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Low back pain is a global public health concern. It affects at least 7.5% of the total world population — that’s around 577 million people globally. And while it doesn’t always result in disability, it could limit participation in social and professional activities. Individuals experiencing low back pain are encouraged to stretch regularly, maintain good posture, use over-the-counter medication in moderation, and of course, get a massage.

Professional massage therapists will apply the right amount of pressure to ease the pain and tension you’re feeling on your back. Alternatively, you can control massage equipment settings to alleviate back pain.

With so many types of massage equipment and techniques, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused about your options. OSIM walks you through two common types of massage — chair massage and table massage — so you can determine whether they’re suitable for you.

What are chair and table massages?

Not to be confused with massage chairs that you sit on, a chair massage is a type of seated massage that uses manual manipulation to relieve muscle pain and tension. You’ll be seated on a uniquely designed chair with proper forward-leaning support while a massage therapist works on your back. Regular sessions typically last from 15 to 30 minutes. You’ll remain fully clothed during this type of massage.

You may also stay entirely clothed during table massage sessions. But usually, for this type of massage, you’ll be unclothed with a sheet draped over your body while you lay on a clean, heavily padded surface with a face cradle. It’s what most people would expect in a spa. A session usually lasts for at least 30 minutes.

One isn’t inherently better than the other. The more suitable option would always depend on what type of massage you want to get, how much time you can spare for it and where you plan to get a massage.

What are the target areas and advantages?

Chair massages and table massages both help alleviate back pain and sore muscles. But because they have different target areas, they don’t have the same effects on your body. They have varying results.

A chair massage focuses on your back, shoulders, neck and arms. It soothes tense and aching muscles in the target areas so you can relax. It could also give you a boost of energy throughout the day.

On the other hand, a table massage targets the entire body. The therapist can work on your hips, legs and feet, as well as your back, shoulders, neck and arms. You could say it’s a more suitable option when your back pain affects other body parts and functions like walking and stretching.

A table massage can address the tension and soreness that come with chronic pain problems. Additionally, it contributes to full-body relaxation. It’s why some people fall asleep on massage tables.

What are the common techniques used in these massages?

During chair massages, therapists address back pain through kneading and pressure. They can use deep kneading techniques, apply pressure on isolated spots, stretch your muscles and gently tap on specific areas throughout the session. This type of massage can be done anywhere and typically lasts up to half an hour.

Table massages generally last longer. They can be as short as 30 minutes for targeted areas. They usually last for one to one-and-a-half hours, though. Because you would be lying comfortably on a table, the therapist can easily work on any aching muscle across your body. The basic techniques that help with the relaxation of muscles and the release of tension include stroking, kneading and gentle slapping.

The techniques can be adjusted and modified based on your massage needs and preferences.

Is it worth getting massage equipment instead?

Although you can schedule regular massage sessions at home or a nearby spa, nothing beats having your own massage chair or other types of massage equipment that you can use any time. But of course, you want to choose durable, high-quality equipment carefully designed to target your physical aches and pains.

OSIM offers some of the best body massagers in the UK. Our premium massage chairs and massager tools allow you to get the benefits of regular massage care with greater accessibility and convenience.

There’s a model for different uses. For example, you may opt for an upper body massager, a lower body massager or a full-body massage chair. You can also choose portable massage equipment if you feel it suits your needs best.

You may also check out our range of humidifiers so you can create a relaxing massage spa setting at home. For product information and order inquiries, call us today at +44 (0) 1270 830888.