Massage Chair Vs. Massage Therapist

Discover the key differences between massage chairs and massage therapists, including their pros, cons, and unique benefits, to make an informed decision for your relaxation needs.

Massage Chair

Massage Therapist


Personalized Service Limited options Tailored to individual needs
Positive Relationship Not applicable Can develop over time
Expertise Limited to pre-programmed techniques Extensive professional training
Human Touch Not applicable Offers health benefits
Proven Physical and Mental Benefits Limited evidence Widely acknowledged
Cost Effective (Long-term) Yes No
No Travel Required Yes No
Flexible Scheduling Yes No
Consistency Yes No
Special Features Can have multiple features May require additional cost
Privacy High Depends on comfort level


Cost (Short-term) High initial investment Lower per session cost
Travel Not applicable Required
Time Commitment Flexible Requires setting aside time
Mismatched Compatibility Not applicable Possible
Life Changes Not applicable Can affect service availability
Risk of Pain Low Higher if not properly communicated
Human Error Not applicable Possible
Inconsistency Not applicable Possible

Key Differences:

  • Pricing: Massage chairs can be more cost-effective in the long term compared to regular massage appointments.
  • Travel time: Massage chairs require no travel, while visiting a massage therapist requires travel time and ability.
  • Relationship: Massage chairs cannot provide the personal relationship that some clients value with their massage therapist.
  • Ability to multitask: Using a massage chair at home allows for multitasking, whereas it is not possible during a massage appointment.
  • Dependability: Massage therapists may face life changes that affect their service, while massage chairs provide consistent availability.
  • Warranty: Massage chairs often come with a warranty, while massage therapist services do not have such guarantees.

Massage has tremendous health benefits to the body of a human being. All body’s organs are made stronger or their functions enhanced by regular doses of massage.

A healthy human body is capable of pumping and distributing essential nutrients to all organs in the the body which helps the body function optimally. Body parts that benefits from this steady supply of body nutrients include the heart, the nervous and skeletal structure of the body.

Furthermore, the relaxation effects induced by the body helps with the easing of effects of stress and other neurological related conditions. The standout importance of massage is its ability to maintain a perfectly healthy endoskeleton structure which forms the foundation of the human physiology.

Differences Between Massage Chair Massage Therapist

However, the conventional hand massage is being rivaled by the technology-backed massage chair which has been a hit in many households recently.

The massage chairs have gotten the endorsements of several key health regulatory bodies with the FDA, the federal executive body charged with protecting the public health accrediting the tech.

However, fundamental questions still linger concerning the viability of these two forms of massaging. Some of the critical issues being raised include:

  • Are the effects of these two forms of massaging the same?
  • Which further raise the question, what are the differences in using these two forms of massage?
  • The touch

The human touch is natural and cannot be replaced by any other equipment. This because it is God-given and cannot be reproduced by any other instrument.

The massage chair has enhanced massaging effects which are facilitated by the soothing electrical spasms in massage chair.  But its results cannot compare to the enhanced relaxation and security effects induced by human touch.

The security assured by the human hand is integral because it makes the person being massaged to be relaxed despite their eyes being closed and being in the hands of a total stranger. The hand initiates a human connection which a massage chair does not provide.

These facts are backed by research. A study by the University of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah found that the human touch triggers a sense of happiness, security, and comfort on the nervous system. The nervous system responds by activating a hormone called oxytocin which regulates stress levels in the body.

The hormones coordinate the natural healing process with the assistance of the many nerves endings that run from the skin to the central nervous system, which is the brain.

  • Personalization

Massage chairs offer the exact amounts of stimulations that you have preset them to offer. However, the customization settings have limits that they cannot exceed which were restricted by the manufacturer. Therefore, the effects of your message chair are limited to a few routines which can be monotonous and restraining.

Furthermore, a professional hand masseuse has a depth of experience which they employ into their work to enhance the effects and customer experience. The human touch synonymous with hand massage is essential because it adds to the therapeutic effects on someone. The talking helps in maintaining a conversation between the masseuses and the client which induces relaxation which integral in therapy.

Professional masseuses use a dynamic approach to its work by offering clients the adjustments they want to make to reach their objectives.

However, what makes the engineered personalization effects of a mechanical massage chair better, is that you get to control the effects you want from the massage chair which places the control of your relaxation on your hand.

  • Reliability

Between having a chair massage in your house or visiting a brick and mortar massage parlor, which is the most convenient form of massage that can enhance consistency in your training routines?

The level of convenience of massage is overwhelming with the massage chair. A massage chair only requires purchasing, and after that, it becomes a personal property which you can install in any room in your home. Doing your massage from your home is a very appealing prospect and is an option very many people are adopting these days. The acceptance of this form of massage can be associated with the busy schedule of individuals who are juggling work with other responsibilities. The congestion of many activities in a single day makes it difficult to commit to a consistent massage regime.

But, if you can do your massage from anywhere you are, then why not? A massage chair facilitates the administration of massage from any place, at any time of day. Moreover, their portability which has enabled their use in homes has made them a hit for the working class who do not have time to go massage parlors for a hand massage.

  • Privacy

Massage in many of its forms involves surrendering the control of the entire body to a stranger and giving them unlimited access to the most private regions of your body. to make it worse, all this while, you have shut your eyes.

Many people always feel vulnerable in these kinds of situations where they surrender control to a masseuse. The unease can pose some obstacles in the achievement of the therapeutic effects of a massage.

However, there is a type of people who do not mind relinquishing partial power to control their body if it means getting the best healing and relaxation effects of a quality massage.

If you are very particular with issues of privacy, then the massage chair is the best choice for you. A massage chair can be mounted anywhere and, in many situations, people like to operate it from home. Home is a haven where people get to be themselves, and it can be a great place to have massages.

The privacy keeps someone calm and relaxes muscles and other body parts, a condition which promotes relaxation and effects of the massage to take place.

  • Cost

Cost is the key factor that epitomizes the massage chair vs massage therapist tag of war. Despite the arguments of all the other points on this list, cost plays the most significant role in choosing between a massage therapist and a massage chair.

According to experts, a well-designed and high-quality massage chair goes for about $850 while a single massage therapy session goes for an average of $60-$65 per single session. In the long term, a massage therapist is very expensive as compared to a massage chair.


The difference can go on and on but, the choice of massage therapy goes back to your lifestyle and preferences in life.

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