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Learning Center | Massage Techniques-Tapping Massage

massage techniques tapping percussion massage

What is the Tapping or Percussion Technique?

Tapping massage, also referred to as percussion massage is a treatment for soft tissue pain and soreness through the use of rapid, short-duration pulses or taps that reach deep into the soft tissues of the body. 

This technique can speed up the growth and repair of tissues by rapidly and powerfully increasing blood flow to the affected area. This can provide pain relief and increase range of motion, improving overall function. Percussive massage also affords a gentle stretch to the muscles and connective tissues, increasing responsiveness and athletic performance.

What are the Benefits of the Percussion or Tapping Massage?

Also called “deep muscle stimulation,” tapping or percussion massage is useful in several situations, including:

  • Relaxing of thickened connective tissue and fascia
  • Breaking down adhesions and scar tissue that develop because of injuries or surgery
  • Improved blood and lymphatic circulation
  • Stretching muscle fibers, particularly when spasms, stiffness, or tightness is present
  • Improving the range of movement by reducing stiffness in joints
  • Strengthened athletic performance
  • Injury rehabilitation and recovery
  • Overall relaxation and stress reduction
  • Pain relief associated with muscle and joint tightness

Who is a Tapping Massage For?

When you’re dealing with soft tissue injuries or soreness, this massage technique can help to speed up the rehabilitation process of muscles injured because of trauma, surgery, or disease. However, you’ll need to be sure your muscles are ready for a massage before you begin.

Often, the best results with percussion massage are seen during recovery from intense sports training or activity. Devices and chairs that perform tapping can produce contractions that are up to 30 times more powerful than a human can deliver. This leads to improved muscle strength and recovery. This stimulation also improves muscle tone and balance, alleviating tightness and decreasing the physical stress put on bones and joints. The quickly improved circulation allows more oxygen and nutrients to flow into muscles and lessens fatigue and soreness.

Athletes, those recovering from injuries, and everyday people can benefit from this massage technique. If you sit at a desk all day, have neck and back soreness, or need to recover your muscles from any number of conditions, percussion therapy can help relax your muscles and relieve pain. 

Active individuals especially benefit from improved oxygen distribution and circulation as it minimizes post-workout soreness and cramps, accelerating the body’s ability to recover and heal. It’s also amazing as a pre-competition or activity warm-up.

So, as a whole, if you’re experiencing muscle tightness, soreness, fatigue, or pain, tapping massage can help quite a bit.

Tapping in Massage Chairs

When you’re looking at massage chairs on our site, the options that provide auto programs will likely give you the option of choosing the tapping technique and may also use it as a part of their sports refresh, recovery, or awaken massage programs. Frequently, tapping is among the crucial techniques available in a massage chair. It’s often found as a stand-alone option and paired with kneading.

If you have any questions about this technique or the massage chairs that provide it, you can reach us over the phone or through email at We’d be glad to help you with your search for the right massage chair. You might also want to check out the Massage Chair Buying Guide. It can help you to get started on your hunt for the best chair for your needs.

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