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Posted by: Helen Grinder, 5 Nov 2011 1:08PM
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Massage Chair

Please can anyone offer advice about the best way to use a portable massage chair without getting terrible back ache,? I began using a massage chair in my work as a volunteer therapist at a local hospice as this was part of the available equiment. Patients enjoyed having treatments using it very much so, when I was asked if I could give taster sessions at a hospice fund-raising event, I decided it would be an idea to get my own chair. I found one on ebay and had a very busy and successful evening. The downside was that I had terrible back ache for a couple of days after. I mentioned this to the coordinator and she said that she had seen a demonstration on how to use a chair and that it was important to adjust the chair to the right height for the therapist. Unfortunately the height on my chair can not be adjusted and it is very heavy. Hence I again have terrible back ache having done another fund raiser evening. It now looks as if I would be better putting my chair back on ebay and getting another. I am OK for short 20/30 minute treatments using it but any more and my back kills. To avoid making further mistakes, I need to know much more about them, which are the best ones, which ones can be adjusted and correct posture etc. Any help and advice would be really appreciated. Kind thoughts and good wishes Helen


Nicki Lee
5 Nov 2011 1:39PM

Hello Helen, How frustrating for you to try to do more and then have this problem. Without seeing you with the chair and analysing your posture I can't really advise specifically, just in general to always bend from the knees not your back, keep your back straight, use your body weight for pressure, etc. You might find if it's really low you could do some work on one knee or even from a stool, but you don't want to be raising your arms up and using pressure from this position as this will also adversly affect your back. With this chair possibly you could adapt your treatments and only offer massage to the shoulders, neck and head without trying to go to the mid and lower back, which should also help. In the long term it would probably be sensible to have a better chair. I use an Earthlite for my corporate work, and use a variety of others for when I have classes on chair massage. The Earthlite is extremely adaptable and fairly light with wheels, however it was also extremely expensive. The best thing might be to visit a show so you can try them out (that's how I got the Earthlite) or only buy one locally you can check out first. There are often a lot of second hand ones available, maybe put a 'wanted' ad on your local internet sale site (most places have something similar to freecycle for purchasing). Very best of luck, Nicki
Bridgette Bradley
5 Nov 2011 2:32PM

Hi Helen, One could spend alot of money trying to Get the right chair to suit your height and Posture. As a sports masseuse and Pilates instructor I Encounter varies different types of chairs, Couches and even the floor. Use a split stance and ensure your pelvis is In the same plane as your shoulders (So hips And shoulders are facing the same direction). Make sure your pelvis and spine are in neutral so lengthenThrough the spine and lengthen Through the back of the Neck too. Make Sure your scapulae are sitting flat on your Rib cage and don't over reach with your arms. Contract Your Abdominals to support your back. Hope this helps. Bridgette x
Bridgette Bradley
6 Nov 2011 10:24AM

The split stance I refer to is when You step forward with one leg, bending At the knee and slightly extending the other leg Behind.
Amy Law
6 Nov 2011 12:34PM

Hi Helen I freelance for a walk-in city spa called Relax in the West End. A lot of the therapists at Relax (including myself) have been trained by TouchPro who specialises in chair massage. My posture have improved so much ever since I've trained with them and I also bought one of their chairs too for my own corporate work. Their website: http://www.touchpro.co.uk/. I bought myself a Stronglite Ergolite which seems to be a popular choice, however you can always ring them to find out if they have any secondhands in stock. I'm only 5 ft 3.5in and I find carrying the chair around can affect my posture, therefore I'll be investing in a trolley soon. If you ever in Soho, pop down to Relax who have 5 chairs in the main reception/waiting area and watch some of the practitioners on chair duty to get an idea of the postures. with love,light & blessings, Amy
Helen Grinder
6 Nov 2011 1:22PM

Thank you for your helpful replies. I will give thought to my posture..Thank you for the suggestions. I have been concentrating all my thoughts on the person I am treating and on not myself...until it is too late! I am now on my 3rd day of back-pain having done a non-stop 3 hour session. Unfortunately I am in Leeds so can not pop into Relax. That would have been very helpful. having a look at touchpro though If anyone knows of anything similar nearer to home, please let me know. Kind thoughts and good wishes Helen
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