Many of the benefits of the massage chair are the same benefits that are attributed to licensed massage therapy. Massage chairs boast of mimicking the hands of a massage therapist and, while a machine could not possibly fully imitate the hands of a true professional, there is much to be gained by using the functions of a massage chair.
Here is a partial list of health benefits derived from a massage recliner:
1. Deep relaxation and stress release (our guess is that you’ll fall asleep the first time you use a chair!).
2. Back and neck pain relief. Most of your body aches and pains come from the muscles. Address the muscles, as the massage chair does, and you will see less and less pain. I can attest to this benefit because our patients that purchase a massage chair usually end up coming into the office less; much of their pain has been alleviated by the chair’s massage.
3. Relief of muscle tightness and stiffness (you’ll feel like “putty” when you’re done).
4. Improved blood and lymph flow. Blood and lymph clean out your body of harmful toxins. Vigorously working the muscles will increase and enhance blood and lymph flow which will increase toxin removal from your body. This benefit has been known to positively affect blood pressure, too!
5. Improved healing. Improved blood flow will increase oxygen transport to your body tissues. You need oxygen to heal. If the blood flow is improved, oxygen levels will be optimized and your tissues will heal better and quicker.
6. Reduced muscle spasm. Similar to #3, if you’ve ever had a massage from a licensed massage therapist, you’ve noticed how good your muscles feel when you are done. Your massage chair will do the same thing. Not only do you get relief from tightness and stiffness in the muscles, but actual spasms will disappear.
7. Increased flexibility. Relax your muscles…and your movement will improve. Sometimes the effect is quite dramatic. Try bending over and touching your toes before you begin your massage chair session. Then, do it again afterwards. You’ll be quite surprised at how much better your movement will be!
8. Increased endorphin levels. Endorphins are your body’s own natural pain relievers. Exercise, chiropractic manipulation, and massage just happen to be three great ways to increase your endorphin levels. A massage chair will facilitate that as well.
9. Improved breathing. There is nothing like a massage chair to work the muscles around your rib cage.
You may even feel some ribs actually “pop” back into place while you are on your chair. These tight muscles and ribs can restrict your ability to breathe and you may not have any idea that it is happening…until you get off the massage chair, that is! Try it…take a deep breath after a session and see if your breathing is deeper and easier.
10. Improved posture. Many people who suffer musculo-skeletal pain have poor posture. The most common posture seen in a chiropractor’s office, for example, is the forward head carriage and extra-rounded rib cage (the “slouched” look). This posture is devastating on all the support muscles, ligaments, and bones. A massage chair will help to reverse that posture. After a massage chair session, you will feel as though you are standing straighter. Do it everyday and those changes will seem to last longer and longer.
11. Prevention of degenerative arthritis. This benefit links to the posture problem. Poor posture results in poor loading of the body relative to gravity which, in turn, will result in degenerative arthritis. In other words, when your posture is bad, gravity wears you down a lot quicker. Changing your posture and the way your muscles and ligaments function will change the abnormal loading of your body which, in turn, will slow down the process of arthritis in your spine! You won’t fully appreciate this until you’re over 40 and you begin to discover new aches and pains that you can’t figure out where they came from. Do what you can, today, to prevent that from happening. You certainly don’t want to look even more hunched over as you get older, do you?
12. General feeling of well-being. You can’t improve muscle function, blood and lymph flow, endorphin levels, and your posture without feeling better generally. Feeling better will, in turn, improve your overall attitude. People that are in pain and discomfort have a harder time feeling “up” and motivated. It is truly amazing to see how different a person can look just by being pain-free. It almost seems like their whole countenance changes when they are feeling better. And that can affect so many other areas of your life.