Did you know that in 2017, 74% of adults in the U.K. have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope with the magnitude of their stress? The problem is so bad, that 32% of adults say they have had suicidal thoughts as a result.
And with the onslaught of the coronavirus, stress and anxiety levels have soared even more. In one major study, 57%of the participants reported anxiety symptoms during the early stages of the lockdown.
The pandemic also brought on another problem: shoulder, neck and back pain. More people have started working remotely because of the lockdown. And not everyone has ergonomic work setups at home, which explains why cases of body aches have increased during the pandemic.
One great solution to stress and back pain is massage.
Massage can’t change life circumstances that may be causing a person’s stress. But it can help relax a person and relieve some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Right now, paying for a personal masseuse might not be the best idea because of COVID-19. Luckily, there are full body massage chairs that deliver the same health benefits as a masseuse.
Let’s take a look at the many health benefits of massage chairs and how they can improve your quality of life.
Benefits of a Massage Chair
Massage chairs bring plenty of perks for health and wellness. You’re probably already aware of many of them — reducing stress, easing headaches and relieving tension, among many others. There are also smaller, targeted machines, like a foot massage and leg massage machine that address more specific problems.
If you’re not convinced yet, we’ll also touch on a few lesser-known benefits of massage in the following paragraphs.
Massage chairs bring with them all these benefits and then some. Let’s get into learning about all the benefits you can enjoy from a massage chair.
1. Reduce Stress
We’ve made the claim that massages can reduce stress, but are massage chairs just as good?
This study found that a simple 15-minute session in a massage chair during the workday brought down employees’ stress levels. To measure this, researchers took employees’ blood pressure before and after the massage and found a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic pressures.
Additionally, this study used information from an EEG and math computations to determine that massage can boost productivity as well as reduce stress.
2. Improve Breathing
Tight muscles and improper posture make it more difficult for you to breathe. Slumping forward, as with poor posture, contracts your chest cavity and restricts the space for your lungs to expand. To compensate, the body naturally takes shallower breaths, which is not as efficient for oxygen absorption into the body.
Tight muscles in your back and around your chest can have the same effect.
You can program your massage chair to target the muscle groups in your back that are causing you trouble. With regular massages over time, your posture will also naturally improve as your back muscles are more capable of holding the correct position when they are not tied up in knots.
As a result, you will be able to take deeper, more natural breaths. This gets more oxygen into your system, improves brain function, and helps you feel more awake, leading to better productivity.
3. Improve Digestion
Better breathing results in a richer flow of oxygen through the bloodstream. Relaxed muscles also facilitate better blood circulation throughout the body.
Both of these result in better function of many systems in the body, including digestion. The organs are better able to perform their tasks, as well as food moves more readily through the lower body. All this helps to ease constipation and prevent the buildup of gases in the body.
This study found that massage therapy can have a significant effect on easing gastrointestinal problems. However, in people with severe issues, it seems to work best in conjunction with laxative use rather than as a substitute.
4. Emulate Excellent Massage Technique
It might seem that going to a masseuse would result in a better massage. However, many massage chairs are designed to mimic leading massage techniques.
The two most common schools of massage thought that chairs are designed to emulate are Shiatsu and Swedish massages.
Shiatsu uses pressure, tapping, rolling, rotating, and similar movements designed to work out tension in specific locations. Swedish massages focus more on long strokes and kneading motions that help to improve circulation.
Whichever type you prefer, you can get a massage chair that will offer the benefits you’re looking for.
5. Enhance Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is something people should focus on amid the pandemic. The coronavirus lockdown has caused a sharp increase in insomnia in the UK. Many reasons contribute to this sleeping problem, including anxiety, social isolation, mood swings, increased screen time and the changes in one’s daily routine.
It’s no secret that massages help induce sleep – it’s why you usually fall asleep when you’re at the masseuse. Massage triggers serotonin, a neurochemical that induces calm feelings. Plus, we already know that massage alleviates your stress and improves your breathing. When your breathing slows and your muscles relax, your brain takes those as signs that it’s time for bed, making you fall asleep faster.
If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleeping problems, a good massage can help you get into the right headspace for sleeping, allowing you more restful slumber.
6. Reduce Neck Problems
Too much screen time causes something called ‘tech neck’. Tech neck usually occurs when you’re using your phone when your chin and neck are flexed downwards and your shoulders round forward. This position causes stress and microtrauma on the neck and upper back area, resulting in discomfort and pain.
Bad posture caused by working in front of your computer for long periods can also lead to a stiff neck and other neck problems.
Most massage chairs have a dedicated attachment for the neck and shoulders. This part effectively relieves discomfort and aches in those body parts. Massage chairs can also decrease the intensity and frequency of headaches that often come with neck problems.
If you want to reap the benefits of massage for your neck but don’t have the space for a massage chair, a portable massager should also work. Simply hold it against your upper back and you’ll notice the difference after a few minutes. The best thing about portable massagers is you can use it on different parts of your body. With this piece of equipment, you can also enjoy a good massage while you’re in bed or lounging on the couch.
7. Alleviate Lower Back Pain
Just like neck problems, lower back pain is a result of poor sitting posture and unergonomic work setups. If you’re one of the people struggling with pain or stiffness in your lower back during the pandemic, a massage chair can definitely help you.
Regular massages aid in pain management and alleviate muscle trauma. This is why orthopedic doctors often include massage therapy in rehabilitation plans for lower back pain.
You can sit on your massage chair after a long day of work and let it work its magic. You’ll notice that the ache will grow dull after several minutes. The more you use your massage chair, instances of your lower back pain will also be less frequent or less intense over time.
8. Enhance Post-Workout Muscle Recovery
Massages also encourage fast recovery from strenuous exercise and other physical activities. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a common pain point for people with very active lifestyles. DOMS normally occurs a day or two after a workout or any physical activity that your body isn’t used to yet.
Multiple studies have proven that getting a massage is effective against DOMS. After a workout, massages alleviate muscle fatigue and soreness and reduce swelling, which also reduces the intensity of DOMS.
You can also use your massage chair before working out to prevent DOMS. A massage loosens and warms muscle fibres, improving your range of motion. Relaxed muscles prior to exercise are less likely to tighten up during physical activity, which reduces the likelihood of DOMS. Your improved mobility and flexibility also help you avoid injuries during your workout.
9. Avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are the gradual buildup of trauma in the muscles, tendons or nerves as a result of repetitive motions. Even mundane activities like typing or using a computer mouse can induce RSIs. Some examples of this kind of injury are carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and tennis elbow.
A massage chair can help you prevent RSIs. Massage increases blood circulation, flushing out natural toxins and reducing inflammation. If you’re already suffering from RSI or relative pain due to repetitive motions, you can also use your massage chair to supplement your treatment plan. It will help reduce tension in the affected muscle or tendon.
A portable massager is also helpful for alleviating RSI symptoms, especially for parts of the body that can’t be reached by a massage chair.
10. Save Money in the Long Run
Going to a masseuse can get spendy. If you have a proven medical reason, you may be able to get your visits covered by insurance. But they will be limited to whatever parameters your condition warrants.
If you want to go more often or continue your visits after your doctor’s prescription has expired, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
When you buy a massage chair, you can enjoy as many massages as you like. Make a 15-minute massage part of your nightly routine to prepare your body for sleep if you want. You don’t have to pay anything extra after the initial investment.
11. Offer At-Home Massage Treatments
Saving money isn’t the only reason that some people may avoid going to a masseuse. Not everyone is comfortable with strangers touching them all over their body. Many people find it difficult to fully relax in that environment. And with the coronavirus still running rampant, many are wary of visiting their personal masseuse for their regular sessions.
By using a massage chair, you can get all the benefits of visiting a masseuse without actually having to visit the masseuse.
Set up a few aromatic candles, slip on your favourite pyjamas, and you can create a completely personalized massage experience.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to go anywhere. If you fall asleep in the chair, that’s fine! You’re already at home anyway.
Start Reaping the Health Benefits of Massage Chairs
Every day our bodies face a certain amount of abuse. Whether it’s sitting at a computer, bouncing around on a tractor, or hitting the gym a little too hard, we all participate in activities that our bodies need to recover from.
A massage chair can help alleviate many of the aches and pains of life. Investing in a massage chair means investing in your health and wellness. OSIM carries a wide selection of massage chairs and massagers, suitable for every budget and every physical need. Whether you want to alleviate your stress or improve your sleep quality, you’ll find the massage product you need with OSIM. Browse our online catalogue today to view our selection of portable massagers and massage chairs. For enquiries, fill out our online form.