Sitting in a Massage Chair for the First Time: Part I

Posted on 22 February 2017

About 5 weeks ago, I plopped down into a massage chair … Alert the media, right?!! I get it. But what happened next was a pretty big deal, because it’s the reason I’m writing this post … the reason I’ve been putting in 85-hour work weeks for the past month … and also because I DID NOT SEE IT COMING … but the main reason it’s a big deal … is because the chair ROCKED MY WORLD. Absolutely amazing! And this is coming from a highly-experienced licensed massage therapist … ME!

If you’re like me, then relaxation and machines don’t exactly go hand-in-hand! Sure, they can keep our hearts pumping, send data wherever we want, service nuclear reactors, and even keep an eye on our precious babies, but relaxation? … YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

When I sat in that chair, it hit me … A massage from a machine can, at times, be more effective and practical than a massage provided by another human being. I’ve massaged people of all types for a living. It was my passion. I was driven to be the best at my craft. So this epiphany was pretty fantastic.

I’ve seen first-hand (no pun intended) the benefits of frequent massage – for young people and old, tall and short, healthy and frail. Massage should be for everyone. But the reality is, there just aren’t enough massage therapists to go around.

Hey, if I could massage the entire world every day with my own two hands, I’d do it … there’d be a lot less stress and a lot less pain, that’s for sure. And that’s the kind of conviction I brought to my clientele every day for nearly a decade. I gave up my practice to care for my new son, but the desire to promote health and healing never went away.

Last month, my friend and mentor, Arron Wisniewski, approached me with an opportunity to get into the massage chair industry. He had experience in the sector already, having placed many high-end massage chairs at noteworthy commercial properties. Though I appreciate Arron’s entrepreneurial spirit and record of success, I wasn’t too excited about promoting massage chairs. After all, my only experience with them at that point, was at my pedicure salon. And those cheap-o chairs are often so annoying that customers turn them off altogether! I just couldn’t imagine why someone would pay good money to have one in their home. Until my aforementioned massage chair epiphany …

That chair massaged my entire backside, limbs, and most impressively – my glutes – all with incredibly accurate pressure and location. This last point is vital. If you’ve ever had an unskilled massage therapist run over your spine like a rhinoceros, you know what I’m talking about.

Well this chair was NOT a rhinoceros! It didn’t push its rollers into my rib cage or scapula. Plus, the compression on my forearms was so effective that a tiny little tear surfaced in my right eye (no joke). We call this a “Somatic Emotional Response”. It can occur in a number of circumstances but I came to know it very well from performing over 4,000 hours of massage.

I’ve most often seen it manifest as an emotion of sadness, sometimes joy, and occasionally anger. For me, the massage on my forearms triggered both gratitude for the massage career I enjoyed and a bit of sadness that I have left that career behind. Today, I see how it ran its course in the most perfect way… Tune into Part II.

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