Anyone suffering from back pain knows how effective a good massage can be to alleviate some, if not all, of the discomfort of this condition. The problem, however, is that it is not always possible to get a good massage and that too on a regular basis.
The good news is that massage chairs can have the same effect as massages do for the alleviation of back pain and a host of other health and mental conditions.
While there are many pros to using massage chairs, there are some things you are going to want to avoid before and after purchase in order to get the maximum benefit they offer.
Before we get into the mistakes to avoid, let us discuss the benefits derived from massage chair use.
Massage Chair Benefits
Studies have shown that massage chairs are an effective tool for the reduction and alleviation of back pain, tension, and stress. Add to that the flexibility and cost savings that they provide, and they are a perfect addition for anyone looking to improve the quality of their life.
The American College of Physicians and The American Pain Society have touted the benefits of massages in regards to the reduction of chronic pain.
While these statements were made referring to specific massage techniques applied by professional massage therapists, massage chairs can perform many of the same functions that they do and so offer many of the same benefits, eight of which are listed below.
- Spinal Alignment
- Nerve Pressure Reduction
- Muscle Relaxation
- Mental Relaxation
- Good Posture
- Better Circulation
- Endorphin Stimulation
- Pain Reduction
Some studies have found even more benefits derived from the use of massage chairs such as the alleviation of digestive disorders, anxiety, headaches, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and soft-tissue tears and strains.
Mistakes to Avoid Before Purchasing a Massage Chair
Buying the right massage chair can be a chore as there are many makes and models out there. Some are obviously better than others, so it is important to follow certain guidelines before purchasing one.
Getting the right chair is the only way to guarantee the benefits previously mentioned above. To avoid wasting time and money during your selection process, here are some guidelines to consider:
- Make sure the supplier operates in the same country you live in.
- Read the reviews.
- Select a name brand over a generic one.
- Make sure the massage chair has a warranty and sales service after purchase.
- Try out the massage chair before you buy it.
- High-quality & reputable massage chairs are not cheap. If the price is too cheap, you might want to check the quality before you buy it.
- Discuss your specific situation with the salesperson (why you want/need a massage chair), so they can direct you to the one that most suits your specific requirements.
4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Massage Chair
Once you have secured a high-quality and reputable massage chair, it is important to follow proper procedures to ensure that you get the benefits that you seek from your purchase.
The problem with many of the instructions given for the specific massage chair you purchased is that they do not discuss the “don’ts”, only the “do’s”.
Following the instructions of what to do is incomplete without following the instructions of what not to do.
As many manufacturers do not list the mistakes to avoid when using a massage chair, we have compiled 4 major ones for your convenience. Following them will help you derive the benefits you seek and ensure that your purchase does not go to waste.
1 – Use the appropriate parts: Two of the major mistakes when using a massage chair are not removing the headrest when getting a neck massage and avoiding the leg ottoman altogether.
Leaving the headrest in place when receiving a neck massage diminishes the effect of the massage as the neck rollers cannot reach specific pressure points that are vital to correcting specific neck conditions.
As many people who use massage chairs tend to have neck and back problems more so than leg problems, the leg ottoman is completely left out of the equation. This is a mistake as an “uneven” massage does not give the maximum benefit that a whole body massage does.
You can always concentrate on one particular area when using a massage chair but don’t forget to hit the other parts lightly as the body works as a unit and not a bunch of separate pieces.
2 – Do not move during the massage: This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many people shift or get up and off the massage chair while the massage is in progress.
As massage chairs are designed to hit certain areas in a specific manner only on static subjects, therefore constant movement will reduce the benefits derived from the massage. What is more, the weight shifting may damage the chair parts as weight must be distributed evenly during the massage.
Too much or too little weight on any one side can throw the mechanical parts out of whack and reduce the effectiveness of future massages.
3 – Adhere to the weight capacity of your massage chair: This was briefly touched upon above but as it is an important factor in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the chair it deserves further explanation.
It is best to purchase a massage chair that can handle the capacity of your current weight effectively. The chair’s weight limit can be found either on the manufacturer’s site or the box it comes in or can be inquired from a salesperson or through a customer service rep.
It is also important not to take any “extras” with you during the massage in order to adhere to the chair’s weight limits. Added weight and uneven weight distribution may damage its robotic parts and reclining motors.
4 – Use the chair’s speed levels and intensity suitable for your condition and comfort. High intensity and high speeds are usually meant for those suffering from severe pain or serious health conditions.
If you are using a massage chair to relax or relieve some soreness, keep the intensity and speeds low. Doing otherwise may cause pain and turn what would have been an enjoyable experience into a painful one.
Avoiding the above mistakes will help you get the maximum benefit out of your massage chair. Remember not to forget the “before purchase” guidelines listed above either as even the most strict follower of the “massage chair do’s and don’ts” can turn a poor-quality massage chair into a top-class masseur.
If you would like more help in choosing the best massage chair for your particular situation there are many massage chair review sites you can find online that both review and rate the top chairs on the market today.
After all, when it comes to your mental and physical well-being you can never do too much research, especially when you are in the process of purchasing an expensive but effective health tool like a massage chair.