You've had a long, hard day. That knotted muscle in your back keeps niggling, just like the stresses of work.
Maybe you've thought about buying something for your home. You'd like the best massage chair to ease your pains away.
You should know that you're not suffering alone. 3.7 million Australians reported a range of back problems between 2014 and 2015.
There are many reasons why you might suffer back pain. Some might be due to your lifestyle.
But whatever the cause, chiropractors, physiotherapists and masseurs get expensive over time.
And even if you just want some 'me' time to help you rejuvenate, that can start racking up the dollars too.
So maybe it really is time to invest in a massage chair. But how do you know which is the best massage chair?
Read on to discover how to choose the best model for you.
Think about the kind of features your chair needs.
You might be reading this with a form of chronic pain in mind. Or you might just want to enjoy more relaxation in your life.
Whichever group you fall into, you'll want the best massage chair for your needs. If you choose the right one, you'll get years of pleasure out of using it.
Remember that a good chair will simulate a massage therapist. That means your chair needs to be able to replicate the range of techniques used by the masseur.
The best massage chair also performs a body scan. That way it can take your body type into account while it selects the massage techniques it will use.
But ultimately you need the features that will give you the right massage. So look for these basic features as a starting point.
Rollers or airbags?
Some massage chairs offer both options. But if you're keen to save money, you may need to choose between the two.
Rollers can simulate all kinds of massage. The kneading type of massage is often called 'Shiatsu'. The rollers work outwards across the back from the middle of the spine.
It should feel like two hands on your back. So if you're stressed and you want to soothe your back muscles, kneading is the ideal choice.
But chairs with rollers can also give you a percussion massage which helps improve blood flow.
So your chair should be able to simulate the 'karate chop' motion of a therapist's hands. That's great if you've done a lot of intensive exercise.
The best massage chair can also stretch your spine and move the bones. It sounds painful but it's actually very satisfying to feel your spine pushed back into position.
The bags inflate and deflate according to the intensity of the massage that you want. They do so at varying speeds to simulate different types of massage technique.
But they're helpful if you want a massage of the arm, foot, or calf. Think of them as providing an all-body massage.
You might also find the application of pressure is less aggressive than rollers.
No matter which you choose between airbags and rollers, you'll need to consider the strength of the massage you want.
More intensive chairs will give a more vigorous massage. So look for obvious components and much stronger movements.
Look at how many motors a chair has. You'll get a more intense massage with more motors.
Or you can choose a chair that provides more focused massages and more gentle movements.
If you're not sure which one you will want, the best massage chair is the one that gives both options.
If you lie on your back, it pushes more of your body weight onto the chair. The greater the incline, the more force available.
And that makes your massage a lot more effective. You'll be getting relaxation right into the deep tissue.
A reclined massage is also beneficial if you have sciatica since sitting can be painful.
Most chairs offer some kind of reclining function. So if this is a feature you really want, look for a recline angle of 170-180 degrees.
The best massage chair will let you lie down properly. And that improves the level of massage that you get.
Zero gravity isn't essential but it's an interesting option
The technology was invented by NASA based on the chairs used by astronauts during launch.
The legs are held above the heart to improve your body's circulation. They can also increase the function of your lungs.
That's on top of relaxing your back and removing pressure from your spine.
Check out tips for improving your cardiovascular health if that's a criterion for choosing the best massage chair.
If you suffer from swelling in your legs or ankles, the zero gravity chairs can help reduce the problem.
If you can afford one they just might be the best massage chair to soothe your stresses and ease any pain.
The best massage chair should also be innovative.
You don't want to spend all that money to find it's superceded by a new model within a few weeks. And it's best to choose a new chair to make sure it's not already outdated when you buy it.
But how do you know which are the most innovative chairs?
Consider what options they have available. How connected are they to newer forms of technology?
At OSIM, we offer the uInfinity series of massage chairs that can connect to your smartphone by Bluetooth. That allows you to download the latest Lifestyle Massage programs when they become available.
You'll be able to try out new programs and find what works for your whole family. It'll keep your chair up to date and ready to use at all times.
Or look at our uLove range of massage chairs, included our patented V-Hand massage function. It simulates the hand movements of a masseur to work out deep knots and soothe aching muscles.
The 720° roller balls work with the contours of your body to achieve that sense of full relaxation. Add to that the immersive audio system and you can bring mental wellbeing into your massage routine.
The uLove chairs combine intelligent features, handsome design and a pampering massage to give you the best experience.
OSIM have focused on innovative technology since 1980. And we're always investing so that you can be sure of the best experience.
You should also consider the brand's reputation.
It is possible to find high-quality products from companies you've never heard of.
But it's always best to err on the side of caution. Choose from a reputable manufacturer and you can't go far wrong.
Try calling their customer support. If they're easy to get hold of, then that bodes well for the future.
And check their reviews online. Which models do people prefer and why?
What's their customer service reputation like?
It's even better if you can visit an actual showroom to try out their chairs firsthand. The best massage chair is one that you choose yourself.
Consider what you need the chair for.
It's worrying to learn that you don't need to be formally qualified to work as a massage therapist in Australia.
That can lead to inconsistent massages that could even do you harm.
So you might prefer to use a massage chair from a recognized brand. That way you're guaranteed a safe, consistent massage that can even replace certain therapies.
Research has shown that massage therapy is highly effective for back pain. But check with your doctor beforehand that you're in the right shape to use a massage chair.
If you're sharing your chair with the whole family, then consider a chair that lets you save individual settings.
That way you can all have your own individual program that you can access with the touch of a button. No one needs to worry about resetting the chair every time they use it.
If you have chronic back pain, you can combine using your new chair with these 3 easy stretches. Make your chair part of your routine.
Work out where your chair is going to go.
The best massage chair fits in with your home as well as your lifestyle.
They can take up a lot of space so make sure you can find the right location for it in your house.
A massage chair with a sliding base can let you put it back in its original position when you're finished.
If your ideal choice doesn't have a sliding base, leave a few feet around the chair so you don't damage the wall.
You can even choose a massage chair that blends in with the rest of your furniture.
So now you know what to look for, you're in a much better position to choose the best massage chair to suit your needs.
Now all you need to do is buy one and use it!