Working from home for 12+ months is starting to take its toll. If you’re not dealing with some form of lower back pain and/or muscle tension, then I salute you (and beg, what is your secret?). But for most of us, the change in location — and as a result, functioning office equipment — has left the comfort-factor somewhat lacking. While I’ve successfully constructed laptop stands from jigsaw puzzle boxes, and a wrist support out of an old yoga mat, neither was a match for my poor posture and screen peering day in and day out.
I asked multiple friends what they do for muscle tension, and they all said that combining a Theragun with regular stretching was the way forward. They also told me not to be put off by the price, because the pay-off is unmatched. While I wasn’t entirely convinced, it’s fairly rare that my oh-so-skeptical bunch of besties will recommend something with such enthusiasm, and gave in and let the Theragun Mini into my life.
My main problem area is my upper back and shoulder blades, but I also experience pretty significant tension in the muscles around my clavicle and breast bone. I started with my back moving the standard ball attachment slowly up and around the shoulder blade and softer muscle close to my neck. Due to the Mini’s small grip, it’s best to get a friend or partner to help out with harder to reach areas like this. The Theragun Mini has three frequencies, and it’s recommended you begin with the lowest. After an initial five minute burst using the entry level frequency across my back, I could feel the discomfort that had built up over the months prior begin to dissipate. Honestly? Blissful.
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First Up: The Basics
Therabody’s products use percussive therapy to relieve and manage muscle tension all over the body. The technology now used in the Theragun devices was developed by Dr. Jason Wersland after a motorcycle accident left him with extreme muscle pain that he struggled to treat. While the more well-known vibration therapy causes muscles to contract and relax, percussive therapy provides a form of muscle relief that works 60% deeper to stimulate blood flow, and encourage both oxygen and waste products to move in and out of the problem areas.
Why I’m Obsessed
The Theragun Mini (and all of it’s bigger, more “intense” older siblings) can be customised with a selection of replaceable heads. There’s one for every part of the body you could be hoping to work on, and each clocks in at £19 (plus postage and packaging). Personally, I love the Wedge attachment: it’s designed specifically for upper back/shoulder ailments (perfect for my poor posture), but is also incredibly effective on IT band tension (my boyfriend’s issue). Multifunctional? It’s a yes from me.
The pint-sized design of this model means it’s incredibly portable, but also super easy to store. And then there’s the absolutely baffling battery life — after charging for less than 2 hours, my Theragun Mini has run for over a month of ~5 minute massage sessions without needing to be plugged back in. Therabody’s website states a runtime of 150 minutes, but I’ve found it can certainly push the limits of this. If that wasn’t enough, both the app and website include a whole bunch of ‘How To Treat’ videos, which help you use your device in the most effective way possible.
For fellow overworkers that struggle with setting aside time for self-care and personal health, the Theragun mini could be a lifesaver, or at least a great way of ironing out the knots when you can’t get out for a massage. Taking time out of my working day to look after my body has truly never been easier.