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Beginning back in the 1980s, robotic massage chairs started to appear at technology fairs and other places that simply weren’t affordable for the average person. A few years later you might have gone into the expensive gadget store at the mall (Sharper Image, anyone?) who carried them, only to test them out—but never with the intention of buying one of your own!
However, in the past 30 years as the technology for massage chairs has increased, the price has actually decreased, making it possible for the general public to own a therapeutic massage chair. In my opinion, it only makes sense to consider the purchase of a massage chair due to their therapeutic benefits and increased quality of life.
Massage chairs are now much more “Advanced” in their therapeutic options, much more “Available”, and even more “Affordable” than they ever were before!
Affordability for Private Ownership
Ranging in cost from as low as $200 (for a cheap chair or a higher-quality massage chair pad) to upwards of $10,000 (or more!), massage chairs offer various technological advances and features. Typically, a mid-range, well-equipped massage chair can be purchased for under $2000. When this is factored in comparison to the cost of regular visits to the massage therapist, the answer in a no-brainer!
For instance, even if you have a bargain massage therapist who offers you a $50 session and you only go once a week, you can have a $2500 chair paid off in less than a year! And that’s assuming that only one person is using it, and only using it once a week. A typical massage chair can last 5 or more years, and a high quality one with a good warranty might not need to be replaced for 7-10 years. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that a massage chair is a much more affordable option to a massage therapist.
Availability for Easy Purchase
While purchasing a massage chair used to require a visit to a brick-and-mortar store, or accessing a catalog, things have gotten quite a bit easier. In fact, it is now incredibly easy to compare and contrast various massage chair purchase options simply by taking a look online. Amazon offers the most significant range of options, but there are other places to look as well.
Advanced Features and Benefits
As technology continues to make advances, massage chairs are following along this trend. Years ago, massage chairs were made to be a sort of “one size fits all” and could only do general movements with very few options. Today, the options for massage chair features seem almost endless!
Old ‘Vintage’ Massage Chairs
In fact, some of the more advanced robotic massage chairs mimic the same movements that a human massage therapist would use. Options such as Shiatsu, heat therapy, kneading, and yoga-like stretching are just the beginning. Other options such as air bag squeezing and foot rollers also come to mind. Not only that, but many massage chairs now offer incredible body scanning technology that alerts the chair to the size of the occupant, allowing it to customize massage settings based on the height and weight of the user.
Zero Gravity systems are a fairly recent, therapeutic approach specifically to spine health but also to general overall health of the circulatory system and heart. NASA research has indicated that the healthiest position that puts the least stress on the heart and body is when your feet are elevated above your heart. This relieves the pumping of the heart and also can take some of the pressure off the spine as well, and many health professionals are beginning to recommend this. Quite a few massage chairs on the market today offer Zero Gravity technology as one of their most important therapeutic features, as it works in conjunction with other massage therapies. Independent researchers have gone so far as to recommend what they think is the best zero gravity massage chair available.
One past concern I’ve had about massage chairs has been their bulkiness and somewhat ugly designs. But this is becoming less and less of a problem as well. Many massage chairs are now designed to fit with your home décor, and some even come in a variety of colors allowing you to choose what works best for your preferences in your home. Another great feature is that many massage chairs now offer a space-saving design so that you don’t have to place the chair practically in the middle of the room. These chairs can sit back to within about three inches of the wall and then their “wall hugger” design will move forward away from the wall when you recline.
All in all, life has gotten pretty darn good in the past couple of decades. Sure, there are negative things about the times we live in as well. But we also live in a world where having easy access to a daily massage in our own homes or offices is not only possible, but is also affordable for an average person’s budget. What could be better than that?