For those searching for a massage chair that can address the pain in the back region, there are three features that should be present in the massage chair model:
1) Heating modules: The heating modules included in massage chairs offer heat therapy which can help in relaxing stiff muscles attributed to muscle pain.
2) Shiatsu specialized massage: One feature of the massage chair that is believed to effectively alleviate back pain is the Shiatsu massage therapy. Researchers gathered 66 respondents with lower back pain and administered Shiatsu massage in a study. The respondents’ pain levels were then measured before as well as after four Shiatsu sessions. Results of the study showed that Shiatsu massage lowered the respondents’ level of back pain.
3) Adjustable massage intensity: Good massage intensity for people differs according to personal preference. As the massage chair cannot be treated as a human therapist, having a massage chair with flexible and adjustable intensity can aid in receiving the right massage experience according to the user’s preferences.
Overall, one cannot dispute the truth behind massage chairs and its importance in a person’s health. Likewise, everyone would like to have the value for their money and avoid substandard equipment. A highly recommended model of massage chair for those with back pain is the Kahuna LM6800 This model of massage chair is packed with features that specifically target body pains and is also sold cheaper. More information about this model of massage chair is available here.
Earlier, massage chairs were seen as a luxury without any practical benefit. Today, massage chairs have improved which convinced people of its benefits, effectiveness, and usefulness. Some of these improvements are the robotic massage techniques which provide relaxation as well as pain relief. Pain relief, especially in the back area, has been the primary driving force for people to spend money buying a massage chair.
Does it work?
Different conditions which cause back pain and are relieved by massage chairs are:
1) Muscle Strains 2) Osteoarthritis of the spine 3) Fibromyalgia 4) Vehicular Accidents 5) Fracture 6) Sciatica
How Massage Chairs Heal Back Pain?
There are three main aspects how massage chairs combat pain in the back region:
Heat Therapy: One of the usual cures for back pain is heat therapy that facilitates blood circulation towards the strained muscles which releases pain stimuli. Good circulation is the key to heal strained muscles as it carries oxygen and nutrients. Heat therapy as a solution to back pain has also been acknowledged by studies.
Relaxes tensed muscles: Muscle strains usually cause tense and stiff muscles around the lower spine. This is addressed by massage chairs by relaxing stiff muscles and facilitating muscle elasticity.
Endorphin Increase: Endorphins are chemicals in the body that generate a good feeling. Having a massage is known to increase this chemical’s level to foster a great mood and address any feelings of discomfort.
A baby on the way can give a mix of both excitement as well as dread. Excitement stems from looking forward to a new addition to the family while dread is usually the result of numerous changes a mother’s body will undergo.
For women who have experienced pregnancy or are currently pregnant, they are very much familiar with the chronic back, shoulder, neck and stomach pain as well as strain. These mild aches and cramps are normal in pregnancy but should not be disregarded altogether.
One of the most popular pain relief items in the market are massage chairs and it also provides a relaxing sensation. Because of its popularity, many pregnant women are interested to try massage chairs to know if these will also give them the same benefits a non-pregnant person receives. However, a question that they have with massage chairs is the supposed negative effects of the chair to them or their baby.
Massage Chairs in Pregnancy – The Bad
The Heating Modules:
One of the features of massage chairs that make pregnant women doubt its effectiveness and safety is the heating modules. This is attributed to a condition known as hyperthermia which is caused by high body temperature. Hyperthermia can be a result by simply using a hot bath tub that can actually increase the body temperature to 38.9 degrees Celsius according to Mayoclinic. Effects of high temperature for the baby especially when they are exposed to it in the first trimester include the high incidence of brain and spinal cord abnormalities. Despite massage chairs only having heat modules for the back area and the calves, pregnant women should still use caution even though these heating modules are not enough to increase a person’s body temperature.
Tips To Avoid Any Damage from Heat Therapy in Massage Chairs
Do not use heat therapy in the massage chair during the first trimester
Do not use heat therapy during summer
If a woman uses heat therapy during pregnancy, it should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes
When using the massage chair and the woman starts to sweat or feel very hot, discontinue its use.
A longstanding belief about pressure points is that it influences the reproductive system. For pregnant women, premature labor is believed to be a risk when the pressure points on the feet, legs and ankles are stimulated. Massage therapists are trained to pinpoint and stay away from these pressure points when giving pregnant women a massage as it is believed to directly affect the uterus.
Despite this belief, the medical field do not support these claims. According to them, the situation of premature labor as induced by pressure points on the feet, legs and ankles is impossible. There are also no research studies to back this claim that can be proven by evidences. Nevertheless, even though there are two opposing views on the issue, women should still be cautious.
In using massage chairs, most models have foot rollers which provide reflexology as well as airbags that massage the ankles and legs. These features may or may not induce labor through the pressure points. To prevent direct contact with the foot rollers and airbags, the woman may put her legs on a different chair and not on the massager.
Massage Chairs in Pregnancy – The Good
Back Pain Relief:
A common struggle with pregnancy is back pain where 80% of women in the world are suffering from chronic back pain in the course of their pregnancy. This pain ranges from mild aches on the lower back to full blown chronic pain. This can be addressed by massage chairs and its accompanying heat therapy. However, women should still be careful with the heat therapy given the belief surrounding increased heat causing hyperthermia.
Recommended Reading: How Massage Chairs Heal Massage Chairs Heal Back Pain?
Reduces Anxiety and Boosts Mood:
Massage is also a great way to alleviate anxiety and bad mood as supported by research which examined 32 female respondents with healthy bodies to determine if a 45 minute massage can influence their anxiety and mood. Results of the study showed that the respondent’s’ condition improved even after only one massage.
A healthy life depends on good immunity especially for expecting women.
The research respondents were colorectal cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy that resulted to a weaker immune system as it destroys white blood cells. Massage can aid in this situation as discovered by researchers since it facilitates the increase of lymphocytes which strengthen a person’s immunity.
Recommended Reading: 51 Reasons To Get A Massage (Studies)
Summing it up:
Plenty of beliefs surround the use of massage chairs in pregnancy and some of these beliefs claim that massage chairs are not safe. In reality, there are few or no research or proof at all on this specific subject to validate one opinion over the other. It is recommended for pregnant women to stay on the safe side by consulting with a doctor before using a massage chair especially as many are susceptible to high risk pregnancy. For those whose doctors gave the green light in using a massage chair, keep in mind the suggested tips to safeguard your health.
Reflex points have diverse functions and benefits. One of these points is the solar plexus reflex located at the feet and can be pinpointed by placing an imaginary line starting from the third toe downwards until the small balls of the feet is reached. This reflex point is the center of all stress and if pressure is administered on this point, stress can be released and relaxation and relief is achieved provided that it is done correctly.
Improves Blood Circulation
Oxygen and nutrients are needed by the muscles and cells and these are transported through the blood. Poor circulation of blood is usually triggered by stress. Administering a foot massage aids in facilitating blood circulation by letting the body relax and preventing stress from overtaking the whole body.
Helps with Edema
Edema, usually observed in the last trimester of pregnancy, refers to the swelling of the feet caused by fluid retention. To address this condition, a foot massage can be administered by a relative or a reflexologist.
Promotes Better Sleep
Foot massage aids better sleeping as studies have found out. It helps relax the nerves, eliminates fatigue and promotes a deeper feeling of relaxation which would eventually lead to a peaceful sleep. It is highly recommended that the foot massage be done before going to bed as it yields the best results.
The changing weather, extreme stress, allergies, and even drinking alcohol can lead to migraines. For reflexologists, controlling a person’s Qi via the acupoints can cure migraines. While it is recommended to ask the opinion of a professional reflexologist, having a personal massage is likewise an option. A person can administer a massage to the whole ankles using moderate pressures using the thumb to provide relief. This method, however, should not be practiced by pregnant women because of the longstanding belief that pressure to the ankle’s acupoints may trigger labor.
Depression is a common condition experienced by many people at least once in their lives. Reflexology can be a good method to address this condition. For postmenopausal women, for example, reflexology aids in lessening depression according to a study conducted in 2002. A recommended massage to be done multiple times in a day is administering moderate thumb pressure at the center of the big toe which would foster a coping mechanism for depression as well as facilitate emotional stability.
Tummy massage should start at the middle of the chest. While both hands are at the chest area where the heart is located, repeatedly do a slow outward stroke. After this motion, one hand should be placed on the chest to gently stroke downward to the thighs. This action can be repeated while switching hands.
Massaging the Legs
Starting the massage on the infant’s legs is highly recommended because it aids the infant in getting used to a person’s touch. To start a leg massage for infants, the adult should wrap their oil covered hands around the legs to do a downward motion massage. This action should be done repeatedly while alternating hands and placing gentle pressure. The massage should be done for both legs.
Massaging the Feet
Giving the baby a foot massage facilitates good blood circulation. To start the foot massage, the foot should be gently held first and then rotated for a bit in both directions. Another massage for the foot is to gently and repeatedly stroke the area starting from the ankles to the toes and then massaging the bottom of the foot in circular patters using the thumb. The last massage for the feet is to gently do a pulling motion on all ten toes of the baby using the adult’s thumb and forefinger.
Massaging the Back
A baby’s back massage should start with the baby positioned on his or her tummy. Both hands should then be placed at the base of the neck to gently stroke the body repeatedly following a downward motion to the buttocks. Other massage motions include doing the previous step with only one hand and massaging the side of the spine in circular motion using the fingers. A reminder is for the adult to refrain from massaging the baby’s spine directly.
Massaging the Face
Start the massage of the baby’s head and cheeks following a circular motion using your fingertips. The thumbs should be placed at the end of the eyebrows to give a gentle stroking motion. The baby’s closed eyelids can also be stroked gently with small pressure applied only after three strokes. The ears can also be massaged using the thumb and forefinger.
Massaging the Arms
Arm massage for babies can be administered by holding the wrist on one hand and doing a milking motion to massage the body from shoulders down to the wrist. This action should be repeated for both arms. Other massage motions include gently rotating the wrist in both directions, massaging the palm in circular motion, gently putting pressure at the base of the fingers, and massaging the fingers using a gentle pulling out motion.
6 Miraculous Benefits of Foot Massage
Taking care of the body is usually confined at the face, hair, or the parts that are most visible to the people. What people mostly miss out on is taking care of the feet which possess wellness and rejuvenation ability that can benefit our overall wellbeing.
Even a short foot massage can bring both relaxation and relief to the body as well as remove stress, pain and fatigue. Despite not being supported by scientific studies, massage practitioners still stand by the benefits of foot massage and reflexology because of its ties to ancient Chinese medicine theory.
Ancient Chinese Medicine Theory:
Dating back 5,000 years, therapeutic foot massage has been practiced in China. Its practice is grounded on the Chinese medicine theory that includes a force known as Qi which is made up of opposite energies called the yang and the yin. A healthy body would require a perfect balance between the two energies. An imbalance would result to blocking the Qi as well as mental and physical ailments. Meridians, or the path where Qi traverses in the body, are considered as communication channels inside the body. If the flow of Qi is blocked, the meridian surface or acupoints should be manipulated to free the Qi. A part of the body which has an abundance of acupoints is the feet which can aid in fixing the flow of Qi along the whole body.
A lot of people suffer from back pain which affects everyday tasks such as with any movement, whether it is to sit, walk, drive, or carry heavy materials. Back pains are usually the result of ruptured disks, osteoporosis or even arthritis. The most usual reason for back pain is muscle strain which can be unbearable. Home remedies are available to relieve a person’s back pain as detailed below:
Get a Massage
Massage has plenty of benefits and one of these is to relieve back pain which has been scientifically tested. A research administered to 401 respondents claimed that massages were able to deal with their back pain. The study’s objective is to compare the efficiency of two diverse massage styles. Results showed that both styles were able to cure chronic low-back pain with the massages’ advantages lasting up to six months. You can get a massage through a therapist, your relative, and even through massage chairs. A step by step guide is provided on how to administer a massage for back pain relief:
Things to prepare:
Massage table or mat
A cleat sheet
Giving the massage:
Before starting the massage, a clean sheet should be placed on the table to protect it from the oil. This will also help with easier clean-up. The patient should lay at the table on his or her belly with a pillow placed on the chest area, a towel on the forehead, and another towel on the ankles for comfort. The last towel will be used to cover the lower body to protect the clothes from the oil or maintain privacy for those who will opt to take off their pants.
The oil should be spread using the hands in gliding strokes starting from one side of the back and then transferring to the opposite side. Circular massage motions can also be done using the palms. The direction of the massage should start at the center of the lower back, towards the side and then upwards. This motion has to be repeated for the middle and upper back area. Putting pressure using the thumbs on areas that experience pain and maintaining a cycle of increasing and sustaining pressure can also help relieve the pain.
Day to day activities usually cause muscle strains that eventually lead to lower back pain. These muscle strains prevent the flow of blood to the muscles which eventually slow down the body’s recuperation process. Using heat therapy solves this problem at it helps expand the blood vessels of the muscles which enables the body to heal. Another advantage of heat therapy is its affordability which literally costs nothing. This process can be done through a hot shower, a heating pad, a hot bottle, or even using the heat therapy available on massage chairs.
Swimming can also address back pain as proven scientifically. It strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, and strengthens the spine against pain. More positive results are available when a person swims at least three times a week. The recommended strokes to treat back pain are breaststroke and backstroke.
Yoga (Cat Pose)
Unlike with the earlier mentioned remedies, yoga cannot be done during sever back pain attacks. However, this can be used instead whenever there is a feeling of discomfort at the back area. A recommended yoga pose to treat spine problems is the cat pose. This pose requires the person to get into the tabletop position. The knees should be placed below the hips while the wrists and elbows should be aligned with the shoulders. Upon exhaling, the back should follow a rotating motion towards the ceiling while pushing the face downwards. Upon inhaling, the body should go back to the primary table top position.
Another remedy for back pain is ginger due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities. Ginger’s ability is likened to the effects given by aspirin. A recommended recipe for back pain using ginger as the main ingredient is to cut small pieces of one to two inches long ginger roots and place it in water. For 30 minutes, cook the