How Massage Chairs Work: Are They Effective?

How Massage Chairs Work

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Want to find some effective ways to alleviate tension and back pain? To provide you with a genuine human massage experience in the comfort of your own home, we’re sharing the various vibrating mechanisms and basic vibrating components found in massage chairs. Here’s how massage chairs work.

How Massage Chairs Work

In order to relax your muscles, massage chairs have vibration motors with weighted wheels that spin and produce vibration when agitated. Many massage chairs also feature rollers that move in various directions within the chair’s frame and simulate a relaxing sensation on different muscles from your neck to your ankles.

Many massage chairs include rollers that operate in various directions while also providing you with the option of a circular motion.

Another technique for massage chairs is using airbags stored in the arms and motors that press into specific areas of the body. These airbags inflate and deflate while the motors create a tapping sensation for a soothing massage. Many massage chairs (particularly high-end versions) include many programs for optimal comfort and a personalised touch.

The Different Massage Modes Offered

Different massage chairs offer different massage modes, with the best offering a selection of all. Below are the majority of options for various massage patterns you can expect from a high-end massage chair. A word of caution, though. If you are currently pregnant, regardless of how far along, you must consult your doctor first. This is to determine whether a massage chair is safe for you or not.

Tapping Massage

When set to a tapping massage, a massage chair’s rollers move up and down fast to emulate a tapping sensation. This massage method is great if you experience aches or pains in your back and lumbar regions and is similar to a karate chop. Not only will this therapy strengthen muscles, but it’ll also tone them. You can usually increase or decrease the intensity via a remote control, app, or built-in screen.

Deep Tissue Massage

A massage chair uses gliding strokes in deep tissue mode that apply pressure to your back muscles to relieve muscle tension. When massaging deep into tissues, this technology improves your body balance and helps to relieve any pain or anxiety.

Shiatsu Massage

A shiatsu massage pattern uses acupressure to stretch and soothe muscles in your back and neck. The technique relies on a rolling, sweeping, and pressing movement to decrease muscle tension. It’s probably one of the most common massage therapies used in massage chairs.

Rolling Massage

With this technique, the massage rollers alternate to apply pressure on certain upper and lower spine areas, using downward movements. So if you experience soreness in your back, this massage therapy is highly recommended. In particular, it can relax your back, improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension.

Kneading Massage

This type of massage soothes aching and painful muscles using circular motions. For a massage chair to offer this technique, its rollers must operate in tiny, circular motions that focus on the neck, shoulder, and back areas. This massage technique provides relief in hard-to-reach areas.

All the Features of Massage Chairs

More expensive massage chairs don’t stop at just their massage techniques. Below are some additional features you can expect for a higher budget.

Heat Therapy

Heat is proven to relieve pain in the entire body and promote blood circulation. It also provides a relaxing state and reduces any swelling. That’s why many of the top massage chairs include a function for heat therapy that you can apply to multiple areas of the body.

Zero Gravity

NASA inspired this feature to imitate the position of astronauts about to launch into space. When lying in a horizontal position, your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body, and your thighs are in line with your body. There’s even another mode called two-stage zero gravity that moves you back even further so your legs are above heart level to increase blood circulation.

Zero gravity offers many benefits, such as reduced back pain by reducing the weight on your spine for maximum comfort. It also helps with your heart, muscles, and arteries by increasing blood flow around your body. Improved blood flow can aid in the reduction of swelling.

This mode can also assist with breathing by helping to open up your airways, making it ideal for those with sleep apnea or asthma. Finally, this position enables you to relax and feel comfortable and gives you an overall wellness boost.

Footrest Extension

Another feature of a robotic massage chair is foot extension to enhance comfort while using different massage settings. Considering robotic massage chairs with a foot extension, consider your height, as this is critical to comfort. Most footrest extensions extend by three or four inches but make sure to check the dimensions to suit your height. In particular, if you’re over five foot 10 inches, you might need to consider larger dimensions.


If you’re using a massage chair to relieve tight muscles and help with tension, consider a chair with built-in music synchronisation. By incorporating a music and massage function simultaneously, the massage modes synchronise their movements and actions to the rhythm of the music. In particular, as the massage settings increase, the music picks up its tempo to match. From classical music to rock music, massage chairs with a music function are versatile and can make the entire experience more enjoyable. Above all, this function can help you to unwind and relax.

The Benefits of Massage Chairs

Not sure if a massage chair is designed with your needs in mind? Below are just some benefits of traditional massage chairs.

Relieves Anxiety and Stress

Firstly, massage chairs have been recognised to decrease stress and anxiety during use. They stimulate serotonin and dopamine while decreasing cortisol (which is the hormone for stress). Through the combination of these humans, a massage chair can stabilise mood swings and keep stress levels at a minimum. Plus, there aren’t any side effects from using massage chairs compared to prescribed medical plans and other forms.

Improves Sleep

Need to improve your sleep pattern? Then a chair massage can help to overcome sleep problems, helping you to fall asleep quicker. Therefore, you might want to use a massage chair before heading to bed.

Helps With Sore Muscles

A massage chair can help with sore body muscles after a long day sitting, playing sports or after a vigorous exercise routine. This aching is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which needs to be released to help with soreness. By massaging these raw areas on the body, a massage chair increases oxygen levels to alleviate any soreness.

Helps With Lower Back Pain

Are you looking for pain relief in the lower back area? Then most massage chairs can provide that benefit. A massage chair helps with pain management with regular use while improving mobility to help with lower-back healing.

Enhances the Lymphatic System

Experience a buildup of toxins within the body? Massage chairs work to flush the lymphatic system that can pile up in the nodes, helping you to feel more refreshed.

Factors to Look For When Buying a Massage Chair

Are you convinced that massage chairs work to relieve tension and anxiety? Then it’s time to rely on them. Below are some important factors and features to look for when buying one.

Chair Size

Firstly, bear in mind the size that the chair accommodates. While most will target people between five feet and seven-foot, you might need to have one specially made if you’re outside of this height range. Additionally, most massage chairs have a maximum weight capacity of 280 pounds, which is created for safety reasons. If you exceed this weight, certain brands have larger frames.

2D, 3D, or 4D Massage

There are three massage modes: 2D, 3D and 4D massage settings. It is found in almost all massage chairs. A 2D massage mode has rollers that move either up, down, left or right. A 3D massage mode enables you to adjust the rollers’ intensity so you can have a personalised massage setting. Finally, a 4D massage mode features variable roller intensity that provides deep muscle release, ideal for back or shoulder complications.


Massage programs and massage techniques are an important aspect of mechanical massage chairs, the material of the upholstery is critical for comfort. Due to the amount of movement and heat generated on massage chairs, you’ll notice that more expensive chairs use synthetic materials. Synthetic fabrics are designed to withstand wear and tear, heat, and extended use.

Ease of Use

Finally, a massage chair should be easy to operate. The last thing you want is for a massage chair to be difficult and stressful to use. There are two main operation options: touchscreen or remote control. If you’re not digitally advanced, a touchscreen might not be the easiest to use. Instead, a remote-control function is more user-friendly.

Do You Have a Recommended Massage Chair?

It is designed with vibration motors with a weighted wheel to create various vibrations. Massage chairs use power and momentum to generate a wonderful massage sensation. If you’re a fan of massage therapy, maybe you have a recommended chair that you’d like to suggest to others or certain features you recommend? Let us know in the comments.

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