What is a massage?
It is the pressing, rubbing, kneading action applied on muscles, skin and tendons either with the hands, elbows, feet or mechanical aids to release stress and tension and promote relaxation and wellbeing. It is an ancient practice among predominantly eastern and many European civilizations believed to be in practice before recorded history.
Studies of the effects of massage have shown that it is beneficial in many ways, such as reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. It may also be directly responsible for relieving stress related insomnia, headaches, fibromyalgia, anxiety, digestive disorders and a host of localised syndromes.
Massage may be given on a massage table, massage chair on the floor on a mat. Massage chairs are designed for massages while sitting. The non-robotic ‘traditional’ massage chairs allow the masseur easy access to the shoulders, back, neck, head, arms and hands of the recipient. They are also portable. This makes it easy to provide the recipient on site massages. This makes them popular at trade conferences and business offices in the corporate world, because an office environment is considered stressful and a relaxing massage the cure-all. The massage chair now usually refers to the robotic one, which was introduced in the late 1980s intended to match the motions and techniques of an actual masseuse, with the goal of relieving stress and back pain. The idea caught on slowly and more manufacturers entered the market to vie with each other for more effective features.
Techniques of Massage Chairs
The techniques of massage that the chairs today are able to deliver effectively are
Shiatsu – using rolling, rotating, pressing, sweeping and patting movements. Shiatsu technique focuses on releasing tension in specific locations of the body
Swedish – consists of kneading and long gliding strokes and the aim is to promote better circulation in the body
The main components of a massage chair
Nodes and Rollers to emulate the fingers and hands! They come in various sizes, the larger ones for general pressure and the smaller ones for point specific action.
Motors – They power the nodes and rollers to move and act on different parts of the body and the control to these motors is provided on the control pads of the chairs. The motor also assists in seat adjustment for the back.
Computer assisted adjustability – this significant feature automatically adjusts the seat and its massaging components for the height, width and weight of the user.
How to choose the best massage chair
The following points have to be kept in mind:
· Check the range of heights available on the chairs, to accommodate yours.
· Check the range of massages provided – in addition to the Shiatsu and Swedish are there any more?
· You would like different massages at different times depending on the need.
· Price – be prepared to pay a high price literally for the benefits you are about to receive. But being priced as they are, financing options are available with the retailers.