Best Massage Chair – The main reason I would use a massage chair would be for my chronic back pain but a massage can provide many other benefits for your body. The same applies if you get a massage from a massage therapist, Masseuse (female) or Masseur (male), and electric handheld massager or any other massage devices.
Let me ask you? Does your body ache regularly? I am not just talking about your back but anywhere on your body. Depending on which model of massage chair, they can massage your entire body.
If you live in a climate where the seasons change, you get to experience cold temperatures. I live just outside of Boston. When it’s that time of year for the cold weather to return, my back sure lets me know. When that happens I often feel the rest of my body wanting to join in with a few extra aches and pains. Not to mention, the older you get, the aches and pains seem to come more often and last longer.
How are you going to deal with it? Well, If you are like me? Soaking in a hot bath does not cut it anymore. The thought of taking another pill for the pain makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it. That’s when having the best massage chair at home can come in handy.
In the following, I go over the history of massages chairs along with other helpful information. If you want? You can skip these details and view the massage chairs I have listed below.
Massage Chairs Brief History
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Massage chairs have been around for decades now. The world’s first mass-produced massage chair came to fruition in 1954. It was developed by Fujiiryoki. The late Nobuo Fujimoto was the founder of Fujiiryoki. He opened the “Fujiiryoki Workshop” located in Hannamancho, Abeno-ku, Osaka City in Osaka, Japan.
During that time, the Japanese people would frequent the local public baths. Fujimoto spent some time at these baths. He would sell scrub brushes to everyone for washing the tiles in these public baths. He wanted to create something in these baths dressing rooms where people would gather. There they relaxed for healing the stress and fatigue from their day. This is when he started to develop the first massage chair.
Fujimoto’s early prototypes were literally made from trash he found from a nearby mountain. He was quite inventive using wood, baseballs, car handles, and bicycle chains. From those materials, he built the world’s first massage chair. The “FUJIIRYOKI Automatic Massage Machine” was completed in 1954.
This primitive massage chair included the knead massage function. It was equipped was very basic which included massage balls that moved up and down. This was done by turning a handle attached to the side. It replicated the tapping and kneading of human hands.
Since then massage chair has become popular worldwide, supporting human health.
Best Massage Chair Versus Massage Therapist
The alternative to having the best massage chair would be to hire a massage therapist. One problem with using massage therapist is getting your schedule to fit with theirs. If you can not find a time that works for both of you, it’s no massage for you. When you really need a massage bad, the last thing you want to hear is you will have to wait a few more days or even weeks.
Additionally, you are looking at anywhere from about seventy to one-hundred and fifty dollars a pop for each visit. It adds up pretty quick and when you are done, that’s it. You might feel great for the rest of the day but what about tomorrow when the aches and pains come back again?
In all fairness, getting a massage from a massage therapist has always been a good experience for me. There are some wonderful massage therapists who have “gifted hands”. Having the best massage chair will not give you the precise touch of a massage therapist with the feeling of actual fingertips. There are some chairs that do a good job of trying to replicate the hands and fingers of a massage therapist.
When I think of all the massages I have had from a therapist versus a chair. All I can say is a massage from a massage chair is different from getting a massage from a massage therapist. They both feel great!
When you buy a massage chair you will pay more upfront. Especially, if you want to treat yourself to the best massage chair on the market or close to it. Either way, you will still have to pay more upfront when comparing it to a massage therapist. But look at what you get in the long run? Unlimited massages, anytime you want. You don’t have to worry about forking out money for each massage. They do add up.
Massage chairs aren’t some inconsequential purchase. Massage chairs are very effective, and can truly be a lifesaver if you are fighting chronic pain or need frequent massages. The best part is you get relief in the comfort of your home. These chairs are made to last and you are investing in your well being.
I have already written about massage chairs and introduced some popular massage chairs with a range of prices. As I have stated before, I have used several massage chairs but a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out an Ogawa Massage Chair. To this point, I have to say the Ogawa is the best massage chair if not one of my top two.
Is the Ogawa the Best Massage Chair?
All I can say is “WOW!” I was blown away. The other chairs I have used before, some of them were really good. I would not think twice about buying some of them. However, the Ogawa Massage Chair took my massage chair experience to a whole new level.
I do not own one but have used several of them as I stated before. It’s one of those things I have been wanting to get but something else always seems to get it the way. For others that I know who have them, I have never heard any of them say they were not worth the money.
Are Massage Chairs Worth the Money?
The massage chairs more than pay for themselves. If you were to purchase the best massage chair (Ogawa) for your home? Then, after a month, I asked you if it was worth the money? No matter what the cost was I can almost guarantee you would “yes”. I would not say that if I did not feel strongly about it. But anyone I personally know or know of has always had good things to say about their massage chair.
I have heard some say they wished they would have purchased a different model to get some features they had overlooked when buying their chair. I do know one friend of mine who had some problems with some faulty parts. But the warranty took care of that and he has been happy ever since with no more problems.
It does happen and there will always be a few lemons out there. Unfortunately, I am usually always the person who ends up with those lemons. Even the best massage chair on the planet can problems but it’s how the company resolves an issue is what really makes the difference. Ogawa has great customer service.
Do Massage Chairs Really Work?
It only makes sense to wonder if massage chairs really do work? I mean, I can only tell you from my experiences that they do work. Do I think getting a massage chair will totally resolve your back pain? I can not say because everyone is different. I think whatever is causing your back pain will determine how effective a massage chair will be for you. That would apply to any kind of massage therapy.
Again, from my experiences after sitting in a massage chair for a period of time, my back pain was significantly reduced. But the massage felt amazing! However, it did not last but getting back in the chair for another round made the pain fade again. When it comes to pain control I know some people who only need to use their chairs a couple of times a week to keep their pain under control.
The Trifecta of Back Problems
My back problems are the results of multiple issues. You could say I have the “Trifecta” when it comes to back problems. For one: I fell while climbing over a fence and twisted my back on the landing. Second: I spent over 20 years lifting a lot of heavy sound equipment when I was a DJ and did not always use the best lifting techniques.
Finally, I have degenerative disc disease. That’s my “Trifecta”. If I could only somehow incorporate that into winning some horse races I would have a different outlook.
My combination of issues is not like everyone else’s and the same goes for you.
I know when I think of a massage chair the first thing I think of is how good it will feel and if it can take away my back pain? But there are many more benefits you will get from it.
Massage Therapy Reduces Depression and Anxiety
A study was conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine on the effects of massage therapy. The study concluded that massage therapy can relieve anxiety and depression by affecting your body’s biochemistry. They performed a sequence of studies that included nearly 500 men, women, and children who had depression or stress problems.
The researchers who conducted the study measured the stress hormone cortisol in the participants prior to, and promptly after a massage. They concluded that the therapy lowered the levels by close to 53%. Cortisol can raise blood sugar levels and blood pressure along with suppressing the immune system. The massage additionally increased serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that aid in reducing depression.
Relieve Back Pain
Several clinical studies have be been conducted showing how massage therapy has many health benefits for people suffering from back pain.
It Increases our blood flow and circulation. In turn, will deliver the needed nutrients to your muscles and tissues. This aids in the recovery of any muscle soreness from physical activity or if you have a soft tissue injury like a strained muscle.
A message will decrease the tension in your muscles. Once your muscles are relaxed your flexibility will be improved. Your pain level will go down because those tight muscles will be relaxed.
Having a massage will additionally increase your endorphin levels in your brain. This works as a mood enhancer which can help reduce pain and speed up your recovery. This is particularly important if you suffer from chronic back and neck problems.
Lowers Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
An effective way to reduce high blood pressure in a natural way is with massage therapy. Studies have shown that if you consistently get massages it can decrease your diastolic and systolic blood pressure. You can also decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels.
Improve Your Sleep
A massage has been known to improve sleep, backed up by several studies. That may sound surprising to some people. But if you consider one of the most popular ways to get a baby to fall asleep is by massaging their back. I think a car ride around the block may be a close second.
Now it’s obvious how a massage could put you to sleep but I am talking about once you are asleep. A massage will activate the release of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is a chemical and neurotransmitter that can help you feel calm but more importantly put you to sleep.
Reduces Stress, Inflammation & Strengthens the Immune System
A massage has the ability to help the body fight infection by increasing the white blood cell count in the body. The first line of defense in battling viruses are White blood cells.
Your immune system is a complex network of processes, cells, tissues, systems, and organs. They all work together defending the body against infection.
The immune system consists of several individual components like innate, passive and adaptive immunity. Outside influences will determine how efficient the immune system can or cannot work.
Stress has both pros and cons. Stress, being adaptive energy is needed for growth and strengthening. The “fight or flight” response gives us the physical energy and mental focus to save ourselves from dangerous situations.
Some examples of the pros would be physical stress on your muscles or psychological stress with the need to stay awake and alert to take a final exam.
When stress turns into a daily occurrence and becomes chronic spinning out of control. It is a danger to your health and well-being.
Some examples of the cons would be deficient recovery time from mental, emotional and physical stress from anything. It could be from constant worrying and continual thoughts that are negative. Emotions involving depression and anxiety would fit into this category as well.
Lingering stress will often lead to high physiological levels of cortisol. It will change the effect that cortisol has for regulating both the inflammatory and immune responses. This happens because it decreases tissue sensitivity to cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone.
As your body heals, inflammation will become a response to stress. Stress and inflammation can be beneficial. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can lead to constant tissue breakdown and impairment of the immune system.
When it comes to stress we all have to deal with it at one time or another. For some of us, unfortunately, it’s part of our everyday life. A massage aid in mitigating that stress. At the same time, stimulate and strengthen your immune system.
A Massage Increases the Body’s White Blood Cells
When you are getting a massage it increases the activity level of your body’s white blood cells that will work to combat viruses. Research that was done at Cedars-Sinai, the participants in a Swedish massage group had experienced significant changes in lymphocytes. Which plays a big role in defending your body from disease. One of the three subtypes of white blood cells in the lymphocyte in the immune system.
The people who received the Swedish massage experienced compelling changes in lymphocytes. The Swedish massage also causes an immense decrease in “Arginine Vasopressin”, which is a hormone believed to play a part in contentious behavior. A massage will lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to reducing stress.
A Massage Chair Can Increase Circulation
The rollers of a massage chair are developed to stroke, knead and gently knock on key pressure points of the body. Those actions will help to increase your blood circulation. This can be very helpful if you happen to be recovering from an injury, not to mention pain. When you increase your blood circulation, that blood flow helps in healing.
Align Your Spine
When your spine is out of alignment it can throw your entire body off in several ways. For instance, if you sit a lot during the day or you happen to sleep the wrong way, you’ll start to feel the effects of muscle strain. That strain will most likely cause pain in your lower back, legs, and glutes. Some massage chairs like this one have the zero gravity ability. This will help to decompress and align your spine.
Having a massage chair enables you to get a truly high quality, professional, relaxing massage. It’s not just a “feel good” massage but can make a significant difference in your health and well being.
Ogawa Refresh Plus Massage Chair
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You can refresh your mind and body while taking pleasure in a soothing massage spanning your entire body from top to bottom. The Ogawa Refresh Plus Massage Chair utilizes its Smart Curve technology. Which reaches your entire spine and works to eliminate tension, relaxing all of your tight muscles. The Ogawa Refresh Plus allows you to leave your pain behind you.
Smart Curve™ Technology
This chair uses next-generation Smart Curve Technology that targets the natural s-curve of the spine. There is a roller that keeps continual targeted pressure along your back. With the focus being on the cervical curve, your neck and shoulder areas are assiduously massaged. It has quad style rollers that are placed with two on each side of the spine. This was created to replicate the motion of the human hand.
Advance Body-Scanning Technology
The Ogawa Refresh Plus uses rollers to detect and memorize your shoulder height. It follows the S-curve of your back to deliver an array of massage techniques with extreme accuracy. The body scan data gets used by the microcomputer inside the chair. That data reveals the muscle groups that need to be worked on. Making is possible for each user to receive a detailed massage.
Zero Gravity Technology
When you use the Zero Gravity Position, the Refresh Plus will elevate your knees above your heart for a feeling of complete weightlessness. All the pressure is taken off of your spine when you are in this position. Your heart rate will get reduced, and the potency of the massage will increase. You have the option of choosing between 2 stages of Zero Gravity to find your optimum position for enjoyable massage.
This chair features an upgraded reflexology set of foot rollers. These rollers knead the bottoms of your feet. At the same time, tender air compression shifts the foot side to side adding to the foot massage experience. It works on acupressure points by massaging them to release tension all over your body, speeding up the healing and relaxation.
Full Body Air Compression
The full-body air compression is done with specifically placed air chambers for the Feet, Arms, Hands, Calves, Shoulders, and Feet. Slow and steady pressure is applied to increase your circulation. This releases tension while acupressure nodes work on stretching and lengthening your sore muscles.
7 Massage Techniques
The Ogawa Refresh Plus has 7 massage techniques to suit any of your daily needs: Shiatsu, Swedish, Kneading, Rolling, Dual Action, Clapping, and Tapping.
6 Preprogrammed Massages for Total Pleasure
The Refresh Plus comes with 6 Preprogrammed full-body massages that use a mix of massage roller technology and air compression. Their new programs include Neck, Gentle, Stretch, Relax, Lower Back, Shoulder and Lower Body. Each one of the massage programs has different levels of speed and intensity for providing a human-like massage.
Having sat and spent some time in an Ogawa Massage Chair I can tell you they have done a really good job in trying to replicate real “Hands”.
Spot and Partial Massage for Targeting
The spot feature enables you to focus on precise areas along your entire back. You can adjust the rollers to your pain location and let the rollers do their thing. If you want to target the area along your spine the partial feature can do that for you. Select your location and the rollers will massage a 6” radius within your targeted area.
User-Friendly Touch Screen Remote
The Touch Screen Remote makes it super easy to navigate through your massage programs and options. You will see your body mapped out on the remote screen. This will allow you to see and feel the exact location of the rollers. You can choose a partial or spot massage, maybe add in the foot rollers and some heat. The Ogawa Refresh Plus Massage Chair provides a lot of options when it comes to getting a massage. You have total control everything with it all at your finger-tips.
Soothing Heat to Melt Tight Muscles Like Butter
The heat feature with this chair is in the lumbar area. It will soothe relaxing any tight muscles and help to relieve any pain. Additionally, it can assist in improving and restoring circulation having a positive effect on your entire body.
Stimulating Vibration Therapy
Having vibration therapy in the seat of a massage chair can stimulate the body and help increase your circulation. This promotes healthy blood flow relaxing your muscles.
Strength and Intensity
With 5 levels of speed, and 3 Width adjustments, tuning your ideal massage is easy.
Ogawa Refresh Plus Massage Chair Video
Ogawa Touch 3D Massage Chair
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3D Smart Roller Functionality
This model, the Ogawa 3D Touch Massage Chair is the model I sat in and feel its the best massage chair I have used thus far. I supplied a video a little further down on the page you should check out that gives you a closer look.
The Touch 3D has all your massage needs covered. With 6 levels of intensity, such as smooth to vigorous, light to deep and much more. It meticulously replicates a human hand using Dual Head 3D rollers that can deliver 6 various massage techniques.
Hi-Tech Double Body Scan
It will detect both the curvature of your spine and your shoulder position for an on-target massage, specifically tailored for you. The brain of this chair is a microcomputer. It takes the data collected from the body scan to use for honing in on the muscle groups. This makes sure each person who sits down in this chair will receive a comprehensive massage.
Patented Smart Sense Technology
The Ogawa Touch 3D has patented SmartSense™ air cell technology. It does double duty by gently lifting and repositioning your body for well-defined stretching motions. In addition, it provides healthy compression to aid in circulation and muscle tension relief. The 64 airbag compression system also measures your location using patented sensors throughout the chair to provide optimum pressure for a comfortable massage.
2 Stage Zero Gravity
I see this function is described as floating on a cloud. Does anyone really know what it feels like to float on a cloud? Of course not. The best way to describe the feeling is like floating in the water.
There is the option of choosing from 2 different Zero Gravity positions.
Zero Gravity 1: In this position, you recline into an inverted position and will immediately start to feel relaxed followed by a deep sleep.
Zero Gravity 2 – You can still see your TV, read a book and carry a conversation. No matter what you choose, you will feel light as a feather. Your blood pressure will drop, any pressure is removed from your entire body.
Simply, relax and float…
Be Lazy with the Touch Screen Remote
Everything you want is only one touch away. Customize your massage experience with the Touch Screen Tablet Remote. Easily adjust every aspect of your massage. You can also simplify the process by clicking one of the 8 automatic massage programs.
The Ogawa Touch 3D Massage Chair comes equipped with 8 expertly designed automatic massage programs. Any of them can be activated with the touch of a button. Each one of the programs combines various massage techniques like Tapping, Kneading, Clapping, Swedish, Rolling, and Shiatsu.
Zone in with the Spot/Partial Feature
You can pinpoint troubled areas on your back or neck with the Spot mode feature. The Partial feature allows you to select an area of the neck or back where the rollers travel within a 3” radius from a spot that you choose.
Heat and Vibration for a Stimulating Massage
The Heat function is built into the lower lumbar region of the spine. This helps to relieve your lower back tension and relax your muscles and joints. The soothing vibration works to stimulate, relax and detoxify your surface tissue.
Strength & Intensity Controls
There are 6 levels of strength adjustment for the 3D roller and 5 levels of intensity adjustments that apply to the air cells. Finding the perfect massage to fit your needs is a breeze.
Chromotherapy, also called color therapy or colorology, is considered an alternative medicine method. It uses color and light to gently bring about homeostasis(balance within the human body) Color and light is applied to specific areas and acupoints on the body. Within massage chairs, the color blue is often the color used in the LED chromotherapy lights. For the Ogawa Touch 3D Massage Chair, these lights are located on each side of the headrest.
Soothing Foot Rollers – The Foot Rollers for this chair provide a soothing and relaxing foot massage that uses dual-action rolling and kneading techniques.
Quiet Technology – Uses patented “Quiet Technology” spring suspension with an air pump that can barely even be heard.
Ottoman for All – An Adjustable Ottoman that works regardless if you short or tall. The ottoman can slide out if you need to make an adjustment. Anyone who is 5’ to 6’5” will be able to enjoy the Ogawa Touch 3D.
Thai Stretching – This chair used Thai Stretching uses ancient Thai stretching methods: rocking, compression, stretching, and pulling. Thai stretching will relax and soften your over-worked muscles, increase flexibility and range of motion, along with increased circulation. Which promotes faster healing of injured muscles.
Bluetooth Compatibility – Built-in high-quality sound system located in the headrest of the Touch 3D. The Bluetooth wirelessly technology allows you to listen to your own music from any compatible device such as a SmartPhone or iPod.
Ogawa Touch 3D Massage Chair Video
Ogawa Active L Plus Massage Chair
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The Ogawa Active L Plus full body massage chair features the SL massage track. When you are getting a massage this chair will cradle your body. At the same time, the muscles along your spine are gently worked over. It will knead out your tight neck and shoulder muscles, stretch and elongate your spine, soothe and relax the bottoms of your feet.
The Active L Plus Massage Chair is for promoting complete body wellness. It blends a smooth massage with Air Compression, Zero Gravity, Heat, Foot Rollers, a Sound System with Bluetooth, Color Light Therapy and more. The Active L Plus comes packed with everything you need for a complete massage.
Uniquely Designed SL Track
The Active L Plus has a uniquely formed roller track that’s extended. This allows the massage rollers to move from the back of your head and neck, all the way down under your glute muscles and into your upper thigh. This is not your usual L track, where the upper part of the track is constructed in the shape of your spine. Then transitions down under your buttocks. This additionally helps you to relax but more importantly can relieve pain.
Sometimes when my back is bothering my butt muscles will really cramp up adding to the pain. In fact, I will rarely have a wallet in my back pocket. It might be hard to believe but having that slight alteration when I am sitting affects my back making it worse.
Foot Rollers for a Phenomenal Massage
Enjoy these Acupressure Foot Rollers that provide kneading to all of the right spots on your feet. This feature will release tension and rejuvenate those tired and sore feet. It provides a complete massage of your feet. This is accomplished with the use of multiple spinning roller tracks, assisted by gentle air compression.
Touch Screen Remote
This chair comes with a new tablet-style Touch Screen Remote. It allows you to easily navigate the screen, selecting from 9 massage programs. Do you have an area on your body that needs more special attention than other areas? Not a problem! You can easily build your own targeted massage.
A digital map of your body is created for you on screen. On the remote screen, you will be able to see how the rollers are lined up with your body. Select spot or partial massage, then select a massage style, a little heat, turn on your foot rollers at a low level, and to top it all off add in the Zero Gravity feature.
Just think, all of that can easily be programmed by you to work with just a touch of one button!
9 Expertly Designed Programs
There are 9 expertly designed massage programs that are strategically combined with a variety of massage styles. This creates a broad spectrum to fulfill your needs, no matter what they may be.
To target and tackle the most troubled regions of your body is quite easy with the Active L Plus Massage Chair. Especially when you armed with these massage options for your Lower Back, Spine Care, Neck & Shoulders, Glute Therapy, Demo, Vigorous, Gentle, Relax, and Stretch Massages that can easily be activated with the touch of a single button, based on your preferences. It delivers fluid “massage therapist like” movements from head to toe.
This chair gives you the option of creating your own programs and saving them into the 3 memory settings.
Massage Techniques & Styles
There is the option to enjoy a variety of massage combination styles with the Pre-Programmed massages. You also can choose from Shiatsu, Rolling, Kneading, Clapping, Swedish, Dual Action orTapping.
Adjustability for the Perfect Massage
Achieving the perfect massage is literally at your finger-tips. You have 5-speed adjustments and 5 strength levels. Plus, 3 width adjustments for the rollers position along the spine.
Ultramodern Bluetooth Compatibility
Take your massage to another level with this high-quality sound system that’s built-in to the headrest of the Ogawa Active L. By having the Bluetooth technology, it allows you to wirelessly listen to music from any compatible device.
Body Scan Technology
Every time you sit in your massage chair it reads your body with a quick body scan. It locates your body’s position, then digitally maps your size, and sends the data back to the chair for pinpointing the placement of the rollers. Making it a phenomenal massage experience.
Air Compression Technology
There are multi-layered air cells that apply tender pressure in a fluid motion. That increases your circulation for healing and accelerated muscle recovery. It’s developed to canvas more of your body using fewer airbags and air valves. That reduces the noise while increasing coverage. All areas of your body will be covered: Hand and Arms, Thigh and Seat, Neck and Shoulder, along with your Calves and Legs.
2 Stage Zero Gravity
When you elevate your knees above your heart it takes the pressure off your lower spine. From there it increases circulation, reducing blood pressure. The Zero Gravity weightless feeling supports in relaxation while extra pressure is placed back onto the rollers. This makes for a deeper massage experience.
Ogawa Active L Plus Massage Chair Video
Please make sure you check with your doctor or a medical professional if you have any medical problems. Especially if any of the following pertains to you:
- Pacemaker implant
- An electrical medical implant or any other similar implants
- In poor health
Children under 12 years old should not use any of these massage chairs without adult supervision. Please do not use any of these massage chairs if you are any of the above listed. Unless you check with your doctor first.
All of the Ogawa massage chairs I have listed are great chairs. However, for me, 3D Touch is the best massage chair.
If you do not think any of the Owaga Massage Chairs would be the best massage chair for you? You might want to check out these other massage chairs I have written about. Maybe one of these will be the best massage chair for you!
Hi, I’m Drew. If you are suffering from back pain be it chronic or intermittent. I would love to hear your story?