Through the years, massage chair technology has evolved and has become more sophisticated. Many massage techniques have been included in massage chairs in order to achieve the relief and relaxation you are looking for. Each Massage technique provides its own therapeutic benefits and unique sensations, and the Massage Chair Experts take a closer look.
Swedish massage is the most common and best known massage technique based on the Western concept of anatomy and physiology. One of the main goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body, which is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. The Swedish massage goes beyond relaxation and is beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood. This can decrease the amount of toxins in the muscles, improving flexibility and circulation. The Swedish style also applies sliding, kneading, tapping, friction, and vibration to relieve muscle tension. The massage rollers located in the backrest of a massage chair mimic these motions very well. They are capable of the long gliding strokes as well as the kneading and tapping. While airbag technology is not capable of a rubbing motion to the rest of the body, it does mimic the tapping, compression, and the vibration.
Deep Tissue Massage
When you have chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually bands of painful and rigid tissue in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments called adhesions. The Deep Tissue massage technique applies targeted deep pressure and focuses on these adhesions. Deep tissue massage therapy usually involves friction across the grain of the muscles using slow methodical strokes. While Classic or Swedish massage promotes relaxation, deep tissue massage focuses on specific problems like chronic pain, recovery from injury from injuries, limited mobility, or muscle tension. The massage rollers located in the backrest of massage chairs do a great job for deep tissue. Some massage chairs have a stronger roller than others, but the manual massage mode with a spot feature can break down those adhesions to restore normal movement and relieve the pains.
Many massage chairs use reflexology massage technique in the ottoman during a foot massage to promote overall well being and further relaxation. Reflexology is the application of pressure to certain areas, or acupoints, of the foot to gain a desired response from a correlating area of the body. Massage chairs incorporate this method by utilizing massage rollers on the soles of the feet. Airbags are generally used to hold your feet in place or even to press down to create a better and more through reflexology massage which feels great on tired and sore feet.
The sports massage technique stems from both Swedish and deep tissue massage and has been adapted to meet the special needs of an athlete. Massage before an event can help the athlete to gain focus and energize for the competition and loosen and warm the muscles while promoting circulation to prevent injury. After an event, massage speeds recovery by ridding the body of waste products. While many massage chairs do not have this exact mode, similar full body automated modes can be used such as relax, wake up, extended, and more.
The Shiatsu massage technique consists of pressure, also known as acupressure, and stretching. Shiatsu means "finger pressure" in Japanese and the massage chair simulates this pressure to help people relax while managing issues such as stress, nausea, muscle pain, anxiety, and depression. The philosophy behind Shiatsu is that vital energy, or ki in Japanese (qi or chi in Chinese), flows through the body through a series of energy channels. When a channel becomes blocked, the energy does not flow freely and creates a symptom. In turn, Shiatsu massage releases the blockage and gives an invigorating and refreshed feeling. Shiatsu is one of the most popular massage techniques available in massage chairs in an automated program.
Also referred to as Percussion massage, the Tapping Massage technique is a series of rapid rhythmic tapping strokes that stimulate the spine and energize the body. This tapping massage technique is also associated with the breakdown of scar tissue, increased blood flow and circulation, and can tone and strengthen the muscles. The massage roller located in the backrest of a massage chair can easily mimic this technique and is available in most massage chairs.
The Kneading Massage technique relieves tense and sore muscles through manipulating and stretching motions. The kneading method also promotes deeper blood and lymph circulation and helps bring vital nutrients to the spinal area. Eliminating toxic materials from the muscle tissue and revitalizing the nerves, a massage chair kneads your back in a small, circular motion on both sides of your spine. Some massage chairs have "grasp and knead" technology that focuses on the neck and shoulder region that commonly holds tension, working out knots and relieving pain.
The Vibration Massage technique is great for relieving soreness and discomfort and helps promote circulation while soothing and calming the nerves. Vibration ranges from weak to strong and massage chairs usually have various rhythmic or pulsating settings in the seat and even the back.
Air Compression Massage
Airbags have become vitally important in massage as the massage rollers and applies the Air Compression Massage technique. Airbags generally provide a compression to hands, arms, neck, shoulders, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet to alleviate stiffness and enhance blood circulation. This squeeze and release style of massage is especially effective in stimulating the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins from the body.
The Rolling Massage technique applies a constant pressure while rolling gently up and down your back near your spine. Massage rollers warm and loosen your muscles, preparing your back for a deeper massage. The rolling massage technique relieves muscle tension, improves circulation and relaxes the back. Most every massage chair has massage rollers to perform this technique.
Zero Gravity is a deep recline position of a 128 degrees or more. Zero Gravity Raises the feet above the heart and increases the bodies state of relaxation. This position also helps increase lung function, reduce stress on the spine, and aid in circulation.