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The Benefits of Percussive Therapy

What is percussive therapy? 

Percussive therapy is a form of massage that applies rapid bursts of pressure to body tissue. This type of massage is usually performed using a scientifically-calibrated percussion device to get deep into muscle tissue with more precision and consistency.

By rapidly stimulating blood flow to a specific area, percussion therapy massage is an excellent tool for relieving soreness and pain. Percussive therapy devices all use varying degrees of amplitude (how far the massage head moves back and forth), frequency (how many times per second it touches your body) and torque (the power of the pressure) to enhance the effects of the massage.

While we are accustomed to feeling a little bit of pain when we massage an area that is sore or tight, percussion therapy is different. Because of the speed of the pressure applied by percussive therapy devices, the brain does not acclimate to the stimulation. This can make the therapy more effective compared to a vibration device or regular massage strokes. 

Benefits of Percussive Therapy

This targeted form of treatment is a great option for anyone as part of a wellness routine, whether you’re a professional athlete, recovering from a sports injury, or find yourself stiff after sitting at a desk all day. Percussive therapy benefits include:

  • Alleviating stress
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Decreasing muscle soreness and stiffness, particularly post-activity
  • Decreasing lactic acid
  • Improving range of motion
  • Hydrating soft-tissue deep into the muscle
  • Reducing pain in deep-tissue recovery

Percussive Therapy for Athletes

The stimulation from percussive therapy is beneficial for athletes of all levels. If you have a personal percussive device, you can use it before, during and after a workout. Scheduling a massage session with a therapist certified in percussive therapy after intense physical activity is the perfect way to get all the benefits of this treatment, too.

  • Before the workout: use a percussive device to stimulate and warm up the muscles and get them ready for physical activity. Apply the device to either end of the muscle, and then in the middle. 
  • During the workout: applied between sets for heavy lifts or quick burst movements (think sprints or burpees), percussive therapy can help deter lactic acid buildup and enhance performance. Target the middle (belly) of the muscle during exercise. 
  • After the workout: percussive therapy can stimulate quick, effective recovery to reduce soreness and prevent lactic acid buildup. Use the device allover, especially in any muscles that were used extensively during the workout. Or, you can schedule a percussive therapy massage with a certified therapist.

Can anybody get a percussive therapy massage?

Yes! Percussive massage is a great, natural addition to any complete wellness routine. You can get pill-free relief from chronic back pain, neck pain from sitting at a desk, relieve soreness from repetitive movements like typing or playing video games, and combat daily aches and pains. Percussive therapy can also be used to help recover from injuries. Just want to relax? Percussive therapy is great for relieving anxiety and helping you live stress-free, too.

Ready to try percussive therapy? Book a massage with a Therabody-certified therapist on the Soothe network today.