There are a few important aspects to consider when deciding whether to invest in a premium massage chair versus traditional massage therapy.
We will take a look at each of these aspects, including technology, customizations, costs, time, availability, and consistency, and see how they all add up. Let's get started!
Today's massage chairs are equipped with the latest technology, but do they massage feel just like a massage from a masseuse?
The short answer is no. Massage chairs are mechanical, so while they lack the level of humanness of a massage from a therapist, the rollers in chairs have have come a long way. Today, you can find massage chairs with 2D, 3D, and even 4Drollers.
Each roller type gives you a particular number of dimensional movements. So 2D rollers move up and down and side to side, 3D rollers have the additional movement of depth, and 4D rollers include all the above plus rhythm, which alternates speeds to reproduce the dynamic speeds of a human massage.
Each roller type provides you with control over a specific quality of your massage. So if you prefer deep tissue massage or have tight knots in your shoulders, a 3D massage chair enables you to control how deep the rollers penetrate into your muscle tissues which gives you free rein over your massage strength.
Furthermore, massage tracks have also been continuously upgraded in recent years. Instead of only covering the neck and back, many premium massage chair rollers extend to the seatof the chair to target the buttock and thighs thanks to the innovative L-Track design.
Massage Coverage That Goes Beyond Your Back
You might be wondering about the other areas of your body like the arms, legs, or feet? That's where air massage technology comes into play.
Many of today's massage chairs are equipped with airbags,often from head to toe. These airbags reach the areas rollers can't, like the outer shoulders, sides of the thighs, arms, and hands, plus a variety of other areas where they work in harmony with rollers – like your hips, calves, and feet.
Depending on the massage chair model, the airbags either perform a compression massage that squeezes and releases an area to stimulate the muscles and increase circulation. Alternatively, the airbags are being used as part of a larger massage mode, for example, a full-body stretch program.
Let's look at the Z-Dream massage chair for example?
The Z-Dream Massage Chair is designed with a set of vertically moving, four-wheel driven, quiet, and intelligent massage heads. The Z-Dream chair offers eight different massage programs with five sets of massage techniques The Z-Dream Massage Chair automatically detects your body with built-in sensors.
The chair will align the massage heads to perform a close-fitting and body-shaping massage of your choice which ensures every massage is tailored specifically to you and your body. 52 separate air bag pieces gently massage the body, feet, legs, arms, thighs and more, mimicking the touch and feel of real hands.
Another facet of the modern massage chair is that they go beyond just massage. Many are packed with therapeutic or simply entertaining features like heat therapy, Zero Gravity, chromotherapy lights, music systems, and negative ion generators.
Now that you know what you can expect from today's massage chairs, let's get into the numbers to see how much it will really cost you.
Are Massage Chairs Worth It: The Costs
Costs Over Time
A massage chair and a massage therapist will both cost you, but how much can vary greatly.
Massage chairs cost anywhere between a hundred dollars to well over $10,000. If you are looking for a premium, high-quality massage chair, expect to pay at least $2,000.
On the other hand, the average cost for a 60-minute massage is $60 to $120, depending on where you live, the massage therpaist you chose, and the type of massage you're getting.
Now, let's take a look at those costs over time.
If you wanted to get a high-end massage chair like Z-Smart Massage Chair. At around $8,000, if you used the chair every day for five years, you would be spending around $4 per day. Now, if you and a spouse both plan to use the massage chair, you'd be spending about $2 per person per day for five years.
Let's compare those numbers to massage therapy.If the average cost for a 60-minute massage is $100 including tip. To reach the $8,000 you would spend on a high-end massage chair on in-person massage therapy, you'd need to have at least two to three massages per month (or 80 total) over five years.
However, after five years are up, you have to continue to pay for it. In fact, you will always have to pay for a massage therapist. With massage therapy, you pay per session. With a massage chair, you pay per product.
One requires you to pay as you go, which can be great if you don't need a lot of massage therapy, an you book a session when you need it, maybe once a month. And the other one requires you to pay upfront, which is good if you require massage therapy several times a week, as you save money over time.
So, the big question is how many massages do you need?
If you have chronic pain, two or three massages per month will probably not help your condition. Then again, if you only have occasional flare-ups or just want stress relief from time to time, two or three massages a year may be enough.
Time and Availability
Not all costs are monetary. The most valuable cost may be your time.
With a massage chair, you have your own "automated masseuse" that is open and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don't have to drive anywhere, squeeze time into your busy schedule, or book an appointment.
What if you wake up in the middle of the night with pain? You will be hard-pressed to find a massage therapist who make middle-of-the-night house calls. But with your massage chair, relief is always a few feet away.
Another factor worth considering when trying to decide if you should invest in a massage chair is consistency.
Since a massage chair is a mechanical device, it will always be consistent. In the end, it's designed and programmed to be. A massage therapist may or may not be consistent, we all have off days. This is particularly true if you haven't found a massage therapist you like that understands your exact needs and preferences, and instead see a different one each time you have a session.
With a massage chair, the massage you get one day will be the same massage you get the next day and for some, that's a compelling argument for a chair.
Finally, a massage chair in your own home is a great deal more private than laying on a table in an office. While this level of privacy does not matter to everyone, for others, like those who suffer from issues such as sciatic nerve pain, they might not feel entirely comfortable getting massaged by a person.
So, how much privacy matters to you? Consider that in your decision as well.
Are Massage Chairs Worth The Money?
One particular aspect of a massage therapist is that a chair can never duplicate, and that's human touch. If you're don't focus on that one faced and instead concentrate specifically on costs, a massage chair is simply a good investment for those who need a healthy dose of massage therapy.
So, are massage chairs worth the money? We think so.
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