I recently went to lunch with a friend of mine, and we decided to meet at our massage chair showroom first so I could show him around. The look on his face when he first walked in was the same I’d seen on hundreds of faces before, and speaks to massage chair penetration in the US market.
His expression indicated the mix of sensations that most Americans experience immediately upon walking into a massage chair showroom. Typically, these visitors aren’t very familiar with today’s cutting edge massage chairs, and they don’t know what to expect. However there is this underlying and powerful pull to the chairs. It is the allure of possibilities, and imagining at what it is going to feel like. It is the anticipation and curiosity of whether a full-body massage chair will feel just as good as getting a real massage.
Before he sat down in one of the chairs, he asked, “So who typically buys a massage chair?”
My answer wasn’t meant to be funny, but he laughed when I told him “People who actually sit in one!”
My answer was based on the fact that there really aren’t many places to try a massage chair; however, having personally provided demonstrations to hundreds of people both in our showroom and at events around the USA, I can verify that almost everyone is immediately surprised at just how amazing the experience is.
Suffice to say my friend was not disappointed, and after a 15-minute session in our Alphasonic massage chair, he remarked, “I had no idea this would be such a great massage! I could use this every day, and I can see how this would have a big impact on how I feel physically. I’m amazed at how relaxed and peaceful this made me feel, and I could actually feel a knot in my back release during the massage.”
Over the past five years massage chair ownership is increasing in the USA, with the pace of adoption accelerating due to several factors. These include referrals from enthusiastic buyers, the increasing presence of massage chairs in some of America’s largest retailers including Costco, Walmart, and even Home Depot, and more generally, the increasing focus of consumers looking to massage therapy as a means to alleviate chronic back and shoulder pain and to rejuvenate their overall well-being through regular – even daily – massage at any time I the privacy of their own homes.
While figures are not easily accessible, research indicates that massage chair penetration in the US market has steadily increased, with approximately 300,000 massage chair purchased in the past five years. Our own data indicates a significant portion of this adoption is being driven by the increasing Asian-American population in the USA. Generally Asian cultures are more in tune with the benefits of massage therapy. Recently China has become the largest producer of massage chairs in the world, with capacity and sophistication increasing at a furious pace. Among non-Asian households, young couples and professionals are becoming particularly receptive to the idea of owning their massage chairs. These purchases aren’t from people who just want a cool and exotic feature in their home; rather, they perceive the remarkable benefits of massage therapy to stay active and to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
As far as functions are concerned, premium massage chairs offer full-body massage, from Acupressure for shoulders, arms, hands IT bands, massage for the hamstrings, lower legs, and foot reflexology massage. Massage techniques include Japanese-style Shiatsu pain relief, tapping (think of the “karate chop” massage technique to increase circulation and loosen tight muscles), rolling massage for trigger point relief, and of course deep muscle kneading common to Swedish massage styles.
To reap the most benefits from your massage chair, experts recommend timing massage sessions to coincide with post-activity, and to select a massage chair with a wide array of massage strengths to enable adjusting the level of muscle tissue relief to fit your individual needs. The recommended frequency is twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening, up to 30 minutes each.
Regarding frequency, I’m often asked by prospective buyers how often people should use their massage chair, and I’ll generally provide the guidance above as a starting point; however, I know from talking to hundreds of customers that virtually all of them tell me that they find their chair an indispensable part of their daily routine, and use their chair every day.
The bottom line is that massage chair ownership is growing in the US, as more Americans are discovering the many benefits of these remarkable therapeutic machines and realizing that daily massage can address a multitude of ailments -both physically as well as emotionally. As to the emotional benefits of massage, we’ve realized the importance of this aspect and evidenced in our own research into brainwave frequency treatments delivered via our Braintronics™ software available in the Alphasonic.
As to my friend who tried one of our massage chairs, once we left our showroom and walked towards the car, he said, “I need to have one of those massage chairs. What are my delivery options?” This is all you need to know about your own likely reaction once you try one!