Have you heard of percussion therapy? It’s used by doctors and therapists to help reduce pain and improve muscle recovery time. And those are just a few of its benefits.
Want to learn more? Read on when you’re ready to discover why this remarkable therapy is growing in popularity among medical professionals and patients alike.
What is Percussion Therapy?
Have you ever had a massage? Was it a sports massage, Swedish massage, or deep tissue massage? Or perhaps you received a different form of bodywork, such as Rolfing, structural integration, or Feldenkrais?
No matter which types you received, you likely felt the benefits of percussion therapy during your bodywork session. Percussion is a technique rather than an integrative group of techniques that make up a massage modality.
For instance, Swedish massage has a different name for percussion. They call it tapotement. Other modalities likewise have their own descriptive words for this technique.
A popular new tool has reimagined how this technique is applied. It’s called the muscle massage gun, and it’s all the rage among athletes and chronic pain sufferers alike. So how is it any different?
It breaks from traditional percussion techniques in two ways.
It’s a machine, one that requires no training. That means any layman can use it and gain all the benefits without taking traditional massage classes. That saves them both time and money.
The thumping head of the massage gun also reaches deep into the muscle belly, further than techniques from traditional massage modalities.
Benefits of Percussion Therapy
A percussion is a group of short, rapid strokes. When used in conjunction with massage, it refers to tapping, beating, or slapping with the palm, fingers, or fist. A massage gun uses a reciprocating head (often referred to as a “thumper”) to produce the same result.
1. Improve Blood Flow
When you suffer an acute or chronic injury, your body floods the injured area with blood. The blood transports platelets to rebuild damaged areas. It also carries other nutrients your body needs to rebuild cells.
Unfortunately, this blood often stagnates around the injury. That means the waste released by your cells also stagnate, rising to toxic levels. This cellular waste can have adverse effects such as increased recovery times.
2. Reduce Pain
Did you know that you can reduce the sensitivity of painful soft tissue through the use of electrostimulation? The VA uses such treatment in the form of a TENS unit which floods an area with electric impulses. The impulses overstimulate pain receptors and trick those receptors into turning off.
You can overstimulate receptors in a similar way by using pressure instead of electricity. Percussion can trick these pain receptors into turning off.
3. Decrease Inflammation
Your body is filled with fluids. You can displace these fluids manually by applying pressure. For instance, after you go on a long walk, massage your calves and watch the reduction in swelling occur.
Inflammation is just a build-up and stagnation of these fluids. When you apply direct pressure with percussion, you redistribute these fluids and push them back into your circulatory and lymphatic systems.
4. Prevent DOMS
Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is the soreness you feel in the 24-to-48-hour window following intense exercise. Well, vibration therapy can reduce DOMS. The trick is to use the vibrational therapy sometime after the exercise but before the 24-hour window begins.
5. Improve Flexibility and Strength
Percussion is also a type of vibration therapy. Such therapies show great promise in increasing strength and flexibility. Though more research is required to understand the pathology, the results are clear: vibration therapies improve strength gains in people of all ages.
Now you understand why percussion therapy is such a popular field of study. It’s simple, non-invasive, and with the use of a massage gun, can be performed by anyone, anywhere. If you’d like to try out the benefits of percussion therapy for yourself, try a muscle massage gun for your aches and pains, today!