Yes you can overuse a massage chair if you sit in it for longer than 15 minutes. They are not designed to be sat in for hours though this is tempting!
There may be some negative side effects such as bruising and inflammation if you sit in a massage chair for too long with an intense program. But if you use them properly there are many positive side effects, such as relaxation, increased blood flow and reduction of toxins due to this.
Why do experts say you should only sit in a massage chair for 15 minutes?
This is because if you sit for any longer you could cause some low level injury and bruising. A massage chair will not recognise when and if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.
For this reason it is advised you start on a low intensity massage program and only use it for 15 minutes for one session. You could sit in the chair for 15 minutes 2 or 3 times in a day and target different areas of the body for each sitting?
This would solve the possible problems associated with too much local targeting of a specific area of the body.
How long can you stay in a massage chair?
Experts advise no longer than 15 minutes sitting in a full body massage chair. This is due to the intensity of the massage you can get from a chair but also because you may not be used to regular massage.
As much as the most up to date massage chairs are sophisticated pieces of furniture they cannot gauge when you are experiencing too much pressure in certain areas of your body unlike a professional massage therapist.
Many people buy a full body massage chair for their home and are unfamiliar with massage techniques and how and where you should massage.
Although massage chairs are not inherently dangerous, if you already have underlying health conditions you should be aware of how much is too much.
If you experience chronic back pain you will benefit greatly from regular massage , in most instances. However, if you are unsure what the underlying causes of your back pain are you should get advice from a professional massage therapist or chiropractor. They can give you valuable advice as to which program on a massage chair will benefit you.
Is it bad to use a massage chair too much?
Yes as it can cause bruising and inflammation if you sit in the chair for too long. Many times people report they feel bruised and experience pain after using a massage chair.
This is often because they have never used one before and have sat in it for too long, chosen a massage which is too vigorous or harsh for their needs or the massage chair is not easily programmed for different intensities.
Can a massage chair make you sore?
Yes a massage chair can make you sore if you overuse it or if you concentrate the massage too much in one specific area. There are different programs to choose from and you should start on the lowest intensity for each area of the body then build up to a comfortable but therapeutic massage.
If you have never sat in a massage chair you may find even the lowest intensity too harsh. This is certainly true if you suffer from joint pain or Fibromyalgia. These conditions do not prevent you from ever using a massage chair but you should be conservative in your use and in choosing the program.
How often should you get a chair massage?
When you are just getting started using a massage chair you should start with a 15 minute full body massage a couple of times a week. You may want to build up the session over a period of time but you shouldn’t overdo using one.
If you buy a massage chair for your home you can have a massage whenever you wish which may be once or twice a day or daily over the week. As long as you do not have one session over 15 minutes you should be fine.
Can massage chairs cause injury?
Yes if you have an underlying problem using a massage chair can make it worse. Massage chairs can also cause bruising and inflamation if used too much. Most quality massage chairs have a mix and match massage programs to help you find the best massage for your needs.
There are usually different levels of massage and the ability to just use a certain area such as the back massage element or the leg and foot massage.
Once you get more used to using the chair you may choose a full body massage for 15 minutes at a time once or twice a day over the week
Can you use a massage chair if you are pregnant?
It is not advisable to use a massage chair in the first or last trimester of pregnancy. This is due, in part to the heating element and the possibility of overstimulating the lower back muscles.
Are massage chairs good for your health?
Yes massage chairs can be an excellent way to relieve tension, induce and enhance relaxation and work on problem areas of the body. If you decide to buy a massage chair for your own home rather than using one in a spa or shopping centre, you may be tempted to overuse it.
However, the benefits of a chair massage far outweigh the possible dangers as long as you are sensible about how long and the level of intensity of massage.
Many people who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis, lower back pain, or shoulder pain use chair massage because it is convenient and overall cheaper than visiting a profession massage therapist regularly.
Do massage chairs actually work?
Yes they work for general massage needs. They can target specific areas of the body such as the lower back, legs, shoulders and feet. Massage chairs usually have various programs and levels of intensity of massage to choose from for your needs.
They dont have the same deep tissue massage you can get from a handheld percussion massage but they can be effective.
Overall, massage chairs can be overused and there can be negative side effects related to overuse. However, if you follow the guidelines of the experts and build up your sessions the benefits far out weigh the negatives.
Much research has highlighted the positive results of using massage chairs for physical as well as psychological well being.
Mechanical Chair Massage and Stress Reduction in the Seriously Mentally Ill Consumer: A Preliminary Investigation – Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (Journal)
Local Back Massage with an Automated Massage Chair: General Muscle and Psychophysiologic Relaxing Properties – The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine