If you’ve ever experienced a post-workout massage, you probably don’t need much convincing to understand its benefits. Receiving a massage after a tough workout may reduce muscle stiffness, improve range of motion, and increase blood flow, all of which improve recovery for your next workout. The benefits of post-workout massage are even backed by research. A February 2012 study published in Science Translational Medicine demonstrated that massage after a tough workout actually reduced post-workout inflammation. While the benefits of massage are easy to understand, the time and expense of daily massage make scheduling one impossible for most of us. A home massage chair makes frequent massage a possibility.
What are the benefits of massage chairs?
One of the biggest benefits of a massage chair for the home is accessibility. By including a massage chair in your home, you can receive a massage that meets your needs for scheduling and duration. Post workout massage for as little as ten minutes is effective in improving recovery and reducing inflammation. You can receive your massage while fully clothed and can even use the time to catch up on a television series or the news. Your daily massage can be as long or as short as you need, making it easy to fit into your schedule.
The stress reducing benefits are immediate. Much like a good workout, the muscular compressions provided by your massage chair result in an increase in endorphins. These feel good hormones are a healthy way to reduce the impact of daily stress on your brain and body. Many massage chairs also offer options for heating areas of the body, which further enhances the relaxation benefits.
Improve Post Workout Recovery:
Whether you receive an on-site massage or take advantage of a massage chair for your home, a post-workout massage will improve your recovery. The study cited above found that massage reduced the production cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, which convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. “The bottom line is that there appears to be a suppression of pathways in inflammation and an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis,” helping the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise, said the senior author, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky.
Reduce Back Pain:
Many massage chairs for the home provide options to focus on specific areas of your body. You can use your massage chair for lumbar massage to increase circulation and mobility in the low back. This can go a long way towards improving low back pain that results from muscular overuse and instability.
The inflammation you experience after your workout is actually an immune response. If your immune system is working overtime, the reduction of cytokines from your massage may improve that response. The assistance that massage provides in cellular function and repair is also important to your immune system. So whether you’re under the weather or battling a bigger immune issue, frequent massages in your home massage chair might be just what the doctor ordered.
How do you use a massage chair?
Once you understand the benefits of a massage chair at home, how you use it is up to you. Many massage chairs provide pre-programmed settings ranging from deep tissue to therapeutic. If your goal is relaxation or immune system improvement, couple your massage with an herbal tea and some soothing music. For basic workout recovery, you can focus on deeper pressure and indulge in an episode of your favorite binge watch. The biggest benefit of your home massage chair, is its convenience. This lets you indulge frequently in the healing benefits of massage for the most effective results.
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About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin.