Vibration is the use of the hands to create a sense of trembling through the hands of the therapist to the person receiving massage. This act can reach areas deep within the body to have a profound impact. Vibration stimulates the body and increases circulation.
Stimulation is the unique effect of vibration. This massage technique can reach and effect the deeper organs situated within the body. Rapid vibration can produce a tingling sensation on the nerves and also affects circulation by increasing the flow of blood to the area. The rates for all the techniques listed are between 6-10 vibrations (trembles) per second.
Because of its deep stimulation effect, there are several uses for these techniques. It is to be used for paralysis, neuralgia or nerve disorder when there is diminished capacity within the muscle. There are also contraindications. It is not be used when there is acute inflammation, hypersensitivity or fever. The best means for creating vibration is through the use of a mechanical devise. Hand held vibration devices are sometimes used by therapists for this purpose.
6 Types of Vibration
Lateral vibration- The therapist places the palm of their hand firmly and flat against the area to be vibrated. The hand of the therapist trembles in a lateral motion back and forth. This technique is generally used on the abdomen and pelvis.
Knuckle vibration- The closed fist of the knuckles are trembled across the surface of the skin. This technique is done by the knuckles across larger surfaces like the back.
Superficial vibration- This technique involves using one or both hands while conveying a fine trembling motion over the body. This is also useful when vibration is needed or while working on delicate tissues.
Deep vibration- The palm of one hand is held firmly and flat against the skin, the other hand is supporting on top. The trembling is sent from the flexors and extensors of the upper arms to the hands. The goal is to reach the deeper areas of the body. This technique is very tiring to the therapist, but is the most effective means to vibrate the deeper areas of the body. A variation of this technique involves using a closed fist instead of the palm of the hand.
Digital vibration- This technique involves using the thumb or fingers to transmit vibration to the body. Digital vibration is especially useful for areas surrounding smaller structures such as joints or bony structures.
Shaking- This technique involves gently shaking the extremity to increase mobility and circulation. The area to be shaken is held firmly by the hands and gently vibrated.