How to Perform Percussion in Massage

Percussion is a term for a particular set of movements, the most common of which are pummelling, hacking and cupping. The movements should be performed quickly and all will have a stimulating effect, increasing the circulation to the surrounding area. Personally, I do not use them very often, but they can be quite fun to stimulate the body after you have worked on a particular area, to change or to quicken the pace of a massage or, in one case I once heard of, to wake the other person up sufficiently that they would not spend hours lingering after the massage! The percussion movements should be performed lightly and sharply and, when done correctly, make a satisfying sound as the hands move over the muscles. Use these strokes over the back, arms, legs and, with caution, over the soles of the feet.


Form both hands into loose fists, keeping your wrists relaxed. Bring one hand down lightly onto the sole of the foot and let it come up again, followed by the other fist. Tap lightly up and down over the sole, using your hands alternately. Keeping the movements quick and light makes the traditional pummelling sound. This will also stimulate the points on the feet.

Percussion Massage


Cup your hands and bring one hand down quickly onto the thigh muscles and up again, followed by the other hand. Move up and down in a series of quick movements. Keep the palm raised, trapping air underneath as you make contact. This produces the cupping sound.


Keeping your hands relaxed, bring the outer side of the hand down quickly onto the shoulder and snap it up again. Repeat the motion with the other hand and then alternate. Chop lightly up and down along the top of the shoulder, keeping the fingers loose to produce the snapping sound.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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