In my lifelong quest for relaxation, I have been massaged with bamboo canes, heated shells, stones and crystals.
However, until now, I’d never experienced the Theragun. It’s used as part of five new massage and facial treatments at Pure Spa & Beauty, which has Scottish branches in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Peebles, Aberfeldy and Aberdeen.
This rather dramatic looking ‘percussive instrument’ resembles a Black & Decker power tool.
It’s handheld, and features a circular stub that vibrates and quickly taps (hard) on your skin. If you want your own, they start from £175 for a mini version and go up to an eye watering £549 for the newest pro creation. They say benefits include improved circulation and lymphatic flow, and that they can aid muscle recovery, lactic acid dispersal and help with better sleep, among other things.
Although athletic people generally buy them to use at home, Pure have come up with this treatment, presumably because it’d be pretty impossible to Theragun the back of your body, unless you’re an octopus.
I was nervous, as the machine began to hum away, and I lay face down on one of Pure’s massage tables at the Edinburgh Rose Street branch.
My therapist told me she would be spending 20 minutes on my legs, 20 on my arms and the remainder on my back.
My right leg was first, and oil was slathered on, before the gadget hit the back of my shin. It is a strange sensation and quite intense, like I’m a xylophone being played by Evelyn Glennie, and I was quite surprised when I was told it was on the lowest possible setting. It’s pleasurable in parts, though I squirmed a bit when my hamstrings were pummeled, probably because I’d come directly from a stretchy yoga class. However, it doesn’t take long before you can feel the muscles, fascia and ligaments softening. Just breathe.
After each area, there’s a pause, and the therapist quickly smooths over the freshly Theragunned zone with her hands.
Once both legs have been done, it’s onto the arms, and though I get a bit nervous when it drums anywhere near my funny bone, it’s effective on my triceps and along my wrists and forearms which have felt a bit carpal tunnel-ish lately.
Apart from the ouchy sciatic nerve area, I enjoy getting my back done.
The Theragun really gets into the crunchy dip between my neck and shoulder, and I can feel the tension being tapped away, as the gadget is run up and down the length of my back.
Afterwards, and the blood feels as if it’s vibrating round my body, and my muscles feel very yielding and squishy. Personally, I don’t think I would choose this over a hands on deep tissue massage, but I can see that sporty types and those who feel self conscious about a touchy therapy might prefer the gadget addition.
Theragun Full Body Massage, 60 minutes for £100, www.purespauk.com