Many people will sit in a comfortable chair for several hours at a time to read a book, watch television or simply to relax. However, if you are sitting in a massage chair for this length of time it is very important that you not have the massage on that length of time. Almost all of the back and massage chair experts say that you should not use the massage programs in a massage chair for more than 15 minutes at a time and after you use the massage they say it is best to get up, move around, even go for a short walk to fully enjoy the benefits of the massage chair.
Massage chairs have crossed over the border from being just simple vibrating chairs to become full fledged therapeutic medical devices. Properly used they provide a very deep back massage that, if over used, can bruise, inflame and damage muscle and other body tissue. To put it simply, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing in this case.
Most massage chairs have build in timers for the massage programs to prevent this kind of overuse. Make sure the chair you purchase has a timer or that you use some external timer to prevent running the massage for too long. Simply watching the clock may not be the best idea. Massage chairs are designed to be comfortable in addition to providing health benefits so it would not be uncommon to fall asleep in one with the massage turned on. A simple alarm clock nearby may be all that you need to remind you to turn the massage off but a built in timer to automatically turn the massage off is the best option.
This does not mean that you cannot sit in a massage chair for extended periods of time with the massage turned off. 20 or 30 years ago massage chairs were cushy novelty items that often were not correctly designed to provide healthy back support. The modern massage chair, however, in almost all cases is anatomically correct for good back health. Most conventional chairs in the world today do not provide support for all 3 curves in the back; lumbar for lower back, thoracic for middle back and cervical for upper back. Massage chairs, however, generally provide support for all areas of the human back. So not only is a massage chair great for massage but they are usually also the best posture chairs in households so feel free to use them for watching television, reading and almost all general purpose seating.
If you have back pain or back problems make sure you consult with your doctor or chiropractor before purchasing and using a massage chair. There are several different types of massage available in massage chairs; Shiatsu, Swedish massage and variations or a combination of the two and most chairs allow you to vary the intensity of the massage as well. Your doctor may recommend a certain brand or type of massage chair. So by all means, enjoy your massage chair to the fullest and sit in it whenever you want and for as long as you want but don’t use the massage programs for more than 15 minutes at a time.