Massage Chair Glossary

Massage Chair Glossary

Massage Chairs are by design, fairly straight forward and end up doing most of the work for you, but if you have done any research into buying a massage chair, you will quickly find out that there are enough difference, and such a wealth of information that you can quickly get buried in new terms and more things to find out. This list is to help you along the way, we have broken down some of the finer aspects of massage chairs, and a lot of their techniques and technologies to help you make an informed decision about your massage chair purchase! Lets Begin!

Massage Chair Glossary

Body Scan Technology

Body Scan technology uses the massage rollers and other peripheral devices such as infrared and computer mapping to determine the size, shape, and locations of stress on every individual that uses the massage chair. A massage chair with Body Scanning technology will provide a more personalized massage to each user, with every use.


Acupressure is a massage technique that delivers pressure to a targeted range of Acupoints across the body. Acupressure has much in common with acupuncture, but uses no needles. Shiatsu massage is often called acupressure massage. It is believed that applying pressure to the acupoints will have the same desired effect as the acupuncture needles.

Acupuncture Point or Acupoint

You have over 350 acupoints across your whole body, with over 100 of them in your back and neck. Acupoints are believed to have a direct connection to specific parts or systems of the body. They can be found along the bodies Meridian and are used in Acupressure and Acupuncture.

Airbag Massage System

Airbag Massage Systems are used to mimic deep tissue massage. They do this by inflating the airbag system in specific ways to provide a deep massage to muscles in the extremities and a beneficial stretch to muscles that need it. The Airbag massage of most massage chairs is the basis for any stretch programs and can work with the back rollers to improve the benefit you receive from your massage by pushing you back on the massage rollers.

Automated Programs

Automated Programs are a preset massage programs that come with your massage chair that provide a specific kind of massage focusing (most times) on one massage technique. Most automated programs can be customized to the users preferences using manual adjustments typically available on the remote.

Clapping Technique

For the clapping technique the massage roller mimics a cupped hand and utilizes a clapping motion on the muscle that lifts and stretches it.

Compression Technique

Often administered by the massage chairs airbag system, a compressions massage is a tight squeezing (or in some cases rubbing) to provide relief.

Deep Pressure Massage

As its name suggests this massage mode applies strong pressure to a group of muscles for a sustained amount of time in an effort to remove deep knots in the muscle.

Deep Tissue Massage

This massage style is able to access deeper muscle and connective tissue for an increased effect by applying deep sustained strokes to problem areas of your back and neck. There is often a little soreness associated with this type of massage if you haven’t experienced it before.

Heat Therapy

Heat Therapy is a set of built in heating pads that work with the massage rollers and airbag system to increase the effect. Heat when applied to large muscle groups helps relieve stress, and loosen muscles which will exponentially improve the effect your receive from your massage.

Kneading Massage Technique

Kneading Massage uses the thumb and forefingers in a pinching method , applying pressure to stretch and warm the muscles. This massage technique is also the basis for the grasping massage technique.

Massage Chair Motors

Massage Chairs have internal motors that provide the different functions in the chair. There are Rotary Motors, Piston Motors, and Vibration Motors. Rotary Motors control the massage rollers and the kneading and tapping functions. Piston Motors control the leg rest and recline functions, and Vibration Motors control the vibrating movements.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is comprised of several massage techniques that are designed to relieve muscle knots and promote relaxation and well-being within the person receiving the massage. Known benefits of massage therapy are enhanced muscle function, improved healing process, improved relaxation, and better general sense of well-being.


The Meridian in Chinese Medicine is believed to be paths in which life-energy flows through the body. Acupressure and Acupuncture Therapy is based on targeting specific areas called acupionts that are located along the Meridian and unblocking those channels so that your life force can flow freely to the afflicted areas again..


Reflexology is a therapy that applies physical pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. These points are believed be connected to systems throughout the body, providing therapy to them as well.


The Massage Roller is a circular shaped robotic component that runs vertically along the upper and lower back. This is used to stretch and warm the back for deeper levels of massage.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage is a Japanese therapy that incorporates the thumbs, fingers, and palms in applying pressure as well as stretching to the body. Also referred to as Acupressure massage.

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is a varied therapy that includes multiple styles and stretches. This applies kneading, long strokes, and friction to different muscles as well as joints.

Tapping Technique

The Tapping Technique applies deep tissue massage by emulating fists tapping on the back and shoulders muscles.


Vibration gives a balanced shaking effect that can alternate in muscle penetration. Vibration is often used with other massage techniques so you get the most out of either. Many massage chairs have a “Sync Massage to Music” mode which utilizes the vibration massage and syncs its effect to the beat of your favorite playlist.

Other Questions?

If your answer isn’t listed here, feel free to give us a call 888.633.0221 One of our Massage Chair experts will be happy to assist you with your question. The world of home massage chairs can be a complicated one when comparing models and features, we are here to help you find the massage chair that is right for you and your specific needs!