Generally speaking, massage chairs aren’t bad. In fact, when used properly, they can do a lot of good! They are primarily used to help the user to relax, relieve tension and pressure, and to reduce pain. When used improperly, massage chairs can indeed cause pain, injuries, and other negative effects.
Here are a few things that you will need to bear in mind before using your massage chair.
Negative effects of massage chairs
Although these are extremely rare and will only occur in certain circumstances, you can indeed get injured by using your massage chair. The main source of injuries from massage chairs comes from improper use. Although massage chairs are meant to relax your body and ease your pain, using them wrong can lead to injury or even worsen a pre-existing injury or source of pain.
In order to avoid any injury, it is essential to always read the manufacturer’s guidelines about how to use the massage chair and only ever to use it for massages. Your massage chair has been specifically designed to massage you when you like. However, it was not designed to be an office chair, a gaming chair, or even a general use chair. Therefore, you should only use it for these purposes.
Although having a massage is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable thing, you should not do it too much nor for too long. The truth is that overindulging in your massages in your massage chair can easily lead to tiredness after your session. Your muscles will have been so worked from the massage that they may even be sore.
This is especially common when using high-pressure settings for extended periods of time. It is always best to get your body used to smaller sessions and see how it handles it before allowing yourself to undergo longer sessions.
Blood circulation issues
Generally speaking, massages are known for helping blood circulation as they can stimulate lymph nodes, thus relieving muscle tension. In certain positions, such as the neutral body position, massage chairs can help blood circulation by relieving pressure off of the body.
However, this isn’t always a good thing.
For people with circulation issues, including blood clots and vein thrombosis, it is always best to consult a doctor before using a massage chair to ensure that the massage from the chair will not worsen the blood condition.
Massage chairs can also be dangerous for those with low blood pressure. Since the massage is there in part to relax you, it will naturally reduce your blood pressure. If you suffer from low blood pressure, then using a massage chair could be a mistake. Again, you should always consult your doctor before using a massage chair.
Although irritation problems are not severe issues, they can be relatively frequent and annoying! Skin irritations can occur from using your massage chair, especially in high-pressure settings, in the same area, repeatedly. Naturally, the heavy rubbing from the chair on the same specific area for long periods of time is bound to damage and even irritate your skin.
Thankfully, these kinds of skin irritations are relatively mild and should leave after a few days. Of course, in order for them to heal properly and quickly, it is essential to stop using the massage chair during your recovery and treat the irritations properly. It would also be wise to avoid using the massage chair in the same way as before repeatedly!
Bruises and muscle pain
Bruises and muscle pain are relatively uncommon from using massage chairs; however, they can happen. Bruises can be common issues for people with soft skin. It is usually a problem for elderly people, but it can occur in younger people too.
Either way, if you do have soft skin, then start using your massage chair for short periods of time and on low settings. It would also be wise to consult your doctor if you have noticed bruising or pain before using it again!
The same goes for muscles. Weaker muscles are bound to get injured easier than stronger muscles, and a high-pressure massage would be dangerous for weaker muscles.
Although this isn’t a huge issue, it can become a problem and is worth remembering. Since massages are meant to relieve stress and reduce pain and even relax muscles, your body will be in a very relaxed and slow mode by the time you get out of the chair.
Mostly, this is a good thing, as it means that your body is continuing in a relaxed state. As time goes by, your body will gently return to its usual mode, thus accumulating the stress and pains that you need the massage chair for again!
However, following a massage in your chair, it is always best to allow your body to continue in that relaxed mode and take things easy. You will risk hurting yourself if you push your body back into an aggressive, highly active mode.
Can massage chairs be painful?
If used incorrectly, massage chairs can indeed be painful.
Although massage chairs are made to help everyone relax and even relieve pain, different chairs can be used in different ways, and different bodies need different things.
First, having a massage chair that is set for your height and weight is essential. Although we tend to assume that a chair is just a chair, a massage chair will only actually benefit you if it has been made for your body. The placement of the massage balls with regard to your height will have a huge impact on the massage chair’s efficiency and your comfort. If they are in an uncomfortable position for you, then you are bound to feel pain.
They can also become painful if used for prolonged amounts of time in a high-pressure setting. Of course, if a high-pressure setting is what you need and enjoys, then, by all means, use it; however, you should remember to use it wisely, i.e., for a shorter amount of time and less frequently.
Finally, for those that are frail with soft skin and weaker muscles, massage chairs can be quite painful. They can cause skin irritations, bruises and muscle pain. However, if used properly and with the recommended settings and usage time, then a massage chair can be more beneficial for frailer people than harmful.
Can massage chairs be harmful?
As was previously mentioned, massage chairs can be harmful if improperly used. If used for prolonged amounts of time in a high setting, they can cause certain injuries, especially to those who should not experience such high-pressure rubbing.
It can also be harmful even to perfectly healthy people if again sued for prolonged amounts of time at a high pressure.
It is important to remember that massage chairs use strong friction between their features (massage balls, airbags and occasionally heating systems) and the body.
Any kind of friction with the body can cause harm at some point and to a certain degree, and so, it is essential to remember to use the massage chair wisely and with the recommendations of the manufacturer and of your doctor.