Heated Massage Chairs: What You Need to Know
Not all massage chairs on the market today come with a heat function, but heat therapy has become such a popular feature that it’s increasingly prevalent. That being said, there are absolutely some massage chair models that deliver more effective thermotherapy than others, whether that’s the level of heat or the coverage. But what exactly does heat therapy mean in a massage chair?
Heated massage chairs are designed to deliver gentle, sustained heat to certain parts of the body to aid in relaxation and tension relief. Nestled amid a heated massage chair’s complex internal network of rollers, scissors and motors are heating elements that are controlled by the chair’s operating system. Heating elements are most frequently aligned with the lumbar, or lower back region, since many people tend to carry a lot of tension here. Some massage chairs will also include heating elements in the footrest to target the calves and soles of the feet.
Like most of the functions in a massage chair, the heat is accessed through the remote or control pad, and can typically be adjusted to the user’s desired intensity.
The Benefits of Heat Therapy
Besides feeling amazing, heated massage recliners have some practical benefits.
When your muscles are tense, blood flow is restricted to them, which means that any soreness or damage in your muscles can’t be treated by the healing oxygen and proteins in your blood. Tense or sore muscles equal longer healing times — and ongoing pain or discomfort. However, when heat is applied to sore or damaged muscles, blood flow increases, which speeds up the body’s natural recovery process.
Athletes, arthritis sufferers and those recovering from injury use heat therapy to relieve pain, soothe inflammation and decrease joint stiffness. When applied following a workout (or simply a long day), heat therapy can help relax tense or strained muscles and aid in stretching. Pair gentle heat with a stress-relieving massage, and you’ll understand why heated massage recliners are so popular.