The Benefits of Massage
Massage can be a wonderful way to ease aches, pains, injuries, and stress after a long day. Depending on the techniques used, massage can be therapeutic to work on muscles or simply for relaxation. There are several techniques such as Shiatsu, Ayurvedic, Swedish, and Reflexology that are dependent on the ailment a person wishes to remedy, and some massage is used in addition to other therapies recommended by physicians or medical practitioners.
Aside from helping to heal or alleviate health conditions and injuries such as pulled muscles, massage has been proven to aid in circulation, digestion, immune health, and headache relief.
In conclusion, massage not only helps a body medically, it can aid in your mental health and spiritual well-being too.
A massage chair can provide many of the techniques a professional masseuse performs, only in the comfort of your own home. Other benefits of owning a massage chair include the following:
- Spine alignment: Reclining chairs will reduce spine pressure due to the body being positioned horizontally, thus causing less strain. Our spine is connected to all the nerves in our bodies, and stress on it can cause undue negative effects on other extremities such as the feet and hands.
- Posture: “Stand up straight” is a refrain many of us have heard at one time or another. It’s not just for politeness sake either; standing straight is good for posture and muscles. Massage chairs can target these muscles and thus keep our posture correct; a relaxed muscle is a strong muscle. The body can overcompensate for weak muscles, and that is where slouching comes in, putting stress on muscles that are working overtime. Having good posture helps with distribution of weight, alignment, balance, and spinal pressure.
- Stress Relief: A big one in today’s fast paced world. Some people may not have an officially diagnosed muscle or other medical issue; however due to work/home/environmental stress they still suffer from unnecessary pain and higher blood pressure than normal.
- Endorphin release: What are endorphins? Endorphins are the hormones that are released in the body when we experience happiness or satisfaction. Exercise encourages endorphin release, as does massage.
What to Consider
The idea of having your own massage chair can be very exciting. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in a market glutted with so many options touting themselves as the best. Having your own interests in mind, take the time to think about what you want specifically from a massage chair, and start there. There are many things to consider, including budget, and you should take a fair amount of time in deciding what product you want to purchase instead of going out and buying the first one that may catch your eye. You want a chair that will stand the test of time with longevity, and perform to the highest standards. Preparing yourself with knowledge will guarantee the best purchase to suit your needs.
- Who is it for? Is this a chair for a one person’ use, or multiple people? A massage chair for on person has less things to consider – it only has to suit one person’s needs. For multiple people, you may need to think about their heights, weights, whether or not they need a remote or some other type of control, and what kind of massage techniques everyone will benefit from.
- Location: What kind of space do you have in your home to accommodate a chair, and what size chair can fit in that space? Be sure to arm yourself with measurements of the area you want to house the chair when shopping, and take into consideration whether or not it reclines. Do you want everyone in the home to have access to this chair as well? Accessibility will come into play if there are small children or pets in the home as well.
- Budget: How much are you willing to spend? Excellent massage chairs, more likely than not, are not inexpensive. And, just because a chair is expensive, does not mean you will be happy with it. This is where more research comes into play. Be sure to check out online reviews, or ask around for recommendations – keeping your budget in mind. Visit retail stores to test out chairs in person, going in with what you have in mind to suit your needs and purchase the best massage chair for your money, so a sales rep does not upsell you for something you really cannot afford.
- Features: Going hand in hand with budget is features. What are you specifically looking for the massage chair to do? Do you want something that performs basic techniques, or would you prefer a chair that has multiple settings and functions? What ailments are you trying to relieve? Massage techniques differ in what they are used for. Someone who prefers a slow, relaxing experience will not enjoy a Shiatsu massage chair, or want to needlessly pay for one that has that option. Determining what features you want along with your budget, and checking reviews will narrow down your choices.
- Warranties: Big purchases should come with warranties. You will want to see how long your chair warranty is for, and what it entails in terms of repair, breakage and / or replacement parts. Check if there are hidden fees as well, such as a re-stocking charge.
Owning a Massage Chair – Some Pros & Cons
What are some Pros & Cons of purchasing your own massage chair? It should not be treated as just another piece of furniture, since the chair actually needs to perform and implement change to your body. Here we go over things you should think about when considering buying one.
- Convenience: While visiting a spa or medical practitioner is obviously beneficial, it can become a chore to actually get to a place of business on a regular basis. Owning a chair in your own home expedites the need for a massage without worrying about transportation, fees, or appointments. You can set it up wherever you like, create your own oasis, program the chair to suit your needs, and not have to share or leave at designated times.
- Health Benefits: As stated previously, massage is wonderful physically and mentally. Aside from the obvious medical benefits of pain relief, massage can improve all sorts of other maladies or just improve your health in general, leaving you feeling like a new person.
- Weight: Make sure when you decide to put your chair somewhere, that it’s definitely where you want it, because chances are, it’s going to be there a very long time. Obviously, if you are in fabulous shape and can move a heavy piece of furniture around every time the mood strikes, this isn’t an issue. However, many people need another person (or two) when rearranging furniture.
- Operational Complications: Advancements in technology can leave some of us out in the cold. Most pieces of equipment have more than a simple on/off button. Massage chairs can come equipped with manuals regarding settings, speeds, techniques, and other bells and whistles an owner needs to familiarize themselves with so they can use the chair to its maximum potential and their benefit. If you are averse to more complicated technology, research a massage chair that has simplified functions you can easily operate.
BestMassage EC-06 Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner
The EC-06 BestMassage full body massage chair has both power rollers and air bags used to relax muscles, reduce stress and fatigue and invigorate the body. This Shiatsu vibrating reclining massage chair features 4 adjustable intensity levels with an easy to use control panel, and a massage function that goes from neck to tailbone resulting in the promotion of better blood circulation in the lower part of the body, as well as targeting stress points. There is a timer feature that lasts for 30 minute sessions at a time.
The faux- leather chair is a fully automatic reclining ottoman, conforming to the contour and shape of your back and raise/recline both the backrest and footrests for your maximum comfort. Those over 6ft tall may not be able to fully recline due to their height. It fosters the compression and improves flexibility, posture, and mobility. Air bags pressure massage the arms, calves and thighs, legs and feet, while shiatsu vibrations massage the back and neck. Massage styles included in the chair functions are rolling and kneading techniques to work out muscle pain, stress, knots and lessen fatigue symptoms. A heat function is available for the back and feet.
Users of the BestMassage EC-06 chair report multiple weekly uses over a period of years with no sign of wear and tear, it is very durable. The chair is priced at a mid-point range; not very high but not very low either. Given all the chair includes and covers; it is considered an investment if the price is a bit more than your budget originally entailed, and still favorably comparable to chairs that are priced much higher.
The manufacturer includes a 1 year limited warranty on parts and labor, and does not include a return fee for broken parts. Due to its size, the chair is shipped by freight, and the customer must be able to bring it inside their dwelling, as the delivery people cannot enter. If a customer cannot be reached to confirm delivery, the item will be returned to the manufacturer and they will refund the item minus the shipping fee.
- 1- year warranty
- No fee for returning broken parts
- Multiple functions, intensity levels, and styles encompassing full body
- Mid-level price range
- Specific delivery instructions/ freight only/ shipping fee non refundable
- Height restrictions for over 6ft tall
Kahuna Massage Chair Space-Saving Zero-Gravity Full-Body Recliner
Zero – gravity massage chairs are the latest in massage technology, fans say it is the only way to fully enjoy massage benefits. Zero-gravity evenly distributes a person’s weight onto the entire chair so it is not centralized in one place, thus reducing stress on certain body parts and allowing for stress relief and an intense massage. It is so effective it makes you feel weightless, hence the zero gravity moniker.
The Kahuna LM 6800 Full Body Massage Recliner employs mart body scan technology to scan your body size automatically to customize your massage experience. The chair includes both yoga and heat therapy for the legs and feet with air cell massage programs for shoulders, arms, waist, and hips. The air- cell massage technology covers most of the surface area with a minimal number of air cells and improves massage quality with a quieter performance. Yoga stretching intends to stretch the entire body to an awakening sensation, stimulating blood circulation.
There are 5 manual massage technique and 6 timed programs for up to 30 minutes with yoga stretching and full body stretching. The adjustable dual foot rollers on the feet area have extra padding and are removable and washable. The full body Shiatsu option will cover the entire back and lower body while the manual options include kneading, tapping, rolling, or a combination of techniques.
The Kahuna’s L-track roller system is designed specifically to support you from neck to back down the spinal column to the backside. When reclined fully, to where your legs are higher than your heart level, the therapeutic effects are incredibly effective and may be felt immediately.
Measuring 48 x 31 x 46 inches, the Kahuna massage chair employs ergonomic space saving tech. This means the chair needs only 3 inches from the wall during the zero-gravity position. The Kahuna slides forward in its recline position, which is the opposite of other chairs. While fully reclined, persons over 6ft may have a hard time being comfortable.
The manufacturer provides a limited 3-year warranty on all parts, labor and framework of the chair. The Kahuna, an FDA Registered as medical Device comes fully assembled barring the side parts. The high price may be off putting for some, and others may find it a trade-off due to all of the Kahuna’s attributes.
- Space saving technology
- Full body scan for customized full body massage
- Manual and auto options
- Manufacturer Warranty
- Persons over 6ft may not fit comfortably
- High price
Flash Furniture Massaging Black Leather Recliner and Ottoman with Leather Wrapped Base
On the lower end of the pricing scale, is the Flash Furniture recliner. This massage chair is a simplified version, perhaps for someone who may not have a medical necessity for massage and would like a chair to relax in at the end of the day, or use in an office setting.
The set comes with both the recliner and ottoman upholstered in synthetic leather for added softness and durability. The material is easily cleaned with a cloth and soap. The swivel seat has a headrest and upholstered arms, padded back and seat, manual adjustment reclining knob, and side pocket to hold the remote.
A place to spend time comfortably, the Flash Furniture chair provides a relaxing massage to the back, lumbar area, thighs and legs. It offers 9 vibrating massage modes and 5 intensity levels, with heating option and timer. The timer setting is in 10-20-30 minute selections. The chair reclines up to 60% and does not lay flat. Additionally, the ottoman has a vibration option. The medium and high intensity settings have been noted as noisy on hardwood or laminate flooring.
Some consumers report the vibration and heat settings are not intense enough for what they expected. Due to its design, the chair does not offer Shiatsu options, those wanting a more thorough, deep massage will be disappointed. Others report the chair is exactly what they need, a low intensity, relaxing massage, and so comfortable that they report falling asleep in the chair as well. Dependent on a person’s size, the chair may be uncomfortable as the arm rests are short and the chair does not have an adjustable height, and therefore can be too low to the ground to accommodate legs.
The chair is a lightweight 54lbs and easily portable and doesn’t take up much space. The manufacturer offers a 2-year parts warranty.
For the technologically inexperienced, and those on a budget looking for a bargain, the Flash Furniture massage recliner is an ideal choice. The chair is also operable via wall plug, not batteries. Simplicity, without all the bells and whistles is preferable to many customers.
- Faux leather
- Ease of Use
- No Shiatsu
- No flat recline
- Noisy on hard floor
- Not height adjustable
Medical Breakthrough 4 Massage Chair Recliner
The Medical Breakthrough 4 Massage Chair Recliner is a behemoth. The only doctor designed massage chair, Medical Breakthrough is a zero-gravity chair that provides unlimited customization in addition to medical body scans.
Zero-gravity distributes body weight evenly to relieve pressure from any one area preventing it from accruing stress. The zero -gravity provides a feeling of weightlessness and intense relaxation from the massage. A medical body scan will customize the chair’s rollers to deliver a completely personalized massage experience tailored to suit your needs.
The Breakthrough 4 provides two separate memory functions to save your favorite positions and massage settings; this is beneficial if there is more than one person using the chair. Already programmed into the chair are shiatsu The massage chair comes programmed with massage techniques such as shiatsu, kneading, flapping, knocking, a combination of kneading and flapping, and the option to adjust the width between kneading balls.
There are 6 automatic massage programs, and manual massage options. The upper body has three options and five speed levels. An air pressure function contains 3 options for full body, arms, shoulders and legs, and also have adjustable intensity levels. A foot and calf massage covers the bottom of the foot, and can massage toes, heels, and arches. The Breakthrough 4 gives you complete control.
The Breakthrough will fully recline, and due to its space saving technology can be kept at a minimal distance from the wall. It is very heavy (weighing in around 200lbs), so the spot it is put should be where it remains. Air bags will give a full chiropractic experience, gripping hips and stretching back muscles to relieve tightness. A soothing heat function provides an added benefit.
An FDA approved medical device, the Breakthrough is priced at the higher end of massage chairs available. It is second to none in the operable options and functions it has, in addition to being completely customizable to individuals. It comes already assembled save for the foot rest.
- Unlimited customization
- Multiple functions and intensity levels
- Doctor designed
Real Relax Massage Chair Recliner
The Real Relax Massage Chair is a zero-gravity recliner that provides a customized, professional massage experience from head to toe. With its patented linkage system, an embedded chip will pulse airbags along the armrests. Airbags are profusely present, with 50 contained in the chair for shoulders, arms, seat, legs, and feet. In addition to airbags, there is a foot roller function.
A built in waist heater will promote circulation, and you can experience a Full Body Shiatsu, with 4 pre-set automatic programs. Each program allows you to set the speed and intensity. A manual option is available to focus on specific areas, with a timer option.
The adjustable recline zero gravity feature spreads body weight evenly across the chair massaging 8 separate back points. The rollers located on the back rest move in circles rather than an up and down motion to encompass more surface area, which includes the neck area as well. Since it is a full body shiatsu, expect some of the massage programming to be intense.
The Real Relax chair can withstand up to 440 pounds, and is suitable to people over 6ft, as it comes equipped with an extendable footrest. It does not, however, adjust the height of its airbags and rollers for people of a shorter height, who may have a harder time getting the targeted massage they desire.
The chair itself weighs in at over 100lbs, and has two wheels for easy transport. It is made from synthetic leather. A 3-year warranty by the manufacturer is offered. The chair will arrive in two separate boxes, and comes with a remote control, instruction manual and video guide for assembly. Some consumers have reported trouble following assembly directions.
The Real Relax chair is a higher priced model, however it does offer zero-gravity and a full-body massage that can be personalized to suit your needs with both automatic and manual options.
- Full body massage from neck to toes
- Pre-set and manual options
- Zero gravity full recline
- Accommodates 6ft and over
- Non-adjustable for shorter people
- Complicated assembly
Esright Massage Recliner Chair
The Esright Recliner is a mid-point priced massage chair that comes in a variety of color selections. The chair is equipped to recline to a 150-degree angle, swivel 360 degrees, and rocks. It is reported as being comfortable enough as a regular recliner, not just a massage chair. The recline feature is not via the remote, and only manual. Some customers report having to kick the footrest closed. Others do not like that the chair will not lie completely flat.
The Esright does not provide Shiatsu massage or kneading, rather it has heating and vibrating options; 5 control modes and 2 intensity levels that will shut off after 20 minutes as a safety feature. The vibrations are located in four different places; head, back, buttocks, and feet, and only the lumbar region is heated, not the entire chair.
Made of synthetic and easily cleanable leather, the Esright design is padded with extra thick sponge fabric on the back cushion and armrests. There are two cup holders and four storage bags on the sides.
The Esright is a simple chair without a lot of customization available, however it is a great value for the price. It is intended more for those who want a place to relax to unwind than those who enjoy an intense massage. Anyone expecting a deep tissue, reflexology experience will be disappointed.
The chair itself weighs less than 95 lbs, and measuring in at 33.1″(l) x 35.8″(w) x 43.2″(h) is slimmer and less obtrusive than some massage chair models. This means that it may be a snug fit for people over 6ft tall depending on their frame size.
The chair arrives in two separate boxes and easy to assemble. There is no official warranty however the manufacturer is reported as being easy to contact and helpful.
- 360-degree swivel
- Manual footrest
- No Shiatsu/ kneading
- Does not fully recline
- Entire chair not fully heated
Kahuna SM7300 Massage Chair
The second Kahuna chair on the list; the SM7300 is designed with top performing technology for multiple massage techniques included kneading, vibrating, tapping, knocking, and shiatsu massage. These options can be programmed for the entire body or partial parts. There are 9 separate programs including yoga stretching, recovery, pain relief, relax, and refresh; all performed with zero-gravity and 6 rollers. All the Kahuna SM7300 programs are designed to target specific areas worked the most. Customers report it as being the chair closest to performing with human like tendencies.
Specialized rollers follow the spine down from the neck, to the back, to the buttocks for complete coverage. Air bags encompass the hip area and arm areas. The wrap around foot and calf massage areas provide three separate techniques and air bags for full coverage, and are removable for cleaning and maintenance;
The Kahuna SM7300 even employs relaxing effect LED lighting around the chair to enhance the massage experience. Adjustable time programs of 10-20-30 (maximum) are available; along with a 10- minute acupressure detection that comes with its own three speed levels, 3 levels of air pressure, and 3 levels of roller width.
The Kahuna is large enough that it can accommodate all body type up to 6ft 5inches and/or 320 lbs. Space saving technology only requires 3 inches off from the wall, which means the chair slides forward and not backward. The remote control has an LED screen indicating what program is in use, and on-off button (including an emergency off), a menu, auto feature, or manual selection of the massage you want.
The Kahuna is at the higher end of the pricing scale, and considering all of its technological advancements and features this is no surprise. In addition, unlike the other chairs listed, the Kahuna manufacturer provides “White Glove Service”, which means not only will they deliver the chair to your door, they will also bring it inside your home, install and assemble it for you.
- Multiple programs
- Zero gravity full body massage
- Most human like massage
- Remote control
- “White Glove Service”