Massage chairs are fast becoming more and more common in Australian homes as our increased need for “on demand” solutions is coupled with increased stress. When returning home from a dinner party with friends who have just bought a massage chair, more and more of us are hopping online to ask Google the question “massage chair vs massage therapist”.
What we’re really asking is, do massage chairs really work?
What do we mean when we say a massage chair “works”?
Massage therapy has been in existence for thousands of years and there has been a multitude of research into its benefits on our physical and mental health. In comparison, there is very little research into the comparative effect of massage chairs and whether or not they offer the same benefits.
When considering a massage chair, we want to know that it will help to alleviate our aches, pains, stress, tension, anxiety, depression, physical ailments and health concerns. We want to know if it really “works” just as well as a massage with an experienced massage therapist.
Whilst much evidence is anecdotal, this evidence is increasing, as can be seen through word of mouth referrals and online reviews from massage chair customers claiming that their chair has “changed my life”.
Perhaps breaking down most common reasons for considering a massage chair is the easiest way to answer the question about whether or not they “work”.
Do massage chairs relieve muscle pain and tension?
It’s quite incredible how some massage therapists have the strength and stamina to offer a firm enough massage to release knots and tension in our muscles. However, they are only human and can only do this for so long. Being mechanical, the pressure that the rollers in a massage chair can apply to muscles is far stronger. And they don’t get tired!
A kneading massage combined with vibration or shiatsu can be a very effective way to relax tense muscles. Firm pressure applied at regular intervals can often be the best antidote as there is little time between massages for the tension to build. Muscles are kept supple and flexible.
With the cost of regularly seeing a massage therapist being prohibitive for many of us, a massage chair can be a great investment and can save money in the long run.
Do massage chairs improve mental health and well-being?
Massage therapy will naturally help to calm your nervous system, release tension, increase the happy hormones in your body such as dopamine and serotonin and improve your sleep. Whilst it’s true that human touch helps to release endorphins that relieve stress, all of these other benefits for mental health and wellbeing can still be offered by a massage chair.
Do massage chairs relieve stress and help balance emotions?
Stress costs the Australian economy billions of dollars every year and statistics show our stress levels are increasing. This impacts our physical health as well as our mental health and is responsible for an increasing number of deaths. Anxiety and depression are also on the rise. According to Beyond Blue, one in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime and a quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.
Many studies have been conducted into the mood-enhancing benefits of massage and its ability to calm the body and brain during stress and anxiety. Those massage chairs that have been designed to a high standard and to mimic the hands of a massage therapist should provide these same benefits.
After a long and stressful day, your massage chair is sure to be the only place you’ll want to retreat to!
Do massage chairs help with relaxation?
When reclining to zero gravity, a weightless position developed by NASA scientists, this puts you into a truly weightless position that enables you to totally relax your body. When your body feels relaxed, this helps to calm your mind. Massage allows you to slow down and be more mindful. It is a way of prioritising your needs and self-care.
Do massage chairs help improve sleeping patterns?
Massage promotes better sleep by releasing tension and stress from your body and helping to regulate your hormones. Massage chairs with a night program can be used to release the tension from your day and ease you into a restful night’s sleep, enabling your body to repair itself and your mind to heal.
Find out how a massage chair can work for you
Massage and, in turn, massage chairs are a natural way to improve your general health and wellbeing and can help to alleviate symptoms of specific health concerns. Having a massage chair in your home is a convenient way to improve your health and wellness on a daily basis.
When comparing a massage therapist with a massage chair, both are beneficial. However, with our busy lifestyles and increased stress, there are compelling benefits to owning your own massage chair.