What Is A Chair Massage?

Chair massage, as we know it, has not been round for a very long time. In fact, in its current incarnation, it only dates to the 1980s.

It was popularized by therapist David Palmer and brings elements of Amma (traditional Japanese massage) into the mainstream.

This is a mixture of acupressure, stretching and deep tissue techniques.

Although new to many Westerners, chair massage is hardly a new thing and has been practised for many years before.

By inviting people to have these short massage sessions fully clothed, the massage therapist is able to get into environments and situations where one would not normally be able to deliver a massage.

This means being able to offer therapies in busy shopping centers, within offices and in workplaces. In short, anywhere that there is the space to set up a chair and a very small working area (5 ft x 6ft) is now able to be transformed into a temporary therapy room.

The other crucial difference between chair massage and regular massage is that the person being massaged may leave their clothes on.

This helps cut through a lot of the fears that a person may hold about letting a stranger see them unclothed.

On top of these other differences, the only real other distinction between a chair massage and a ‘normal’ one is that chair massages tend to be shorter than a regular lie down and take all your clothes off massage.

In general, these sessions last between five and fifteen minutes. This makes them the perfect length to fit into a lunch break or slot into a busy schedule.

Chair massage has helped bring massage into the realm of the accessible for many people for whom it previously would not have been before.

Chair massage has applications also within environments such as hospitals and medical centers, as well in other places.


Similar to a regular massage, chair massage offers the recipient these major advantages;

  • It helps to improve sleep, both in terms of quality and length.
  • It helps with muscular aches and pains.
  • It helps drain and stimulate the lymphatic tissue, which expels toxins from the body.
  • It helps to promote a feeling of wellbeing by fighting sluggishness.
  • It helps ease anxieties from the mind, which can help in the fight against depression.
  • It releases endorphins into the bloodstream, which makes you feel good.