Hacking is a percussion (also
known as tapotement)
It is generally applicable to the fleshy
parts of the body only - but not directly over bony pertuberances, not over
surface (superficial) nerves, not over
paralysed muscles, and not during
pregnancy. If in doubt about the safety of a movement don't perform
it - seek advice from a tutor or medical professional.
During the hacking movement, the therapist's hands are
held outstretched with the fingers and thumb outstretched from the arm
and in loose contact with
other. The movement is actioned from the wrists and not from the
Both hands are used to strike the client's body alternately.
They are positioned just a short distance apart so that both hands work
on the same area of the client, rotating so as to just clear each
other during the action.
As the wrists are rotated causing the hands to alternately rise and fall,
only the tips of the three medial fingers strike the client lightly and
in quick succession. The fingers remain relaxed at all times so
that the movement is light (i.e. the client should not be struck hard
by "solid" objects in fast succession - but lightly so that the stimulation
is provided by the speed not the impact).
The rate of a hacking movement may be typically 4-6 strikes per second.
As variation of the speed/rate of this
action determines the depth of the effect on the skin and its underlying
structures, this will be determined by individual requirements.