As a busy caregiver, it’s common to put your health second to the older adult in your care, and it’s even more common to fall victim to the effects of stress care-giving causes. One of the body’s most common responses to stress is muscle tightness, and chronic stress can cause what should be a temporary response to become constant discomfort. And that chronic muscle tightness can lead to pain, limited range of motion, muscle weakness, injury and even headaches and fatigue.
Myofascial release is one type of treatment that targets the source of tightness in your muscles, known as trigger points, and uses various forms of massage to release it. Trigger points are often called “knots” and can be found anywhere in the body but often form in the neck, shoulders and upper back as a result of stress.
How to release muscle tightness
While you can use your hands to massage tight muscles, trigger points usually require a little extra force to release. Many tools are available to release tightness by delivering targeted treatment to trigger points. But choosing the right tool depends on several factors, including which area is affected by tightness and stress, the amount of tightness, discomfort or pain you feel, and your physical ability to operate certain types of devices.
I personally hold all my stress in my neck and shoulders, which causes trigger points to form throughout those regions almost constantly. I’ve used a variety of tools over the course of my life to relieve tension, including trigger point balls, foam rollers, handheld massagers and massage guns.
Benefits of massage guns
When it comes to massage guns, I will say they can be hit or miss. I’ve spent a healthy share of my paychecks on fancy massage tools and guns, only to be disappointed. From guns that feel like they’ll break a bone to devices that don’t work past the first use, I’ve seen it all. So, it goes without saying that finding a reliable device that’s easy to use and effective is like gold.
Fortunately, half a lifetime of being a fitness nerd fills my social feeds with ads for massage tools, which is how I found out about the Erkin 365. With the mission to help you “move better, perform better, and recover faster with innovative percussive technology,” Erkin produces four massage guns with eight different attachments across the models. By using percussive therapy that leverages force, speed and amplitude, massage guns help to increase blood flow, quiet and calm your nervous system, loosen trigger points and decompress nerves.
Guns like the ones Erkin offers are an easy, science-backed way of achieving the benefits of myofascial release and percussive therapy with little manual effort.
Unlike many guns I’ve tried, the Erkin is simple to use with just one button and is powerful enough to provide relief without causing additional pain. The 365 is Erkin’s “everyday” gun that delivers 28 to 40 pounds of force, less than the models for athletic recovery and performance.
Erkin 365 features include:
- Four speeds (measured in repetitions per minute)
- TouchSense control panel that only requires a finger tap to change speeds
- Reactive Force Sensor that monitors speed in easy-to-read blue light
- Four locking attachments for customized therapy
- Up to a five-hour battery life
- Lightweight (less than two pounds) for easy maneuverability
- 5.4-inch handle circumference for easy grip
- Sound insulation that mimics white noise
- USB charger
- Lifetime warranty
- Portable carrying case for gun and charger
At a higher price point than simpler massage tools (it sells for $179.99 online), it may seem like a hefty investment. But because Erkin offers a 30-day return policy and a lifetime warranty, trying the 365 is as close to risk-free as you’ll find. And when it comes to products in this category, take it from me—you get what you pay for.
Why people love the Erkin 365
Users rave about this gun, as represented by its 4.8-star rating (out of five stars) online. Most happy users shared that their favorite features include the lightweight, quiet sound and carrying case, as well as the effectiveness of the gun itself. Of the two negative reviews online, one complained of a long shipping timeline and the other commented that the gun automatically shuts off after 10 minutes if no buttons are pressed (but can be turned back on with a tap of the power button).
Whether you need a little TLC after a long day of caring for an older adult or your senior could benefit from myofascial release or percussion therapy, using a massage gun like the Erkin 365 can prove to be beneficial to your health and provide relief from muscle tightness.
To learn more about Erkin’s lineup of massage guns, visit erkinathletics.com.