Read more articles about massage chairs

View top-rated massage chairs

Try a massage chair nearby

Massage Chair Finder Quiz

How useful is a massage chair? [Guide 2024]

The question of whether massage chairs are medically useful is becoming increasingly relevant as more and more people look for ways to improve their health and well-being. This article provides a comprehensive look at the potential medical benefits of massage chairs and highlights how they can help relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote overall health.

Short version of the article: 

massage chair offer a variety of health benefits that make them a wise medical investment. They can help relieve pain, relax muscles, improve blood circulation, reduce stress and promote sleep. Using modern technologies, they offer a practical alternative to traditional massages. While they represent a safe and convenient option for many, it is important to consider safety considerations and individual health conditions. Overall, massage chairs are an effective supplement to preventative health care and offer a cost-effective, accessible method to promote physical and mental well-being. 

Video: Are massage chairs medically useful?

  

Current studies indicating that massage chairs could be medically useful

1. The study, published in the journal Heliyon 2023, examined the impact of a massage chair on neck and shoulder pain in office workers. The results showed that using the massage chair led to a significant reduction in pain. There was a measurable improvement in pressure pain thresholds, although only a small increase in quality of life was observed. The study therefore underlines the effectiveness of massage chairs for relieving neck and shoulder pain in office work.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37767509/

2. The 2020 study "Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of massage chair therapy versus basic physiotherapy in lower back pain patients" examines the medical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of massage chair therapy compared to classic physiotherapy in patients with lower back pain. It shows that massage chairs can be an effective and cheaper alternative for back pain relief, although physiotherapy is superior in some aspects. This suggests that massage chairs can be a useful addition to the medical treatment of back pain

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32195952/

3. The study "The effectiveness of Chair Massage on Stress and Pain in Oncology", published in 2021, examined the effectiveness of chair massage in reducing stress and pain in oncology care. Chair massages have been found to significantly help reduce stress and reduce pain levels. This has a positive impact on the daily activities of care teams and supports the management of work stress and pain in oncology care. The study highlights the medical benefits of massage as a supportive measure in stressful and painful working environments

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34484493/

4. The study, "Massage Chair Sessions: Favorable Effects on Ambulatory Cancer Center Nurses' Perceived Level of Stress, Blood Pressure, and Heart Rate," published in 2019, examined the effects of massage chair sessions on the stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate of nurses at outpatient cancer centers . The results showed a significant reduction in perceived stress levels as well as a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate in the caregivers after the massage chair sessions. These findings highlight the positive role that massage chairs can play in stress reduction and health promotion in high-stress work environments such as oncology

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31322619/

 5. The study "Clinical effects of using a massage chair on stress measures in adults: A pilot randomized controlled trial", published in 2022, examined the long-term effects of using a massage chair on stress factors in adults. The results showed a trend towards reduction in serum cortisol levels and a significant reduction in DHEA-S levels. In addition, participants' perceived health levels and depression rates improved. This study suggests that massage chairs can be used effectively to manage stress

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35339652/

But are massage chairs generally useful?

Massages are now firmly established in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.

The benefits of massage include:

  • Lowering stress levels while promoting relaxation
  • Improving immune function
  • Reducing pain, stiffness and tension in muscles
  • Improvement of blood circulation
  • Decrease in heart rate and blood pressure

The following benefits need further studies to confirm the claimed benefits.

However, several studies have indicated that massage can also help with the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Indigestion
  • headache
  • Insomnia brought on by psychological stress
  • Lower back pain
  • symptoms of nervous disorders
  • Pain in upper back and neck


Important: Despite its positive effect, massage using massage chairs is not intended to replace standard medical treatment.

 

Possible pain relief and muscle relaxation


A key benefit of massage chairs is their impressive ability to provide pain relief and muscle relaxation. Through targeted massage movements you can relieve tension in critical areas such as the neck, back and shoulders. This is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain. The technology built into massage chairs allows specific pain points to be treated with variable intensity, providing customized relief. Through regular use, users can experience a significant reduction in discomfort and an improvement in their mobility.


Possible improvement in blood circulation


Massage chairs actively promote blood circulation through their special massage movements. Improved blood circulation is essential for the regeneration and healing of the body. It transports oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs more efficiently, contributing to faster recovery from muscle injuries and reducing fatigue. In addition, good blood circulation can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and contribute to overall health promotion.



Possible stress relief and psychological well-being


In our fast-paced and often stressful world, the ability to effectively manage stress is crucial to mental well-being. Regular use of a massage chair can significantly help reduce stress. The relaxing effects of massage stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural "feel-good" hormones, which improve mood and reduce anxiety. This hormonal response can also contribute to improved mental health in the long term.


Possible promotion of sleep


The relaxing effect of massage chairs also has positive effects on the quality of sleep. Many users report an improvement in their sleep patterns after regular massage sessions. Relaxing muscles and reducing stress and anxiety create ideal conditions for a peaceful and restful sleep. This is particularly important because good sleep plays a fundamental role in overall health and well-being. Massage chairs can therefore offer an effective, non-medicinal solution to sleep problems.

We admit: Massage chairs didn't really make sense for a long time

Massage chairs have experienced a real boom in recent years. 

Especially during the Corona wedding, when you couldn't go to a masseur, many people resorted to a massage chair. 

However, some people don't think much of massage chairs. 

With good reason, because for a long time massage chairs could not even remotely compete with a real massage. 

Such old-school massage chairs usually only offered a one-size-fits-all program.

Modern massage chairs from brands like NAIPO or ASPRIA, on the other hand, can scan bodies and can be individually adjusted. 

They even offer functions that a normal massage cannot offer: 

The zero gravity function. 

Zero Gravity means "weightlessness". 

In this position, the spine is brought into a position in which it can actually only be brought into space. 

In this way, the spine is greatly relieved.

2. Medical effectiveness of massages: The medical community recognizes that massage plays an important role in the recovery and prevention of physical ailments. In this context, massage chairs have evolved significantly. Modern models are able to imitate traditional massage techniques such as pressure, kneading, tapping and rolling massages. This technological innovation allows massage chairs to contribute to physical therapy and overall well-being by making professional massage techniques accessible in the home.

3. Personalization and Technology: The latest generation of massage chairs is characterized by advanced features such as body scans, which enable individual treatment tailored to the user. This personalization not only improves the massage experience, but also increases the medical effectiveness of the massage chairs. By adapting to specific body dimensions and shapes, the chair can specifically address individual needs and complaints.

4. Areas of application: Massage chairs are particularly suitable for people with specific health problems such as muscle tension or hardness. However, the use of these chairs should always be tailored to your personal situation and in accordance with medical advice. Thanks to this individual adjustment, massage chairs can offer effective support in health management.

5. Additional well-being features: Many massage chairs offer additional functions beyond the standard massage that increase well-being. These include audio stimulation, infrared heaters and the innovative zero gravity function. These additional features help create a complete relaxation experience by stimulating the senses, promoting deep relaxation and improving blood circulation.

6. Holistic effect: Massage chairs offer a holistic effect by helping to relieve physical discomfort as well as reduce stress. They enable regular treatments from the comfort of your own home, making them a practical solution for ongoing relaxation and pain relief. This holistic approach not only supports physical health, but also contributes to mental well-being.

7. Medical advice: Despite the many benefits of massage chairs, it is important to consider their use in consultation with medical advice, especially if there are pre-existing health problems or injuries. Expert advice can ensure that the massage chair is used wisely as a complement to medical treatment and that specific health needs are appropriately addressed

 

Everything is different today: why modern massage chairs make sense

Many technical things have undergone a grandiose development in recent years. 

In addition to artificial intelligence, nowadays you can do almost everything with your smartphone. 

And the same development can be observed with massage chairs. 

In the meantime, massage chairs have matured to the point where they can scan bodies, adjust themselves individually and offer functions that a real masseur cannot offer. 

As previously mentioned, several studies have shown the positive effects of massage.

 

From what price segment do massage chairs make sense?

Good massage chairs start at around €700

Also, be sure to buy an armchair from a brand with a lot of experience in the field.

We also recommend checking customer reviews and ideally testing the desired massage chair beforehand. 

Exceptions are known to confirm the rule, but a bad buy can bring more tension than relief.

This includes cumbersome returns and additional costs. 

 

What are the differences between "real" masseurs and massage chairs?

Besides the obvious difference between a massage done by a human and one done by a machine, there are other aspects that make the two things different: 


  • travel time: Visiting a massage therapist requires travel time, which also requires the ability to travel (either your time or the therapist's if they come to you). To reach your massage chair, you may just have to go to the room next door where it is currently located.
  • interpersonal: Even if you try hard, it's unlikely you'll be able to develop a deep personal relationship with your massage chair.
    If you tell a massage chair about your day, it won't be able to reply meaningfully.
    Many long-time clients of massage therapists remain loyal to them because of the connection they form with their therapist, which can add to the physical benefits of a massage that are already noticeable.
  • Multitasking Skills: There won't be much you can do during your massage appointment, especially if you're lying face down on the massage table.
    Multitasking is impossible here.
    And to engage in another activity during the massage, e.g. B. Talking on the phone would be both distracting and disrespectful to the person massaging you.
    On the other hand, if you have a massage chair at home, you can multitask while sitting on it by reading, working, making phone calls, watching TV, listening to an audio book, or doing a crossword puzzle.
  • Reliability: Massage therapists are people like all of us; they are subject to the same human foibles as all of us, including the possibility of moving away, going out of business, getting injured, or just having a bad day.
    The effectiveness of a massage, or your enjoyment of it, or even your ability to get a massage at all, could be adversely affected by the above issues.
    A massage chair, on the other hand, is always ready for use; even if minor repairs are needed, professional technicians can get your massage chair up and running again in minutes after receiving the necessary parts.
  • The pricing: The "cost per massage" in a massage chair is much lower compared to frequent visits to a massage therapist.

Massage chairs have become increasingly popular in recent years.

In addition, you can opt for financing to reduce the cost of purchasing a massage chair.

This is an alternative that is often unavailable for one-off services like a personal massage.

 

Conclusion

Massage chairs have experienced an excellent development in recent years. 

You can now imitate various massage techniques, scan the body and even have functions that a real masseur cannot offer. 

In addition to proven benefits of massage therapy, there is still a need for more studies to confirm the claimed benefits.

Nevertheless, nowadays it can be said that massage chairs really make sense in the home.

 

Sources: 

  1. Massage therapy: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/massage-therapy-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed 22.7.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX
  2. What to expect at your massage session. American Massage Therapy Association. https://www.amtamassage.org/find-massage-therapist/what-to-expect-at-massage-session/. Accessed 22.7.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX
  3. Goldman L, et al., eds. Complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed 22.7.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed prior to publication