All of the best massage chairs offer at least 3-4 types of massages, with a number of options for customization. While the automatic massage options are designed by experts and are extremely beneficial in themselves, it is a fact that each person has specific needs. Using the manual settings and some amount of customization, the existing massage options in a chair can be made to serve these specific ends, thus attuning them even further to your specific health needs. For instance, while we know the average massage chair eases sleeping tips mentioned below can improve one’s chances of a sound sleep manifold.
Percussion Massage With Broad Strokes (Mid Massage)
Percussion, or tapotement as it is known in French, is a technique which creates a series of compressions in the blood vessels, improving blood flow substantially. This, furthermore, allows the blood to cycle wastes of various kinds better. While these are intrinsically geared at relaxing the arterial system in the long run and helping with sleep, the efficacy of the massages can be further geared towards better sleep using the following steps:
- Keep the stroke intensity and stroke length to medium, ensuring that the entire back, neck and gluteal muscles are adequately catered to.
- Proceed with your favourite choice of medium intensity massage for a single session (5-15 minutes) before moving to the percussion system. The introductory massage session relaxes and tenderizes the muscles, thereby precluding the possibility of stiff muscles preventing the percussion movement from reaching its desired location – the arteries.
- Proceed with the percussion massage for a single session or at most two, keeping the back and thighs as relaxed as possible.
- It is ideal to carry out another session of low intensity massage after this, but if you are feeling relaxed, you can skip this step.
Reflexology using Kneading, Rolling, Grasping Techniques
As the name suggests, reflexology uses the neural system to trigger reflexes, which in turn impact various organs in the body. This is done by working on specific pressure points on the extremities of the limbs – usually the feet. It is believed that the points correspond to different organs of the body, and by activating these points, the ensuing reflexes would benefit the organs. With the fingers and palm of the hand not being easy to work with, most of the best massage chairs use the pressure points of the feet to work their magic. Though reflexology naturally to improve the process further include:
- If your machine has a reflexology setting, you can conveniently use it. Otherwise, look for specific foot massages that claim to target pressure points in the ears, neck and parts of the torso. Further, if they do not include kneading, rolling and grasping techniques, add these to the session using manual settings.
- The reflexology steps need to be followed at the beginning of the massage and so can be initiated directly. Synchronizing it with other whole body massages is entirely optional.
- When the first reflexology course is complete, stretch your legs gently, and carry out another session (or two if needed).
- If you are feeling relaxed, or your feet appear to have had enough massage for the day, you can proceed with other types of whole body massages, provided they do not cover the feet. The reason for this is that since the feet have already been worked on extensively (without them receiving any direct benefit) it is suggestible that they be given a rest.
Like percussion, lymphatic drainage focuses on liquidating lymph fluid build-ups in various parts of the body. Like the arterial system, the lymphatic system contains a vital fluid – lymph – which plays a major role in clearing the body of toxins and removing interstitial fluid. Composed of slow light strokes on major lymph nodes, this drainage system improves virtually the functionality of virtually every major organ system, ranging from the respiratory to the endocrine. Though their effect eases sleeping tips to improve their efficacy further include:
- Seek out the lymphatic drainage massage in the settings. This massage is generally one of the advanced massages, and may not be available on the most basic models.
- Select a medium to high intensity stroke and reduced stroke length, thereby ensuring that the strokes fall on a small area in and around the lymphatic nodes.
- Since the lymphatic nodes work more or less independently of the muscle system, it is not necessary to tenderize the muscles. Hence this massage can be carried out at the start, middle or towards the end of the massage. Proceed with the massage for about 5-10 minutes. Repeat if necessary
Unlike other massage types, this system provides a general feeling of well being rather than immediate improvement to any specific body part. It is therefore natural not to find any specific benefits immediately. However, this massage is extremely beneficial for sleep because it ensures gastrointestinal well-being, proper endocrinal functionality, reduced blood pressure and good respiration.
While repeated modification of the settings and use of different settings on different days (as one cycles between the above-mentioned massage options) would lead one to wonder how to maintain a massage chair more often, it is vital that the product fulfils its required purpose. Though the massage chair eases sleeping tips as seen above can improve its efficacy manifold. The benefits accruing to the body thus make increased maintenance a small price to pay. However, as with any product range, the more sophisticated the product, the more the chances are of it including a foot massage function or a lymphatic discharge massage option, and less would the need be to tinker with the settings on a daily basis in order to obtain the perfect massage.