After a long, stressful day, everyone is bound to be a little bit tense. Can you imagine anything better than coming home to a relaxing, full-body massage? If you’re considering investing in a massage chair, understanding how massage chairs work is a good first step towards making this decision. Read on for your introduction to the workings of a massage chair.
What Is a Massage Chair?
Massage chairs have been around for decades. The first was invented by a man named Roland A. Labbe, who patented his design in 1948. Labbe’s design featured a stool on a pedestal backed by a metal contraption that would vibrate and rub the back of a person sitting on the stool. Massage chair designs have come a long way since then—the machinery in now enclosed within the chair, full body electric massage chairs have been developed, and the technology used to rub the back has progressed.
How Do They Work?
The technology of a massage chair varies from one chair to the next, but the most common designs operate using a combination of rollers, motors, gears, and vibrators. In these mechanical chairs, the rollers inside the chair move up and down and sometimes back and forth along the back, massaging different muscle groups. A microprocessor inside the chair stores various manufacturer settings, allowing the chair to have different modes or massage techniques. The movement and pressure of the rollers on the back relaxes muscles and encourages blood flow to the muscles. In recent years, massage chair technology has advanced to include other types of chairs, such as water chairs, which massage the back using water technology, and airbag chairs, in which airbags inflate or deflate to squeeze and relax muscles.
Common Massage Techniques
Massage chairs offer a variety of massage techniques. Depending on the model of your chair, its settings could include any of the following massage settings or more.
In the kneading setting, the rollers knead muscles, usually in a circular motion. The technique focuses on one part of the back at a time and is usually used on the upper back and shoulders.
This setting is pretty self-explanatory. The rollers of the chair simply roll up and down the user’s back on either side of the spine while applying gentle pressure.
In this mode, the massage chair delivers fast-paced, karate chop-like strokes to the back, improving blood flow to the back and encouraging muscles to heal faster.
The shiatsu technique involves stretching and massaging the muscles throughout the back using a combination of kneading, rolling, tapping, and stretching motions as pressure is applied.
A Swedish massage uses long, smooth strokes while kneading toward the inner section of the back to enhance relaxation. This type of massage typically combines kneading, tapping, vibration, and friction techniques.
The air compression technique uses sets of airbags that inflate and deflate to compress parts of the body and relive pain and tension. This technique is typically used on the arms, legs, neck, and other parts of the body that aren’t the back.
Now that you have a fuller understanding of how massage chairs work, you’ll be able to pick a massage chair with all the features you’ve been searching for. If you need help deciding which features or models are the best fit for your needs, Massage Chairs Express is here to help you out. We carry a wide variety of massage chair models for every price range, so you’re sure to find one that you love.