Massager Types Defined: Vibration, Compression, Kneading, Rolling, Percussion, and More

Most people love a relaxing and soothing massage after a hard day at work. It will help you unwind and chill out from knotted muscles, chronic aches, and improve blood circulation. When you do not have the time or money to go to a massage therapist, massage devices will help you relax.

Some devices are made specifically for the shoulders and lower back and others are designed for the arms and feet. Massage chairs are very popular to massage your entire body.

This article will discuss what massage type is best for your tightness and pain using massage products rather than a licensed massage therapist. What specific indicators do you have to know which massage type is best for you? You might prefer one specific massage style and on the other hand, you might like all of the types.

Massage chairs provide a more total body therapy to more areas simultaneously for less pain and more vitality. Handheld electric or battery-operated massagers are just the ticket for manipulating and kneading, pressing, and rubbing down on sore thighs, legs, feet, and arms. Your friend or companion could do your upper to lower back for a soothing and relaxing experience. Neck and shoulder massagers are another wellness product to relieve tension and pain. If your lumbar lower back area were sore and aching, a seat cushion would mitigate pain.

Some massagers and chairs have infrared (IR) heat.

1. Vibration Massage

Vibration is a shaking motion. An electric toothbrush vibrates to stimulate gum tissue and clean teeth. A massage device can be used to create a vibration for a tingling sensation causing muscle contraction. The stimulation from vibration increases blood flow and temperature of the area. Neuralgia, fatigue, soreness, and pain can be relieved using vibration. Vibration relaxes muscles to the lower back and abdomen and the intensity level is low.

2. Compression Massage

Compression uses light or heavy pressure with the device of your choice. Compression can be used at pressure points to numb temporarily irritated nerves such as sciatica running from the lower back down one or both legs to the knee. If the pain goes farther down the leg from the knee, you should consult with your chiropractor or physician. Compression is firmness. Myofascial trigger points affect the neck, back, jaw, headaches, menstrual, and other pain. This is characterized by tenderness, muscle spasms, and muscle pain. Compression is used to reduce swelling, circulatory clogging, and numb the nerve briefly so that you do not feel pain.

3. Kneading Massage

Kneading is well known with massage therapists. It is similar to kneading bread dough. This technique primarily uses intermittent and alternating squeezing and compression of the tissue against bones underneath. You can use devices to either be on the surface of the skin or go deeper by pressing firmer. Kneading excites and arouses all of the vital functions of your body. This incorporates blood vessels, nerves, glands, and cell communication. With deeper kneading, muscles can increase in size. Lactic acid and other toxic chemicals are eliminated through urination, so drink plenty of water to help your body do its job. Kneading can remove adhesions (scars) when done just after surgery and perhaps to some degree later. Swelling can be helped with kneading.

4. Rolling Massage

Rolling is just that. The massage units roll using long stroking motions to be put on your feet or other areas of your body. These work using acupressure or Shiatsu methods rather than vibration or thumping.

5. Percussion Massage

Percussion can penetrate deeply without bruising. It uses strikes and thumps with the amount of force that is helpful yet not painful with massage products. This method stimulates skin and things beneath the skin such as bone, muscle, veins, arteries, and nerves. Percussion can stop muscle spasms, dilate blood vessels, and can be useful to stimulate organs via the spinal cord and reflex centers. Percussion is useful for removing mucous and phlegm from the lungs when they are congested. These massagers come in many sizes and shapes. Depending on your preferences, percussive vibration gets deep into your muscles to help them relax.

6. Shiatsu Massage

The benefits from percussion massagers that you hold in your hand are perfect for people who want to give themselves or partner a massage. Just plug it in, or if battery powered, turn it on. Move it over the parts of your body that needs.

Shiatsu massagers available in chairs or with a mechanical device provide the same feeling as a palm and finger massage. They give a sequence of soft rolling nubs that are pointed providing a flat squeeze. This feels good to sore muscles.

The benefits to you are that your skin, tissue, and muscles will feel relaxed reducing stress to help you manage it. Shiatsu releases body toxins effectively and you will be more flexible. Blood circulation improves and blood pressure is lowered reducing stress to your body.

Handheld versions are available to take with you when traveling.

7. Percussion Massage Chairs

[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″]

[/su_column][su_column size=”1/2″]


Percussion type of massage is also offered in many portable chair accessories. This can be attached to your favorite chair or sofa. You will be able to operate it to give you a complete back percussion massage from the top of your back to the bottom of your back.

A larger massage chair to include your legs to your feet is also available where the massagers are built into the chair itself. This is a total unit rather than a portable addition that is separate.

Percussion massagers are available as portable massage tables, beds, or mattresses where you can simply lie down and receive a percussion massage without the help of another person.

8. Trigger Points

Trigger points are nerve and muscle related. Muscle knots are small muscle spasms. These trigger point areas are usually very tender and might need a softer touch being so sensitive. If you are not tender, the areas will respond to deeper pressure and kneading.

9. Acupressure

Pressure is used at certain points called acupoints or acupressure points. These are the same meridians of energy as those of acupuncture. These points can relieve pain such as headaches, nausea, tennis elbow pain and many others. Acupressure treatment can be accomplished with many massage devices and chairs.

10. Reflexology

The theory of reflexology is that your foot has points for all organs of your body. You can work those points with a massager and most manufacturers include a pressure point chart to help you. By unblocking meridians, blood flow is increased to reestablish internal stability of your entire body known as homeostasis.

You might want to use 100% pure essential oils while treating yourself with wonderful fragrance and therapeutic benefits.

11. TENS Massage

The TENS unit feels the same as the fingers of a massage therapist using the Tui Na method on your sore muscles. These devices create tapping and kneading to relax muscles and they work! Tui Na is an ancient traditional Chinese medicine for over 4000 years. Tui means ‘push’ and Na means ‘grasp.’ With a TENS unit you will not need to visit chiropractors and physical therapists. These units prevent pain signals to the brain releasing your own natural pain killer endorphins produced by the brain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *