HOW MASSAGE CHAIRS PERFORM A THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE
Since massage therapy is the practice of a therapist using their hands to manipulate soft tissue to promote healing, you may be wondering… how does a massage chair do it?
Most massage chairs incorporate two components to perform massage: rollers and airbags.
Rollers are essentially the hands of a massage chair, which perform the techniques of a therapist, for example, shiatsu or tapping. The rollers are located in the backrest and move up and down the track performing various massage techniques. Typically, these tracks extend from the neck to the tailbone. However, some massage chairs feature extended tracks called "L-Tracks" that allow the rollers to move into the seat.
2D, 3D, AND 4D ROLLERS
Today’s massage chairs feature a wide variety of roller technology from 2D all the way to 4D.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN EXACTLY?
2D, 3D, etc. denotes the number of dimensional movements of the rollers. So, 2D rollers move in two ways: up and down and side to side. 3D rollers add the third movement of in and out, which protrudes the rollers from the track and gives you control over the depth of your massage. And finally, 4D incorporates all of the above plus rhythm, which mimics the dynamic pressures and speeds of a therapist.
To extend the coverage of massage beyond the areas the rollers can reach, massage chairs use airbags. Airbags are often found around the shoulders, hips, thighs, buttock, arms, hands, calves, and feet depending on the model. And some massage chairs even offer air massage for the head like the RT8800
Airbags typically perform compression massage which squeezes and releases an area to stimulate the skin and increase circulation. However, many massage chairs incorporate advanced air techniques like twists, stretching, and swinging. Some massage chairs even combine both roller and air massage in their automatic programs to perform a comprehensive treatment of the whole body.
Let’s illustrate a few advanced air massage techniques you can find on massage chairs…