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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

What is a chair massage, and who can get one?


What is a chair massage

When you are out and about in public, you may have seen people getting a massage while sitting in an oddly shaped device, where they look like they are half sitting, half kneeling, getting a massage on the back or shoulders. This is likely a chair massage, and the strange half-sitting, half-kneeling device, is (appropriately) called a massage chair. These chairs are commonly used to give massages in public places such as airports, outdoor festivals, health fairs, and many other places.


Chair massage, also known as seated massage or on-site massage, is a specialized form of massage therapy designed to provide quick relaxation and relief in a convenient and accessible manner. Unlike traditional massages, chair massage is performed while you are fully clothed and seated in a specially designed massage chair. The process typically involves a licensed massage therapist using a combination of techniques such as kneading, compression, tapping, and stretching to target specific areas of tension and stress in the upper body, including the neck, shoulders, back, arms, and hands.

What is a chair massage

Massage in a chair is a great option for a wide range of people:

Anyone who has difficulty lying down for a massage - If there is an injury or condition that would stop someone from comfortably being able to lay flat on a table and have a massage on their back and shoulders, the chair is a great option to allow for a massage, but without the difficulties of laying down and getting back up since the person remains in a more upright or seated position.

Massage in a public place - Since chair massage does not require the person receiving the massage to disrobe, they can get in and out of the chair quickly and easily, plus the therapist can maximize the time giving the massage, making the massage time more effective.

Someone who has never had a massage before - Since there is no disrobing, positioning on the table, and overall less formality, chair massage is an excellent way to introduce someone to massage who has never had one before. It is a great way for someone to experience a simple massage that can be adjusted easily in a non-anxious setting.

Massage for groups (parties, employees, events) - Since a massage chair can easily be set up in any location, doesn't require a lot of space, and allows someone to get a massage quickly, focused on most people's most troubled areas, and without disrobing, it is a great option to bring massage to a wide variety of locations and a wide variety of people, not to mention a large number of people at a given time. Chair massage can be very effective for either a longer or short time. As little as as 5 minutes on the back and shoulders can be very effective, which means many people can get a massage in a limited amount of time, making this a great option for employers to bring massage into the workplace, a massage treat at an outdoor festival, or anywhere.


What is a chair massage

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