More and more people are buying massage chairs, but are they really beneficial? Is this just the newest fad? If you’re like most people, you don’t want to waste your money.
I did all the research, so you don’t have to. I offer health recommendations every day, and I read all the newest studies. Massage chairs are increasingly the focus of scientists asking whether they work or not.
Now you have access to all that information. Read along to find out if massage chairs are good for your health, how they work, and when you shouldn’t use them.
Are Massage Chairs Good for Your Health?
They are great for your health. Many health professionals recommend best models to their clients (full article).
Your doctor could recommend you a professional massage if:
- You have chronic back pain
- You’ve been through a surgery
- You have neuropathy
- You face chronic stress
- You have poor circulation
If you purchase the right chair, you can enjoy the benefits of professional hand massages and more.
A good chair will offer:
- Relief from your back pain thanks to an effective combination of Shiatsu and heat
- Increased mobility and flexibility after your surgery thanks to different programs
- Decreased neuropathy pain if you have diabetes, thanks to calf and foot option
- Better sleep and improved mental acuity, especially if you choose a chair with chromotherapy and aromatherapy on top of soothing body massage options
- Improved circulation if you opt for air massage, vibration massage, and heat therapy
SUMMARY: They are good for your health if you choose one that fits your needs. You may need vibration massages for relaxation, but deep Shiatsu massages are better if you have chronic pain.
9 Massage Chair Health Benefits You Can’t Miss
Getting a chair changed my life, and it can change yours. If you’re like most people who work a 9-to-5 job, you might have achy muscles, a high level of stress, or a bad back.
Choosing a good chair will help you get through the pain. You will feel relaxed, more flexible, and pain-free. You might even correct your posture.
But what are the benefits of massage chairs vs. heat therapy vs. compression? You’ll find out below:
Relax and Loosen Sore Muscles
If your job requires you to stand or if you have post-workout muscle soreness, that’s your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong.
A chair will help you relax tired muscles, but it’s important to choose the right program:
- The deep-tissue Shiatsu technique deals with your painful knots
- Compression massages loosen your tight muscles
- Heat therapy ensures the level of pain
Summary: Get a massage chair to relax sore muscles. Choose the correct programs and features, such as Shiatsu, air massage, and heat therapy.
Reduce Stress, Tension, and Anxiety
There’s a lot of science explaining how they contribute to your stress reduction. Some articles show them reduce your blood pressure and cortisol levels.
A recent study explains that even a 10-minute chair massage in the workplace reduces your stress considerably. That way, you can do your assignments better and faster.
A lot of companies now have relaxation rooms where you can chill out with a quick massage. If you’re too tense or are not in a problem-solving mood, this massage gets you back on track.
Summary: A massage chair is a good investment if you suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression. These chairs reduce your stress hormones and your blood pressure to stabilize your mood.
Improve Your Mood
Mental health issues affect tens of millions of people every year, but only 50% receive treatment. You might be one of them.
For instance, if you’re pregnant or a new parent, a 2019 study shows that a good massage chair can improve your mood and reduce your anxiety.
Moreover, a 2009 study shows that your anxiety level decreases, and your work performance increase even after a short 15-minute massage.
Chairs improve your mood because:
- Your delta waves increase, so you’re more relaxed. Delta waves are usually through the roof when you’re in a deep sleep. Therefore, a massage chair puts you in the same state of relaxation as if you were sleeping.
- Your alpha and beta waves decrease, so you’re more alert.
- Your cortisol levels decrease, so you’re less stressed.
- You get more happiness hormones, aka serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin, and dopamine.
Summary: If you have mood swings, get a massage chair to improve your brain health and to stabilize your hormones.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
They improve your blood circulation and reduce your blood pressure.
Choose the right features for the job to see improvements in your cardiovascular health:
- Deep-tissue Shiatsu massages disperse your painful knots and diminish muscle strain. But did you know that overall muscle spasm/muscle strain is linked to your high blood pressure? One 2008 study shows that as Shiatsu nodes push more venous blood to your heart, your BP can drop as much as 10 mm Hg.
- Zero gravity massages recline your back and lift your knees over your heart level. This position increases blood circulation all over your body. Your heart will pump more effectively instead of working overtime.
- Vibration massages improve blood circulation to your limbs if you have neuropathy or if you are bedridden.
If you don’t have cardiac issues yet, massage chairs will help you prevent them. Stress increases the risk of heart problems, but massage reduces stress. When your stress levels are normal, your blood pressure is down. A good massage makes you feel like returning from the spa.
Summary: They improve your existing cardiovascular issues and decrease the risk of heart problems. It’s a good idea to get a massage chair whether you’re suffering from heart disorders or not.
Manage Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain plagues millions of Americans. If you have a desk job or poor posture, you probably experience lumbar pain.
Help you because:
- Rolling and deep-tissue Shiatsu eliminate painful nodes. Studies show these are the most efficient massage chair features against back pain.
- Vibration massages loosen sore muscles.
- Lumbar heat therapy dilates your veins and arteries to reduce swelling.
- The full-body stretch takes the pressure off compressed discs.
Summary: Through features like Shiatsu, vibration, heat, and stretches, massage chairs loosen your muscles and reduce your pain. If you have sciatica or compressed discs, getting a massage chair will help.
Many articles suggest that massage chairs can increase the white blood cells your body produces. These cells are the soldiers your body sends to attack pathogens when you’re in distress. They are your body’s immune system.
As you produce more lymphocytes, you’re more resistant to illness. You can fight common afflictions like colds, but you’re also stronger against chronic conditions.
Health professionals argue that regular massage improves your endocrine system too. Your immune and endocrine systems are connected. Serious hormonal problems like thyroid disorders lead to bad immunity because they increase cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, affects your body’s response to pathogens. Luckily, massage chairs take care of that.
Summary: If you’re facing chronic illness or get sick frequently, getting a massage chair helps your body produce more white cells.
Generate More Flexibility
Help you become more flexible if:
- You’re doing a lot of intense exercising, like strength training or HIIT
- You’re bed-ridden
- You have joint problems
- You’re recovering after surgery
A good massage increases your mobility because:
- You reduce the intensity and number of your muscle spasms
- Your muscles are more relaxed and less sore
- Your joints and muscles are less swollen
Summary: They increase your flexibility because they loosen your muscles and decrease swelling. Get a massage chair if you feel you have a decreased range of motion.
Decompress and Improve Spine Alignment
You can relieve compressed spinal discs and improve your spine alignment because:
- Zero gravity takes the pressure off your spine
- Rolling and kneading massages realign your spinal discs
- Heat therapy reduces swelling
Features like IT-8500’s Seat Sway are specially designed for spinal alignment. Kahuna LM6800’s vigorous stretches pull on your limbs to decompress your spine. It’s just a matter of choosing the right chair for your needs.
Massage chairs will improve your posture as a result of correcting spinal misalignments. As you maintain the right posture, you will avoid further spinal pressure and the associated pain.
Summary: Get a massage chair if you have a poor posture or spine misalignment. Opt for features such as vigorous stretches, zero gravity, and rolling to see fast results.
There are plenty of articles on massage therapy and improved sleep. Chromotherapy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy are particularly useful. But even a 15-minute vibration massage can reduce your stress and anxiety to improve your sleep.
- Increase your delta waves for relaxation
- Reduce your beta waves connected to alertness
- Decrease your cortisol levels to calm you down before sleep
- Stabilize melatonin production (the sleep hormone) because they regulate your endocrine system
Summary: Reduce your stress and increase your relaxation after a few weeks of use. The result is you’ll fall asleep faster and have fewer waking episodes during your sleep.
SUMMARY: They are good for your health according to many studies. Get a massage chair if you want to feel more relaxed, reduce your pain, and decrease the risk of illness.
Do Massage Chairs Have Medical Benefits?
Yes, massage chairs have medical benefits. All the health benefits of the models mentioned above affect your health positively. Most of them are proven through research, while other benefits are proven through the experiences of people like you.
What about the disadvantage of massage chairs? These are dangerous if you have:
- Unhealed wounds
- Broken bones
- Serious rashes
- Pinched nerves
- Herniated spinal discs
- Cancer. You can still get a soothing massage if you have cancer, but avoid massaging the primary and secondary sites of the tumor.
SUMMARY: They have numerous medical benefits. They improve your heart health, boost your immunity, and reduce pain. Consult your GP to find out if you can use a unit because they are not suitable for all people.
How Often Should You Use a Massage Chair?
You should use a spine massage chair three to four times per week for pain and stress relief. If you have a prescription, your doctor will tell you how often you should use it. Here is a more detailed guide on how often to use a chair.
Don’t overdo it because you can get a sore back from massage chairs. Limit your sessions to:
- 30 minutes for low-intensity, relaxation massage sessions
- 15 minutes for deep-tissue massage sessions
- 15-20 minutes at a time for zero-gravity massages
SUMMARY: Limit your sessions to 20 minutes per day, 3-4 times per week. Get a recliner with a timer to ensure you’re not overdoing it.
Massage Chair vs Massage Therapist
Owning a massage chair is not the same as visiting your therapist. But it can be if you choose the right model and if you know what your body needs.
Let’s see what the differences between these two practices are and which is better for your needs.
Choose a massage therapist if:
- You don’t think it’s a hassle to visit your therapist
- You want some friendly interaction
- You’re okay with being touched. Human touch releases endorphins that lower stress, but some people might not be comfortable with that.
- You have the budget for it
- You’re okay with knowing that, sometimes, your therapist might not be on top of his or her game
- You want someone who knows which techniques to apply and how to combine them for best results
- You want customized massages depending on your body’s feedback
Choose a massage chair if:
- You’re not really up for human touch or socializing
- You don’t need a professional to decide which muscle groups need attention
- You can’t afford to see your therapist weekly
- You want to choose your own techniques, programs, and massage intensity
- You prefer convenient massages in the privacy of your home, according to your schedule
- You want techniques that a therapist can’t offer, such as zero gravity or heat therapy
- You want to enjoy your own playlist during the massages
- You want predictable results thanks to the advanced technology
SUMMARY: Choose a massage therapist if you’re not sure what you need and if you crave human interaction. Otherwise, get a massage chair if you want more hi-tech options in the privacy of your home.
Negative Effects of Massage Chairs
There is no evidence that massaging chairs is a good way to relieve muscle pain. This doesn’t mean there aren’t possibilities, but massage is far from being a panacea. Here are the top reasons to avoid getting massages. Massage chairs’ sudden recoil, lactic acid, blood flow has been proven to be extremely uncomfortable, especially for people with arthritis and lower back pain. Massage chairs can pull people’s chairs back up on their own, posing a serious risk to their wrists, shoulders, and neck.
Many massage chairs have low-backrest or armrests that might put pressure on the lumbar spine and the spinal discs of the lumbar spine. Back, neck, and shoulder problems can result from using massage chairs incorrectly. If there’s a hard-to-reach spot to rub, it’s easier to pull the massage recliner back down than to manually move it forward. If the massage recliner backs up on its own and causes neck or back pain, it might be best not to have any back or neck pain. The effectiveness of massage is short-lived, and once you stop, you’ll have to start all over again with the dreaded tension headaches and neck and back pain.
Can I Use the Massage Chair Every Day?
It is not recommended to use a massage chair every day. You may cause muscle ruptures and increased pain. Even if your company has a massage recliner for employees, don’t get a massage each time you’re on a break.
Many people who buy massage chairs are tempted to use them multiple times per day. You’re not in any danger if you do that at first. Once the novelty wears off, remember to stick to three-four massage sessions per week.
SUMMARY: Massage chairs should be limited to once every couple of days for health reasons. If you notice acute pain or severe rashes immediately after using the massage recliner, contact your GP.
Can You Sleep in a Massage Chair?
The heated seats and massage functions might not be the typical activity of people shopping for a mattress, but the Haymaker offers a few surprises. “We know we can combine what is really comfortable with what’s really exciting,” McCann said. The Haymaker also includes technology from the other industry hot buttons: sound canceling and anti-glare technology. This means consumers can’t hear the person next to them, and it’s impossible to tell whether the person next to them has fallen asleep.
It’s all part of McCann’s strategy to target the millennials who are going to be moving into this age category, and he wants them to find the Haymaker more than just a place to sleep. The Haymaker also has some features more traditionally found in mattresses, like support for side sleepers. The mattress is meant to adjust to each individual sleeper’s back and hip positions so that they’re supported without compromising comfort. People ask me how good it feels to sleep on something that’s firm, but I’m like, ‘it’s like sleeping on a cloud,'” McCann said.
Are Massage Chairs Good for Your Back?
The average person may only use a massage chair a few times per year. By this measure, most people are better off doing nothing at all than investing in a good one. But the key is to know what to expect from a good one. We’ve outlined six tips on how to find the best massage chair, whether it’s for your home, office, or hotel. As we discussed last week in our video titled “Are Massage Chairs Good for Your Back?” It’s all about whether the pressure is in the right spot. If you ask a guy how good of a massage he gave, he might smile and say, “Good.” But if you ask him how much he had to pay, he might smile and say, “I think it was 15 minutes.” That’s because the right pressure is key. And so are the height and direction of your elbows.
Final Conclusion. Is it Worth Buying a Massage Chair?
Be ready to pay an average of $75 per hour for a massage. A high-end model like Luraco iRobotics 7 costs over $10,000, but you can get good options like Kahuna for around $2,500.
A massage chair will cost you less than a year’s worth of weekly massages. So is it worth buying? Yes, especially considering all the study-proven benefits for your health.
You can sleep better; you can think better, you can be healthier, and reduce body aches and pain. Why wouldn’t you get a massage chair?