Are you in the market for a massage chair that will deliver an exceptional at-home massage experience? One with the best design, features, and technology?
If you are and have done a little research, you know that the best full-body massage chairs earn that label, in part, because of their body scanning technology.
A massage chair’s body scanning capability can make you feel like you’re at an appointment with your favorite massage therapist. It allows you to receive a personalized massage at home every day.
What exactly are full-body scan massage chairs? How do body scanning massage chairs work? And how do they release muscle stress, reduce aches and pains, and improve your overall sense of well-being? We answer those questions in this article about body scan massage technology.
What Is It Like to Use a Body Scan Massage Chair?
Imagine that a massage therapist is giving you a massage using padded sticks rather than their hands. They have very little tactile feedback with which to refine their movements. Now envision them blindfolded and even less able to sense where and how their actions are affecting your muscles. That’s the type of situation that a body scan massage chair avoids.
Massage chairs with full-body scanning technology are designed to enable precise and targeted bodywork. They do that by conducting a scan that helps the chair’s electronic “brain” understand your size, shape, and location. In essence, the scan gets rid of the sticks and the blindfold and enables the massage chair to tailor the session to your physique. The best therapeutic massage chairs have advanced body scanning, which simply means the scanning technology can detect more intricate subtleties in body shape and size. As a result, these chairs are as close to a session with a massage therapist as you can get.
How Does a Full-Body Scan Massage Chair Work?
Massage chair body scanning functions can work in a few different ways. Some massage chairs use the location of the headrest pillow to identify where your neck is. From that, an algorithm calculates where different parts of your body (shoulder blades, lumbar region, hips, etc.) are.
Other massage chairs also determine the location of your neck and calculate the locations of other body areas accordingly, but they do it with pressure sensors rather than a headrest pillow. The massage mechanism moves up and down your back at the beginning of the session, and when it feels the pressure drop off, it knows it has reached the top of your shoulders.
The rarest and most precise body scan type is the 1080P Acupoint Body Scan employed by the Panasonic MAJ7 and MAK1. Like many other body scans, it uses pressure sensors to identify the location of your neck, and an algorithm calculates the presumed location of other body parts. But it creates a highly detailed map of your body by identifying 1,080 points on your back (more than any other massage chair) to deliver a finely tuned massage. Most importantly of all, and what truly sets the Panasonic massage chair body scan apart from all others, is that the massage mechanism continues to detect pressure and recheck its location throughout the massage and makes real-time adjustments to its map of your body.
Some chairs with mechanized footrest extensions also have a leg-length scanning feature. It retracts the footrest until it makes contact with your feet. In chairs without this functionality, you manually extend the legrests to the right position by applying pressure on the spring movement mechanism.
Top Benefits of a Massage Chair With Body Scan Capability
A body scanning massage chair can improve your quality of life in many ways. Not only do you get a personalized massage at home, but you also have easier access to stress and pain relief.
Your Body Scan Massage Chair Mimics a Massage Therapist
The number one benefit of purchasing a massage chair with body scanning capabilities is that you get professional-level massage therapy at home. Take the M.8 NEO massage chair, for example. It is powered by the Sens8 NEO 4D massage engine, which includes scanning technology that was specifically designed so that the massage rollers apply pressure to your back in a way that mimics a massage therapist’s touch.
Body scanning features create more authentic massages that feel like they’re provided by a person. Close your eyes, and you could easily believe you’re at a massage therapist’s office rather than in your home.
You Can Personalize Your Body Scanning Massage Chair
Body scanning massage chairs use an algorithm to process data about your back and body. Then, they can use that data to create the perfect massage for your needs. It all happens automatically. However, most massage chairs allow you to provide manual input to adjust the massage to your liking.
If you see a massage therapist regularly, you know how important it is for them to use massage techniques that work for you. It can often take many attempts to find a massage therapist who applies the right amount of pressure in the right spots to produce your desired results.
Body scanning massage chairs “learn” what’s best for you quickly and adjust various characteristics to provide your ideal experience.
A Body Scan Massage Chair Provides Better Stress and Pain Relief
Because massage chairs with body scanning capabilities can personalize your massage, they have tremendous potential for stress relief, reducing body aches, and pain management—far more than less-advanced chairs.
A 4D scanning massage chair can, in many cases, even deliver better results than a massage therapist. This is true for a few reasons. First, you can get a massage from your chair every day—multiple times a day, if appropriate. Few people have the time or financial resources to visit their massage therapist daily.
The second advantage of massage chairs with body scan capability is consistency. Once you’ve found a program that works for you or that you can modify to provide the optimal experience, the chair delivers the same customized massage every time. The bodywork you get from a massage therapist can vary based on their energy level, recall of your preferences, etc.
In addition, using your massage chair means you don’t have to leave a therapist’s office and contend with weather, traffic, or other stressors. You simply get out of your chair when the session is complete and go about your business without any tightening of your muscles.
So, while social interaction with a massage therapist has its benefits, and you may occasionally have issues best addressed in person, it is hard to beat the convenience and consistency of a massage chair for effective pain control and stress relief.
Who Can Benefit From a Full-Body Scan Massage Chair?
Can you benefit from a full-body scan massage chair? Can your partner or family members? The answer to both questions is almost certainly “Yes.” Anyone can benefit from investing in a body scanning massage chair. However, some people may be particularly interested in its advantages.
For example, if you suffer from chronic pain or stress, these massage chairs are a fantastic investment. You won’t have to leave your house for your treatment, you can access it daily, and you can modify your sessions as needed. That means people like athletes, police officers, firefighters, dancers, and construction workers, who have physically and, in some cases, emotionally demanding jobs, can reduce their stress and discomfort.
But will you benefit from a body scanning massage chair? The only way to know for sure is to visit a Furniture For Life showroom. There, you can talk with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Comfort Consultants about what you’re looking for in a massage chair. They will ask you some questions, use your answers to determine which offerings from our curated collection of The World’s Best Massage Chairs® are most likely to meet your needs, and guide you through informative “test drives” of each.
Our goal is to help you select the perfect massage chair for your needs. If that happens on your first visit, great! If not, we’ll look forward to seeing you on subsequent visits until you find the model that checks all your boxes, from the experience (most importantly) to the features, price, and other factors.