're committed to providing high-quality massage therapy right to your doorstep. So skip the traffic and enjoy that post-massage glow wherever, whenever.

Let's begin!