Massage chairs make it possible to enjoy the personalized kind of massage one desires when seeking the services of a professional masseuse. Understanding the various massage chair techniques available with different chairs today will help you in identifying the chair with be right massage combinations for your needs. Manufacturers do their best to mimic the specific human massage techniques replicated in the massage chair, and as such, the experience you get from the chair is very close to what you would experience from a human massaging hand. Here now, are the common massage chair techniques used.

Swedish massage
To give a Swedish massage, the rollers glide in long, firm strokes, kneading and applying pressure in the direction of the heart. While the massage stroke is firm, the applied pressure is calming and quickly relieves body tension. Five massage strokes are used in a Swedish massage: gliding, kneading, tapping, friction and vibration. Friction and tapping movements release tension, especially around the back and shoulders while gliding, vibration and kneading increase blood circulation and boost the elimination of toxins from the body. The Swedish massage technique offers full body relaxation and is one of the most common massage types in full body massage chairs. Notable benefits of Swedish massage therapy include increased oxygen levels in the blood, improved circulation, reduction of toxins in the muscles, increased flexibility, tension release and relaxation.

Shiatsu massage
One of the most popular massage chair techniques, Shiatsu massage therapy involves application of acupressure and stretching specific parts of the body. Pressing, patting, rolling, rotating and sweeping movements are used. The massage technique targets pressure points in the body and follows the human masseuse ‘finger pressure’ application done to clear blockage in areas where aches and pain are common to provide relief and relaxation. Shiatsu massage therapy is excellent at restoring the body, improving circulation, boosting lymphatic flow and alleviating anxiety, depression, muscle pain and stress. The shiatsu automated program in a massage chair leaves your body invigorated and refreshed.

Deep tissue massage
The deep tissue massage technique uses gliding strokes similar to those used in Swedish massage. However, the strokes are a lot more firmer and apply a greater intensity of pressure. This technique targets deep muscles and connective tissue, the bits that are hard to reach. Deep tissue massage is done to relieve muscle knots and tension in fibrous tissue, restoring natural balance. It is effective in relieving chronic pain in joints and muscles, increasing flexibility, range of motion, and improving posture. Regular deep tissue massage sessions help in the management of severe muscle disorders.

Reflexology massage rollers are located within the foot rest of the massage chair or its ottoman. The technique is designed to work the reflexes in the feet, in effect providing healing and relief to various corresponding internal body organs. These reflexes are located in various spots around the feet. Applying pressure to these acupoints produces a positive response in the relative body parts they tally with. As such, the technique is considered a whole body therapy where pressure is applied on specific spots and its impact experienced all over the body. Reflexology eliminates tension, improves circulation, helps in detoxification, enhances the body’s natural ability to heal, relieve pain, and improves overall wellness and relaxation.

Kneading massage
In the kneading massage technique, massage rollers manipulate and stretch muscles to relieve tension and ease soreness. In many massage systems, the rollers knead in a circular motion, covering small parts of the body at a time. It can be used in any part of the body but is more popularly employed in the back, neck and shoulder regions. Kneading massage therapy provides deep relief in hard-to-reach places and can be used in combination with other massage techniques like tapping, vibration and air massage for greater effect. It is good for stimulating the circulatory and lymph systems, eliminating toxins from muscles, revitalizing nerves, eliminating pain and tension relief.

Tapping massage
In the tapping massage technique, massage rollers operate in quick, pulsating tapping strokes. It is very commonly used in massage chairs to work the back and lumbar region. The technique provides lasting tension relief, improved circulation and blood flow, promotes speedy healing by breaking up scar tissue, and strengthens and tones muscles.

Rolling massage
As its name suggests, the rolling massage technique uses the up and down rolling movement to apply gentle pressure on the target body part. In massage chairs, this technique is used to work the back and the region near the spine. Good for improving circulation, providing tension relief and relaxing the back.

Air compression massage
Here, airbags are used to provide compression in different body parts. The technique employs squeezing and releasing movements, which are good at alleviating tension and joint pain. The airbags inflate to squeeze, providing instant pain and stress relief. Inflating and deflating action is quick and individualized, providing localized relief in the target areas. Air compression is used on the neck, shoulders, hands, arms, hips, thighs, buttocks, calves and feet. It provides excellent tension and pain relief, eliminates stiffness, improves circulation, and stimulates the lymphatic system.

Stretch massage
Stretch massage is delivered with the help of the air massage system. Here, airbags are used to stretch specific muscles in the body. The technique works by stretching one muscle or muscle group at a time. Stretching loosens tight/stiff muscles, relieves muscle knots and provides total body relief.

Zero gravity massage
The zero gravity massage technique takes place when the body is reclined in the zero gravity position, a position where the body’s energy is aligned with body structure. In this position, the feet are elevated above the heart, eliminating pressure from the back and spine and keeping the body relaxed. Zero gravity massage reduces stress on the spine, boosts circulation and enhances lung function.

Most massage chairs offer two or more massage techniques. It is important to understand which massage techniques you would like to benefit from more, and then shop for the massage chair that supports these techniques. All are automated, but some manufacturers include a manual mode of operating some massage techniques, an option which offers great spot massage.