Myofascial release is a terrific way to recover from hard athletic events or relieve chronic muscle pain. It also helps you recover from stiffness after long rides in planes or cars. Many people use rollers or balls for release. Still, massage guns are also a popular way to deliver deep-tissue treatment.
Unfortunately, many events like marathons are held a long way from home. Travel (obviously) takes you away from home. Chronic muscle pain follows you wherever you go. Full-sized massage guns can be difficult to bring along with you. Compact massagers fit better into your luggage but don’t deliver the same power as the big guns.
Is there an effective way to get a deep tissue treatment on the road? The Theragun Liv is one attempt to answer this question. How well does it stack up? Does the Liv deliver the same punch as the bigger Theragun models? Let’s find out.
Overview: What is the Theragun Liv?
Theragun makes three levels of deep tissue therapy gun: the top-level G3 Pro, the standard-level G3, and the entry-level Liv. The Liv is the smallest and least expensive model, with the fewest extra features. It still comes with two different heads for different muscle groups. It also features Theragun’s distinctive triangular handle that lets you use the gun with different grips.
Like all Theragun models, the Liv offers deep tissue therapy by pulsing a foam head at 40 cycles per second over a travel distance of 16 mm (about 2/3 of an inch). Theraguns deliver treatment deep into the muscle to relieve soreness and tension.
Theragun intends for their deep tissue therapy guns to replace both standard massagers and the assortment of hard rollers and balls that people use for myofascial release therapy. The Liv is a compact model, but it still delivers the goods.
- Compact and easy to carry
- Delivers the same sixty pounds of torque, 40 cycles per second, and 16mm of travel as all Theraguns
- Triangular handle means you can find a comfortable grip for working on any muscle group
- Least expensive Theragun model
- Less costly than other Theraguns, but still pricey at $249
- Uses lithium-ion batteries, so you can only fly with it in a carryon (not a checked bag)
Theragun was founded by a chiropractor. He developed the first Theragun to treat his own chronic pain after a motorcycle accident. Deep tissue therapy guns are the only products the company makes.
The Theragun website is designed to help you get the most from your Theragun. It includes helpful videos that demonstrate how to use a Theragun to treat tension or pain in just about every area of the body. Theragun also has an app that you can download. The app makes it easy to treat yourself, no matter where you are.
About Myofascial Release
Muscles are bundles of fibers held together and wrapped inside tissue called fascia. Fascia is a thin, tough membrane. (Those of you who cook will recognize it as the tough, silvery tissue that you sometimes need to trim off a beef roast). Sometimes the fascia gets tight due to stress, tension, hard work, or damage.
When your fascia gets tight, the muscle aches. You feel stiff and sore, and you lose some of the range of motion for the muscle. You can recognize tight fascia as knots or lumps that appear in your muscles. You can usually feel these knots with your hands. In addition to the soreness, tight fascia in your neck or upper back will cause headaches.
Myofascial release uses pressure on a small point to stretch the fascia and let the muscle relax. Pressing down on the knot causes the fascia to release and enables the muscle to move naturally again. Deep tissue massage and the use of styrofoam rollers or hard balls are the original methods to achieve this release.
Deep tissue therapy guns like the Theragun Liv also release this tension. They do so by repeatedly pressing and releasing the tissue at a high rate. It is like foam rolling, but much, much faster. Percussive therapy with a deep tissue gun is the fastest and surest way to release the fascia and relieve pain.
Myofascial release is safe, although many people find it uncomfortable. If you are pregnant or taking blood thinners, talk to a doctor before trying myofascial release; it can be dangerous in those circumstances.
Where To Buy Theragun Products
The Theragun Liv is available from Theragun or Amazon. It costs $249 at either site.
Theragun Liv Review: Is It Worth It?
Percussive massagers aren’t cheap, and Theragun products are expensive, even in that product category. Theragun massagers are high-quality machines that will last a long time. Their patented triangular handle makes them very easy to use, too.
It makes sense to buy a Theragun Liv if:
- You suffer from chronic muscle pain
- You exercise a lot and need myofascial release regularly
- You don’t think foam rollers and tennis balls are adequate for myofascial release
- You have bought and worn out cheaper massager. The Theragun will last a long, long time.
For occasional use, this gun is pretty expensive. You might be happier if you stick to foam rollers (or a Chirp Wheel) or spring for a professional massage now and then.