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What Is A Percussion Massager?
A percussion massager is a device which uses a beating, tapping, or drumming motion to simulate or replicate a massage delivered by a licensed massage practitioner.
The percussion is delivered by a rounded head which often includes inter-changeable plates, covers, or discs, each delivering a unique massage.
Some percussion massagers have variable speed controls which are generally measured in pulses per minute, and others include varying degrees of intensity ranging from soft and gentle, to deep and penetrating.
In addition, some percussion massagers include a heating options, and others don’t.
Article at a glance
- 1 What Is A Percussion Massager?
- 1.1 What Are The Benefits Of Percussive Massage
- 1.2 Featured Brand: PureWave Percussion Massagers
- 1.3 How To Choose The Right Percussion Massager
- 1.4 The Top 7 Percussion Massagers In 2019
- 1.4.1 #1 PureWave CM7 Extreme Power
- 1.4.2 #2 HoMedics HHP-350 Percussion Massager
- 1.4.3 #3 Brookstone Max 2 Cordless Dual-Node Percussion Massager
- 1.4.4 #4 Deep Tissue Electric Massager by LiBa
- 1.4.5 #5 Powerfingers Percussion Massager
- 1.4.6 #6 TheraRub Percussion Massager
- 1.4.7 #7 Thumper Sport Percussive Massager
What Are The Benefits Of Percussive Massage
Percussive massage is fast becoming the preferred massage technique for injury rehabilitation, sports training, and, general wellness.
With break throughs in technologies, personal percussion massagers have become highly effective and affordable for most individuals.
Long are the days where licensed massage therapists and wellness spas are the only means to receive a great percussion massage.
For rehabilitation of injured muscles due to trauma or surgery, a percussion massager, will stimulate the muscle to contract, leading to a reduction in atrophy, improved reflexes, and faster recovery.
For sports training, percussion massagers increase muscle contractions, thus increasing blood flow and circulation, and in turn increasing muscle strength, reducing tightness in the muscle, improving muscle tone, and alleviating fatigue by delivering nutrients through increased oxygen to the affected muscles.
In addition, some of the general wellness benefits of percussive massage are:
- Lowering of blood pressure and heart rate
- Toxin elimination
- Alleviation of insomnia and better sleeps
- Healthier looking hair and skin
- Positive effect on digestion and elimination
- Enhanced immune system
- Reduction of anxiety, restlessness, and depression
Featured Brand: PureWave Percussion Massagers
Here at A-Z Healthy Families, we have spent countless hours reviewing massagers for the feet, head, back, legs, and other areas of the body.
One brand which seem to appear in most of these categories, is PureWave manufactured by PADO Products.
PADO Products is a USA based company which is a world leader in personal massage devices.
They believe in providing professional grade massagers to the general consumer, focus on quality, functionality, and ease of use.
Their product line consists of 3 individual personal massage devices:
#1 The PureWave CM3
This is the low-end model which reaches 3,500 RPM’s.
It includes two massage heads, one intensity settings, and a tremendous value for the price.
#2 The PureWave CM5
This was initially a professional massager but has now entered the main stream as a personal massage device.
It includes 3 different massage heads, and has an intensity range from 1,500 to 3,700 RPM’s. A great mid-level percussion massager.
#3 The PureWave CM7
This is the top of the line model, boasting dual motors, 6 massage heads and a facial massage function.
It received the #1 ranking in our 7 Best Percussion Massagers In 2019 and an depth review can be seen further down the page.
How To Choose The Right Percussion Massager
Choosing a percussion massager is a vey personal thing, and based on the vast number of different brands, models, and price points, in conjunction with the multitude of available features and options, making the right decision is a tumultuous task.
Following are a few considerations which should simplify the process for you.
What are you using it for?
Before you begin, you must determine what its primary use will be.
Is it for injury rehabilitation, muscle enhancement, relaxation, or general well being?
Where will it be used? The entire body or one area such as the upper back.
What is my budget?
Percussion massagers range in price from $20 -$30 up into the hundreds of dollars.
Naturally the more sophisticated and comprehensive the percussion massager, the higher the price will be.
In our 7 best percussion list we cover a cross section of higher and lower priced percussion massagers.
Single versus Dual Head
Handheld percussion massager come with a single head which is designed to pinpoint targeted areas while the dual head models cover broader areas.
Percussion rate and intensity
Percussion rate is a measure of penetrations per minute and can move the massage from a relaxation type massage to a deeper tissue massage.
Intensity refers to the pressure of the percussion action.
For example, a high intensity percussion can penetrate the muscle as deep as one quarter of an inch, while others may only relax the surface.
Cordless or not
Again, this a personal preference. Based on where you intend to use the massager will determine which option is best for you.
Heat can further relax the muscles and make them more receptive to percussive action and enhance the overall effectiveness of the massage.
Some models include the heating and others don’t. It is important to check this out.
Feel of the percussion massager
Quite simply, if the massager is cumbersome and difficult to use, it will sit on the shelf.
If it feels uncomfortable to use and can’t reach areas you need to massage, find another massager.
The Top 7 Percussion Massagers In 2019
The CM7 is known for its high intensity as the powerful percussion head can be set to deeply penetrate muscle tissues, relieve pain and expedite muscle recovery.
Conversely, the intensity ca be scaled back address sensitive areas such as joints and tendons.
The percussion rate can be set between 1,500 RPM’s to 3,700 RPM’s.
The PureWave CM7 Extreme Power is a popular choice of many professional massage therapists, physio therapists, and wellness spas, however, it is easy to use and very popular as a personal home device.
It includes six different massage heads, each, providing a unique percussion massage experience.
- Six head stick for deep tissue and sports massage-should be used before and after athletic activity to increase performance and reduce muscle fatigue
- Body massage oil stick to be used with body oils or gels-provides a deeper muscle tissue massage for deeper relaxation
- Air cushion stick simulating thumb and finger action found in a Swedish massage
- Scalp massage stick to increase circulation and relieve tension in the head-In addition, the attachment revitalizes the hair follicle to stimulate hair growth and produce healthier looking hair
- Point stick for reflexology and acupressure to relieve tight muscles and alleviate pain
- Facial massager to be used with creams and lotions-has its own motor which uses gentle microvibration technology at a rate of 11,000 RPM to rejuvenate the skin making it feel young and healthy
Weighing only 1.75 pounds, and including a rechargeable lithium ion battery, the PureWave CM7 is easily transportable and can be used at home, the office, or in a hotel room.
- Comes with 5 different attachments each delivering a unique percussion massage experience
- Includes a separate high intensity facial massage attachment
- Has a variable speed percussion rate control ranging from 1,500 RPM’s to 3,700 RPM’s
- Cordless, light weight, and easy to pack and carry around
- Only include one built in percussion head making it more difficult than its dual head counterparts to cover larger areas
- Although PADO Products have a tremendous replacement program, some customers report that the units were shipped with defects
Price: Click here to check the price of the Pure-Wave CM7 Cordless Massager Body + Facial (Dual Mode) for Foot on Amazon’s website
HoMedics is the world leader in the personal massage industry, and its no surprise that their products are at the top of most massager review lists.
The HoMedics HHP-350 uses intense percussion action to alleviate stiffness and pain, relieve stress and tension, pain, and eliminate soreness throughout the entire body.
The device includes dual action heads, with a variable speed control, and heating element, and provides gentle full body massage.
The HHP-350 is and is not designed to reach those hard to reach knots and is not meant for deep tissue massage.
The HoMedics HHP-350 includes a gentle, firm, and heat, function, which allows any massage to be fully customized.
In addition, it is capable of relieving tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders after a tough day at the office, or soothe tired aching legs or feet.
The HoMedics HHP-350 4 Star rating on Amazon, based on 1,087 customer reviews, and is one of our favorites.
- Dual actions heads provide pulsing, percussion action which approaches 3,100 times per minute
- Variable control allows massage intensity to be increased or decreased
- Three inter-changeable attachments provide the ability to easily create a gentle, firm, or heated massage experience
- The ergonomically shaped handle makes it easy to reach areas on the lower back which are hard to get to
- A tremendous value for the price
- Not cordless meaning it must be used near an electrical outlet
- Is not adequate for a deep tissue massage
Price: Click here to check the price of the HoMedics Percussion Action Massager with Heat | Adjustable Intensity on Amazon’s website
The Brookstone Max 2 is a dual head percussion massager where the nodes are set slightly further apart than competitive products, and delivers not only up and down percussive action, but also side to side movement.
In addition, it provides short percussive bursts.
The result being a deeper, more intense percussion massage.
The Max 2 includes a 5-speed motor where percussion rate can be set between 1,750 to 2,550 RPM’s.
This light weight unit is cordless and comes with a rechargeable battery as well as an AC cord meaning that it can be used anywhere.
Its ergonomically designed, curved handle, makes it easy to use and reach those hard to get to areas on the mid to lower back.
The Brookstone Max 2 Cordless Dual-Node Percussion Massager has a 4 Star rating based on 93 customer reviews and is an ideal personal percussion massager for anyone.
- The Max 2 offers 5 adjustable speeds ranging from 1,750 to 2,550 RPM’s
- Can penetrate deep tissues and provide a deep muscle massage
- Cordless and can be used anywhere
- Manufactured and backed by Brookstone a leader in personal well being devices
- The device is not capable of providing heat
- Is slightly more expensive than comparable models by other manufacturers
Price: Click here to check the price of the Brookstone Max 2 Cordless Dual-Node Percussion Massager on Amazon’s website
Boasting one of the most powerful motors in its category, at 5,000 pulses per minute, the LiBa Deep Tissue Massager, uses a unique combination of rapid percussion, and shortened intervals, to heighten the effectiveness of the massage experience.
In addition, the LiBa include 3 different attachments, each delivering a different and unique massage.
The device is truly a professional grade massager, at a price which is affordable to the individual user.
Although the unit is not cordless, it includes a 16’ electrical cord which makes it convenient to use anywhere in a room.
Deep Tissue Electric Massager by LiBa, has a 4.5-star rating and is a great value for the price. LiBa describe this product as “Full Body, Powerful, and Light Weight”, and based on our findings it certainly fits the bill.
- One of the most intense percussion massagers in its category
- Variable speeds and 3 attachments creating unique massage experiences
- Extra long 16’ cord
- Highly rated by qualified buyers and users
- Affordable price point
- The device is somewhat loud which can detract from the relaxation massage experience
- The 5,000 pulse per minute intensity can be too aggressive for some
Price: Click here to check the price of the Percussion Therapeutic Deep Tissue Electric Massager – Three Heads on Amazon’s website
At first sight, the Powerfingers Percussion Massager, looks somewhat meek and mild, however, the unit packs a powerful punch.
The Powerfingers Percussion Massager is categorized as a therapeutic versus a relaxation type percussion massager and can penetrate ¼” into the muscle to relieve knots and tension, as well as reduce fatigue.
It includes 3 inter-changeable pads, soft, medium, and hard and 10 speed settings, meaning that the massage is totally customizable t your specific needs.
In addition, although the Powerfingers Percussion Massager is light weight, it is very well made and a real power house.
The Powerfingers Percussion Massager has a 4.5-star rating and is as close to a professional massage you will get.
- Extremely powerful therapeutic massager designed by a Chiropractor
- Includes 10 speed / intensity settings to fully tailor your massage
- 3 inter-changeable pads to accommodate soft, medium, or hard massage requirements
- Percussion action can penetrate ¼ inches into the muscle tissue
- Even at low intensities, the percussion action nay be too aggressive for some
- Price point may be a little high for someone looking for a basic massager
Price: Click here to check the price of the PowerFingers Deep Tissue Home Percussion Massager on Amazon’s website
Although the TheraRub Massager Percussion Massager is often found in in the hands of licensed massage therapists, it has entered the main stream and has become a great personal massage device.
It includes dual head percussion, and the intensity can be easily controlled by a variable speed slider.
The TheraRub is heavier than most of its competitor’s models, weighing 3.6 pounds, but in return, is extremely durable and powerful.
Unfortunately, the TheraRub is not cordless, however, it does include an extra long 14′ power cord.
The TheraRub Massager Percussion Double Head Electric Massager has a 4.5 Star rating based on 835 customer reviews and provides a clinical grade percussion massager at an affordable price.
- High quality, full size, professional grade handheld massager capable of simulating a massage performed by a massage therapist
- Includes 3 massage heads, each designed to achieve a specific massage function
- 14’ extra long cord reducing the need for an extension cord
- Includes two deep percussion heads and three attachments
- Large, heavy, and cumbersome for one person to use
- May have too much power and intensity for personal use
- Not cordless
Price: Click here to check the price of the TheraRub Massager Percussion Double Head Electric Massager on Amazon’s website
The Thumper Sport includes a variable speed control which has a range of 20 to 40 pulses per second.
In addition, it come with 2 inter-changeable spheres, hard or soft which further allows for a customizable massage.
The handle design makes it easy to reach the mid and lower back as well as the back of the legs.
The Thumper Sport has a 4-star rating based on 495 customer reviews, and is ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle.
- Patented drive system technology penetrates deep into the muscle tissue
- 5 Variable speeds to tailor the massage
- Two different spheres or discs to allow for a soft or hard massage
- Provides a full body massage
- Some complaint of the highest intensity being to aggressive for some
- Some find it cumbersome and awkward
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