A Crash Course in Zero Gravity Massage Chairs

Find out what a Zero Gravity Massage Chair really is. Zero Gravity was originally coined by NASA’s Skylab Program that initiated in 1973. Scientists with this space program discovered a position that makes the body feel seemingly weightless. This same technology has been applied to high tech massage chairs.

Zero Gravity Massage Chairs

The History Behind Zero Gravity Massage Chairs

The term “Zero Gravity” originates from NASA’s Skylab Program that noted the effects that a particular position had on the body. They discovered that, at a certain point, the muscles in your body would become balanced. The effects of gravity would in turn be nullified, and the body would experience a state of low pressure on strained areas.

Astronauts assumed the zero gravity position to be able to withstand the tremendous amount of force exerted on the body when exiting the Earth’s atmosphere. Think about it, astronauts experience a maximum g-force of 3gs during launch. 9gs is enough to make you pass out. The reclined zero gravity position allows the body to disperse abnormal pressure throughout the body in a way that is feasible for astronauts.

Zero gravity alleviates joints of high levels of pressure associated with the constant pull that gravity places on your body. NASA scientists concluded that placement in the zero gravity position had remarkable effects on the alignment of the upper and lower back, neck, and hips.

How to Tell if a chair offers a True Zero Gravity Position

Zero Gravity occurs when your legs are placed higher than your torso at a 120 degree angle. Remember, there is a difference between zero gravity chairs and zero gravity massage chairs. Zero gravity chairs only recline but zero gravity massage chairs will recline AND massage your body at the same time.

What’s So Great about the Zero Gravity Feature?

Now this is the important part. Zero gravity massage chairs provide instantaneously relief and can work wonders on the upper and lower extremities of your body with consistent massage sessions. Now you might be thinking, isn’t this the same thing as lying in bed? No it’s not; you’re body is placed at a very slight angle (120 degrees) that places all body parts in balance. You may feel more “relaxed” lying in bed but it does not have the same effect.

  • Decompresses the vertebrae. Removes downward pressure placed on the back when your body is in an upright position. This includes walking, sitting, driving, and standing.
  • Facilitates improved lung function. The reclined position expands the lungs, allowing deeper breaths.
  • By elevating the legs above the heart, blood circulation is increased throughout the entire body. Your cardio vascular system doesn’t have to fight against the force of gravity to pump blood through your veins.
  • Reduces muscle tension, fatigue, and soreness. As your body begins to recline, your muscles release tension and enter a relaxed state. This helps reduce stress and remediates muscle contractions in the lower lumbar region.
  • Leaves you with more energy. Eliminates feelings of fatigue, drowsiness, and lack of sleep.
  • Allows joints and discs to expand. When expanded, discs will absorb water, increasing lubrication and eliminating the painful grinding feel of bone to bone contact.

When your body is out of alignment, gravitational forces continue to pull your body out of wack. Your muscles compensate for this imbalance by exerting an oppositional force which leads to muscle fatigue, weariness, and soreness. This is why you feel tired some days without even doing anything.

You can watch this video provided by Superior Massage Chairs detailing the SMC-6850 seen here.


Zero gravity massage chairs allow you to reposition your body and can be an effective means of treating a handful of health conditions including chronic lower back pain, arthritis, and inflammation of the lower extremities.

To find the best zero gravity massage chair, you can visit our Massage Chair Comparison Chart to view different chairs side by side.

Additional Massage Chair Resources:

  1. Japanese VS. Chinese Massage Chairs
  2. Why Heat Feels so Good On Your Body
  3. Massage Chair Features to Pay Attention To

About the Author
is a former multi-sport athlete who enjoys living an active lifestyle. He has experience with chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and various other sports medicine treatments. You can find him volunteering at training camps for local San Diego youth.

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