Massage Chair Glossary

Acupoint detection systems

An acupoint detection system will make a scan of the entire back. There are both two-dimensional and three-dimensional scans. This information is then processed by the massage chairs computer. The roller system is then adjusted to reflect the dimensions of the person who was scanned. This enables a closer massage based on the natural curves of the body.

Buttocks massage

Many massage chairs have the capability to massage the buttocks. The use of vibration motors, rotary massage heads and inflatable airbags provide for a variety of different techniques available for massaging the buttocks.

Calf massage

There are typically two types of calf massage systems. Either there are mechanical rollers which provide a kneading sensation or there are inflatable airbags which provide a compression massage. The calves are inserted into a leg well and positioned to receive the massage.

Combination massage

Typically, a combination massage consists of both kneading and tapping. The kneading is a side to side motion much like kneading dough. Tapping is a rapid chopping action. The combination massage runs both of these massage actions simultaneously. Some massage chairs allow you to individually control the speed of the kneading and tapping.

Compression massage technique

The compression massage is accomplished in massage chairs with the use of an air massage system. The air massage system uses an air pump which inflates specially designed airbags. These airbags then squeeze your muscles. The compression massage is particularly effective for the larger muscles of the body.

Ergonomic design

Many massage chair manufacturers are incorporating ergonomic designs. Ergonomic just means that it better fits the natural form of your body. This would be placing levers and controls so that they are easily accessed and do not require bending or turning to make adjustments. Also, D. styling and design of the actual chair affects its ergonomics and feeling comfortable for the user.

Foot massage

Many massage chairs incorporate specially designed foot massages. To accomplish foot massage, typically technologies such as vibration, inflatable airbags, reflexology plates and even rollers are used in different recliners.

Full body stretching

There are two categories of full body stretching. Some massage chair manufacturers actually have a lower body stretching and upper body stretching which work separately. Other manufacturers use a single system which stretches the body by holding the calves in place while the chair recline.

Hawaiian massage technique

The Hawaiian massage technique uses a side to side swaying motion. This Hawaiian style massage is not found in the too many massage chairs. The swaying motion is great for loosening up the larger muscles of the back and shoulders.

Heat therapy

Many massage chairs are starting to integrate heaters into the recliners. Heat has many benefits including improved circulation and the reduction of swelling. Many massage chairs provide full body heat with individual controls. This enables the user to select the areas to apply heat individually.

Kneading massage technique

Kneading is one of the most famous motions and massage. This is a side to side motion. It uses a pinching method to stretch and elongate the muscles. Kneading also helps to penetrate deeper through the muscle tissue to provide greater relief.

Lower back massage

Many massage chairs have specialized programs for massaging the lower back. The lower back tends to become stiff and sore. Lower back massages target this area with rolling massage is to stretch the vertebrae as well as combinations of kneading and tapping.

Massage Chair Motors

There are a number of different motors which can be used on a massage chair. There are vibration motors, rotary motors and piston motors. Vibration motors are used to provide pulsating and vibrating movement massage. Typically there are many vibration motors used to provide vibration throughout the chair. Rotary motors are used to move the massage rollers up and down your back or to control the kneading and tapping. Piston motors are used for the leg rest and chair back for reclining.

MP3 music players

Massage and music go together to promote greater relaxation. Many massage therapists are adamant about the use of relaxing music. This helps you to relax and empty your mind. As you begin to relax, the tension in your muscles starts to subside making it more effective to receive a massage. You can now find a variety of different MP3 music players and massage chairs.

Neck massage

One of the important areas for a massage chair to cover is the neck. Some massage chairs allow for more sophisticated neck massages than others. Typically a massage chair must scan to locate where your neck is. Otherwise it is just applying the same massage everywhere. The kneading motion is particularly effective and relieving the neck.


Massage chairs may have automatic or manual recline for the chair back in the leg rest. Luxury massage chairs will have motorized recline for both the chair back in the leg rest. Some models of massage chairs may use levers to manually adjust the chair back or the leg rest.

Remote control

Massage chairs come with a hardwired remote control. There are many different therapeutic features on a massage chair which necessitate the use of a remote. This enables the user to manually program and target specific areas.

Rolling massage technique

The rolling or finger press massage technique follows the curvature of your spine. The rollers of the massage chair are used gently adjust your spine by using your body’s weight. This is a great way to slightly adjust the vertebrae of your spine.

Seat Cushion

Seat cushions come in a variety of styles. It can be the typical foam style seat cushion or it may have some additional therapeutic features. Some seats in massage chairs come with vibration motors, rotary massage heads and even airbags.

Shiatsu massage technique

Shiatsu massage is in ancient Japanese traditional massage. It uses acupressure to target your body’s acupoints. This helps to release energy which may become blocked in the body. Shiatsu also uses vigorous motion such as chopping and also penetrating motion such as kneading to provide invigoration and relief.

Stiffness detection system

Advanced electronic devices are being used in some massage chairs. You can now find a stiffness detection system which takes readings of the body and determines where stiffness resides in your body. It can adjust the program to target systematically these areas for relief.

Tapping massage technique

Tapping is a rapid chopping action. Typically you can find massage chairs that go between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Tapping helps to invigorate the muscles and loosen them up effectively. This technique is also known as chopping and percussion.

Thigh/Hip massage

Many massage chairs use various techniques to massage the thighs and hips. You can find air massage system to provide compression massage. You also find vibration motors used to massage this area which helps to improve blood circulation. You also find that some massage chairs use massage heads to provide deeper penetration.

Zero Gravity

The idea behind zero gravity is to take the pressure off of the body. One way of taking pressure off the body is by better distributing the weight of the body. Most of the body’s weight tends to concentrate on the spine, by reclining the chair back to certain angles the weight can be better distribute it across the entire back. Another way to improve blood circulation is to elevate the legs above the heart.