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What to Know Before Buying a Massage Chair

Jul 8, 2008
1. Define Your Needs: Think about how the massage chair will meet your long term needs. There is a tremendous variety of choices of models, makes and features. Start with the areas you are looking for daily relief. Are there certain problem areas, you want to focus on? Next, match the areas with the type of massage that would be most effective. If you are looking for full body massage, see what massage therapy techniques you would enjoy most. If you know the massage types you want this will help get the best massage chair for your needs.

2. Back Pain Relief: Are you are looking for back pain relief? If so, what parts of your back is most important? Massage chairs have rollers that can provide full back, shoulder and neck coverage. Many have width adjustments to expand or contract the rollers. Also, the stroke length is important. The stroke length is the amount of travel the back rollers have when moving up and down the chair back. Typical stroke lengths are 23 inches to 31 inches. To get the proper coverage of the back define what areas are must haves for a shiatsu massage chair

3. Massage Therapy: Are you looking for deep tissue massage that penetrates beyond the superficial muscle layers? Shiatsu massage uses the body's acupressure points combined with kneading and tapping for whole body relief. Swedish massage uses longer strokes, kneading, squeezing and heat. A gentle Hawaiian massage using sway, stroking and light tapping may take you to the islands while you relax. The technology integrated into many shiatsu massage recliners is incredible. Have fun and find the massage therapies you enjoy most and look for massage chairs that have these capabilities.

4. Lower Body Massage: Do you enjoy having your feet massaged? The premier massage chair brands deliver reflexology foot massages. The footrest has built in reflexology nodes that gently push up into your reflexology points inducing full body relaxation. Ease those tired feet with the gentle squeeze, hold and release of the reflexology foot massage. If you sit a lot, then get a buttocks massage. The massage chair cycles through massaging both hemispheres and also provides vibration therapy to enhance blood circulation. How about a little stretch? Massage chairs have lower body stretching capability. The footrest holds your feet and then extends out to more positions to stretch your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. Massage chairs have rapidly advanced the technology and effectiveness of lower body massages. Most massage chair concentrated really on the back, neck and shoulders. This was accomplished using rollers to imitate human hands. The lower body presents more challenges. These companies have developed a mechanical paddle system and air massage using air compression. Some chairs are mixed with both, but the best massage chairs use one or the other. The paddle system is limited to the calf areas. Air massage is much more flexible since the massage is delivered via air bags. These chairs have air bags for the arms, hands, feet, calves, thighs, hips, buttocks providing superior coverage.

5. Warranty Coverage: Warranty is your future protection, so it makes sense to know enough to get the coverage you require. Massage chair warranties include parts, labor, in home service vs. service center, and shipping expenses. Parts are what areas of the chair are covered and for how long. Labor is when technician time is involved, how much does the factory cover and how long? In home service is having a technician come to your house and repair the product. Finally, more companies are adding this service; make sure the manufacturer covers in home service. Also, shipping expenses for parts or for the entire chair is another factor to evaluate. Some companies are really strict and the chair must be in the original packaging or else you can buy the packaging from them! These are the main warranties areas to know about. Make sure you go with a known brand of massage chairs. I would hate to tell you the stories we have gotten from people who bought a fly by night outfit. One good test is if the massage chair company has retail accounts. If they do not, then who has leverage to make sure the warranty is honored? Most warranties cover parts, labor, in home service vs. service center, and shipping expenses. The difference is what they cover and for how long. Fortune 500 companies make you buy an massage chair industry. Compare warranties and costs and find the right protection for you.

Looking for a massage chair should be a fun and rewarding experience. It is a special device that can provide years of trouble free operation or turn into a boat anchor. The reason you are looking for a massage chair is to find the relief and invigoration on demand in the comfort of your home. Find out what is important to you and determine some of the must have features of a shiatsu massage chair. Then try a few out and see what works for you. Once you have a good idea of what you like, shop around and get the best deal. Prices vary especially with variables such as tax, shipping, and return policies. This is an important long term purchase, so take your time, enjoy and find the perfect massage chair.
About the Author
Continue your research for the Best Massage Chair for your massage therapy needs. Find the premier massage chair brands from Omega, Takasima, Panasonic and Human Touch. Read a Massage Chair Review or article.
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