26 May Chair Massage – Fastest de-stress in the West?
I believe that massage is a healing system, not just a relaxation technique, although the benefits of a relaxed mind and body should not be underestimated. With so many treatments out there, choosing the right treatment for you can sometimes be confusing! I hope that expanding a little on the history and benefits of the individual treatments I offer will help. So, the first treatment I will be discussing is On-Site massage, commonly known as Chair massage. This highly effective massage was specifically developed for office workers . It is time efficient and client remains fully clothed. But lets start from the beginning…
Chair massage as we know it today was developed in the 1960s by American therapist David Palmer. He was the director of the Amma institute of Traditional Japanese Massage in San Francisco at the time, and so he based his techniques on Japanese Shiatsu Massage. David Palmer created the first massage chair design called “a chair in a box”, in 1968. It was designed specifically for performing chair massages safely and effectively without the client falling forward, backwards or to one side, and the practitioner having to hold him up.
However, he only developed his specific chair massage techniques for the workplace in the late 1980s after he left the He popularized the concept of chair massage with his article “A Brief History of Chair Massage” in Positive Health Magazine in 1998 and began using chair massage to educate the public on the benefits of massage. Since then, his techniques have spread around the world, and I was lucky to learn this wonderful massage some13 years ago now.
Shiatsu derives from the Japanese words “shi,” which means finger, and “atsu,” which means pressure. Using only the fingertips, and sometimes the palms, shiatsu uses pressure to adjust natural energy flow, allowing the body to heal itself. Shiatsu’s ability be done modestly in public made it very popular in early 19th century, increasingly industrialized, Japan where it was often used to treat factory workers. Eastern ideas of healthcare have always centered around prevention of sickness first and foremost – with the understanding that a sick worker would cost the company much more money than it would to provide preventative care. Thus seated massage was industrialized
So even 200 years ago, the links between massage and work output where well known! In Japan at least.
I personally find chair massage to be the most effective treatment for shoulder neck and back pain in the shortest time, as treatments are typically 10-20 minutes long but a lot is achieved in that time. The use of Shiatsu pressure points combined with Western massage techniques produces a relaxing and de stressing treatment without making the client sleepy. Instead, they feel revitalised and awake. Ideal for the workplace!
Or anywhere in fact. Chair massage is now so popular, you can find it being offered anywhere from shopping centres to festivals and I would highly recommend that you try it. A word of warning though. Make sure you find an accredited practitioner preferably with a few years’ experience under their belts. ITEC, IHHT qualified or the TouchPro system (the original company set up by David Palmer) are good places to start when looking for a chair massage therapist.
I would love to hear your chair massage experiences, positive or otherwise, so please do leave a comment if you have a story you would like to share.
Till next time, stay well!