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Hacking is a light and fast movement performed with the side of the hands. The fingers touch the skin surface as the wrists move up and down. The hacking technique is used to revitalise sore and tired muscles. Hacking is effective to be used as part of a pre event massage to help stimulate the muscles and prepare them for activity. Massage therapists at Physio.co.uk can use hacking as an effective massage technique to treat a range of conditions.

What is hacking?

Hacking is a percussion movement. Hacking is a light and fast movement performed with the side of hands. Both hands are used to strike muscle areas alternately. A hacking massage technique is primarily used to stimulate both the nervous and the circulatory system. Hacking is performed onto larger muscle areas and used alongside other percussion massage techniques.

When is hacking used?

Hacking can be used to help on many circumstances. These circumstances include:

Hacking is commonly used as part of a pre event massage. A pre event massage is undertaken before a workout, competition or sporting performance. The aim of pre event massage is to increase blood circulation, muscle elasticity and can mentally prepare people for activity. Massage techniques such as hacking are used to stimulate the nerve endings of the muscle that can help prepare them for exercise. Hacking also assists in increasing temperature which warms up the muscles before exercise.

Hacking can also be used to help stimulate low muscle tone. Low muscle tone is often known as hypertonia. Hypertonia is the reduced amount of tension and resistance within a muscle. Hypertonia in the muscles can affect their function and lack in strength. Hacking is a quick and fast movement that can stimulate nerve endings of a muscle. Stimulate nerve endings can help contract a muscle therefore increase in tone and resistance.

Customer reciving thigh massage using hacking technique in Manchester Physio Clinic

What are the physiological effects of hacking?

Massage can produce many important physiological effects on the body. The physiological effects of hacking include:

Hacking increases the temperature of the soft tissues. Hacking performed onto the skin stimulates the micro receptors which affects temperature. An increase of temperature warms a muscle up and prepares it for activity. Warm muscles before exercise are important to enhancing performance and preventing injuries.

Hacking also increases vasodilation in the blood. Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels. Increased vasodilation allows more fresh oxygenated blood to flow through the muscles. The increase of circulation increases temperature and puts the muscles in a state of readiness.

Another physiological effect of hacking is capillarisation. Capillarisation is the increase of blood cells in the tissues. Increased amount of blood cells brings more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. Oxygen and nutrients can help repair and heal damaged tissues. Capillarisation and vasodilation both increase the condition of the tissues.

Hacking increases tissue elasticity. Hacking increases the temperature of the muscle fibres and increases the movement between each other. Muscle fibres can become tightly stuck together which can limit flexibility in a muscle. Hacking applies pressure to the fibres which loosen and relax them. The more relaxed the muscle fibres are, the more increased the movement is.

Customer reciving thigh massage using hacking technique in Manchester Physio Clinic

What are the benefits of hacking?

Hacking has many benefits. The benefits of hacking include:

Hacking is beneficial to help increase tone. Tone is the state of tension within a muscle. Tone in a muscle can be changed due to many circumstances. High tone in a muscle is needed for people who are participating in exercise. High tone is where the muscle is in a state of readiness and therefore able to perform. Hacking increases tone by stimulating the nerve ending of a muscle. The stimulation of nerves helps to contract a muscle.

Hacking also improves the circulation in the muscles. The hacking technique produces physiological effects that increase the amount of blood in the tissues. Hacking stimulates vasodilation and capillarisation. Vasodilation and capillarisation is the increase of size and number of blood cells. Improved circulation can be important to improve health and assist sporting performance.

Hacking can also be a beneficial technique to improve sensation. Hacking is a stimulating technique that can increase the function of nerves in the tissues. Hacking can revitalise sensations and improve the feeling around specific areas.

Common body parts treated by hacking

There are many common body parts that can be treated with hacking. Common body parts treated by hacking are:

Hacking can also be performed on other areas of the body and be effective to stimulate muscles and increase tone.


Hacking is part of the percussion massage group. Hacking is a stimulating technique which is performed with the side of the hands. Hacking is commonly used as part of a pre event massage and to help increase tone. Hacking produces many physiological effects in the body including increased tone, improved circulation, improved sensation and increased tissue elasticity. Hacking can be used across large amount of body parts including arm, upper back, lower back, buttock, thigh and calf.

How can I arrange a hacking massage treatment?

The easiest way to arrange a hacking massage treatment at Physio.co.uk is to email us at office@physio.co.uk or call us on 0800 033 7800.

Alternatively if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

We offer a 7 day service and provide home and clinic appointments.

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Mobile: 0330 088 7800
Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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