7 Best Massage Chairs

best massage chair

After a hard day at work or a restless night’s sleep, many people have stiff muscles, sore backs, and generalized muscle tension. If this is you, you’ll want to consider buying one of the best massage chairs on the market. Ideally, this would involve the help of a massage therapist (who can work on all of the muscles); however, sometimes you need immediate relief, preferably in the comfort of your own home. This is what would make the purchase of one of the best massage chairs a cost-effective and helpful thing to do.

According to the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians, massage chairs are nearly as helpful in the management of musculoskeletal pain and tension as massage therapy using a massage therapist. Massage chairs have many benefits that go beyond the obvious benefit of helping you feel better after just a few minutes of massage chair therapy. The biggest advantage of a massage chair is that it can be used in your home at any time that is convenient for you.

Massage chairs help soothe sore muscles and help you relax your body so that the muscle tension you might be experiencing can be relieved. If you have a strained back or a pulled muscle in your neck, back, or legs, massage chairs can improve the circulation to these muscles and aid in the natural repair necessary for the healing process to occur.

Another benefit of massage chair therapy is that it can decrease the pressure on your nerves and can aid in the alignment of the spine. Choose a reclining massage chair that will put you in a horizontal supine position so that you can let your back and neck stretch out. Misaligned vertebrae have a greater chance of becoming realigned when you ar reclining, taking the pressure off of the major nerves supplying the trunk and extremities. The massaging action of the chair can lengthen the spine, can allow the vertebrae to return to their natural state, and can decrease pressure on the major nerve roots exiting the spine.

Many of the best massage chairs on the market will be very relaxing, allowing relaxation of the major muscle groups, which relieves muscle pain and tension. This will improve your posture, which will provide sustained pain relief even after the massage session is over with. Good posture places the least amount of stress on the muscle groups so you can maintain better balance and decreased strain on the major muscles. This provides lasting pain relief.

Massage chairs are good stress-relievers. A prolonged massage chair treatment will improve your emotional well-being, which has a positive effect on your overall health. With less stress, you will sleep better, have improvements in your blood pressure, and will have better digestion. The levels of endogenous corticosteroids can be reduced after having a massage chair session, which will keep both your blood pressure and blood sugar in check.

Your massage chair will warm your muscles and improve your overall circulatory status. Better circulation means more oxygen is delivered to your vital organs and the periphery of your body. Toxins are more effectively removed from the muscles and you have a decreased chance of straining your muscles or having excess muscle tension as you go about your daily activities.

Massage chair sessions can stimulate the release of endogenous endorphins in the body. Endorphins are your “feel-good” neurotransmitters that help you feel mentally well, alert, and happy. These emotional changes can be seen with even one session of massage therapy and will last for several hours after you use your massage chair.

What you really need is to look at the best massage chairs on the market, look for the features you think will help you the most, and buy the massage chair that most appeals to your needs. Each massage chair has its own unique features, pros and cons of purchasing one, and pricing that may or may not fit your budget. Keep in mind that the best massage chair is not necessarily the most expensive one so you need to buy the chair that best suits your personal needs, regardless of the price. This guide will help you determine which of the best massage chairs is most likely to help your symptoms and which ones should be avoided.

Comparison Table for the Best Massage Chairs

This comparison table will help you look at the various massage chairs available on the market. Compare each of the main features side-by-side so you can tell which one might be the best massage chair for you:

Model Massage Technique Special Features Accessories
Real Relax Full Body Massage Chair Recliner 4 preset automatic different massage programs 50 air bags; Zero-gravity surround space capsule Built-In Waist Heater
Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 3D robotic massage; 9 automatic and unlimited customizable programs 3-layer foot and calf massage; Full body heat Removable foot pad; MP3 music system
Kahuna Massage Chair L-Track massage system; 3 stages of Zero Gravity Limited warranty for 3 years; Special yoga stretching programs Extra foot padding. Remote holder
Kahuna Superior Massage Chair 9 Auto programs including 4 special programs Accommodates all body types; Whole or partial body massage Revised remote controller
Relaxonchair MK-II Plus Massage Chair Full body massage with rollers Zero-gravity massage; Computerized body scanning One hand operation remote controller
Osaki OS-4000 Massage Chair Six unique Pre-Set programs Auto timer setting from 5-30 min Wireless remote
Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair Proprietary inada dream wave technology and Shiatzu massage Morning and nighttime programs None

Product Reviews for the Best Massage Chairs

1. Electric Real Relax Massaging Chair Recliner ― Lowest price model

Electric Real Relax Massaging Chair

This massage chair retails for more than a thousand dollars but is on sale for much less than that through Amazon.com. It comes with a remote control so the user can set the massage type and the strength of the massage. It is easily moveable as it comes with wheels on the back of the chair. It’s one of the more light-weight models at only two hundred pounds. It has four pre-set massage types so you can have a variety of different massage techniques in your massage session. It requires assembly but comes with an instructional video. Expect to have it take a half hour to put together. This model is suitable for people of all sizes and can accommodate people who are under 6.1 feet tall and under 440 pounds. It is made from “Pu leather” so it is lush in appearance and simple to clean.

This is a no-frills model that only has four pre-set massage programs, none of which are customizable so you may not like the limited set of choices. It doesn’t come with a warming feature so the leather design might be cold until the massage gets going. People taller than 6.1 feet may find the chair is too small for them as it works only on people shorter than that.
  • This is the cheapest among the best massage chairs you can find.
  • It’s made from synthetic leather.
  • It’s lightweight and moveable.
  • It has no heat features, unlike other brands.
  • It has only four pre-set programs that aren’t customizable.
  • It may be too small for tall people.
  • It doesn’t have any special features for leg and arm massaging.
  • It needs a lot of assembly.

2. Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 Medical Massage Chair – One of the priciest models on the market

Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7

This model is the second-highest priced model so it isn’t for everyone. It has a body shape detection feature that models the massage according to your body type. It not only performs an excellent lumbosacral and neck massage but it does a three-layer foot and calf massage. There are double rollers on the bottom that specifically give you a good foot massage while your back is being worked on. It also provides for an acupuncture-inspired arm massage. The seat swivels so your head, shoulders, legs, arms, and feet all get massaged at the same time. It is made from genuine leather so it looks nice in any room of the house.

It comes complete with an MP3 player that can entertain you while you are being massaged. It has a zero-gravity feature that allows you to lie horizontally while being massaged. There are nine different pre-programmed massage techniques and there is the availability of customizable programming so you get the massage you really want. It is FDA-approved as a device for that is both safe and helpful for back and neck pain. It has five programmed memory settings so you can design your own massage program and save it from use to use. There are five levels of intensity so you can have a mild or intense massage experience.

For the extreme price you pay for this luxury massage chair, it really doesn’t have a lot of special features. It has customizable massage programming but doesn’t have a heating feature so you may feel cold as the chair is warming up. There is no timer and it doesn’t have any special massage type other than its preset features.
  • It has both preset and customizable massage experiences.
  • It is made of genuine leather so it looks nice and is easy to clean.
  • It has different levels of intensity so your massage can be mild or intense.
  • It massages the feet and arms along with the neck and back.
  • It comes with an MP3 player so you can listen to music while being massaged.
  • It doesn’t come with any heat features and the leather might initially be cold.
  • It is far more expensive than most other massage chairs.
  • It doesn’t have a timer.

3. Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 – lots of features for the price

Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800

This model has three different levels of zero gravity so you can lie in comfort while your whole body is being massaged. It’s moderately inexpensive when compared to similar massage chairs. It uses an L-track massage system that scans your body with computer technology so it can detect your body size and shape. This makes for a unique experience for every user. It has six separate pre-set massage programs, including programs that allow for stretching of the body, which gives you a better massage experience. This has a one-year parts and labor warranty and a limited three-year warranty for everything else. There is a free youtube.com installation guide.

There is a heating unit or your back so you can have a warm massage. There are two pre-installed foot rollers/pads that are detachable and washable. It is registered with the FDA as an approved medical device. It has four massage rollers for the back and neck, and an air-cell technology that massages your hips, arms, lumbar spine, and back at the same time. It has a space saving design that only needs a three-inch distance from the wall to transition into a zero-gravity position. The air cells are specially programmed to inflate and deflate separately so your body stretches and twists during the massage. It’s relatively light-weight at only 249 pounds. Only the sides need to be attached in the assembly process.

It doesn’t specify the size of person suitable for this device so it may be too small for obese or tall people. It doesn’t come on rollers so it may be difficult to move the chair once it is positioned in the room. It comes in a large box and might not fit through a narrow door. While has a long warranty period, there is only a one-year warranty for all parts and labor. If it breaks after that period of time, you may need to pay a lot for parts and/or labor to fix it. Having it fixed involve shipping it back to the manufacturer, which will be a costly venture.
  • It has a great heating feature so you can have a warm massage.
  • It has a foot rest so you can get your feet massaged while you are having the rest of your body massaged.
  • It uses air cell technology to stretch the spine.
  • It scans your body before doing the massage for a custom-designed massage.
  • It is moderately priced.
  • It doesn’t come on rollers so it may be difficult to move.
  • It doesn’t specify a size limit so it may be too small for obese or tall people.
  • It only makes use of four rollers for the spine so its massaging ability may be limited to just a rolling device for the paraspinal muscles.

4. Kahuna Superior Massage Chair – an advanced model massage chair with more options than most massage chairs

Kahuna Superior Massage Chair

This is an upgraded Kahuna-brand chair that has been improved in the last year so it is more user friendly than older models. It has an LED remote control so you can program in your specified massage. There is a total of nine automated programs, including a yoga stretching massage program, a “fast recovery” massage, pain relief massage, athletic-based massage, and a relaxation-based massage.

Special programs are available for seniors wanting special massage attention, people who work in offices, dynamic sport programming, and massages for golfers. All of the massage positions operate in zero gravity (the horizontal position). This allows for the greatest relaxation of the spine during the massage. There are specialized techniques that include knocking, tapping, kneading, shiatsu massage, and a combination of tapping and knocking. It can perform massage on just a part of the body or the entire body and strongly mimics the human-touch massage technique. It has the capability of massaging patients who are up to six feet, five inches, or who weight up to 320 pounds.

It is a space-saving device that only needs a three-inch clearance away from the wall for it to completely recline for a zero-gravity massage. It makes use of six different rollers that massage the entire body at up to five intensity levels. It also has an air-cell massage design and a heating mechanism so you can have a warm massage. It massages the feet as well as the spine. There is a computerized acupoint detection system that detects the body size for a more customized massage. It has rollers on the side for an arm massage. It has a timer that goes up to 30 minutes and a zippered leg extension that can be removed and washed. There is a white glove service associated with its purchase so it can be installed in your home without any effort on your part.

It’s one of the more expensive models on the market so expect to pay more for it. It has nine preset massage mechanisms but doesn’t have any customizable programming features. It doesn’t say if it comes on rollers so it may be hard to move once it is positioned in the home. It comes with a two-tone black and brown covering, which isn’t very attractive. It isn’t made of leather so it won’t wear as well as a leather device would. It isn’t FDA-approved as a medical device as is true of other similarly-priced models. The timer only goes to 30 minutes, which may be shorter than the length of massage you are looking to have.
  • It has a heating unit built into the device for the option of a warm massage.
  • It has a space-saving feature so it only needs to be three inches from the wall.
  • It has nine programmable massage programs, involving several techniques.
  • It has the capabilities of working for tall and obese individuals.
  • It has an LED remote.
  • It doesn’t have any customizable massage programs so you are limited to the available programs on the device.
  • It only has a 30-minute timer, which may be too short for some individuals.
  • It doesn’t come on wheels so it might be difficult to move once placed.
  • It has a design that isn’t as attractive as other similarly-priced massage chairs.

5. RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full Massage Chair – a good value for the price

RELAXONCHAIR MK-II Plus Full Massage Chair

This massage chair has been recently upgraded and redesigned for better performance. It has a remote control that can be operated with one hand. It has the capabilities for massage of the calves and arms along with the back and neck. There are five specific types of massages that can be performed by the device, including rolling, shiatsu, tapping, kneading, or a combination of tapping and kneading. There are four automatic massage programs but no customized programming features. It has airbags that operate at three different intensity levels. It isn’t very heavy so it can be moved more easily than some other massage chairs.   It is a zero-gravity massage chair so you will lie in a horizontal position during the massage experience.

It is made of synthetic leather, which is easy to clean but is not as plush as a leather chair. There are specialized buttock rollers that provide a nice buttock massage. A computerized body scanning system will define your body size before planning the massage. It knows the exact length of the individual’s spine. There are air-bags in the device that will inflate and deflate in sequence in order to lengthen and stretch the spine. There is a hip massaging feature that keeps the hips in place for a snug massage of the pelvic region in the lower back. There are two heating pads that allow for lower back heating during the massage. Deep tissue massage is available not only for the spine but for the calves, feet, and arms. A bottom spinning roller is used for a foot massage. There is a large remote control that is easy to use. The installation process consists only of three simple steps. It is FDA-approved as a medical device.

It doesn’t have any customizable programming, so you are limited to the massage programs already programmed into the device. It doesn’t have a space-saving feature so it might have to be placed a distance from the wall in order to recline completely. It’s lightweight but doesn’t come with floor rollers for easy movement of the chair. For the price, it’s only made from synthetic leather, while other similarly-priced devices are made from genuine leather. The heating pads are only located in the lumbar spine, which doesn’t give an overall warmth effect.
  • It has a one-hand remote control.
  • It offers five different massaging techniques.
  • It’s light-weight.
  • It has a computerized body scan feature.
  • It has a lumbar heating pad.
  • It massages the feet and the arms as well as the back and neck.
  • The remote control isn’t wireless.
  • It doesn’t have chair rollers for easy movability.
  • It doesn’t have any customizable programming features.
  • It doesn’t have any space-saving features so it may have to be placed far from the wall for reclining.
  • It’s made from synthetic leather.
  • It only has lumbar warming features.

6. Osaki OS-4000 Zero Gravity Executive Fully Body Massage Chair – Large wireless remote

Osaki OS-4000

This is a moderately-priced massage chair but not one of the best massage chairs sold by Amazon.com. It comes in Pu leather for better durability, attractive appearance, and increased comfort. There are six preset programs that are set by a simple, large, wireless, LCD remote. It has a two-stage zero-gravity positioning system, both of which are designed to take the pressure off the feet and lumbar spine. It has an air-cell technology system that allows for the massaging of the shoulders, back, hips, arms, calves, and feet.

It comes with an autotimer that allows for 5-30 minutes of massage length. There are five speed and intensity levels so you can have a light massage or an intense massage. There is a computerized body scan that will detect the size of your body and the length of the spine. The auto leg scan will make adjustments of each user’s leg length for a customized massage. It has a manual mode that allows for Swedish massage, rolling massage, shiatsu massage, kneading, tapping, or a combination. It weighs just 255 pounds and actually has two remotes—one wireless and one on a 1.2 meter-length wire.

This device comes with many nice features but is missing some crucial features that should be expected in a device of this price. It has no heating element so your massage will be cold until it warms up. It offers several massage types but doesn’t offer any customizable programming features, which leave you with only a select number of massage choices. It doesn’t come with bottom rollers so it may be difficult to move around once assembled and it doesn’t have a space-saving feature that would allow you to keep the device next to the wall. It is made from two-tone Pu leather, which isn’t very attractive. It doesn’t specify whether or not it can accommodate tall or obese persons so it may be too small for some users. Its price is somewhat larger for the features you get. It isn’t FDA-approved like some of the pricier models.
  • It has a wired and wireless remote system.
  • It’s light-weight.
  • It massages the shoulders, back, hips, arms, calves, and feet.
  • It has a timer for timed massages.
  • It offers several different massage types.
  • It doesn’t come with a heating device, which is found on similarly-priced items.
  • The timer only goes to thirty minutes.
  • It isn’t very attractive.
  • It doesn’t have a space-saver feature.

7. Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair – By far the priciest massage chair

Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair

This chair costs by far the most of any massage chair on the market so it’s a big purchase that hopefully has the features to make up for the price. It has the largest massage coverage area of any massage chair, providing a 1,200 square-inch surface area massage. Its main technology is an 8-motion system that primarily does shiatsu massage. There is a proprietary stretch and rotation feature that rotates, flexes, and extends the mid-back, hips, and shoulder. It has a specialized youth massage session, which is especially designed for teens aged 14 years and above. There are 8 separate massage programs, including one just for morning and one just for evening. It is made of pure black leather and weighs 324 pounds (shipping weight).

This is an extremely expensive model so that should have more bells and whistles when compared to any of the other models but it really doesn’t deliver. It’s more attractive than most of the rest of the products as it’s made of genuine leather but is very heavy and doesn’t have rollers so movement will be extremely difficult. It doesn’t have a space-saving feature so it might not be easily placed near the wall.

It doesn’t say whether or not it accommodates obese people or tall people so you may spend a lot of money only to find it doesn’t fit you. It’s “youth program” is only for those age 14 or over so you may not be allowed to have young children use the massage chair. It doesn’t have a heating feature, which is available on much cheaper models. It appears you are paying so much just to have genuine leather exterior but not as many features as can be found on other massage chairs.

  • It has a program for youths to get a massage.
  • It’s massage coverage area is the largest of all the models.
  • It has an eight-motion system that mimics a human-touch massage.
  • It’s made of plush, attractive, and easy-to-clean leather.
  • It is by far the most expensive model you can buy.
  • It doesn’t have a heating feature.
  • It doesn’t have a wireless remote control.
  • It’s extremely heavy and doesn’t come on rollers.
  • It doesn’t have a space-saving feature.

The Best Massage Chair Buying Guide

There are a lot of things to look out for when purchasing the best massage chair. Price is the first thing. You have a range of about $1000-$18,000 among the various choices and the best one for you might not be the most expensive one. There are several cheaper models that have many good features that make them more attractive than the more expensive models with fewer features.

There are some things that should affect your purchasing choice. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Body type features. Look for a model that adjusts to different body types, especially if you are obese or very tall. Not all models adjust well for height and weight so you need to look for a model that has this feature. You won’t have the luxury of sitting in your chair if you purchase one online so you need to look carefully at its dimensions and look for a feature that allows for bigger people to use the chair.
  • Heating features. The heating feature is especially attractive and not all massage chairs offer this. Your back, neck, and the rest of your body will be massaged easier when these areas are warm. A cold leather or synthetic leather chair will cause increased tension in your spinal area, which will make the massage less effective. Look for a massage chair with a lumbar or total body heating feature as these will provide the most comfortable massage.
  • Remote control features. The models with a remote control are perhaps preferable to those that don’t have a remote control. Some remote controls are wired, which means you can’t lose them, while others are wireless, which make them easier to use when you are lying down in the chair and want to change up the massage. The only problem with wireless remotes that you can easily lose them.
  • Space-Saver Option. It may be important to you to have a space-saver option, which is a special design that allows the upright chair to be within three inches of the wall and still be able to recline fully into the zero-gravity mode. Chairs that don’t do this need to be set away from the wall and may need to be moved away from the wall in order to use them. A heavy chair that doesn’t have wheels on the bottom may not be able to be moved easily so look for a chair that comes on wheels or has the space-saving mode.
  • Attractiveness. Some chairs are definitely more attractive than others. All look like bulky, over-sized lounging chairs but some come in a nice brown or black color that are more attractive and look more like regular furniture than the two-tone varieties. If you’re looking for a plush, leather model for your living room or den, you should expect to pay a lot more than you would be able to pay for a synthetic leather model. Synthetic leather is definitely the best value for the money but genuine leather holds up better under the extremes of movement and heat that are incurred during massage experience. You will definitely pay for the “leather experience” but these devices will last longer and have better wear-and-tear outcomes than synthetic leather.
  • Massaging area features. The ideal and best of the best massage chairs is one that will massage your entire body. Those that just massage your spine and neck are not as effective as those that massage the arms, shoulders, calves, and feet. Some models come with foot rollers for a simultaneous foot massage and at least one model has a removable cover on these parts so you can wash them when they get dirty.
  • Air cell technology. Air-cell technology is available on some of the models. Air-cell technology allows for models to have multiple air sacs that inflate and deflate along the spine, allowing for stretching and twisting of the spine, which gives you a better massage. Other models come with air cells that cradle the hips and pelvis, keeping your spine and pelvis in proper alignment for the entire massage. You’ll feel enveloped in these air cells so the massage feels like it is directly on the skin, mimicking a hand massage.
  • Computerized technology. Some massage chairs come with computerized technology that measures your spine and body size so the rollers and other massaging parts of the chair can massage you according to the contours and size of your body. These chairs are designed for all body types and allows your massage to be more customizable to your body type. The technology isn’t available on all models and it isn’t necessarily just on the more expensive models either. Look specifically for this feature, especially if you don’t have an “average” body type.
  • Extras. There are a couple of “bells-and-whistles” on some of the devices. One device has an MP3 player that allows you to listen to music while being massaged. They each have different sized motors and different powering requirements. Massage chairs use a lot of power, similar to a hot tub or major appliance. You won’t need a special outlet but, if the electricity isn’t good in your home, you might flip a breaker switch every time you turn the chair on. You also need to consider the noise level. Ask previous purchasers of the device you are interested in about the loudness of the motor. A loud motor won’t give you the relaxing experience you can get from a quiet motor.
  • Programming features. The number of programming features might be important to you. You don’t want a chair that just rolls underneath your body. Look for one that has several preset programs offering shiatsu, kneading, rolling, tapping, and a combination of tapping and kneading. This will give you a variety of choices in massage techniques that mimic a regular massage. Some models have customized programming that allows you to play with different massage techniques in order to find a technique that fits best for you. Some will allow you to save your massage program so you don’t have to recreate it every time.
  • Warranty. As you will be paying a lot of money for your massage chair, having a good warranty is a must. Some will offer parts and labor warranties, with 100 percent warranties for at least a year. These are the best warranties as they will cover for everything. Others will offer longer “limited warranties”. Before purchasing a chair, find out what the warranty coverage is and what’s covered under the warranty. A limited warranty is just that—limited. You’ll want to find out how much you’ll have to pay (including shipping costs) if the device breaks within a limited warranty period.
  • Recline function. The recline function of your massage chair is important. Most chairs feature what they call “Zero Gravity” recline functions. The idea behind this zero-gravity feature is that it is supposed to make you feel as weightless as an astronaut in outer space. The body is reclined and in a neutral position. This places less stress on the heart so the heart rate goes down. It allows you to fully relax and allows all of your body parts to get plenty of circulation. Some recline all the way at a single touch, while others allow you to direct just how much you want to recline—from not reclining very much to a full recline position that is similar to a Lazy Boy or a bed. Research has shown that those people who have their massage in a fully reclining position will have a deeper and more intense massage experience, which is exactly what you are looking for.
  • Timer feature. Having a timer may or may not be important. Few models have a timer that goes beyond thirty minutes and you may want a massage that is longer than that. Having a timer that sets a five-minute massage might be okay for a quick morning massage; however, if you want a long, drawn-out massage, being confined to a thirty-minute time frame may be more than just a little bit annoying.
  • Massage strength. The strength of the massage is, for most individuals, one of the most important features of any massage. A weak massage will leave you still feeling stiff and sore, while a massage that is too strong will cause an increase in muscle soreness. Everyone has their own needs regarding the intensity of their massage so having a massage chair that offers different massage strengths or intensities is a good option to have.   You can experiment with the different settings to find one that fits best for you and that feels the most comfortable after the massage. Some massage chairs have a removable pad on the chair that allows you to muffle the intensity with the pad on or feel the greatest degree of intensity with the pad off. This is just one other way to have a customizable massage experience.

While it sounds obvious, you might want to do some quick measurements before purchasing your massage chair. Some massage chairs come without any assembly but will be so wide that they won’t fit through the door. Others will fit easily through the door but will come in more than one box, taking an instructional video or instruction book in order to put together. Make sure the chair will fit in the room you are trying to put it in.   if it doesn’t have a space-saving feature, it may need to be set away from the wall in order for it to fully recline, so you will want to take this measurement into account.

If you are buying your massage chair online, you will need to look at all of the customer reviews and ask questions about anything the massage chair information section doesn’t cover. Previous and current owners of the massage chair you’re interested in will be able to best answer the practical questions you might want to ask before making a purchase this large. These chairs will come in big boxes and you won’t want to be surprised by a feature you didn’t expect or didn’t like after you’ve removed the chair from the box and after you’ve taken the time to assemble and try out the chair. After all, what will it take to return the chair after you’ve already tried it out and decided it wasn’t for you.

The company itself will be helpful in answering your questions. Find the customer service number of the device in advance of purchasing the chair (if you can locate it) and call them up to ask the basic questions you’ll want to know before purchasing. Find out if they have a customer service number for installation and user questions. Determine if the device is made in the USA or someplace overseas. You might find a better-quality massage chair made in the USA with a better warranty and easier return policy than you’d find in a massage chair made in China. The price on the chair made in China will probably be cheaper but you won’t have the product support, return policy, warranty, and quality of construction you’ll get in a genuine “Made in the USA” massage chair.

Why have a Massage Chair?

Are you still wondering whether or not a massage chair is for you? Let’s talk about that. Massage chairs ideally would take the place of a regular massage you’d get at a massage therapy center or the chiropractor’s office. Most massages in person cost about $60 to $100 per session so you can only afford a few sessions per month. A massage chair is a big investment but you can have a quality massage at any time and it won’t cost you anything. Massage chairs that are good quality will give you a massage that is as good as any you’d get with a human touch massage and, eventually, the chair should pay for itself. You might even have less back pain and body pain as you’ll be able to get your massage more often than you would at a massage center.

Most experts recognize the value of massage therapy for people with low back pain, thoracic back pain, and neck pain. Along with things like chiropractic and other physical therapies for these types of pain, massage has been found to be helpful in the reduction of musculoskeletal tension and spinal stiffness. Besides the immediate benefits to the muscles and improvement of back pain, massage therapy decreases anxiety and improves sleep in patients who have regular massage treatments, such as you can get by doing daily massage treatments with your new massage chair. Massages don’t have to be manual massages to get the benefit of this type of therapy and they may save you from countless hours of pain and possibly having to have surgical intervention for your back pain.

Your massage chair may seem like a luxury item to purchase but, if it benefits everyone in the household and decreases the need for both chiropractic treatments and hands-on massage treatments, you will find that the benefits far outweigh the price you’ll have to pay in order to have daily relief of pain and a relaxing massage session whenever you have the time.

Other benefits you’ll get from a massage chair session will be an improvement in lymphatic and venous blood flow. The manipulation of the muscles, especially with a heating device, will increase the blood flow to these muscles, providing healing oxygen to the muscles, added nutrient flow to the cells, and a reduction in the buildup of metabolic toxins that contribute to muscle soreness. Tissues that have better circulation are more flexible and pain-free than tissues lacking in good circulation.

The massage chair will lengthen the spine and reduce the spasm of the muscles of the back, neck, and extremities. The kneading, tapping, and other maneuvers, will take the tension out of the muscles so they will be more relaxed and much more flexible. This will make all of your daily movements more fluid and free of the pain of muscle tension.

Massages from your massage chair will naturally increase your body’s endorphin levels. Endorphins are neurochemicals that help you feel good. You can feel good both during the massage and for hours afterward because of the relaxation and tension relief that comes from a good massage. Endorphin levels, when elevated, will decrease your psychological anxiety, reduce your perception of pain, and will help you recover from injuries faster.

It should be noted that getting a massage from a massage chair is a low-risk process. You have a very low chance of being injured with a massage chair and, in most cases, the benefits will far outweigh any risk. There are, however, some situations in which you shouldn’t have a chair massage. In these cases, buying any type of massage chair isn’t a viable option for you. These include any time you have a rash or infection of the skin you don’t know the origin of, having an unhealed wound in the area that is being massaged, having recent surgery, being prone to blood clots in the legs, being on blood thinners, having extensive tissue damage in the are being massaged, being a cancer patient on radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or having marked osteoporosis (as an intense massage can put excess pressure on already-weakened long bones or vertebral bodies).

You may have tried a massage chair in the past and might wonder what the fuss is all about. Older models simply rolled rollers over your back and didn’t provide a very profound massage. A lot has changed over the past decade or so. Newer models are much better designed when compared to older models, with specialized massaging techniques, computerized body scanning, and air-cell technology that allows the chair to cradle your entire body so you get a close-fitting, precise massage that feels very similar to a hands-on massage.

Many massage chairs have been designed specifically to give you an effective shiatsu massage or Swedish massage, which are the two most common hands-on massage techniques you’ll find at a massage center. Shiatsu massage therapy involves the use of pressing motions, rotating motions, patting of the body, and rolling sensations that release muscle tension in the most likely tightened areas of muscle tension. A good chair will use each of these movements on your back and neck so you can feel instant relief after the massage is over with. Swedish massage utilizes more gliding motions and kneading techniques. The main goal of this type of massage is to induce better tissue circulation, which promotes the natural healing process.

There are three main components to a good massage chair that you’ll want to pay close attention to in choosing one of the best massage chairs out there:

  1. Motor. The first is the massage chair motors. These are the electronic components of the chair that power the rollers and nodes. The motors ideally should adjust from a mild massage to an intense massage and shouldn’t be so loud as to interfere with your experience. This is where asking other users is helpful as most manufacturers won’t comment on the noise level produce by the motors.
  2. Rollers and nodes. The next component you’ll want to play close attention to are the rollers and nodes themselves. They come in different shapes and sizes that mimic human hands and fingers. Smaller nodes will feel like massaging fingers digging into the sore muscles while larger rollers will stretch the muscles and increase circulation. The ideal massage chair will have adjustable nodes and rollers that can provide the most realistic massage to the areas of the body most needing to be taken care of.
  3. Computerized part. Finally, you’ll want to look at the computerized component of the massage chair. A massage chair that will use computer technology to adjust for your own height, weight, and spine length is probably better than one that doesn’t use this technology. Computer adjustments like this will ensure that the nodes and rollers get to the right areas of the body and with the right intensity, but won’t stick unnaturally into tissue areas that don’t need the prodding.

You may never find a massage chair that fully mimics that of a hands-on massage; however, the latest models have really gone a long way toward giving you a similar massage to one you’d get at a massage center. The best part is that you don’t have to pay out of pocket to get a massage any time you want one and you can get the massage in the comfort of your own home. For most people with musculoskeletal pain, purchasing one of the best massage chairs available on the market is worth this major investment.

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