Stiff neck. Tight hamstrings. Sore back. You name the muscle ache, I have it. I work out a lot and admittedly over-do the lifting and under-do the stretching, which means that some part of my body is more often than not tense, stiff or sore. It also means I love nothing more than a good massage. Though when I say massage, I don’t mean the ‘lounge around in a fluffy robe and drink cucumber water’ kind (okay, I’ll take that, too).
I’m talking about the hardcore, sports medicine type of rubdown that often involves a few tears. In the never-ending quest to relieve my sore muscles, I’ve also tried cupping, acupuncture, magnesium supplements, Epsom salt baths…you get the picture. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I saw a colleague touting the TheraGun G2PRO ($599; theragun.com) all over her Insta stories. Come to mama.
The OG chiropractor-developed TheraGun launched over 10 years ago and already has a legion of professional athlete and physician fans; this newbie is the at-home version that anyone can use. (Yes, it’s expensive, but hey, so are regular massages.) The handheld, battery-operated device uses percussion therapy to reduce muscle and joint pain. It vibrates, but is unique in that the frequency, amplitude, and torque have all been specially calibrated to break up lactic acid and stimulate blood flow to the muscles…while simultaneously interrupting your brain’s reception of pain signals.
Translation: Even though it’s delivering 2,400 percussions per minute, it feels much more comfortable than a traditional deep tissue massage.
The machine — which yes, is somewhat staple-gun-shaped — comes with four different attachments that you can use interchangeably based on what part of the body you want to treat. Turn on the “gun,” run the attachment across said sore muscles, and let the vibrations do their thing.
Okay, so fair warning, it is loud. Like, ‘I jumped a little when I turned it on and my dog ran out of the room’ loud. But once you get used to it, the noise is a small price to pay for the sweet relief this glorious machine delivers. All you have to do is glide the attachment across your muscles; there’s no need to push or apply any pressure. The brand suggests using it for 60 to 90 seconds per body part (for 15 minutes at a time, two to three times per day), but I felt a difference in under a minute. It takes a second to adjust to the feeling of the rapid vibrations, though, as promised, it’s not at all painful.
The various attachments definitely come in handy, too; the two larger ones were awesome for legs and back while the smaller ones were ideal for my neck and shoulders. It’s super easy to do on yourself — though somehow my husband, who is now also a fan, has roped me into doing it for him — and honestly, the thing works. I’ll never give up massages entirely, but after a particularly tough workout or when a professional massage just isn’t in the cards, the TheraGun G2PRO is my new jam.