Massage chairs can be found in just about every airport and they’re all over the internet. Some of them seem rather costly and some of them seem budget-friendly but where did they come from? Surely, they’ve been around for quite a few decades right? You’d be surprised to learn that massage chairs actually aren’t that old and are a relatively new invention in terms of our generation. What if I told you that the first massage chair was introduced in 1986? That’s right, back in 1986, a man named David Palmer who was a practitioner introduced the very first massage chair.
It was known as the ‘High Touch Massage Chair’ and wasn’t exactly high tech back then. The factory the chair was being built at was located in Santa Rosa, California and even David wasn’t too confident about his own product. He didn’t know if it would take off or if it would be popular because there were already a surplus of places that people could go to get a massage. The massage chair was a unique invention that allowed people to experience the comfort of a massage without having to pay for one every single time.
It also allowed people to experience one without having to take off their clothes for strangers to rub them down. These paid massages were also relatively expensive, which is something David realized and wanted to change. The first massage chairs were manufactured by a company called Living Earth Crafts and believe it or not, the very first massage chairs could actually be carried around like a suitcase because they came in a folded position. In 1989, a metal massage chair was invented instead of wood but it didn’t do too well due to how dangerous it was and how unsafe it was for the consumers.
While massage chairs were becoming increasing popular, some people tried to capitalize on this by inventing things such as a massage cradle and a massage bar. The massage bar was made in 1993 and was made to be attached to a countertop. It wasn’t exactly the most popular product for a number of reasons. Then there was the desktop face cradle which was revealed in 1990, just a few years before the massage bar. The intention of this product was to be able to receive a massage when there wasn’t a chair available and you didn’t feel like paying for a professional.
Today, massage & Recliner chairs can range anywhere from $100 to $700 with an average market price being about $300. The chair costs about the same price as a massage table which is why a lot of people prefer the chairs over the tables if they can afford it. However, a human touch on your skin is rather nice sometimes but can be rather costly on a regular basis for people who are stressed out on a regular occasion. Massage chairs since 1986 have evolved from wood to fine vinyl and plastic rollers inside of the chair, which has drastically improved the experience.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Massage Chair
Massage chairs are convenient and they’re very comfortable. However, they don’t all come even and equal. Some chairs will be better than others and this depends on your different needs. There’s several different factors you need to look at before you take the plunge into buying your first massage chair. Massage chairs aren’t cheap and you need to consider several things before buying one of them.
#1 – The Warranty/Customer Support
This isn’t like a blender or some other kind of cheap appliance that you could easily replace at your local Walmart. You need to make sure that you’re covered under a premium warranty because massage chairs work in a complicated way. You need to make sure that you find out just how long the warranty lasts and that you’re fully covered. You also want to make sure that at the very minimum, all of the parts and labor are covered if you receive a defective chair or a chair that has parts broken down. These are not chairs you want to try to fix yourself.
#2 – While massage chairs are generally expensive and that they’re usually high quality, there’s a lot of moving parts, there’s wiring, there’s complicated things inside of the chair that make it work so things sometimes do go wrong. It’s no fault of the manufacturer usually and sometimes things need to be repaired. When you consider just how much money you’re going to be shelling out for a chair, you definitely want to make sure that you get something durable. Make sure it’s a very durable chair and that its heavy duty.
#3 – Another thing to consider is the location of the chair and where you plan on putting it. These chairs aren’t generally something you put in the living room and they require quite a bit of space. They’re very clunky, they don’t fit in well with most rooms but are so relaxing that you might eventually end up converting a room just for relaxation. Some people like to put them in their office and some people have even been known to devote a room solely to the massage chair.
#4 – What kind of budget do you have for the chair? While most chairs range from $100 to several hundred dollars there are some chairs on the market for people looking for extra functionality and comfort that can go up into the thousands of dollars. Those chairs you encounter at the airport aren’t generally a good judge of character for how much chairs cost because they usually buy cheap ones. Some chairs today even have USB ports and headphone jacks for your music.
#5 – Finally, what kind of features do you want in a chair? What kind of features are you looking for in terms of comfort and functionality? Do you want sound? Do you want your chair to be able to connect headphones or music? Also, what kind of areas would you like to have massaged? The cheapest chairs usually just include a couple of rollers that caress your spine and go up and down. If you want chairs that have various speeds and massage various areas, you’re going to have to invest a bit more.
Benefits of Using a Massage Chair
There are various benefits to use a massage chair and owning one over going to the massage parlor on a consistent basis. Aside from the cost, here’s some of the health benefits that you’ll see from using a massage chair.
Your spine will be aligned better and it will help alleviate pressure that’s put on your nerves. When people stress out, their nerves tend to stiffen up and they become awry. One of the things that’s affected is your spine and getting a regular massage can help alleviate this. Aligning your spine has been shown to have several positive health benefits.
Another thing that’s important for later life is to maintain great posture. This is what a massage chair helps to do as well, promote positive posture. Also, your muscles can tense up and actually form knots on the muscles that constrict blood flow and reduce your overall performance. Massage chairs will help relieve pressure on your muscles and release those knots.
Stress is something that people think only affects the mind. Believe it or not, a lot of things you do can be affected by your mindset and whether or not you’re stressed out. If you want to remain stress free, make sure that your muscles are relaxed and your nerves are open, which is what is accomplished when a massage chair is concentrating on the problem areas of your body.
Positive circulation of the blood inside your body is highly important. Without it, blood clots can form, you can feel stressed, get aches, cramps and other side effects. When a massage chair is helping relax the muscles of your body, your blood will flow more freely and you’ll feel more at ease.
One of the main benefits is the release of endorphins. When you’re more relaxed and when your body is more relaxed, you’ll notice that you feel better, you’re more positive, your body heals wounds faster and that the effects of pain are far less severe. This is because endorphins accomplish all of this on their own.
Full-Body Zero Gravity Space Saving L-Track Kahuna Massage Chair Recliner LM6800 with heating therapy
This chair is highly reviewed and is one of the most unique chairs on the market today. You can experience zero gravity in this chair and what it’s like to get a professional massage without leaving home. It not only targets your vital lower back areas but also relaxed your body all over and allows you to kick up your feet and relax.
Three different levels of zero gravity
Has a three year warranty
FDA has approved this chair as a medical device
Comes with numerous advanced technologies such as body scanning, air massaging and yoga programs
Gives a full body massage
Has two different stages of zero gravity for ultimate comfort
Even has foot rollers to massage your feet
One of the highest positively reviewed massage chairs on the market
It does require a little bit of assembly which is easy to understand
Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner w/Heat Stretched Foot Rest 06C- Black
While this looks like something out of a science fiction film, this is a highly advanced massage chair that comes equipped with its own foot rest. It comes equipped with a multitude of airbags, heat sensors and other wonderful features that give it a well-deserved spot on this list.
Comes with highly advanced power rollers that mimic a real deep tissue massage
Specific key pointed rollers are made to improve flexibility
Has a feature designed specifically to target your neck
The roller system conforms to the shape of your neck
Has over 30 airbags built into the chair for maximum relaxation
Targets specific key points on your body with an intelligent scanning system
It needs to be used often or it may stop working after a year
RELAXONCHAIR [MK-II PLUS] Full Body Zero Gravity Shiatsu Massage Chair with Built-In Heat and Air Massage System – Charcoal
This highly reviewed chair is something you would typically see at a doctor’s office or a lounge. It’s hard to get up from this chair with a remote controlled massager that allows you to pin point and target exactly which areas you’re looking for.
Remote controlled for your own personal pleasurable experience
Durable but yet soft rollers for sensitive skin
Several different options available for massages
Has a three stage zero gravity function
Automatically aligns your feet based on your heart for optimal massage conditions
A remote control that has 4 different automatic massage options and 3 manual ones
3 different levels of airbag control for different intensity
3 different speed control levels
The controls can be a little confusing until you get used to them
ideal massage Full Featured Shiatsu Chair with Built in Heat Zero Gravity Positioning Deep Tissue Massage – Beige
With a unique and stylish Beige design, this chair fits well in just about any room of your house and fits with any décor. Has a sleek recline functionality and remote control for people looking for the optimal massage experience.
Over four different programs available at the touch of a button
Offers three different zero gravity positions
You can choose anything from a quick 5 minute massage to a 30 minute massage
Comes with different options such as rolling, vibrating and spinal targeting the area most affected
Has a nice built in heat therapy for your back
Will also massage your feet with 6 kneading balls
People who are shorter than 5’4 may have trouble reaching the bottom of the foot massager
"iJoy-2580" Premium Robotic Massage Chair
This is one of the cheaper options on the list but despite that, it still has a lot of powerful functionality in it including a cup holder. This unique design chair could fit well into an office setting with a wooden floor.
Comes equipped with three different automatic massages
Allows you to recline at a nice 180 degrees
There’s also manual massage techniques included as well
Allows you to hold a beverage while being massaged
Easy to recline up to 180 degrees
You can easily change up the pace, speed and intensity of your massage with different massage programs
It’s smaller than other massage chairs on the list for people concerned about space
The seating position isn’t as high as the other chairs
Massaging Black Leather Recliner and Ottoman with Leather Wrapped Base
This stylish chair is perfect for relaxing in your living room. It comes with an Ottoman for additional leg support, and it’s affordable compared to the high end of the market. It’s not going to replace a masseuse, but it will help to ease stress. The chair is also manually adjustable, to fit a range of different positions.
Both the chair and the Ottoman have massage controls
Five different presets for massage
The material is highly durable
Basic heat controls
Double padded cushions for additional comfort
Well reviewed on Amazon, with over 150 five star reviews
Lightweight and easy to move
Assembly was difficult for a number of owners
Image source - Amazon.com
updated 7th July 2017