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Learning Center - History of the Massage Chair

How the Massage Chair Came to Be

We have been asked many times how the massage chair came about, and it’s not an easy answer. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years. References can be found in several ancient writings across the world including places like China, Japan, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

It’s even depicted on Japanese block prints and Egyptian hieroglyphics. These ancient societies performed massage with the belief that helping the body achieve a state of calm and harmony would help it to fight off demons, viruses, and infection.

Massage Therapy is a form of alternative medicine that has many health benefits such as pain relief, injury rehabilitation, stress reduction, treat anxiety or depression, increase relaxation, and lower blood pressure. Science has shown the benefits of endorphins on the system, and massage is excellent at stimulating your body to produce endorphins.

In the Beginning

Massage has had several different styles over the years, from acupressure to the various forms of reflexology, which is designed to stimulate certain parts of the feet or hands to produce a visceral effect of various organs and systems of the body. In the beginning, it appears that Shiatsu was one of the oldest forms of massage.

Shiatsu seeks to balance body energy to bring the body to a homeopathic state. Using only the fingertips, and sometimes the palms, shiatsu uses pressure to adjust natural energy flow, allowing the body to heal itself.

From there, massage therapy knowledge traveled across the globe to the US. After traveling through Asia and learning the health practices of other cultures, J.H. Kellogg, yes like the cereal, brought massage therapy to America. Once this information spread throughout the world, innovations in how a person received the massage began to abound.

Introducing the Massage Chair

first massage chair

Mechanical massage chairs started to appear in the 1950s and have kept up with the rapid pace of technology ever since. The first electric massage chair was designed in 1954 by Nobuo Fujimoto. Fujimoto made several versions of the chair from scrap materials before satisfied with the final chair design.

Traditional Massage Chairs

Chair Massage, done in an ergonomic, portable chair, is what you see when a person sits down and then a massage therapist attends to them. Chair massage focuses on the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands. Massage therapists are able to offer on-site massage in several different types of environments thanks to the portability of the chair, and clients don’t need to disrobe to receive a chair massage. 

Due to these two factors, chair massage is frequently utilized in business offices, employee appreciation events, trade shows, conferences, corporate events, etc.

Robotic Massage Chair

A robotic massage chair contains internal electronic motors and gears that have been designed to replicate the massage a person can perform. Robotic massage chairs have a remote that allows you to adjust the type, location, and intensity of your massage. The first electric massage chair was invented in Japan before World War II.

Massage chairs are made to look like recliners. There are numerous different types and brands, including low-end, office-style chairs that run on internal batteries. The technology has also been used to make massage pads that can be used on the hands, neck, back, or feet.

Over the years, we’ve seen many benefits associated with massage chair use, including relaxation, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and increased metabolism.

Massage chairs are meant to simulate the hand motions of a massage therapist. They use a combination of massage rollers and airbags to attend the different parts of the body.

luraco i7 plus massage chair

Today, Japan is the largest consumer of massage chairs with some surveys suggesting that over 20% of Japanese households actually own a massage chair. Funnily enough, the largest manufacturer of massage chairs is actually China. There is also a manufacturer here in the US, Luraco.

We’ve Come So Far

Massage chairs differ remarkably in price, style, and intensity, from cheap, vibrate-only chairs to full-intensity Shiatsu models.

Developing from a wheel crank system that works the massage rollers in the back to a body and robotic massage roller systems that have six or more different styles pre-programmed in, massage chairs have embraced the latest technology and grown to provide more human-like massages to everyone.

The latest innovations in massage chairs now offer L-Track technology that reaches to your glutes and 3D and 4D rollers that can reach deep into your muscles and create a personalized massage experience. There are even chairs now that offer Bluetooth technology for an incredible sound experience during your massage and space-saving tech that allows you to put your chair almost anywhere in your home.

bluetooth massage chair

The modern massage chair is an impressive amalgamation of discoveries and new design features that work together to help you relax and enjoy a soothing massage whenever the mood strikes you.

For more information about all the features available in massage chairs, check out this list. If you have any specific questions about massage chairs, you can reach out to us over the phone or through email at We’d be glad to help you find the perfect chair for your unique needs.

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