Everyone knows about massage chairs, they are no longer a new concept, with massage chairs now available in shopping centres, local doctors offices and other public places. What people don’t often know is what is the greatest therapeutic difference between the two types of massage chairs; the traditional and robotic. The below article explores both and outlines the benefit of each.
Traditional Massage Chairs:
A traditional massage chair is a portable chair designed to allow the massage therapist easy access to the client’s neck, back, shoulders and arms. The client does not have to disrobe while being massaged. Traditional massage chairs are often offered at corporate events like trade shows, conferences or employee appreciation celebrations.
Robotic Massage Chairs:
Robotic massage chairs were first developed in the 1950s by the Family Fujiryoki company. They generally resemble recliners and have internal gears and mechanisms that massage the person sitting in them. They range widely in price and sophistication from cheap “vibrate only” models to elaborate chairs that provide Shiatsu massage.
Benefits of Massage Chair:
While a human therapist still gives the best and most therapeutic massages, a good robotic massage chair makes an excellent substitute if a human therapist isn’t available. A robotic massage chair is always there when its owner needs or wants a massage. It also saves the owner the time and trouble of traveling to a spa for a massage.
Researchers have found three major ways in which massage, whether administered by a human or a robot, helps people:
- Massage therapy improves flexibility and promotes relaxation. It helps strained and tight muscles loosen up and therefore helps relieve pain.
- Massage improves the circulation of both lymph and blood. Manipulating muscles stimulates blood flow. Increased blood flow increases the transport of nutrients to muscles and tissues and makes it easier for them to absorb said nutrients. Increased circulation within the lymph system makes it easier for the lymph to clear out toxins.
- Massage therapy increases the amount of endorphins within the body. Endorphins are “feel good” chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Increasing their levels has been shown to reduce anxiety and pain and speed healing.
How does a Robotic Massage Chair Work?
Most massage chairs are programmed to perform either Swedish massage or Shiatsu, a Japanese technique that concentrates on easing tension within the body.
Massage chairs contain three components. The computer is arguably the most important part, for its programming controls the chair. That programming enables the chair to adapt to the user’s size. The computer can detect and measure the pressure on the back of the seat and thus determine the user’s anatomy . In other words, it can tell where the user’s neck ends and their back begins. It can tell the lower back from the upper back, and it will therefore use the appropriate methods for massaging those areas. Massage chairs also have control panel so the user can add their own preferences and refine the chair’s programming.
Massage chairs also have motors that power the chair. They move the nodes and rollers as necessary and make any needed adjustments to the chair’s back.
The nodes and rollers are the parts that do the actual massaging. The come in different shapes and sizes and are designed to mimic hands and fingers. Large rollers and nodes give a more generalized massage, while smaller ones are able to specific points on the body.
Who should not use a Massage Chair?
A massage chair can be used by almost anybody in good overall health. Anybody who can get a massage can safely use a massage chair. By the same token, anybody with a physical condition that precludes their getting a massage should not use a massage chair. For example, anybody with osteoporosis should not use a massage chair. People who have just had surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy should not use a massage chair. People with any kind of rash, skin infection or injury should wait for the condition to clear up before using a massage chair. People with circulatory problems like varicose veins, a susceptibility to blood clots or phlebitis should not use a massage chair.