Many of us are still looking for the best at-home recovery tools to replicate the results we see from visiting clinicians regularly, or to enhance our performance between trips to our physio or massage therapist. Whether you are trying to relax and recover from workouts or destress from everyday life, it can be overwhelming to know which type of recovery products are best to enjoy the maximum benefits. With our new release of our line of SmartMobility Devices, we wanted to highlight the advantages of heated vibration therapy and compare them with our bestselling scraping tools. Both options provide therapeutic benefits, but you may be wondering about the differences and how to choose which one is best for you and your goals.
The Dynamic Duo: Heat and Vibration
As we mentioned in The History of Vibration Therapy, vibration therapy dates back to ancient times. Vibration therapy has been observed to speed up recovery from injuries and has been widely studied for a myriad of other benefits including the ability to target and release tight muscles. Not only can the mechanical process of vibration help stimulate blood flow and deliver oxygen to parts that require healing, our devices allow for personalized frequency and amplitude adjustments to allow for deep trigger point relaxation.
Vibration has been proven to be most effective when programs can be customized to the individual. Our Fuse reaches 6800 RPM which is the perfect maximum vibration frequency for its peanut shape that wraps around hard to reach muscles and can relax the thoracic spine. The Flare on the other hand reaches 5100 RPM which is a more beneficial frequency based on its weight, shape and size. The lower vibration settings have been scientifically proven to have the greatest benefits for muscle recovery, so don’t feel like you have to take it up to the highest settings to get results. Our devices are designed to produce therapeutic benefits in minutes, especially when combined with heat.
When heat is added to vibration, not only can you achieve a deeper state of relaxation, the heat itself encourages circulation and blood flow to the area. When you put heat and vibration together the warmth from the device improves oxidation to sore muscles and the vibration helps targets and relax areas that have become tight and sore from workouts and soft tissue injuries. In the long term, these two therapies can help to heal faster, reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and help improve athletic performance over time. These two therapeutic techniques together in one device truly are the dream team for muscle recovery!
Sidekick scrapers are also inspired by an ancient technique in Chinese medicine called Gua Sha. Gua Sha has a number of translations, some referring to the sand-like pattern it can produce on the skin, and other translations relate to the ‘scraping of blockages’. Scraping has been proven to restore function and circulation to soft tissue injuries. Many athletes love scraping because it utilizes biofeedback which is a way of assessing which areas require treatment. Scraping works by moving the tool over your body and observing which areas require treatment most by both the sensation and the inflammation response it produces. Scraping can provide nearly instantaneous relief to sore and stiff areas because it promotes blood flow and can break down adhesions that contribute to impaired range of motion around the tissue.
Which one is best for me?
If you’re someone who crushes heavy workouts and whose biggest challenge with recovery is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), then we recommend starting with our SmartMobility tools. Heated vibration can be preferable on very sore areas because the mechanism of both therapies lends to dampening pain receptors for over-sensitized nervous systems. The tools are able to release tight areas and provide relief before your brain is able to send signals about the process. This can help deliver relief to those who are struggling with regulation from chronic pain, or just have an area that is too tight for manual manipulation with a clinician or your tools at home. Vibration and heat tools are also more appropriate for the lower back, so if you’re someone who suffers from lower back pain, these tools are for you. Vibration and heat therapy are also incredibly relaxing and passive tools meaning you can set them on the muscle group you’re treating and allow the tools to do the work. Our tools all have built in timers that shut off automatically after the time limit for therapeutic benefit has been achieved.
Scraping tools are recommended for specialized areas like the feet or the neck. If you are someone who notices most of the tension from working at a desk or is a runner who is fighting off plantar fasciitis, then we recommend starting with scraping tools first. Scraping is also recommended if you are looking for a tool that once you invest in a high quality one, you don’t need to upgrade it or replace it. It’s powerful, low maintenance (no batteries or charging required!) and virtually silent. Scraping should be considered if you are looking at increasing range of motion and improving the fluidity of your movement. Even though scraping isn’t a passive activity, athletes and customers love the connection they feel to their body as they treat it and find the sensation, gentle sound and act of scraping to be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing.
If you’re serious about your recovery then we recommend investing in both types of tools. When vibration, heat and scraping are all used together they can help prevent injury and improve performance. Building a recovery stack means having a variety of tools on hand to treat your body as needed and also allows you more flexibility when you are personalizing your recovery based on your individual needs. If you are someone who gets very tight and sore, you can begin your recovery with heat and vibration and finish with scraping on areas that require a bit more attention and targeting. You can also have both tools to treat multiple muscle groups, or if you’re into maximum efficiency, vibration and heat tools allow your hands to be free so you can target areas with reduced function without sacrificing your schedule.
Our Fuse and Scraping tools are designed for portability, convenience and travel. The Flare allows you to enjoy the benefits of compression, vibration and heat all at once from the convenience of your home. The tools you choose really depend on your lifestyle, where you plan to recover and your muscles or areas that require the most treatment.
Vibration and heat and scraping all play a role in recovery, and quickly pay for themselves. By investing in yourself and the right tools, you will require fewer sessions with your clinician and be less likely to get injured in general. Both types of tools show a therapeutic benefit in as little as 5 minutes, and both allow you to achieve relaxation. These products also both have benefits that contribute to faster healing time, improved blood flow and recovery. If you’re on the fence about multiple tools in your recovery stack we recommend starting with the product that resonates with your needs the most. One of the most important aspects of recovery is personalizing it to your needs. Choose the tool you feel you’ll stick with, because ultimately adherence is the best indication of effectiveness.
Which of these tools do you think would work best for you? Let us know in the comments!