Science-fiction and storytellers have been imagining a world where robots help people fulfil everyday, mundane tasks for decades – a world filled with automated robotic dish-washers, automatic cooking devices and sensor activated vacuum cleaners. Well, in your household today you probably own at least two of these items, proving that the future is here. But why not complete your futuristic household by adding in a robotic massage chair, that will help you relax your muscles after work?
Yes, that too is now possible, thanks to advanced engineering methods that have been flourishing during the past 30 years. Massage chairs were first introduced in 1986 and are robotic devices that have the shape of a normal, luxury armchair, but they feature vibrating components inside. Their main purpose it to relax the user, but they also feature an array of benefits, especially the newer models that also include special massage modes and extensive features (such as zero gravity mode).
How Massage Chairs Work
Every manufacturer uses their own techniques, meaning no two armchair models are the same, but there are still some general design guidelines. For instance, there’s a frame underneath the cushion of the seat that supports a system of gears, rollers and electric motors.
When you’re receiving the massage, it feels as if you are being massaged by human hands; it is the rollers that simulate this experience. They are programmed to move in patterns similar to those of a human practician.
Other more sophisticated designs are mounted on a mechanical arm that can not only move vertically, but also horizontally. This allows the rollers to move left and right and in a circular motion. To program and store the massage patterns, manufacturers use microprocessors located inside the chair.
Most massage chairs allow the user to adjust the intensity and sensitivity of the massage. This can be done by changing how far the rollers move away from the frame and how close they are to the user’s back.
Depending on the model, there are a few ways to recline the backrest of the massage chair. Some use a completely mechanical button system, others might include a lever that needs to be pulled along with applying pressure on the backrest in order for it to recline.
Benefits of Using a Massage Chair
Massages help relax your body, relieve anxiety and tension and alleviate muscle pain. But some forms of massages are known to also provide health benefits, such as immune system boost, headaches relief and help with minor depression.
1. Reduces Nerves Pressure – Massage chairs can reduce the pressure on the spinal cord by supporting your body in a reclined horizontal position. Pressure on your spine or misaligned vertebra can compress the major nerves that run though it – nerves from your hands, fingers, feet and toes. When your back muscles relax, your spine can reach its full length, thus freeing the pressured nerves and allowing for easier flow of nerve impulses.
2. Reduces Stress – Stress can not only affect your mental health, it has a direct correlation to your physical health as well. High stress levels can increase blood pressure, cause insomnia and appetite loss. Massages can alleviate stress by making the body balance the production of cortisol.
3. Improves Circulation – Improved circulation can mean overall healthier body. Our blood carries all the useful ingredients, such as oxygen and nutrients and also removes harmful toxins. But tense muscles can restrict natural, healthy blood-flow. Massages allow for the muscles to relax and open the paths for better blood flow.
4. Stimulates Endorphins – Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and stress relievers. They can create a sense of well-being and enhance your immune response. Massages help stimulate the neurotransmitters and the body benefits from it.
5. Improves Body Posture – When you feel pain and tension in one of your muscles, you try to avoid using them and this can lead to pressure on other muscles and your overall posture. Massage chairs can relieve the pain in sore muscles which in turn straightens the overall posture.