Chair Massage

Massage chairs are strange. With so many hinges and levers, they take some getting used to – as a therapist, learning to make the all proper adjustments at every possible spot, and, as a client, trusting that this alien contraption will support you and even help you relax.

You’ve probably seen a massage chair before – maybe at an outdoor event or an office appreciation day. Sure, there might be massage tables around at events also, but the entire purpose of a massage chair is for short, less intimate sessions.

I love chair massage! Here’s why:

  • Length: Chair massages can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 30, depending on the structure of the event and what I’m getting paid for (or if I’m getting paid). While I do enjoy my 60-minute massages, these short sessions allow me both to work with more clients and do the most amount of good for an individual in the shortest amount of time. Likewise, people are more willing to take 10 minutes out of their day than find the time for a longer session, so I wind up massaging clients whom I wouldn’t otherwise see.
  • Portability: I don’t have a car at my regular disposal, so moving around a massage table is next to impossible. But my chair folds up neatly and is stored in a wheeled case. Easy to take anywhere.
  • Style: I tend towards deeper massage when I work on seated clients. The way the client is angled on the chair allows for most of my pressure to come from leaning at my waist instead of pushing with my arms, and that takes a lot of strain off my shoulders. Since the client is clothed and there’s no lotion involved, it’s not an ideal setting for a soft, relaxation massage, but most of the people who come by know this. Rather, they expect focused work on their problem areas.
  • Area of Focus: You can’t get to all of the parts of the body like you can on a table. The best areas to work on are the neck, shoulders and upper back. Conveniently enough, these are also the areas that most people have problems with. Having a smaller area to work on, along with a shorter amount of time, forces the practitioner to pay attention to what’s really important.
  • Setting: While I don’t like thinking of massages as luxuries (more on that at a later date), I like it when my presence – and my chair’s presence – is seen as something special, something out of the ordinary. People don’t show up to work because they’re going to get a massage, but the fact that I’m there makes their day that much better. On the other side of things, events – for sports, good causes, or just community gatherings – have their own energy and excitement that I’m always glad to be a part of.
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