Massages are universally loved. They are not only relaxing, but they also have tremendous health benefits like increasing blood flow, reducing fatigue and relieving stress. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to visit a masseur or find someone willing to give you a massage. Moreover, the cost of a professional deep tissue massage is relatively expensive, especially considering weekly treatments are needed for optimal lasting effects. In this article, we'll review the Thumper Massager.
Pros & Cons
Benefits of Massagers
Handheld, percussive massagers have become very popular in recent years. They create strong vibrations within your muscles and assist with lymph circulation. They also promote better oxygen distribution to your muscles. In fact, percussive massagers are often used in rehabilitation therapy. Some of the other benefits of a percussive massager include the: promotion of healthy skin, lowering of blood pressure, strengthening of the immune system, improved mobility, leveling of the autonomic nervous system, improved mood, and much more.
The level of relaxation and health benefits they provide make them one of the most practical self-care products on the market. However, it can be difficult to know which one to pick. Our review will cover options from one of the most established massage brands on the market, Thumper. We hope the information makes your choice easier.
What Is A Thumper Massager?
Thumper has a rich history. The company is the designer and manufacturer of the first deep tissue muscle percussion massager. They patented the device in 1974. Their percussion massager was designed for the specific purpose of relieving tension within the muscles before a chiropractic adjustment.
The company now designs, manufactures, and distributes the highest quality of percussion massage equipment available on the market. The design of each model is a testament to the genius of their developers. Each unit is meticulously constructed in their Canadian plant. Thumper has an electric percussion massager line that includes six different massager units: the Thumper Maxi Pro, Thumper Mini Pro, Thumper Sport, Thumper Versa Pro, Thumper Equine Pro, and the Thumper Verve. They have an overall design suited for personal use, where no second party is needed to use most models. Thumper massager can help you enjoy the benefits of a professional massage treatment at home.
Thumper Massager: Maxi Pro Professional Electric Massager Product Specs
The Thumper Maxi Pro is sized eight inches in width by ten inches in length and is seven and a half inches high. The unit is seven pounds and FDA Class 1 approved. The heavier weight of the massager makes it ideal for providing the pressure needed to penetrate throughout all fascia layers.
It is electrically approved for UL, CSA, and CE, and comes with a two-year warranty. The massager has eight massage spheres suited to the coverage of larger muscles groups. A thorough full body massage takes only five to eight minutes. Targeting muscles in smaller areas can be accomplished by tilting the Maxi Pro while using a single massage sphere. The Thumper Maxi Pro was originally created for professional medical use. Chiropractors used it to warm up soft tissues and muscles prior to adjustment. To this day it is used by physiotherapists, massage therapists, and athletic trainers for treatment. Although the massager is ideal for professional modality, we do not recommend it for home or self-use.
That said, the speed adjusts from 18 to 35 pulses per second. The massage depth can be adjusted with the four position-adjustable pressure knobs for further massage customization. Thumpers’s Maxi Pro is able to direct 95 percent of the energy it produces into a patient’s muscles. This means there is almost zero feedback on the therapist’s hands. Oils and lotions are not required, and the massager is effective through clothing.
The unit is equipped with a patented Thumper® Action. It distributes energy perpendicularly into the tissues while penetrating the facial layers, relieving muscle tension, and fatigue. The massage spheres are anatomically designed, and there are no supplemental attachments needed regardless of the target muscle group. The handles are also placed at 90 degrees for easier control and use. The unit’s high torque DC motor is cooled with a fan ensuring dependability, and the massager is easy to clean with damp cloth.
Thumper massagers can be found for about $140.00-350.00. They can be purchased directly from Thumper, at orthopedic supply stores, and also from online retailers such as Amazon.
Thumper Massager: How it Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
1. Thumper Maxi Pro Professional Electric Massager
2. Thumper Mini Pro
3. Thumper Sport Percussive Massager
4. Thumper Versa Pro Lower Body Foot Massager
Thumper Maxi Pro Professional Electric Massager
Price $$$Ease of Use (Medium) 3-starsAssembly Time (None) 5-stars design Quality (Excellent) 5-star warranty (2-years) 5-stars
Thumper Mini Pro
The Mini Pro is a massager designed specifically for professional health care use. It is a durable massager that penetrates the fascia layers and warms up the muscles, increases blood flow, and releases muscle tension in the treatment area. The unit’s long handle allows for self-treatment and is ideal for reaching areas such as the shoulders and mid-back. It is relatively lightweight at three pounds and is portable for travel.
The massager has three-speed settings at 20, 30 and 40 pulses per second. It is adjustable for the treatment of varying muscle groups and patient preference. The patented Thumper® drive system delivers the deep penetration of tapotement. Its massage spheres are anatomically-designed, and 95 percent of the energy created is directed into the muscles. The distribution ensures virtually no kickback to the handler.
As with most Thumper massagers, no oils or lotions are needed. The machine is able to work through clothing for added flexibility. There is no need to exert additional pressure for effectiveness; the massager does the work, not you. Patented Thumper Action distributes energy perpendicularly into the muscles without the need for additional attachments. One device is sufficient for the entirety of all muscle groups.
The additional specs on this massager are 13 inches in length by six inches in with, and five and a half inches in height. It is FDA Class 1 approved and electrically approved for UL, CSA, and CE. The warranty is Thumper's outstanding two-year limited warranty offered on all its pro line massagers.
Price $$Ease of Use (Easy) 5-starsAssembly Time (none) 5-stars design Quality (Excellent) 5-star warranty (2 years) 5-stars
- Ergonomic handle
- Three-speed settings
- Easy to clean
- Heavy duty DC motor
- One or two handed use
- Hand manufactured in Canada
- FDA Class 1 approved
- Durability concerns
- Plastic construction
- Switches could be made better
Sports Percussive Thumper Massager
The Thumper Sport was designed for home and non-professional personal use. It is ideal for conditions like stiff shoulders after a round of golf, burning legs after a bike ride, or pain after a long day standing at work. Thumper® Sport is able to provide all the health benefits associated with deep tissue massage in the comfort of your home.
Compared to Thumper's professional line, the unit is cost effective while still maintaining the superior quality people expect from the brand. The sport is three pounds, which makes it easy to transport anywhere you travel. As with all Thumper's personal use massagers, it features a long ergonomic handle so you can reach every muscle on your body. Oils and lotions are not needed and its ability to be used over clothing makes it flexible enough to use virtually anywhere.
Thumper Drive System
The sport is fitted with the Thumper® drive system, just like its more powerful counterparts, for delivery of comfy and penetrating tapotement action. While it does not have the energy distribution of the professional models, it still has virtually no handle kick back. Less kickback makes the unit easy to hold, maneuver and operate. The massage can be tailored to use soft or hard massage spheres, and there is variable speed control setting of 20 or 40 pulses per second.
Price $$Ease of Use (Easy) 5-starsAssembly Time (None) 5-stars design Quality (Good) 4-star warranty (2 years) 5-stars
- “True Speed” feedback system
- Long ergonomic handle
- Variable speed control
- Easy to clean
- Hand manufactured in Canada
- Concerns with units purchased from unverified sellers
- Not penetrative enough
- Not durable
Thumper Versa Pro Lower Body Foot Massager
The Versa Pro is a Professional-Strength Massager capable of targeting the muscles of your lower body. It is ideal for feet, calves, quads, and hamstrings. It can also be turned upright for use on the lower back area. For those who spend a lot of time on their feet, suffer from aching joints, or sore muscles, this massager hits the mark. The unit is beneficial to persons with more limited mobility and those whose feet tend to swell. Indications of a slowdown in your lymphatic system can also be addressed since the Versa Pro can help re-energize the lymph system, thus promoting supple joints and less foot swelling.
There are 13 different massage settings. The speed can be selected manually and adjusted from 16 to 30 pulses per second, or there are seven auto programs to choose from. The unit has both an onboard controller and a hand-held remote. There is a self-leveling steel suspension that automatically adjusts based on the targeted body part for maximized penetration. The direct-drive Thumper action powers 184 acupressure nodes and overall the massager has ten times the output of ordinary home massagers.
Price $$$Ease of Use (Easy) 5-starsAssembly Time (5 min.) 5-starsDesign Quality (Excellent) 5-starsWarranty (2 Years) 5-stars
- All steel inner construction
- Auto-leveling steel suspension
- Patented Thumper Action
- 13 choices of massage settings
- 184 acupressure massage nodes
- Hand manufactured in Canada
- Dual tactile controls FDA Class 1 approved
- Electrically approved UL, CSA, CE, ROHS
- Pads can get stuck
- Foot paddle prone to cracking
- Many complaints about overall durability and longevity
- Can run loud
- Too aggressive for some people
Overall we feel Thumper massager are well designed, highly refined, professional and personal use massagers. The fact they were originally developed for use in a chiropractic setting has given the manufacture insight into how to create a massager that is effective and penetrative. We also like that the massagers are handmade in Canada, which raises the confidence of fair labor practices and safe working conditions of the craftsmen.
The non-professional line is impressive because it still uses much of the patented Thumper technology featured in the professional grade products. They also carry the same two-year Thumper product warranty. We did find that some people did not benefit from the warranty when they purchased their machines from a non-verified seller. However, the overall feedback for Thumper massagers was incredibly positive. The take away may be to carefully pick your vendor, so you get a quality machine fully backed by the warranty available.
Easy to Maneuver
One more point we want to make is the practicality of the hand-held devices. They are easy to maneuver over the entire body, making self-massage more effective. That said, one has to be careful about the model of massager chosen. The reviews for Thumper sport were more spotted, but the device is the least expensive and impactful of the Thumper range. So choosing the right device for your needs is essential to your satisfaction. It may be worth it to spend the extra hundred dollars to purchase a stronger model if you need more aggressive treatment. That said, overall the entire Thumper massager range is impressive.
Featured Image via Amazon logo, text and banner added