Massage chairs have been around for decades and continue to be in high demand. In fact, we have all been in shopping centers that have their own massage chairs to use for a coin or two, for about 10 to 15 minutes of glorious relaxation. But what is it about massage chairs that feel so good?
The truth is that generally speaking, there are multiple things that can make a massage chair feel good. The big ones that we have all seen for public use generally vibrate and are just comfortable chairs that offer an excellent moment or two to relax in the middle of a very busy center. However, genuinely good massage chairs offer so much more.
A good massage chair can do everything from providing deep, efficient massages (by using massage balls that move around the chair) to heating up to a comfortable degree, offering you warmth and relaxing massages.
How do massage chairs work?
There are multiple types of massage chairs, from ones that only use vibrating motors to those that have specially designed rollers that mimic a massage therapist’s movements.
The more advanced massage chairs use massage balls, or rollers, to move in particular variable patterns, targeting the areas that the user wishes to be addressed. The pressure, as well as the patterns of these rollers, can be modified to an extent, with the goal being to provide the user with the massage that is perfect for their needs (i.e. pain relief, relaxation, muscle stimulation, etc.).
The best brands of massage chairs also commonly use airbags that are stored in the arm and leg sections of the chair that inflate and deflate, squeezing the arms and legs gently to stimulate and relax them.
Finally, certain kinds of motors can also be installed with the idea of creating the ‘karate chop’ effect on the user when desired.
For a more intense massage and relaxation period, zero gravity massage chairs also exist. These chairs recline to a certain angle, to the point where the user’s feet are raised above their heart level. This angle is also known as the neutral body position. It is the ideal position for relaxation as the user’s body weight is distributed evenly throughout their body, and the blood circulation improves.
Are massage chairs as good as professional massage therapists?
If you are considering buying a massage chair, then you will naturally be wondering whether massage chairs are as good as professional massage therapists.
In order to discern whether a massage chair is worth buying, it is important to understand first of all that no machine will ever be able to replace a professional massage therapist’s human touch. A professionally trained therapist will be able to detect things in the body that a machine simply cannot.
By detecting these points, the massage therapist will be able better to adapt their massage to their patient’s needs. Since they are in control of the session, they are also better placed to determine when the massage should end. A machine will continue going until you tell it not to, which sadly, unless you know exactly what you need, could mean that they either do not do enough to help, or they do too much, thus potentially causing damage.
That said, that does not mean that massage chairs are not worth it. Not everyone has the time, money, or way of getting to a massage therapist when they need one. Having your own massage chair in your house means that you will be able to use it when you want, no matter your attire, timetable, or budget.
Massage chairs have also come a long way since their invention and are now able to offer practically professional standard massages. The high-quality massage chairs come with a wider range of options regarding the massage patterns and pressures. This means, as long as you know what you like and what you need, you can have the perfect massage from the comfort of your own home.
In the long run, having a massage chair is the ideal option for many people, as it can, in some ways, offer more relaxation and can be used whenever, wherever, and by whoever needs it.
What to look for in a massage chair
Not all massage chairs are the same, and in order to ensure that you are getting everything that you pay for, it is essential to take the time to find the right chair for you. You will need to see various things before committing to a massage chair, as they are not cheap and will only work for you if they have been designed for your needs.
Here are a few things you need to consider before buying your massage chair:
Although we rarely consider this to be relevant when buying an armchair, in actual fact, your height and the height of the chair play a very big role in its efficiency. If your massage chair is too small for your height, then no matter how good the settings are, they will not have been made for your body and will therefore not work on you. This means you will need to take the time to sit in a few chairs before choosing the one for you!
We all know that two sofas can feel very different, as can two desk chairs, dining chairs, etc. Well, the same goes for massage chairs. Even if the massage settings are great, if you are not completely comfortable in the chair, then it will not be as relaxing as you might hope.
Generally speaking, most massage chairs come with approximately the same pressure settings, ranging from low to medium-high pressure. That being said, you should enquire about the available pressure settings in the chairs that interest you to ensure that the setting that you will most likely use frequently is available.
Massage pattern settings
Different massage chairs do come with different patterns. As you can imagine, the bigger the brand, the more massage patterns are usually available. That being the case, it is always wise to test a few of the patterns available to ensure you are fully content with the available options.
Some massage chairs do come with heating systems. The added heat can help a great deal with pain relief and with general relaxation. However, not all massage chairs do come with this option, so if it is of interest to you, then do enquire about the heating mechanisms before buying the chair.
The quality of your chair is imperative for its success, as is the case with all machines. Massage chairs come from various brands, in various designs and at various prices. However, a good massage chair is generally not very cheap and is an investment. In order to ensure that you are spending your money wisely, it is imperative to check the quality of the chair (everything from the heating systems, to the motors, even to the fabric).
As mentioned, massage chairs do come in a very wide price range. Finding the right fit for your budget should be relatively easy; however, low-cost massage chairs are prone to breaking down quickly and not being very relaxing. It could be worth taking the time to find the right chair for you and waiting a little longer for the right budget than investing in something that will not last.