If you remember the parts of the orchestra then you'll have a good idea about what percussion is. In the orchestra it's all the instruments that get hit like cymbals and drums. So why don't spas just say hit? Well it doesn't look good on a spa menu and can make people nervous, but yes when you hear the word percussion there will generally be some form of hitting involved, whether it's with branches as in a Venik Massage, or just using the hands.
Before you get scared off remember that a nice pat on the back could also be considered as percussion. So just make sure if you see this word to check the forcefulness of the treatment and be prepared to ask the therapist to take it easy if necessary.
See also tapotement, which as you might guess relates more to tapping. Having said that, some spas will classify this as one and the same and there are some schools of massage which define percussion massage as very specific movements. (I also noticed that there are a lot of electrical massagers which are described as percussion massagers.)
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