By: Guest Blogger Kelly Jones LMT, MOTR
Ever feel like those hard, painful knots in your muscles seem to stick around no matter how much stretching, foam rolling, or digging you do? This is where vibration and percussion therapy can make all the difference. Not only is this a great way to help your massage therapist hone in on stubborn muscle issues, it’s also a super effective at-home recovery tool. Did I mention vibration and percussion therapy feels great, too? Many clients tell me after adding the Hypervolt onto their massage session that it's the most relaxed they can remember feeling.
One of the reasons this therapy is so effective is due to specialized receptor cells in the body that monitor for changes in the muscle tissue called proprioceptors. Proprioceptors communicate with the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and protect our bodies by regulating stretch or contraction during movement (like when busting a move on the dance floor) or application of force (bench pressing your toddler). Proprioceptors sense changes such as pressure, temperature, or tension and are located throughout muscles, joints, and tendons. One specific type of proprioceptor called the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) specializes in preventing tension induced injuries. GTOs operate a protective feedback mechanism
known as the Golgi tendon reflex, which creates an inhibiting response (shut it down!) that signals muscle tissue to release tension, making the muscle easier to stretch and to apply other massage modalities to it.
During vibration and percussion therapy, your massage therapist may use a hand-held percussive device on a localized area to induce deep release and relaxation within the muscle tissues. The tool we use for this at KAW is the Hypervolt, a hand held percussive therapy device made by Hyperice. One of my favorite ways to use the Hypervolt is by targeting muscles which feel “congested” or locked up with tension. When the vibrations are transmitted to your body they cause an inhibition reflex which signals muscle to contract and then relax. The Hypervolt has three different speed settings and multiple attachments to customize client comfort and maximize vibration therapy benefits depending on where it's applied to the body.
By using the Hypervolt as an adjunct to manual massage therapy, your therapist can better target muscle tension and discomfort to get you more effective results. Personally, I have found that using the Hypervolt to “warm up” muscles allows me to engage in deeper and more intense tissue modalities much sooner than by relying on using my hands alone. If you haven’t already added the Hypervolt to your massage, give it a go next time you come in and see for yourself! You might even want to consider purchasing one to use at home. Among the benefits of vibration and percussion therapy is faster post workout/event recovery time,
decreased generalized pain or stiffness, and improved range of motion.
We have both the standard Hypervolt and smaller, travel size Hypervolt GO on sale this month (May 2021) at KAW in addition to the Hyperice Venom, a wearable heat and vibration treatment device for the low back. Any of our awesome KAW staff is more than happy to help familiarize you with these tools and offer suggestions or demonstrations to help you get the most out of them. Just ask!
Currently our Hyperice products are available for purchase in-store only due to restrictions per our merchant agreement. If you would like to purchase any of our Hyperice products please call 269-373-1000 for pricing and availability!
How to use the Hypervolt: at home -YouTube Tutorial
Nicholas Garman, LMT NSCA-CPT
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