Massage chairs are a great way to relax and unwind after a long day, but they can't replace the benefits of a professional massage. While massage chairs can work on areas of the body that can be physically reached with their rollers, they can't provide the same level of coverage as a massage therapist. According to a study, massage chairs are effective in reducing back pain, but they don't offer the same extensive coverage as massage therapy. Massage chairs are also great for post-workout recovery, as they help our parasympathetic nervous system to move to a calmer and more relaxed state.
Many massage chairs are FDA-approved medical devices and organizations such as the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recognize them as credible supplements to chiropractic therapy. However, if you need a deeper massage or want to cover a more specific part of your body, you can't expect your chair to magically take care of it. Massage therapy is a non-pharmacological treatment modality effective for controlling chronic pain, stress and spinal misalignment. It's also extremely powerful in treating chronic nonspecific low back pain, according to one study.
Healing touch and cancer massage can also relieve pain in patients suffering from treatment-resistant cancer pain, according to another study. Massage therapy clinics tend to offer relaxing music, aromatherapy, hot towels, oils, and other types of relaxation-enhancing benefits. A masseuse's ability to personalize her treatment is perhaps the most compelling case of human-powered massage. When it comes to choosing between a massage chair and a professional massage, it really depends on your needs.
If you have muscle tension in your upper shoulder but your massage chair doesn't offer a good trapezoid massage, you're out of luck. On the other hand, if you have episodes of pain or simply enjoy getting a massage from time to time, two or three massages a year may be all you want or need. Nowadays, many massage chairs offer a body scan that maps your back to detect your height, shape and pressure points before automatically adjusting their rollers to offer you a personalized massage. Compared to the best massage gun, chairs are better for muscle swelling and therefore more ideal for post-workout recovery.
In conclusion, both massage chairs and professional massages have their own unique benefits. Massage chairs are great for relaxation and post-workout recovery while professional massages offer extensive coverage and personalized treatments. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which one is best for your needs.