Are Massage Chairs Worth It? All Things Considered
We work hard to improve the lives of ourselves and our loved ones, so it’s important to consider the rewards of any investment we make, whether it be of our time, our money, or our energy.
As many people look into purchasing a massage chair, they ask themselves whether the purchase is worth the price. Should I buy a massage chair? Do massage chairs really help? The value of a solution is relative to the individual problem it solves, so let’s examine a few different cases.
Massage for Injury Recovery
Whether you’re an athlete or a “Regular Joe,” physical injuries can lessen both your quality of life and the amount of money in your bank account. Missed work and multiple doctor visits come as an unexpected cost, and you’ll find yourself taking your vacation days for errands that are anything but relaxing.
Even with health insurance, missed time from work can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If your injury requires massage therapy, this also means taking a few hours per week to visit a therapist that is likely to only be available during your standard business hours.
Massage for Stress Relief
Our stress responses are actually a primitive survival tool, commonly known as our “Fight or Flight response.” When we sense any type of potentially harmful situation, our bodies produce a chemical reaction that increases our heart rate and tightens our muscles. We are physically preparing ourselves to respond to a threat to our well-being.
Small doses of stress can allow us to enhance our focus and performance, but long-term stress puts a strain on our bodies that can actually be harmful. Think about tension headaches, body aches, skin rashes, hair loss, and insomnia. Our modern way of life supplies us with plenty of stress, but we aren’t USING that physical response to run, fight, or otherwise exert that energy. Our bodies pump the adrenaline through our systems, and it manifests itself as physical strain.
Aside from the same inconveniences of missed work that we mentioned in the previous example, bear in mind the effects that these ailments have on quality of life. Yes, you’re missing work. But, more importantly, you’re missing life. You’re missing play time with your kids, enjoying your weekend bike rides, and waking up refreshed and energized each day.
Some stressors can be avoided, but others can only be managed after they happen. That’s where meditation, exercise, and massage can make all the difference. Calming your mind will help you to manage stress, and easing the tension in your muscles through exercise and massage can save you from emotional, physical, and mental anguish.
Massage for Health Problems
We’ve discussed massage for injuries, but what about long-term illnesses or health problems that can’t be repaired in a few months? Those suffering from ailments such as Fibromyalgia or chronic anxiety may require medication that has a multitude of adverse side effects.
Stress-related skin problems may require topical medications that heighten sensitivity to the sun, making sunburns even more likely (and dangerous) than they already are. Loss of appetite related to depression can mean nutritional deficiencies with long-reaching and hugely impactful consequences.
Massage can help to stimulate blood flow and relax your muscles, allowing your body to better care for itself. Better blood flow means that you can move more easily, with less stiffness or pain. That means that less pain-management medication is required, which means that your mind can perform without medication-associated brain fog.
Stress-relieving massage means flare-ups of eczema or acne are less frequent, which means less inconvenience and discomfort. The sleep-enhancing effects of massage mean that your body is better rested, more able to repair itself, and better charged to handle the small stresses that can develop into physical ailments. Your appetite improves, which means your body can be given the nutrients that fight illness and general lethargy.
Is a Massage Chair Worth the Money?
When purchasing any kind, you should always consider whether the product/service is worth the price. But you should also consider the long-term effect of your investment.
There are many advantages to buying a massage chair, but there are some drawbacks that should also be considered.
Why Massage Chairs are Worth It
Is a massage chair worth the money? If you ask anyone who owns and uses a massage chair regularly, the answer is probably “yes.” There are many advantages to having your own massage chair.
An Investment in Your Health
A massage chair is an investment in your mental and physical health. Regular massages can help alleviate stress and tension that can take a toll on your quality of life.
Some people find it challenging to motivate themselves to drive to work each day, but we do it because we know that it will allow us to create something worthwhile, engage in personal development, and provide for our families. Words like “investment” can make us feel like we’re in a business meeting, but an investment in our health can mean avoiding a hospital room and enjoying the outdoors instead. And a better, longer, more fulfilling life doesn’t come with a price tag.
More Cost Effective Than Massage Therapy
How much is a massage chair worth, really? Apart from the investment in your health, a massage chair can offer tangible savings over the long-term that make them well worth the cost.
Inconvenience aside, the cost for a 1-hour massage is generally $100-$175, which can cost up to $210 when you include a 20% tip. Let’s be lenient and say that an injury requires you to have weekly massages for two months. Your total cost is then $1,680 for that period of massage therapy. That’s more expensive than the cost to own a WholeBody® 5.1 massage chair, forever.
Is a massage chair worth buying? When you consider the costs of buying a massage, yes.
When you purchase a massage chair, it’s yours forever, and it’s available whenever you are – 24/7. If you work until late in the evening, you can still come home and enjoy a relaxing massage after a long and stressful day.
When you own a massage chair, there is no need to worry about booking appointments and working your day around the therapist's schedule.
A Consistent Experience
Even if you visit the same massage therapist every session, the experience will be different every time. The massage technique, the amount of pressure applied and even the music and overall ambiance may be different with each appointment. These inconsistencies can also mean that some massages will be less effective or enjoyable than others.
One advantage of owning a massage chair is that the experience will be consistent. You may have different programs to choose from, but each session of the same program should provide the same overall experience.
Private, Contactless Massage Therapy
Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of working with a massage therapist. After all, massages can be a personal thing, and it may not be easy to relax completely when another person is in the room.
Having your own massage chair affords you privacy and a contactless way to enjoy massage therapy.
Different Massage Options
Massage chairs may have a variety of programs that can help you address different issues. For example, you can choose a deep tissue massage to alleviate tension in overworked or injured muscles. The next day, you may use the foot massage function to help soothe your aching feet.
Massage chairs offer the ability to adjust your settings and programs based on what you’re feeling in the moment.
Some Drawbacks to Consider
While there are many advantages to buying a massage chair, they may not be the right choice for everyone.
Higher Upfront Cost
A quality massage chair is an investment. While you will save money over the long term, the upfront cost can be significantly higher compared to sessions with massage therapists.
Why are massage chairs so expensive? Because they use sophisticated mechanical parts and systems to deliver an authentic full body massage. These chairs are built with high-quality materials and engineered to provide a luxurious experience with each session. They also have features like faux leather upholstery and Bluetooth speakers that allow you to relax with an audiobook or listen to calming music during your massage.
While the features and construction of the chair make it worth every penny, the high cost may put a massage chair out of reach for some individuals.
A Different Experience
When considering the question “are massage chairs worth it?” it’s important to remember that the experience will be different from a session with a massage therapist.
Quality massage chairs are designed to mimic the hand movements of a masseuse. However, while the experience comes close, it can’t completely replicate the true feeling of a massage therapist’s hands.
So, when asking the question “are chairs worth the money?” consider whether the experience of an in-person massage is important to you.
Massage Chair Effectiveness
Along with the benefits and drawbacks of a massage chair, it’s important to consider its effectiveness. Do massage chairs work? Are massage chairs good for you? If so, how good are massage chairs, really?
To answer these questions, let’s explore what research has to say about massage chairs and the overall health benefits of massage.
Massage chairs have been shown to help:
- Reduce pain. One study found that massage chairs were just as effective as physiotherapy at reducing pain and improving quality of life in participants. That study also found that a massage chair was more cost effective than physiotherapy.
- Improve blood flow. One study found that regular massages may improve blood flow in localized areas.
- Reduce stress and anxiety. Research has found that just 15 minutes in a massage chair can help reduce stress and anxiety while improving alertness. Participants also had fewer symptoms of depression after five weeks. Reducing stress and anxiety can also help lower your heart rate and help you slip into a state of total relaxation.
A massage chair gives you access to massage therapy anytime and from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Massage chairs are worth the cost, all things considered. The convenience and health benefits of regular massages far outweigh the upfront cost of purchasing a chair.