What is H-Wave? Dr. Kelly Starrett Provides his Explanation

Kelly Starrett, DPT explains how H-Wave works and why it’s a critical cornerstone of his clinical and athletic practice.

H-Wave has been part of Kelly Starrett’s clinical practice with athletes, patients, and clients for over a decade.  In this video he tells us how he normally describes H-Wave to all of them, so they understand how the technology works and how H-Wave is truly benefitting them physiologically.

He starts by reviewing the basics: All humans are designed to move, and a lot of our health and wellness systems are bootstrapped onto this movement system.  However, most people do not get the amount of movement they should every day.  The lack of movement means a lack of muscle contractions, and therefore the passive lymphatic system is not getting engaged to evacuate and decongest excess fluid that can build up throughout your body.  

We need normal movement in order to move the lymph liquid through the lymph valves.  However, due to injury or pain or limitations of a job, you may not be able to get the movement needed.

lymphatic pumping

This is where H-Wave comes in.  H-Wave’s LOW frequency setting creates non-fatiguing muscle contractions that squeeze the lymphatics, therefore helping the body do what it normally does.  You’re getting the benefit of movement but without the actual motion of moving around. 

This is critical because we know that:

  1. Muscle tissue that is poorly perfused and/or severely congested won’t work as well as it would in a normal system that gets a lot of movement
  2. Congestion can cause fear sensitization à the pressure on the system from the build-up of congestion is perceived by the brain as pain

The other key component to H-Wave’s unique technology is it’s ability to provide on-demand pain relief.  H-Wave’s HIGH frequency setting targets nerve-related pain, as opposed to congestion-related pain, which shuts down those pain signals for immediate relief.

So the same tool that helps your body decongest and load tissues in a non-threatening way in order to get you up and moving again, can also be repurposed to provide on-demand pain relief by:

  1. Blocking pain signals
  2. Breaking up spams
  3. Breaking pain guarding or fear guarding that can develop between the muscle and brain

All of the interventions that Kelly uses are about returning people to regular activity and getting load back into this great system we were all given, aka our bodies.  Because H-Wave can produce such profound results with both decongestion of tissues as well as on-demand pain relief, it’s no wonder that H-Wave is a critical cornerstone of Kelly’s clinical and athletic practice.

Watch the full video here:

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