Massage Chairs vs Human Massage

Massage chair have been a bit of novelty item for decades, but in recent years the technology has had the opportunity to catch up and give a genuine massage experience that goes beyond the temporary relief from standard vibrations.  Nowadays there is more of a variety of massage chair models to choose from, let’s take a closer look at how they stack up to the real thing.

The Magic Touch

You can find three distinct techniques used in massage chairs to try to deliver authentic representations of your famous massages, like Shiatsu, Swedish, or Deep Tissue.  Here’s what they use to simulate them:


The massage chairs of today need strong motors to power the various rollers and modules to reach your muscle tissues and loosen the knots effectively.  This is one facet of the massage chair that you can easily research before ever stepping foot into a store.
massage chair motors

Some people claim that massage chairs can deliver stronger massages, more adjustable massages, than a human can because they never get tired.  Others prefer a mix of strong and soft massages that can be hard to find on massage chairs.

Rollers and Nodes

This is what will ultimately determine the finesse and ability to reach problematic areas of the body, simulating a human’s hands, fingers, and even forearms.  A good massage chair needs a mix of large rollers and many nodes in order to deliver a wide range of motions and massage techniques.
massage chair rollers

Mechanically, a massage chair will always be limited to how it can give a massage.  The flexibility and customization of a human massage just cannot be replicated.  With that said, massage chairs have come a long way and they can do some really nice isolating and rhythmic massages that is usually only found with the best massage therapists.

Chair Programming

massage chair body scanModern massage chairs are “smart” in that they can detect the user’s weight, height, and width of their body in order to deliver an accurate massage experience.  You can also choose from a wide range of settings, massage types, session lengths.

This is ultimately what has closed the gap on the quality of massages from a human massage.  Massage chairs have finally earned a bit of their pricey entrance fee.

Convenience Factor

After considering the pros and cons of a massage chair vs human massages, it ultimately comes down to your personal situation and what your needs are for getting regular massages.  You could argue that massage chairs are expensive, yet they would be cheaper if you were to use it every day as a physical and mental therapy device.

It is also worth noting the huge value in having a massage chair that the whole family can enjoy, which just isn’t possible both financially and logistically for booking a family visit to the massage parlor.  Don’t let sticker shock force your decision to never buy a great massage chair, financing options are available for them, just as any other expensive piece of athletic equipment, for example.