Kneading (Shiatsu) Massage
The main advantage of the Kneading massage is that it both relaxes and invigorates the body. Kneading massage uses three complex movements.
- Pressure is applied gently to an accupoint
- The pressure is held allowing tension to transfer to the roller
- Tension is then released allowing the pressure to leave the system
Rolling massage helps to stretch the spine by elongating the muscles that support your back thus relieving pressure on the discs. Rollers massage up and down the spine stimulating spinal nerve roots and reducing muscular back pain. The greater the area covered and greater the size of the rollers, the more optimal the massage becomes for increasing overall blood circulation.
Tapping massage, simply stated, helps to improve your blood circulation. This increased blood flow has the benefit of reducing muscular stiffness and enhancing movement of oxygen and other vital nutrients through the course of the body. After exercise, this function helps wring muscles free of lactic acid, reducing the overall stiffness of the region being massaged. Some massage chair technologies allow as many as five hundred taps a minute! Sit back and let all the day's stiffness dissipate.
Six steps for finding the right Massage Chair!
Now that we have talked about basic Massage Chair features, it's time to follow these six steps to truly find the best massage chair that is right for you.
- Know Thyself - Know the nature of massage you need: Do you have a neck problem, back problem, or lower back problem? Do you need more concentrated massage or a combination of kneading, rolling, or tapping?
- Durability or temporary solution: If you need an urgent shiatsu massage, there are cheap rollers for the back. If your priorities call for durability and long-term use, you will want a chair that can last at least 5-10 years with daily use.
- Prioritize - Decide which styles and features mean the most to you. Rank those top features and styles and use those criteria to select the products within your price range.
- Visit a store and a retail showroom in your area. Some chairs are displayed in malls and if you have a chance, you should try them. Be patient in the purchasing process. As a general rule malls will charge more than online stores or dealers at trade shows. Tax and shipping are involved as is the Mall's store operating costs that have to be made up in your final price.
- Research, research, research - Contact manufacturers and dealers for additional information on sizes, specifications, and any other information. Study them closely, review videos if they are offered, talk to friends, and experts.
- Think about warranty. You may think you will not have a problem; and you probably won't if you buy a quality massage chair, but we have all heard those stories of "great deals". Remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for". It couldn't be truer in the massage chair industry. Before you purchase, make sure that the manufacturer of the chair is reputable and backs their products with a good warranty.
When it comes to selecting the massage chair, forget about more features, more rollers, more motors and special features that you do not need. The issues you should consider are comfort, durability, stability, massage technique, quality, and warranty. The most important thing in buying a massage chair is quality. You want a chair with the best shiatsu massage technique with good quality motors. Motors are as important to your massage chair as an engine is to your car.
Making Sense of Massage Chairs
Selecting your chairs based on your need is a great rule of thumb for choosing your chair. However, the chair is not an inexpensive purchase and you probably want it to last more than your average consumer electronic product. Here is a primer on selecting chairs by their components.
Your massage chair motor is the "engine" of your chair. Motors in the chair are important since they carry out the massage. If a massage chair motor breaks down, the chair becomes useless. You need to investigate the quality of the motors -- who made it, where was it manufactured and how long it can last. Companies usually outsource the motor. A few companies make their own motors. Other companies are well known motor makers that make other products with motors such as vacuum cleaners or fans. Motors manufactured in Japan are known for their quality and durability around the world. These motors also produce less noise than motors made in other countries. You might want to investigate the number of motors in the massage chair. When the chair has independent motors that concentrate on kneading, rolling, and tapping, you will receive a more effective and powerful massage. Furthermore, a chair with separate motors can allocate the workload necessary to produce a therapeutic massage. This produces less wear on each motor, allowing the motors to rest while the active motor provides you the specified shiatsu massage function. When a single motor provides all kneading, rolling, and tapping functions, it becomes more likely to burnout from overuse. The result is a shortened life span for a chair with a single motor over a chair with several motors. Also, having too many small low quality motors working against each other can shorten the mechanical lifespan of the massage chair. The general rule is if you can hear any massage motor running while you are getting a massage, it probably is a low quality motor.
There are chairs with speed control but no intensity control. Conversely, there are chairs with intensity control without speed control. Different features can include air massage or roller massage. Air massage involves squeezing the muscle and as a result is not as effective as the better roller massages. Roller massage provides you the best massage technique for shiatsu massage. Cheaper chairs have vibration, or disk rollers instead of large rollers that provide a more therapeutic shiatsu massage. Leather chair or non-leather chair is also an issue. Generally, leather chairs are expensive to produce and less enticing for long-term use for massage chairs due to special care for roller movement. If the user does not use leather care oils, the rollers can crack the leather from the repetitive stress. For this reason, leather chairs provide less of an advantage over synthetic leather. This situation is similar to outdoor gear for camping where cotton is not as functional as nylon or Gore-Tex. Cotton is great for home use but not for the intense conditions of the outdoors. Similarly, synthetic leather massage chairs last longer than leather massage chairs because of the exposure to the repetitive wear and tear of the rollers.