Health and wellness gadgets have always been popular and one that’s been on my radar is the Theragun. It’s already one of the most buzzed-about at-home muscle and pain massagers this holiday season and we had a chance to take it for a test drive. The benefits of “percussive therapy” include aiding with muscle recovery and soreness, reduce pain, encourage blood flow, and even reduce lactic acid build-up.

There are several kinds of these massage guns out on the market and Theragun, including the Theragun G3 and Theragun G3 Pro, are already favourites amongst professional athletes and Cross-Fit buffs. However, when I had the opportunity to review a device, I was more curious about the new Theragun LIV that would appear to be most appealing to a broader range of users. Its sleeker design, ease of use and price point makes it a more versatile addition to the line.

Much like the other Theragun hand-held massager, this helps the user concentrate on specific areas that need addressing — only more simplified. How does it work? It repeatedly thumps at a rapid speed as you float it on the muscle or tension area that you’d like to address.  I’ve been using the device even before taking the dog out for a walk to help “wake up” muscles especially now that it’s winter and I’m moving quickly on wintery surfaces and engaging muscles that haven’t been active on normal dry sidewalks. Even 30 seconds is beneficial according to the app before any kind of activity.

How much time does one spend using this? I haven’t gone past a minute on each section even on my worst aches (chronic lower back pain, anyone else?) and have been using it every day for two weeks. It’s not only helped with easing pain and tension but I feel more flexible as well.

What’s been very useful is the Theragun App that is downloaded onto your phone to help guide you through the various ways to address your needs most efficiently and effectively. Sciatica nerve pain, lower back pain, tech neck, and quick relief for cramps are just a few of what’s been handy so far. The app also offers tips for stretches that can be done at any time of the day. Other guided sessions include dealing with jet lag, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel and even sleep!

While the other Theragun versions come with several head attachments, the LIV version comes with two that are each designed to tackle general muscle groups. The Standard Ball helps with general and overall use while the Dampener helps with tender areas and bony areas that you would want less impact. This version is great for post-workout recovery.

What else should you know? The unique 3-handle shape of Theragun is for a reason. Each grip offers versatility for the areas you want to reach at different angles to offer the maximum benefit without too much fumbling around.  The Theragun LIV also has a built-in battery and has a 45-minute battery life. It comes with a power adapter for charging. There’s a light display on the unit that will flash to let you know when it needs to be charged up.

The Theragun LIV is great for people on the go and its compact design makes it great for travellers as well. Unless you’re a hard-core fitness buff, this will probably give you what you need. Otherwise, take a look at reviews for the next level devices within the line.

Don’t tell my parents, but I’ve just purchased one for them.

Theragun is available through in Canada. There are also video clips on how to use the product on the site.