You may not realize that massage chairs deliver as many mental benefits as physical.
Perhaps you are in the market for a massage chair. Maybe you’ve seen them at Costco special events, or you passed by those massage chairs rentals at the mall or airport. Wherever you saw them, maybe you were intrigued by the idea of 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 for your body.
These are all outstanding 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 realize however, is that that massage chairs deliver just as many mental benefits as physical.
Massage Chairs: The Mental Benefits
Today’s state-of-the-art massage chairs are certainly about physical therapy. Interestingly, qualitative research into what people get out of massage therapy, and the deeper drivers for why they continue coming back to massage over time, indicates that massage reaches into the mind as well.
Think about the last time you received a massage – whether from a professional masseuse, or maybe it was simply your spouse rubbing your shoulders. No doubt you experienced muscle tension release, but didn’t you also notice just how wonderful it felt emotionally as well? The power of touch is one that can go a long way towards helping us relieve 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 kneading movement into the muscles, there is an inherent realization 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 a Zen-like meditative state.
I reference the term “meditative” intentionally. Meditation is in essence the release of busy thoughts, to a state of just being. Wikipedia defines meditation as a practice where an individual focuses their mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. It further states that meditation may be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, while sitting, repeating a mantra, and closing the eyes in a quiet environment
That pretty much describes sitting in a Nest, Flex 3S or Brio massage chair. Allowing yourself that meditative relief while receiving full-body massage is deeply therapeutic for both the body and mind. What makes the idea of using a massage chair for emotional relief as well as relief from physical pain so compelling is that not only are the benefits worthwhile – it is extremely easy to do.
Quieting the “Monkey Mind”
Meditation in a massage chair is a superb means of enabling us to temporarily shut down what some psychologists refer to as the “monkey mind.” This less-than-flattering term (no offense to monkeys!) refers to when we use our brains to quickly process volumes of incoming stimulus to sort our “flight or fight” natural responses.
While these tendencies are designed to keep us alive, in today’s world they can be exhausting, and unhealthy and counterproductive as well.
We typically have lots to worry about. Maybe its stress caused by work – deadlines, pressure to perform, office politics, you name it. Relationships can also be sources of tension and stress. And who can argue that our constant activity via smartphones isn’t a virtual onslaught of digital information. Financial bottlenecks are a real killer too; often leading to “knot in your stomach” feeling.
The fact is we accumulate all these complications in our heads, but they manifest themselves in damage to our physical bodies. Most people have come to realize the connection between the mind and body. Our thoughts manifest 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 discomfort, but either way its our minds’ way of manifesting mental tension in noticeable physical ways.
Time spent in a massage chair where we can gain relief from physical ailments, as well as relief of mental tension buildup from the constant barrage in incoming information, life worries, and overall anxiety. As a result massage chairs can deliver remarkable mind-body benefits.
Massage Chairs: Bringing it all Together
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, Reflexology relieve muscle soreness, help increase circulation, and revitalize our physical bodies. At the same time, during massage we descend to a quiet, meditative mental state.
This mental quiet can be extremely effective in reducing the emotional burden of the 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.
Massage chairs… They’re not just for the body only anymore! Today’s most innovative massage chairs deliver remarkable mental benefits as well.