Although some might consider this a matter of opinion - we would rather take a more analytical approach in determining the proper answer to the question, "Are massage chairs worth it?"
First, it's important to understand what exactly massage is and how a person's body benefits from it. Simply put, massage therapy is the manual manipulation of the soft body tissue and muscular structure of the body.
Therapeutic benefits of massage are felt in almost every system of the body. Nervous, musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic system, endocrine, digestive, and even reproductive systems can all be affected by the benefits of massage.
Promoting health and healing for the entire body, massage provides stress reduction, pain relief, relaxation, increased flexibility, faster recovery from injury, and a myriad of other positive results.
This is why the popularity of massage therapy continues to grow in the United States with over 40 million Americans spending money on massages each year.
Benefits of Massage
Some of the specific benefits from massage therapy include:
- Reduces painful disease including arthritis, rheumatism, fibromyalgia, joint pain, and bursitis
- inimizes and heals lower back pain
- Increases effectiveness of the immune system
- Improves athletic performance
- Reduces depression, fatigue and anxiety
- Lowers blood pressure and promotes circulatory system health
- Regulates hormones and controls diabetes
- May help efforts to stop smoking
- Increases body’s ability to heal from disease
A variety of different options for massage therapy have been developed to meet specific needs in a customized, personalized manner. Some massages are full body, others focus on specified areas of pain, while another concentrates specifically on healing the body through the hands and feet (reflexology). Here are some of the massage therapy options that are available:
- Shiatsu Massage. Working effectively for overall health and rejuvenation, this type of massage uses finger and thumb pressure on pressure points to improve circulation, relieve stress, and relieve stiffness in muscles.
- Swedish Massage. The most common type of massage, this uses a combination of long strokes, kneading, rolling, fingertip or thumb pressure, and rhythmic tapping.
- Deep Tissue Massage. Applying deep pressure to specific trouble points on the body, this type of massage is a methodical treatment that can be painful at the time but is particularly effective for athletes, those in physical therapy, or those with dense tissue but would not be used for those who are sensitive or tender.
- Hot Stone Massage. This technique uses the weight of smooth, heated stones to relax and invigorate the body while offering mental focus.
- Reflexology Massage. Placing pressure on certain points in the feet and hands, reflexology promotes healing in various systems of the body.
- Armchair Massage. Often given in public places, chair massages focus on the neck, shoulders, and back, helping to get the tension out of the upper body.
- Thai Massage. Working on your entire body, this type of massage is more active in that the therapist manipulates the body into yoga-like stretches to loosen joints and relax muscles.
CNN Story on the Benefits of Massage
Video courtesy of Absolutely - Click Here to watch directly on YouTube
Are Massage Chairs Worth the Money?
Although the cost of massage varies significantly by region in the United States as well as whether you live in the city, suburbs, or a small town, the average cost of a one hour massage is around $60.
Many physicians or physical therapists will suggest that you get a massage approximately three to four times a week, making the rough estimate for a year of massages in the ballpark of $10,000. Wow! Even if your health insurance offers a subsidy, you go less often, or you have found a slightly less expensive massage therapist, that’s still a whole lot of money per year.
Compared to the price of regular visits to a massage therapist, the one-time financial investment of a massage chair works as an extremely affordable option. This is especially true if you have other members of your household or family who would also benefit from regular massage.
A quality massage chair with multiple features and manufactured by a reputable company can last you for several years, saving you a significant amount of money on trips to the massage therapist, or even the chiropractor. Although a massage from a chair offers something different than human touch, from a standpoint of affordability and accessibility - a massage chair offers a significant advantage.
If you have never used a massage chair and don’t know anyone who owns one, check in your area to see if you can try one out before making a purchase. Some shopping centers have massage chairs that cost around $5 per session and this might give you an idea of whether you like the concept, even if this is not the exact chair you would choose.
Which Massage Chair is the Best?
Options for massage chairs you can own at home are almost endless, running the gamut between low and high prices, as well as low and high quality. Our favorite pick for the best is this highly recommended full body massage chair with strong features and an excellent warranty: the iRobotics 7 Massage Chair by Luraco Technologies.
As the only massage chair designed and assembled in the United States, this massage chair meets the needs of users who are taller or larger than their counterparts made in Asian countries. In fact, the iRobotics 7 was the first FDA and UL listed Medical Massage Chair in the world and is the selected massage chair brand that is used on United States military bases.
Amazon reviewers rank this massage chair highly with comments such as “amazing”, “worth every penny”, and “awesome quality product”. The technology of this chair was created by high-end engineers and a study has been performed to prove that this chair offers health benefits and pain relief. Special features and benefits of the Luraco Technologies iRobotics 7 include:
- Zero Gravity technology for spine and circulatory health
- Integrated Health Monitoring System to measure heart rates and blood pressure
- Height recommendations up to 6’7” and 300 pounds
- True 3D robotic system
- Noise reduction for quiet, relaxing massage
- Body swivel with twist stretching
- Advanced bottom foot massage with double rollers for reflexology-like massage
- Full body heat including seat, feet, and back (5 levels of heat intensity adjustment)
- Human voice response setting in seven languages
- MP3 player with built-in stereo speakers
- Genuine leather at all touch surfaces for extreme comfort
- 9 automatic programs are preset
- Limitless customization for massage settings
- 5 year limited manufacturer warranty
- Commercial warranty available
So the question is: “are massage chairs worth it?” And the answer is a resounding: Yes! If you buy the right one, of course. A massage chair in your own home offers much more affordability, accessibility, and convenience than the practice of heading out to see a massage therapist, even as infrequently as one time per week.
The health and therapeutic benefits of using a massage chair regularly have been attested to time and again by many users all over the internet. If you are serious about massage, then purchasing one such as the iRobotics 7 will clearly bring your life to a place of more relaxation, pain relief, and general all-around health. It’s absolutely worth the investment.