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Are Massage Chairs As Good As The Real Thing?

Human Massage vs Massage Chair

First, Let's Put Things Into Perspective!

Massage Chair vs Human Massage

If there’s one question that floods the mind of every massage enthusiast, it’s this: Is a massage chair as good as the real thing (AKA massage delivered by a trained therapist), and if so which massage chairs can deliver?

There's a few different perspectives to look at, so let's look at this in a little more detail.

Salesperson’s Perspective: From the salesperson’s perspective, massage chairs are equal to, or can deliver an enhanced massage experience compared to what a therapist can provide.

Therapist’s Perspective: From the massage therapists’ perspective, no amount of technology can ever come close to matching what can be achieved through “human touch”

Who's right and who's wrong? If you ask me, neither perspective is right/wrong!

While I agree with the therapist that massage chairs cannot offer the same experience as that of a highly skilled therapist, I also disagree because human massage lacks consistency, is not repeatable, and is more often than not, highly inconvenient and expensive.

As Consumers Are We Asking The Right Question?

As an avid massage enthusiast, this question of which is better (massage chair or therapist) is a question I get hammered with on my blog again and again.

I actually think we are asking the wrong question!

Instead of asking which one is better, I think the question we should all be asking ourselves is what does the best massage regimen look like for me? Does it mean owning a massage chair? Or does it mean investing in manual equipment such as rollers, balls etc.?

Maybe it's a combination of all of these things including monthly appointments to your local massage therapist!

Am I trying to avoid your question of massage chair versus human massage? Nope, not at all. I think it’s an endless argument which won’t go anywhere. If I tell you massage chairs are better, another blogger will make a completely valid argument about why he/she feels otherwise.

Why is there so much never-ending debate?

It’s because there’s no right or wrong answer. Massage chairs offer some things which human massage will never be able to offer. On the flipside, human massage offers some things which massage chairs would never be able to match.

For example, convenience and ease is an area massage chairs will always excel in. You can come home from a long day at work, retire in your chair and away you go!
Massage Chairs and Convenience
This sort of convenience just isn’t there with human massage, where you need to book an appointment, drive to the location, wait for the room to be prepared, and in COVID times it’s even worse! Arghh, frustrating to say the least!

On the flipside, it’ll be well worth the wait to see a therapist if he/she “knows” what they’re doing. Yes sarcasm intended because there’s a lot of massage therapists who don’t know a thing about massage. It’s very noticeable that they’re not interested in the wellbeing of the patient, but more so in making a buck.

Here’s a massage pro-tip: in your quest to finding a massage therapist in your area, don’t settle! Experiment, experiment, and experiment some more!

Finding the right massage therapist is like finding a barber or hairdresser. You gotta put in the work, and just when you think you’ve found the right one, they prove you wrong! Anyways, that’s me digressing off topic.

The "Right" Question & A Slice of Advice!

Rather than comparing massage chair vs human massage, you should ask the question “what will work best for me?” Now you’re getting somewhere!

When most people think of massage, they forget all the plentiful options at their disposal.

In addition to booking a massage the traditional way, and owning a massage chair, there’s automated handheld massagers you can invest in, manual rollers, balls, and you can even learn to massage yourself online (for free in most cases!).

Why am I talking about all of these options? Well I truly believe a good combination of all of these things yield optimum results.

Let’s look at a specific example to really drill the idea home!

Person A is a male in his 40’s who books weekly appointments to see a massage therapist. He enjoys the sessions but feels it’s too expensive and would like a more cost effective long term solution.

Because person A is very active both in the gym and the soccer field, his only concern are sore muscles (mostly back, legs, calves, and feet) after a heavy workout or game. What is the best option for person A?

If I were person A, I would do the following:

• Change frequency from weekly to monthly massage therapist visits. This alone will save approximately $300/month, if we consider that each massage session is about $100 a pop (tip included).

• Invest in a 3D SL-Track massage chair with calf rollers. Osaki’s OS Pro Admiral is a decent intermediate option that can provide high intensity massage to the whole body. The calf and foot rollers will be particularly useful at relieving those sore feet and calves! The massage chair can be used every single day, pre or post workout.

• Consider a roller stick such as the tiger tail. This can be used both before and after the workout/soccer matches. Whenever there’s a need of intense massage, the roller stick can be used.

You might be thinking…by doing all of the above, am I not gonna spend a ton more?

Yes you may spend more in the short term, but there will definitely be savings in the long run. You’re already saving $300/month, which equates to $3600/year! That’s already most of your massage chair investment covered! In 2 years you might actually be pocketing some cash in your wallet.

A Shift In Perspective!

Sometimes instead of searching for answers to our burning questions, it might be our questions themselves which need to be re-evaluated. This is one of those examples, especially if massage is something you truly enjoy and wish to incorporate routinely into your life.

If you’re a guy/gal who enjoys getting a massage once in a blue moon (or about every 6 months), then your best bet is to frequent a massage therapist. No point investing in a massage chair if you’re not gonna be making the most of it!

Of course the opposite is true for the avid massage lover. In these pandemic times, I personally have started to see the true value of owning a massage chair. It’s the one thing that’s allowed me to maintain a consistent massage routine while everything is locked down.

That’s all from me! I do hope you enjoyed reading this post and got some value out of it. If so, please consider sharing on the social channels. If you’re interested in this type of content, head over to my blog for more!

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