In percussion therapy, a percussion device, also called a massage gun, provides intensive treatment of complaints. Due to the deep effect of this device, it reduces pain, improves muscle mobility and decreases muscle tension.
It is a technique that many athletes use to recover quickly and perform better.
For non-athletes, this technique is also very interesting because it has been shown to help the body recover faster. It also makes a difference in the number of treatments needed to get rid of a complaint.
Just for the “poor” masseur… The percussion therapy literally takes a lot of work off the hands of the masseur. It is also difficult for the masseur to maintain a constant rhythm for a longer period. A percussion device emits vibrations much more evenly and thus relieves the masseur.
History of percussion therapy
The ancient Greeks designed the first body massage machines to help soldiers recover more quickly from their injuries.
Around 1800, Dr. Jonas Gustav Zander (from Sweden) a modern gym. There he introduced vibration therapy to help with muscle development and weight loss.
In the 1960s, researchers began looking at the effects of vibration on muscles and other tissue.
Since the 80’s percussion therapy has been used more and more because of its therapeutic effects. Examples are: faster recovery from an injury, faster weight loss and better sports performance.
How does percussion therapy work
A percussion therapy device exerts rapid and continuous force perpendicular to the skin. This force causes the skin and underlying body parts to experience both pressure and vibration. The body is now sending signals to the brain. These signals will reduce the pain and make the recovery start much faster.
Much scientific research has been done to determine what makes percussion therapy effective. The following were considered:
- how deep the percussion must be to work optimally
- Which frequency is most effective. The frequency determines the intensity of the percussion
- how much pressure the percussion exerts on the body. How hard should the surface be pressed to get a good result
The above things determine how effective a treatment is. For example, the optimal depth of percussion is 16mm.
Please note: the treatment is intensive and can be sensitive in certain areas (for example, irritated muscle tissue). This does not detract from the effect of the therapy.
When to apply percussion therapy
Percussion therapy is used in the following situations:
- as a preparation for sporting activity (to activate the muscles)
- during a sporting event (in order to be able to perform well again)
- after a sporting event (speeding up recovery)
- during a complaint treatment to both work deeper and speed up recovery
- addressing scars. Scars become much more flexible and mobile
In my practice I use the Theragun. This is the massage gun that put percussion therapy on the map.
I use this device a lot for sports massages and complaints where the muscles or skin are so tight that extra help is needed.