So, what’s the big deal about massage chairs, anyway? Massage has been proven in numerous medical studies to have a tremendous impact on our bodies and our lives. Not only does it help us relax, but it can reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and pain, and release pain-killing endorphin hormones for a feeling of wellness.
Health Benefits of Massage
According to the Mayo Clinic, proven benefits of massage include reducing stress, pain, and muscle tissue. But it may also be beneficial to people with the following health conditions:
- Digestive disorders
- Stress-related insomnia
- Myofacial syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Ease depression
- Relax dementia patients
- Increase sleep quality
Massage can help to lower blood pressure, increase circulation, and improve fluid flow through your lymphatic system. Massage has even been proven to benefit animals; many owners of performance horses have their own equine massage therapists on their staff. Properly done, massage can even reduce postoperative pain and improve balance in older adults.
The American Massage Therapy Association lists on their website 25 Reasons to Get a Massage, and they cover many of the above-mentioned conditions, as well as some new ones.
Common Types of Massage
There are numerous types of massage, but some of the more popular styles are discussed in detail below.
Swedish massage uses long strokes, circular motions, tapping, and vibration to produce a gentle massage experience. This form of massage can reduce pain, increase performance, and even improve your posture.
This technique uses deeper pressure to target not only muscle but connective tissues as well. It can help with muscle damage associated with injuries.
This Japanese technique was borrowed from China in antiquity, and is part of an entire mind, body, and soul improvement lifestyle. The therapist uses finger and thumb pressure to manipulate trigger or acupressure points.
What Can You Get from a Massage Chair?
If you’ve already been using massage as a form of your health and wellness care, but want to look for a massage chair, you might be wondering what you can get from it that you can’t from your therapist.
First, a home massage chair means you can experience the benefit of massage without going to see your therapist. It’s always there, and you don’t have to work around your schedule or that of your therapist. This means you can even enjoy a massage in the middle of the night.
Many massage chairs also offer heat options, so you can combine the benefits of massage with the relaxing properties of heat for a better massage experience.
Some massage chairs also offer a zero-gravity option, which raises your legs above your torso. This can give you the extra benefit of spinal decompression to overcome the daily stress of gravity compressing on your spine.
Special Features of Massage Chairs
Some massage chairs offer heat, and others claim to offer a real, human feel to the massage (achieved by coupling rollers with inflatable airbags). Upper-end models use 3D scanning technology to identify your problem areas. This technology also lets the unit identify which part of the body its working on so it can adjust itself accordingly.
The Kahuna Massage LM6800 Zero Gravity is even FDA approved as a medical device.
Types of Massage Chairs
There are several varieties of home massage chairs. These include full-body Shiatsu Chairs, Perfect Fit, iJOY, BestMassage, Kahuna, and Osaki. Each of these chairs have their own features, advantages, and disadvantages.
Buying a Massage Chair
Choosing a massage chair is a massive decision. They’re not a cheap investment, and many of them won’t double as a TV-watching recliner. A massage chair will require its own dedicated space in your home, and you must make certain you have enough room for the chair to open up and recline.
Research the numerous types of massage chairs, and, more importantly, read reviews about these chairs to see what kind of experience other users have had. Check into the companies selling the chairs to find out what reputation they have. Learn about the warranty information each chair comes with. If you have questions, contact the company; a reputable company should have customer service that are willing to answer any questions you might have.