Learn The Many Benefits of Percussion Therapy
Perhaps you've experienced it - the whirring sound and lightning-fast drumming of a massage gun on your muscles and skin, or perhaps you have not, but most likely, you've heard of it. It seems that massage guns for percussion therapy are becoming more and more common. In fact, it is not uncommon to see these massage guns in homes and not just in the clinical setting. But have you ever wondered if they're really effective? Or maybe you've wondered what they're good for. At Fitness Collective, we are strong proponents of percussion therapy for certain goals/outcomes. So, today we hope to share some of the most striking (pun intended) benefits of this helpful modality.
Greatist.com defines percussion therapy as "Percussion therapy (aka percussive therapy) is exactly what it sounds like: a type of rhythmic massage that pummels your soft tissue with rapid striking motions." The definition sounds pretty graphic, but this modality has a long list of benefits. Listed below are just a few of our favorites:
Loosens Tension in Muscles (increases range of motion)
With the increase in popularity of percussion therapy devices, there have been a number of scientific studies to confirm the theoretical benefits. A proven benefit is an increased range of motion. Several scientific studies have found that percussion therapy can quickly loosen a muscle without compromising its strength or power output. Two studies we found that we particularly notable were:
Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment on Movement Velocity during Resistance Training
The Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment with a Hypervolt Device on Plantar Flexor Muscles’ Range of Motion and Performance
This means that using a percussion therapy device before a workout can be useful and beneficial.
Decreases Muscle Soreness
Similarly to how a massage can help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), so too can percussion therapy. This is helpful for those of us who enjoy resistance training as well as for other athletes.
Increases Blood Flow and Lymph Flow
An article from Chiropractic Economics states, "The stimulation of nerve receptors causes the blood vessels to dilate, which also facilitates blood flow. The direct mechanical effect of rhythmical pressure and movement used in percussion massage can dramatically increase the rate of blood flow."
This increase in blood flow is helpful in many different ways spanning from muscle recovery to even some cases of edema (stagnant flow or the lymph or fluid buildup ).
In the NIH article, Acute Effects of a Percussive Massage Treatment on Movement Velocity during Resistance Training, the study's designers demonstrated that the use of percussion therapy in between sets of resistance exercises could help improve the power output by the individual. There is so much more to be studied here, but the results look promising.
Helps With Fat Loss
Perhaps the most intriguing benefit, we list last. Yes, percussion therapy has been shown to help with healthy fat loss. Percussion therapy has the unique ability to restructure rigid fat cells’ extracellular membranes that lose their flexibility with weight fluctuations over time. So they help fat loss by building healthier fat cells and reducing inflammation. A decrease in inflammation in fat cells can help keep fat off in the long run.
Our favorite brand of massage gun is the Theragun, but there are many other good brands and models for home use. You can read reviews to determine which is best for you if you are in the market for such a device. Or, reach out to us at Fitness Collective. We would be happy to assist you with this decision.