To properly use a massage gun, you’ll want to first make sure your muscles are relaxed. Start on a low setting and work your way up as your muscles become more accustomed to the pressure. Then, begin by gliding or floating the massage gun over your knot in light circles to activate the area and allow for light myofascial release.
Once you’ve pinpointed your desired area, you can either hold the massage gun over it with little movement to target it directly, or continue to massage it in circles. You’ll know when to lay off a certain area if the pain is a) unmanageable or b) begins to dissipate and no longer requires attention.
Most massage guns have an automatic shut-off feature to avoid overstimulating your muscles, so just be sure to respect your boundaries and know when to stop—and always avoid going over the bone. When working on your upper body, for example, it’s best to stay away from your spine and focus only on muscles and knots in the surrounding areas. Steer clear of any bruises, cuts or open skin, and take extra care to avoid the front of your neck and ankles. Avoid your torso to prevent hitting your kidneys and other essential organs, and do not use the massage gun over any type of injury site, be it a sprain, strain, or fracture.
If you’ve encountered a fairly stubborn knot, there’s no need to pummel it with the entirety of your strength, as this can damage your skin and place undue stress on your knots, potentially triggering them to tense up again. While most massage guns are designed with user-friendliness in mind, it might be a struggle to reach certain areas. In this case don’t be afraid to recruit a partner or trained professional for assistance.