What Exactly is Chair Massage?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally in 2007.}

Q: What exactly is 'chair massage'?

A: Chair massage, also known as 'on-site massage', was started by a guy named David Palmer in 1986. Since then, its popularity has increased, bringing it to corporate offices, shopping malls, sporting events and fundraising activities.

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Basically, it's a massage done with the client seated in a specially designed chair with kneelers, a place to rest your arms, and a face cradle to rest your head. Once the client is seated and comfortable, the therapist has access to the scalp, neck, shoulders, upper and lower back, arms, hands, and fingers.

Chair massage is done fully clothed and without oils or lotion, so it's very convenient for the office or work place. Sessions normally last about 15 to 20 minutes, which, again, makes it very convenient for people with time constraints while at work.

There are many benefits to 'on-site' or 'seated massage'.

It's a short session, so it's easier to find time for, and it doesn't cost as much. It also focuses primarily on the areas that bother people the most, especially while at work, namely the back of the neck and shoulders. A lot of folks hold stress in these two areas, and a little relief during the work day can make all the difference to someone pushing to meet a deadline!

I guess the two things I like most about chair massage are:

1) It encourages people who are nervous about getting undressed and lying on a massage table to get much needed bodywork done.

I mean, let's face it, there are a lot of people out there suffering needlessly with aches and pains, because the thought of committing themselves to a full-body table massage is just too overwhelming. But with chair massage, they're only committing themselves to 15 or 20 minutes, without having to remove any of their clothes. This is what makes chair massage a great introduction to bodywork! Once a new client gets used to having someone touch them in a professional and caring manner, they're more likely to 'convert', so to speak, to table work.

2) The second thing I like about on-site or seated massage is that it encourages people with chronic pain to get more regular massages.

Often times, in order to make a chronic condition subside, several sessions are needed. This can be time consuming and expensive. But with chair massage, you can go two, even three times a week, and lose no more than an hour's worth of time, and spend no more than $40 to $60 total! This, I believe, encourages the client to 'chip away' at the problem little-by-little, which is the best way to approach a chronic injury.

For several years I spent every Friday in a large corporation doing chair massage. I would see 15, maybe 20 clients. I can't tell you the benefit that my hands brought to those 'cubicle dwellers'! I helped with their headaches and migraines, their carpal tunnel and repetitive work injuries, not to mention controlling their stress levels, both emotional and physical. Just 20 minutes a week made all the difference to those folks. In fact, many of those clients still come to see me in my new office. Some want table work, but some still request 'The Chair'!

If you have business and would like to show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts, call me. A day of 'on-site' massage in your workplace or office can do amazing things for morale and productivity!

Until we meet again by way of radio, have a great day, and stay out of the news!


{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: triscale@verizon.net }