You may not realise that a massage chairs can give as many mental benefits as physical
If you are in the market for a massage chair you may have seen them on sale at online events, or you have seen massage chair rentals at your local shopping centre or airport. Wherever you saw them, maybe you were interested by the idea of owing a massage chair of your own. Chances are, your interest was of the physical nature. Whether your aching back, sore shoulders or neck, or foot pain – you were likely thinking about how great daily massage would feel.
These are all great reasons to own a massage chair – physical pain, muscle recovery from exercise, and muscle tension relief are certainly mentioned as main reasons people buy a massage chair. What you may not realise, is that that a massage chair provides just as many mental benefits as physical.
The mental benefits of a massage chair
Today’s massage chairs are certainly about physical therapy. Research into what people get out of massage therapy, and the deeper drivers for why they continue coming back to massage, indicates that massage helps the mind as well.
Take a minute to think about the last time you received a massage. It could have been from a professional masseuse, or even from your partner rubbing your shoulders. It’s highly likely you experienced muscle tension relaxation, but did you also notice just how good it felt emotionally? The power of touch is one that can go a long way towards helping us release tension built up from stress.
The entire experience of a massage chair session is very personal – focused on you, typically in a private, quiet setting. With each movement into the muscles, there is thought on a deeper level just how much emotional tension is relieved as well. Within minutes of the those internal massage hands working their magic on your shoulders and back, and the sensations of feet reflexology, you are transported from those nagging thoughts to an almost zombie like state.
That pretty much describes sitting in a Dreamwave or Brio massage chair. Allowing yourself to have that 15 minutes of meditative relief while receiving a full-body massage is deeply therapeutic for both the body and mind. The idea of using a massage chair for emotional relief as well as physical pain reduction is so compelling is that not only are the benefits worthwhile – it is extremely easy to do.
Monkey Mind – It’s actually a thing
Relaxation in a massage chair is a great way of enabling us to momentarily shut down what some psychologists refer to as the “monkey mind.” This less-than-flattering term refers to when we use our brains to quickly process volumes of incoming data to sort our “flight or fight” responses.
While these tendencies are designed to keep us alive, in today’s world they can be exhausting, unhealthy and counterproductive.
We typically have a lot of things to think about. It could be stress caused by work – deadlines, performance, office politics. Relationships can also be sources of tension and stress. And who can argue that our addiction to smartphones isn’t a virtual onslaught of digital information. Financial issues can be debilitating; often leading to severe stress.
The fact is we accumulate all these complications in our heads, but they manifest themselves in damage to our physical bodies. Our thoughts accumulate themselves into measurable physiological results. Stress can be the underlying cause of physical pain, and likewise physical pain causes mental and emotional stress.
Generally (but not always) women tend to hold their anxiety “up high” – in their shoulders and neck. In contrast, men often hold their stress “down low” or in their lower back. It’s not clear why the different sexes exhibit these differences in how stress causes location-specific physical pain, but its our minds’ way of leaching mental stress in noticeable physical ways.
Time spent in a massage chair is where we can get relief from physical ailments, mental tension, life worries, and overall anxiety. As a result massage chairs can deliver remarkable mind-body relaxation benefits.
Massage chairs: Helping us just a little bit more
Next time you think about a massage chair, consider not only the physical benefits of massage therapy, but the mental and emotional benefits you’ll gain as well. The kneading, tapping, rolling, Shiatsu and Reflexology relieve muscle soreness, increase circulation, and revitalise our physical bodies. At the same time, during massage we descend to a quiet, zen-like state where we don’t have to think about or worry about anything even for a short time.
This mental quiet can be extremely effective in reducing the emotional stress and anxiety we accumulate from daily life and its challenges. A massage chair becomes a mind-body experience that not only feels wonderful at the time – it helps us to better face physical challenges with a clearer, healthier mind.