The science behind massage chairs has evolved, and the new ones are nothing like the Naugahyde vibrating recliners of the past. After you’ve read the following article, why not check out our flagship massage chair, the SMC-6850?
Ah, the old massage chair. It subtly vibrated throughout its back and its low-quality material eventually tore. Although the technology behind vibration massage has improved in recent years, many who experienced the early versions were turned off to the idea of having a electronic masseuse in the spare bedroom. In fact, the industry has seen such large improvements that different types of massage styles have been influenced by modern massage chair design.
But take 20 years of evolving technology and throw it into a massage chair that looks more like a robot than a recliner and you have an experience that leaves your back stimulated instead of snoozing.
Today’s massage chairs are closer to mimicking an actual masseuse than resembling a machine. They use S-tracking technology to make a map of each user’s body so they can accurately relieve stiffness and soreness. When the chair is initially turned on, a roller scans the spine to assess the length, width and topography of the back. The positions of tendons and muscles are gauged to effectively deliver the right amount of pressure. The massage program is then adjusted to ensure each person gets a unique and tailored experience.
The end result is an intense massage experience with Shiatsu, clapping, kneading, tapping and rolling, all of which feel like the thumbs of a professional pressing into muscles. A “zero-gravity” feature means when the chair reclines 120 degrees, pressure gets taken off the joints and rollers are able to dig deeper into the back, allowing for a deeper massage.
But modern massage chairs don’t end at massaging the back and neck. They also have spots for the arms, legs and feet, giving special attention to those areas with stretches, flexes and acupressure using airbags. The chair’s foot rest detects the length of the calf and automatically adjusts, allowing for short and tall people alike to have the same customized experience.
The incorporation of modern technology extends to a pair of speakers, which can be hooked up to an MP3 player, an iPod or a Flash drive to have the rhythm of the massage correspond with that of the music.
The debate between Hand vs.Machine Massages has raged in the past few decades. At first glance, a modern massage chair appears to be a large mass of machinery. But after sitting in one, it’s easy to see how its combination of numerous rollers, airbags and powerful motors come together for a dynamic massage that’s the closest you’ll get to having an actual masseuse living in your home.