What is Percussion Massage?
Percussion massage is essentially beating your body like a drum. OK, that was an exaggeration, it isn't like using drumsticks to do a roll on your bum, but it's close.
Percussion massage (also known as resonance massage, vibration massage, or pulse massage) soothes muscle pain and promotes muscle regrowth. It has been used for quite some time. In particular, tapotement massage, which is common in Swedish massage, is a rhythmic activity applied by the masseur's hands to soft tissue. The masseurs use the edge of their hands, a cupped hand, or their fingers to beat, slap, hack, tap and cup the site of soft tissue (mainly muscle).
The idea is that the soft tissue resonates with the rhythmic beats of the masseur. This resonance loosens and relaxes tight or injured muscles.
Recently, handheld instruments have replaced the need to employ a personal masseur. These new machines are very convenient, can be self-applied, and a whole lot safer during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The percussion machines mimic the rhythmic manual massage of a masseur. The soft tissue moves in sync with the rhythm of the pulsating percussion massager.
The handheld percussion massagers also come with a variety of attachments that provide different massage experiences.
Do Percussion Machines Work?
Manual massage therapy works well when applied by experienced and skilled masseurs. There is currently no reason to believe why a handheld percussion machine can't also work in the same way. Many people already think that they are great and these massagers are very popular.
We think that hand-operated mechanical percussion massagers can be an excellent alternative to therapists. You simply place the percussion massager at your sore spot and then let the machine do the work. However, there are a few conditions:
- You should know how to use the machine properly
- Use a good quality machine with different levels of percussion
- Use a good quality machine with a long operating time
- Apply the machine at the right point with an appropriate percussion pressure
What are the Benefits of Percussion Therapy?
Percussion therapy boosts muscle function and recovery by penetrating deep into the muscle tissue. The benefits of percussion therapy are mostly the same as massage by a masseur such as:
- pain relief
- reduced anxiety and depression
- reduced blood pressure
- promote blood circulation
- reduced heart rate
- quick recovery of fatigued muscle
- stimulate skeletal muscle regrowth
- activate the parasympathetic nervous system
- improve sleep
- increase the flow of lymph
- stimulate the release of hormones that relax the body such as endorphins and serotonin
- prevent the formation of scar tissue
- enhance wellbeing
- aid muscle recovery and soreness
Is Percussion Massage Safe?
Percussion massage is safe for normal use but may not be advisable in some circumstances. The intensity of the machine can be high and could make pain, or certain conditions, worse.
Percussion massage probably should not be used for:
- people with cardiovascular disease
- lower back injuries
- people with diabetes
- pregnant women
- chronic back pain or injuries where percussion could trigger more pain
- people taking blood-thinning medication (e.g. heparin, aspirin) as the percussion massager will leave very colorful bruises
- direct on hard tissue, bone, or joints
- people with pacemakers
- recent bone fractures
- healing bone fractures using metal pins and braces
Types of Handheld Percussion Massagers
There is a growing variety of handheld percussion massagers. The machines usually differ in the power of the machine, the intensity of the vibration, the motion of the piston, the density of the foam ball, and the frequency of the pulse.
Machines may use vertical vibrations, back and forth vibrations, or sideways vibrations.
The features you need in a good quality hand massager are such things as:
- A powerful motor
- A hard-wearing dense foam ball
- Adjustable-rate (frequency) of the pulse
- Long operating life (e.g. hours not minutes)
- Quiet (you don't want to scare the pigeons - or maybe you do?)
- Easy to use
- Has multiple attachments for a different massage experience
Finally, these neat handheld percussion massage machines such as our Tappo™ Percussion Deep Tissue Massager give you the chance to finally get some control of your body and achieve pain relief!
Drum roll please....