Massage Chair Buying Guide
Massage Chair Benefits
Massage chairs provide a whole-body wellness experience. The primary benefit of a massage chair is that it induces relaxation. Our bodies accumulate significant tension and soreness throughout the day and week. Often we feel tired and stiff, which can often be compounded with the daily stress of life.
A back massage chair can help you loosen sore and stiff muscles, alleviating any chronic pain and tension you might feel — particularly in the neck, back and lumbar spine areas. Tapping, kneading and rolling motions target the upper back, slowly working down to the low back and glutes, softening compressed tissues around each spinal disc. As the muscles and tissues around the spine loosen, you’ll experience greater flexibility and mobility by allowing for better range-of-motion throughout your back.
A gentle massage motion also helps promote better circulation, allowing your tissues and muscles to receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to repair themselves. Increased blood flow also improves mood and mental clarity, as gentle massage releases feel-good hormones.
For people who tend to have a poor posture, such as hunched shoulders, a massage recliner can help encourage better alignment. By releasing pain points, it becomes easier to hold your neck, shoulders and back in a neutral posture with less slouching, and therefore, less pain.
How Much Is a Massage Chair?
How to Reset a Massage Chair
Massage recliners are electronic devices that may, on occasion, overheat. As a safety feature, massage chairs will automatically shut off when they become overheated. It’s important to let the device cool down before reactivating the chair.
To reset a massage chair after overheating, turn off the product’s main power switch and leave the product off for at least 30 minutes. Once it has been allowed time to cool, you can restart the massage chair by turning the main power switch back on.
Back Massage Chairs for Back Pain
Many people who experience chronic back pain benefit from relaxing massages to help loosen tense muscles and tissues and decompress pressure points. Massage therapy also encourages the release of beneficial hormones, which can help people with back pain cope with related mental and emotional symptoms.
Having a massage recliners can provide a similar experience but at-home. Massage chairs are designed to help you target specific areas of the body requiring therapeutic treatment. For people with back pain, a rolling, kneading massage sequence can safely release tight muscles and tissues along the spine. Whether you experience shoulder, mid-back or lumbar spine pain, massage chairs can help you address these problem areas on a regular basis.
If you’re looking for ways to relieve back pain and enjoy deep relaxation at-home, a massage chair is a worthwhile investment. Massage chairs are a convenient and easy way to get the benefits of massage therapy but in the privacy of your own home. Massage recliner are also safe to use on a regular basis, allowing you to manage your chronic back pain without having to book multiple appointments.
Note: Massage chairs are not intended to be a primary treatment for spinal conditions, such as whiplash, herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Always seek medical advice from your doctor before conducting any at-home therapies for back pain.
Are There Massage Chairs for Tall People?
There are several models of massage chairs for tall people. For those who are over 6’2”, it’s important to look for massage chairs designed to accommodate your height and still be comfortable. Full body massage chairs for tall people offer features like extending foot and calf massagers to adjust to longer legs. They’ll also offer longer massage strokes and the ability to set the massage function at different heights.
The Human Touch Novo XT2 from Relax The Back is a massage chair for tall people, including athletes looking to recover from tough workouts.
How Do Massage Chairs Work?
Massage chairs work by providing gentle massaging motions up and down the length of the back, as well as along the legs, calves and feet. As mechanical devices, massage chairs have internal mechanisms that drive the massagers along a track. There are two primary types of tracks in massage chairs:
• S-Track: Follows an S-shaped track that moves along the natural curve of the spine.
• L-Track: Follows the natural curve of the spine and extends in an L-shape to include the top of the hamstrings.
Depending on the complexity of the massage chair, it may only offer limited vibration sensations. A vibrating massage chair may be equipped with sophisticated robotic technology that mimics the techniques of a human massage therapist.
Commonly, the massaging devices inside massage chairs are rollers, and they perform a variety of motions. Massage rollers inside a massage chair can move up-and-down, side-to-side or rotate in one spot. They might also gently grip and squeeze your arms and legs in movements that promote blood circulation. Other massage chairs may have airbag devices as their main massage mechanism. The airbags inflate and deflate, pressing and releasing into your back with every expansion.
The best massage chairs work by using a combination of multiple types of devices that offer a variety of motions. Massage recliners should offer different techniques like kneading, rolling, squeezing, tapping and shiatsu—the function of pressing against one pressure point at a time.
Are Massage Chairs Safe?
Massage chairs are considered generally safe for most adults. Being a noninvasive therapeutic device, massage chairs present a very low risk of injury. In general, there are no contraindications to the use of massage chairs any more so than there are to massage therapy.
Massage therapists don’t recommend massages for anyone with severe back or neck concerns, including whiplash, which should be treated first with chiropractic or physical therapy. Massaging motions, such as from a massage chair, may also aggravate dermal and circulatory conditions like:
• Varicose veins
• Cuts, abrasions and bruises
• Inflammatory skin conditions like lupus, psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis
It’s also important not to use massage therapy or massage chairs to primarily treat conditions unrelated to back and muscle soreness, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or active infections. Always check with your physician if you have any existing conditions that may be aggravated by massage.
Are Massage Chairs Safe While Pregnant?
Massage chairs are considered generally safe for pregnant women. In fact, massage chairs can be beneficial for expecting mothers. Many women undergo prenatal massage to relax tension, alleviate low back pain and relieve edema (fluid retention) during pregnancy.
Pregnant women wishing to use massage chairs should first get approval from their OB-GYN. Some women with high-risk pregnancies may need to avoid massages. If you are experiencing back pain during pregnancy, it’s important to seek treatment from a physician first and use massage chairs only as a complementary at-home therapy rather than as a primary treatment.
Massage Chair vs. Massage Therapist
Massage chairs are designed to mimic the techniques of a human massage therapist. For example, shiatsu massage chairs deliver targeted massages to relieve pressure points, similar to how massage therapists use their thumbs.
The mechanical devices in a massage chair deliver similar massaging motions as you would receive from a trained massage therapist, such as kneading, rolling, tapping and gripping. While massage therapists tailor their treatment to each person’s needs, advanced massage chairs also offer personalized settings to give you the massage you’re looking for.
Though a massage chair may not deliver the same human experience you get with a massage therapist, many people enjoy the ability to have a massage at home at any time with a massage chair.
Massage Chairs for Parkinson’s Disease
Massage chairs for Parkinson’s disease can be a convenient at-home therapy to help alleviate stiffness and improve mobility and quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects nerve cells in the part of the brain that’s responsible for movement. People with Parkinson’s disease commonly experience mobility issues, including rigidity and stiffness. Many people with Parkinson’s disease also experience depression and anxiety as a result of the psychological effects of this diagnosis.
Research has found that massage therapy may help to improve certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as stiffness, tremors and pain. Additionally, massage therapy may help address the psychological well-being of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Note: Massage chairs are not intended to be a primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, consult your physician before using a massage chair as an at-home therapy.
How to Repair a Massage Chair?
Massage chairs are complex mechanical and electronic devices that require professional repair. It’s important not to attempt to repair a massage chair yourself. If you do experience mechanical issues with your massage chair, contact the manufacturer and find out what your warranty covers. Generally, most massage chair warranties cover repairs up to five years after purchase.
What Is the Best Price for a Massage Chair?
Massage chairs fall within a range of prices. The cost of a massage chair depends on its quality, its features and where it’s manufactured. The best price for a massage chair will strike a balance between cost and features, resulting in good value for your money.
When deciding how much to spend on a massage chair, it’s important to consider it as a long-term investment. If you plan to use the massage chair regularly over the course of many years, then you can determine how much it costs on a daily or monthly basis.
Massage Chairs for the Elderly
Massage chairs for elderly people can be a beneficial way to help alleviate aches, pains and stiffness that come with aging. Geriatric massage is recommended to help address a variety of symptoms and conditions. Massage can help boost blood circulation and relieve muscle and joint pain as well as general arthritis symptoms.
Heated massage chairs also deliver heat therapy, which can help reduce pain and inflammation, helping elderly people to improve their quality of life. Using a heated massage chair may also help aging adults experience better mobility and flexibility, which is important for preventing falls.
Massage recliner chairs may help promote better sleep in elderly people with insomnia and may alleviate depression symptoms by improving mood.
Massage Chairs for Stroke Victims
Massage therapy is sometimes recommended for stroke victims to help decrease pain and anxiety and improve mobility after stroke.
Stroke victims often suffer damaging effects after a stroke has impacted their brain. Symptoms can range from numbness, tingling and weakness in the limbs or face muscles. As a result, many stroke victims have mobility challenges and often struggle to walk and perform certain movements. Additionally, many stroke victims feel pain, anxiety and depression in the months and years following a stroke.
Massage chairs for stroke victims can give patients access to the benefits of massage therapy for stroke recovery at home. Using a massage chair, stroke victims can help alleviate stress, tension and pain and boost circulation to affected limbs or sides of the body with impaired mobility.
Note: Massage chairs are not intended to be a primary treatment for stroke recovery. It you are recovering from a stroke, consult your physician before using a massage chair for at-home treatment.
Massage Chair vs. Hydromassage
Both massage chairs and hydrotherapy massage offer similar benefits for relaxation, pain relief and improved quality of life. While the two forms of therapy are similar, they’re also different in their delivery of massage techniques.
Both massage chairs and hydromassage chairs or bathtubs are therapies you can enjoy and benefit from at home or at a clinic or wellness center. Massage chairs use mechanical or robotic devices to knead, roll and tap your body, providing massage techniques that mimic human touch. On the other hand, hydromassage chairs or beds use pressurized jets that deliver streams of water that move up, down and across your body.
Massage Chair vs. Massage Cushion
Both massage therapy chairs and massage cushions provide at-home massage therapy that mimics real human touch. While they provide similar benefits for relaxation and pain relief, massage chairs provide a full body massage experience. Massage chairs massage not only your back and lumbar spine, but they also work on your legs, calves and feet.
Massage cushions, however, generally focus on the back and low back regions. They are portable devices that you can take anywhere and use on any chair.
Massage Chair vs. Real Massage
Massage chairs are designed to recreate the sensations of a real massage. Massage chair technology is highly advanced, delivery massage motions and techniques similar to what a trained massage therapist might use during a real massage.
With a real massage, you’re able to tell the therapist what type of pressure you prefer and which areas to target specifically. Though this is a more customizable approach to receiving a massage, electric massage chairs have numerous personal settings you can apply to get the most beneficial massage you desire, including targeting pressure points, such as with a shiatsu massage chair.
Both a massage chair and a real massage provide a relaxing experience to help alleviate pain and melt away tension.
What Is a 3D Massage Chair?
A 3D massage chair refers to the chair’s ability to deliver a massage in three dimensions. With a 3D massage chair, not only do the massage rollers move up-and-down and side-to-side along and across your body, but they also move forward and back so they can work deeper into the spine and tissues.
Because 3D massage chairs provide massaging motions in three dimensions, you are able to adjust not only where the device massages you but also its level of intensity. With the third dimension, you’re able to make a depth adjustment to either add more pressure by moving the rollers forward or less by pressure by moving the rollers back.
What Is a 4D Massage Chair?
4D massage chairs give you a robust, full-body massage experience with greater adjustment controls and the ability to personalize your massage preferences. With a 4D massage chair, the device rollers move up-and-down, side-to-side and forward and backward. The fourth dimension of settings provided by 4D massage chairs is the speed at which the rollers move.
4D massage chairs allow you to adjust how slowly or quickly the massaging motions are delivered, giving you even more control over your massage experience.
The OHCO M.8 Massage Chair
simulates a human-touch massage with its DeltaWave 4D technology. With the M.8, you can control the massage speed from ultra-slow to rapid acceleration and select from a variety of movements and patterns to receive a relaxing and lifelike massage.
What Is a Shiatsu Massage Chair?
A shiatsu massage chair is designed to deliver the traditional shiatsu massage technique. As one of many forms of massage therapy, shiatsu massage is a Japanese technique of using the fingers and thumbs to apply pressure to localized trigger points. Shiatsu massage helps to stimulate circulation, relieve tension and provide deep relaxation.
With a shiatsu massage chair, you can experience the benefits of a traditional shiatsu massage at home. Shiatsu massage chairs are built with massage technology that mimics the shiatsu technique and delivers targeted pressure to tight spots throughout your back, legs, calves or feet.