10 Reasons Why Your Athletic Therapist is Better Than a Massage Gun
Written by Stephen Woollard, CAT(C)
I’ve been working at a lot of sport events lately: BC 55+ games, hockey, rowing, softball etc. And I have noticed many athletes walking around with a massage gun. These nifty devices started showing up a few years ago and have become quite popular, especially since the price seems to be coming down now.Whenever I talk to an athlete or client, and they mention that they used their massage gun on themselves I make the joke that “those things are going to put me out of a job” (insert nervous laughter). This post isn’t to knock massage guns, because like any other therapeutic tool I think they have their time and place. But here are 10 (mostly humorous) reasons why your Athletic Therapist is better than a massage gun:
1. Your Athletic Therapist went to college or university for four years. Your massage gun probably sat in a warehouse for four years.
2. Your AT provides pleasant conversation to distract you while they dig their elbow into that sore muscle. “Any plans for the weekend”? The massage gun punishes you in a cold inhuman way normally reserved for government bureaucracy.
3. Your AT has a precise knowledge of anatomy and musculoskeletal injuries. Sure, you can use the massage gun on that sore spot, but what is it? Why is it there? And should you be jackhammering away at it like there’s no tomorrow?!
4. Your massage gun will last a few hours before needing to be recharged. Your AT will work for long periods of time with little to no rest and is easily recharged with chocolate and coffee.
5. The massage gun has different attachments. But your AT has multiple manual therapy techniques and can apply other modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, laser, and joint mobilization. I mean, opposable thumbs are pretty awesome.
6. Your AT gets better and more knowledgeable with age (although maybe slightly more sassy). Let’s be honest, the massage gun is probably going to last a few years and then the battery will start dying sooner, maybe you lose one of the attachments, where is the charging cord?, and the plastic is doing that thing where it starts to melt and get all gooey. You get the picture.
7. Your AT has a family to feed. Massage gun don’t care about nobody. Just saying.
8. Your AT can easily get to those hard-to-reach spots and apply just the right amount of pressure. The massage gun does make it easier to get some spots, but you invariably wind up trying to press hard with your wrist bent and your shoulder and elbow cocked at a funny angle. This sounds like another injury just waiting to happen. Tendonitis anyone?
9. ATs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. A quick google image search shows that most massage guns come in black or maybe silvery-grey and basically, they all look the same. I did see a blue one though. I still have never seen a blue AT. So maybe point to massage guns on this one?
10. I’m digging deep on this one to get to 10. Need to have a nice round number. Here goes. When artificial intelligence finally becomes self-aware and begins the inevitable war against humanity (see “The Terminator”, or “Maximum Overdrive”) you’re going to want to have an Athletic Therapist in your corner. I’ll take a real human all day, every day. The massage gun is going to turn on you the first chance it gets. Guaranteed. Be careful what you say in front of the massage gun… always listening…
All kidding aside, if you’d like to book an appointment with an Athletic Therapist, RMT, or Chiropractor at the Athlete Centre for treatment or to work on your goals, we would love to see you! (You can even bring your massage gun, we don’t discriminate).