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 model, you can enjoy the massage chair benefits. It’s like getting a professional massage at home.
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
- Improve your sleep quality and improved mental clarity, 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 massage chair benefits vs. heat therapy vs. compression? You’ll find out below:
1. 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 tense muscles
- Heat therapy ensures the level of discomfort relief
Summary: Get a massage chair to relax sore muscles. Choose the correct programs and features, such as Shiatsu, air massage, and heat therapy.
2. Reduce Stress, Tension, and Anxiety
There’s a lot of science explaining how they contribute to your stress reduction. Some articles show they lower 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 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 improves blood circulation all over your body. Your heart will pump more effectively instead of working overtime.
- Vibration massage improves 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.
5. 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 tense 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.
6. Boost Immunity
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 or lymphatic 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 system and endocrine systems are connected. Serious hormonal problems like thyroid disorders lead to bad immunity because they increase cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, affects your entire 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 bentire ody produce more white cells.
7. 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.
8. 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 massage 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.
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 one if you have a poor posture or spine misalignment. Opt for features such as vigorous stretches, zero gravity, and rolling to see fast results.
9. Sleep Better
There are plenty of articles on therapeutic massage therapy and improved sleep. Chromotherapy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy are particularly useful. But even a 15-minute vibration can reduce your mental 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 mental 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 chronic pain, and decrease the risk of illness.
10. Reduces symptoms of fibromyalgia
Chairs can be highly effective in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The condition can also cause muscle fatigue, sleep disturbances, and depression.
Chairs can be a powerful tool to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These specially-designed pieces of furniture use rollers and airbags to apply precisely targeted pressure and vibrations that imitate massage therapists’ techniques, which in turn helps with discomfort relief, improves blood flow and alleviates tension from tight muscles.
Additionally, chairs also have heat massage therapy, which can help to increase blood flow and relax the muscles, further reducing pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia.
Chairs provide various massage techniques such as kneading and shiatsu, which can be adjusted to meet personal comfort levels. Even better; the chairs scan your body and focus on those areas that are causing you discomfort or pain. This is incredibly helpful for people with fibromyalgia who typically experience widespread aches in multiple spots of their bodies.
In summary, chairs offer a convenient and effective way to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia by providing targeted pressure and vibration to the affected areas, increasing blood flow, releasing tension, and reducing pain and stiffness. They also have built-in heat therapy and the ability to scan the body and target specific areas of pain and discomfort.
11. Reduced inflammation
With massage chair treatments, various techniques such as kneading, tapping, and rolling are used to encourage increased blood flow and oxygen levels in the affected area. This surge of circulation helps reduce inflammation while providing the body with an opportunity for more rapid self-repair.
Massage chairs can alleviate inflammation and facilitate healing through the assistance of increased blood circulation in the affected areas. The mechanical kneading and rolling motions of these massage chairs help to unburden tension from muscles which reduces discomfort as well as any associated swelling or tenderness. Moreover, massage chairs also bring about a natural elixir for pain relief – endorphins, by encouraging their release throughout the body.
Relieves pain: Chairs can be effective in reducing pain associated with fibromyalgia. The deep tissue massage provided by the chair can help to release tension in the muscles and increase blood flow, which can help to reduce pain. Additionally, the heat therapy feature of chairs can also help to reduce pain by increasing circulation and relaxing the muscles.
Improves range of motion: Chairs can help to improve the range of motion by loosening tense muscles and reducing inflammation. The stretching and range of motion exercises provided by the chair can help to increase flexibility and reduce stiffness in the muscles, which can improve the range of motion.
12. Enhancing Skin Tone
By promoting blood flow and circulation, chairs can help to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin, which can help to improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. This can lead to a more youthful and radiant appearance, as well as a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, massage chairs can help to flush out toxins and impurities from the skin, which can further enhance skin tone and leave the skin looking and feeling refreshed and revitalized.
13. Help to Improve Balance and Coordination
They can help to improve balance by targeting specific muscles and joints that may be affected by fibromyalgia. The chair’s rollers and airbags can help to stimulate these areas, which can help to improve flexibility and range of motion.
This, in turn, can help to improve balance and coordination, making it easier for sufferers to move around and perform daily activities. Additionally, chairs can help to reduce muscle stiffness and tension and improve muscle recovery which can be a contributing factor to poor balance and coordination.
Overall, regular use can help fibromyalgia sufferers to improve their balance and mobility, which can lead to a better quality of life.
Do Massage Chairs Have Medical Benefits?
Yes, chairs have medical benefits. All the health benefits of chairs mentioned above affect your health positively. Most of them are proven through research, while other massage chair benefits are proven through the experiences of people like you.
What about the disadvantage of 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 of massage chairs. 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 chair 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
- Do 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 the 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 regular 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 regular massages. Chairs’ sudden recoil, lactic acid, and blood flow have been proven to be extremely uncomfortable, especially for people with arthritis and lower back pain. Chairs can pull people’s chairs back up on their own, posing a serious risk to their wrists, shoulders, and neck.
Many 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 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 stiff neck problems 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.
Do Massage Chairs Help You Lose Weight?
Regular muscle-toning exercise can help you achieve a more flexible body type and eventually aid weight loss. However, a sitting position for hours every day can also lead to a flabby midsection. So, here is some positive news for you! A recent study conducted at the Edinburgh Caledonian University by researchers found that chairs can help you lose weight without even knowing it!
How Does The Study Work? The researchers found that when people sat in massage chairs for long periods of time, they lost about three pounds. The study took place over the course of 6 months and involved close to 40 people who sat in chairs for as little as 10 minutes every other day for 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Doctors Recommend Massage Chairs?
Massage chairs have become increasingly popular as a means of promoting relaxation and relieving muscle tension and pain. While massage chairs may offer some benefits, it is important to note that they are not a substitute for medical treatment or advice. While some doctors may recommend massage therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, there is limited research on the effectiveness of massage chairs specifically. As with any health-related decision, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider before using a massage chair or any other form of therapy.
What Are the Benefits of Massage Chair After Workout?
It is a perfect way to top off your workout. Not only does it help relax and soothe sore muscles, but it also improves blood circulation which helps reduce stiffness and pain. It’s a great way to treat yourself after pushing your body hard during exercise! Massage chairs are amazing tools for improving flexibility and range of motion, as they help to manipulate muscle tissue and joint movement.
They can also be incredibly helpful in reducing swelling or inflammation after strenuous workouts. Plus, massage chairs provide much-needed stress relief which is essential to maintaining overall health and well-being. Remember, massage chairs should not be used to replace any medical treatment or advice.
When it comes to making decisions about your health and well-being, the best practice is always to speak with a healthcare provider first before using a massage chair or any other form of therapy.
Is Massage Chair Good for Circulation?
Yes, massage chairs can be beneficial for circulation, and their effects are supported by scientific research. Circulation refers to the flow of blood throughout the body, which is crucial for delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells while removing waste products. Massage chairs can enhance circulation through several mechanisms:
- Muscle Relaxation: Massage chairs use mechanical rollers, airbags, and vibrations to apply pressure to muscles. This action helps relax and loosen tight muscles, reducing constriction in blood vessels and improving blood flow.
- Enhanced Blood Flow: The kneading and rolling movements of massage chairs stimulate blood vessels and encourage the blood to move more efficiently through the body. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with poor circulation.
- Reduced Blood Pressure: Regular use of massage chairs has been associated with reduced blood pressure. Lower blood pressure can decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and enhance overall circulatory health.
- Improved Lymphatic Flow: Massage chairs can also promote the flow of lymph, a clear fluid that plays a vital role in the immune system. Enhancing lymphatic circulation helps remove toxins and waste products from the body.
- Stress Reduction: Massage chairs can induce relaxation and reduce stress. Stress is known to constrict blood vessels and hinder circulation, so stress reduction can have a positive impact on overall circulatory health.
In conclusion, massage chairs can indeed be good for circulation, as they promote muscle relaxation, enhance blood flow, reduce blood pressure, improve lymphatic flow, and reduce stress. However, it’s essential to use them in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional if you have underlying health conditions to ensure that a massage chair is a safe and effective addition to your circulatory health regimen.
Do Massage Chairs Lower Blood Pressure?
Massage chairs can contribute to the lowering of blood pressure, although the extent of the reduction may vary from person to person. This effect is linked to several physiological responses induced by massage chair therapy, which have been supported by scientific studies:
- Relaxation Response: When individuals use massage chairs, they typically experience a deep sense of relaxation. This relaxation response triggers the release of endorphins and reduces the production of stress hormones like cortisol. As stress levels decrease, blood vessels tend to dilate, allowing for improved blood flow and a reduction in blood pressure.
- Vasodilation: The mechanical actions of massage chairs, such as kneading and rolling motions, exert pressure on muscle tissues. This pressure stimulates the release of nitric oxide, a molecule that causes blood vessels to expand or dilate. As the blood vessels widen, resistance to blood flow decreases, resulting in a drop in blood pressure.
- Reduced Sympathetic Nervous System Activity: Massage chair therapy has been associated with a decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, which can elevate blood pressure. By calming this response, massage chairs help maintain a more balanced and lower blood pressure.
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 improve sleep quality; you can think better, can be healthier, and reduce body aches and pain. Why wouldn’t you get your own massage chair?