What is Percussive Therapy?
If ever you have already experienced getting a massage (which many people would have), you’ll agree that it’s a totally life-changing experience. As your massage therapist kneads your aching muscles, you can feel the pain easing away immediately. You feel lighter and less stressed. The best thing about it all, you can hit the gym again without worrying about body aches. Oh, what a wonderful gift massage is!
Now, imagine experiencing this kind of relief anytime you want, anywhere you are. Ain’t that cool? That’s the reason why percussive therapy is trending nowadays. It offers the same benefit as that of a traditional massage less the expense and the hassle of visiting a therapist. It involves using handheld devices called massage guns.
A Massage Gun is a high-intensity device that can aid in muscle recovery. While massage guns are designed for anyone’s use, they are most popular among professional athletes and trainers. Percussive therapy is the best option for people who want quick relief for sore muscles.
Fast, convenient, claims to be effective—sounds like a perfect hoax, right?
No, Despite being a recent innovation, percussive therapy proves that it’s more than just a hype. And there are a number of studies to back it up.
Let’s drill into the details.
Percussive Therapy is one of the latest discoveries for sports recovery. The massage gun provides accelerated bursts of pressure into the tissues of the body. This action helps release muscle knots which are the primary suspects for back and shoulder pain. What’s more, it can reach even deeper layers of muscles than a foam roller or human hands.
Unlike in traditional massage, percussive therapy desensitizes the surrounding area of you're aching muscle until the pulses penetrate the target area. It reduces the unbearable pain that we tend to experience when the therapist applies too much pressure on our sore muscle. It’s like enjoying the benefits of a deep tissue massage sans the pain. Who wouldn’t want that?
STUDIES SHOW THAT PERCUSSIVE THERAPY OFFERS A NUMBER OF BENEFITS.
Because of the increasing popularity of massage guns and the growing number of people who keep on asking, “How does percussive therapy work? Is it really practical?”, many health and fitness experts conducted studies regarding its effectiveness. Such studies indicate that the taps and thumps of this sports recovery device can be beneficial for your body in many ways:
1. It prevents Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS happens when you engage in a physical activity that stresses your muscles beyond their usual limit. It’s annoying, dreadful, and could last for 24 to 72 hours after your workout. Good thing, percussive therapy could give you a fast remedy.
2. It improves flexibility. The same study explains that aside from pain reduction, the vibration also synchronizes your muscle spindles which results in a better range of motion. Once muscles become flexible, they won’t be as prone to injuries and pains as they were before. Your flexibility will also improve your posture and balance. Sweet!
3. It increases blood circulation. Overtraining causes severe muscle pain—we all know that. But did you know that it’s because lactic acid builds up in your muscles whenever you do an intense workout? This effect can be countered by increasing blood circulation, and studies published in 2011 and 2014 pointed out that vibration therapy helps increase blood flow. In sports recovery, the increase in blood circulation minimizes muscle tension and inflammation.
4. It gives way to a better lymphatic flow. Fewer muscle knots and muscle tightness means better drainage in the lymphatic system. When the lymph moves freely, the body can excrete toxins and waste effectively. A better lymphatic system means a healthier immune system and improved metabolism. Talk about positive chain reaction, right?
5. It offers quick relief to muscle soreness. This is probably the highlight of it all—it’s fast and effective. Proponents of the 2014 study which compared the effect of vibration therapy and massage in preventing DOMS suggested that, “The difference in time taken for the execution of the treatment can play a pivotal role. [In] situations where time is [of] the essence, vibration can be used.”
Since massage guns are portable sports recovery, you can literally enjoy it whenever you want. At the gym right after work-out, on the sidelines during a time-out, or at home late at night—it’s available to you 24/7. All you have to do is turn it on, target your sore area, and relax. Percussive therapy got you covered.
As if the above-mentioned benefits were not yet enough, a few pieces of research reveal that vibration therapy can also improve the muscle strength of adults, activate bone formation, enhance bone strength, and even decrease muscle tremors which can be beneficial to people with Parkinson’s disease. It expedites the rehabilitation process of muscles that suffered from trauma, disease, or surgery. Massage guns are also considered helpful in aiding insomnia, curtailing stress, and surprise surprise—reducing cellulite! Now that’s revolutionary work right there.