One of the most common questions I see on discussion forums relates to whether massage chairs are actually worth the money. After all, even low-priced entry models can set you back several hundred dollars while premium models can cost ten times this sum.
As a result, it’s a perfectly valid question to ask before shelling out your hard-earned money on a massage chair.
Are Massage Chairs Worth It?
Bearing in mind the time and effort taken to build our website you might imagine that I’d be biased and immediately tell you that “of course, massage chairs are worth it” but the reality is rather different. Indeed, in my opinion, the answer to the question of whether massage chairs are worth it is really “it depends”. Here’s why…
If you’re going to buy a massage chair for your home or business then you’re going to want to get the most possible from it.
After all, there’s no point shelling out a thousand dollars for a really nice model and then never using it again. As a result in order to assess whether a massage chair is right for you I think there are a number of questions that you should be asking yourself:
Why Do You Want A Massage Chair?
Over the last few years of running this website, we’ve spoken to a wide range of massage chair owners. It turns out there are quite a number of reasons why people willingly spend their money on a massage chair. Some of the most common reasons are:
- Massage chairs can offer a luxurious treat whenever it suits you
- Massage chairs can assist in relieving pain and discomfort
- Massage chairs can relax the mind and body, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, or insomnia
The first question to ask yourself is therefore what your own motivations are. Then secondly assess how likely it is that a massage chair will help you to accomplish this. I would argue, for example, that if you have difficulties sleeping thanks to pain or anxiety and a massage chair can help you get to sleep earlier and more comfortable that they most certainly are worthwhile.
On the other hand, if you’re considering a massage chair just as a “treat” then you might find your money is better spent on other “toys” – only you can make that decision.
Do You Enjoy In-Person Massages?
It sounds like a silly question but have you ever actually had a massage in the past – whether from a friend or family member or from a professional masseur? Think back to that time and consider how you found the experience – and how you felt afterward.
In many cases, the experience of a full body massage on tap, whenever you want it, and without the impracticality of having to go to the massage parlor can be more than enough to convince people to buy a massage chair. On the other hand, a minority of people are largely unaffected by massage or even find it downright unpleasant.
If you are one of these people then try to ascertain the reasons. Do you simply not like massage periods, or were there other factors that could be resolved with a massage chair?
I have spoken to several ladies, for example, who love the sensation of a massage but dislike being only partially clothed in front of a stranger. In this case, having a massage chair that you can use fully clothed from the comfort of your own home may well prove to be worthwhile.
How Often Will You Use It?
Massage chairs operate under “economies of scale”. If you spend $5000 or even $500 on a massage chair and only use it a couple of times then it’s likely that buying one isn’t worthwhile. That said, if you take regular massages then buying your own massage chair may be well worth it.
Consider, for example, if you spent that $500 on a massage chair and enjoyed a pleasurable massage just once a week. Over the course of just your first year, each massage would cost you $9.60.
Compare that with the cost of an in-person massage and it looks like the bargain of the century.
A further consideration when deciding on whether a massage chair is worth it for you is therefore how often you’ll use it; the more massages you have, the better value you will get from your massage chair.
How Much Free Time Do You Have?
A good quality massage takes time. To give you an idea of what to expect with a massage chair, the standard program length is 30 minutes, though this can be extended. If you’re a busy person always on the go you need to ask yourself if you really really have the time to enjoy regular massages.
On the other hand, if you believe that you have the time at least once every week or two to enjoy a session in your massage chair then once again investing in one may prove to be well worth it.
Are Massage Chairs Good for Your Back?
Massage chairs can be beneficial for your back health, providing a range of advantages supported by scientific evidence. These ergonomically designed chairs offer a convenient and efficient way to alleviate back pain, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being.
One key benefit of massage chairs is their ability to target specific muscle groups in the back. The mechanical rollers and airbags integrated into the chair mimic the techniques used by professional massage therapists, such as kneading, tapping, and rolling. These movements help to release tension in the muscles, reduce muscle tightness, and enhance flexibility. Scientific studies have shown that regular massage can lead to a significant reduction in lower back pain and improved range of motion.
Massage chairs also contribute to increased blood circulation. The mechanical manipulation of soft tissues stimulates blood flow, which, in turn, delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Improved circulation aids in the removal of metabolic waste products, reducing inflammation and promoting faster muscle recovery. Research supports the idea that massage can enhance blood flow, contributing to the overall health of the back muscles.
Furthermore, massage chairs have been found to have positive effects on stress and anxiety reduction. Stress often manifests physically, leading to tension in the back muscles. Regular use of massage chairs has been associated with a decrease in cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, massage chairs contribute to an overall sense of well-being, positively impacting back health.
It's important to note that while massage chairs can be beneficial, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Individuals with specific back conditions or injuries should consult with healthcare professionals before using massage chairs. Additionally, it's crucial to use the chair appropriately, adjusting the settings to individual preferences and avoiding excessive pressure, to ensure a safe and effective experience.
In conclusion, massage chairs can be a valuable asset for maintaining back health. Their ability to target specific muscle groups, improve circulation, and reduce stress makes them a scientifically supported option for alleviating back pain and promoting overall well-being.
To reiterate; nobody can tell you that a massage chair will definitely be worth your time (and money).
Only you can make that decision, though hopefully, the points raised in this article will provide some points to consider and help you make a more informed decision about buying your first massage chair.
If you decided to purchase one, please read our official guide here and good luck.