What is Air Compression Massage and its Benefits?
Aug 10, 2021
Using a massage chair is a great way to supplement your self-care routines at home and potentially boost your overall mental and physical health. While massage rollers might be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re considering buying a massage chair, you should also consider models that offer air compression massage for a full body massage experience.
What is air compression massage? Does it really make a difference? We’re diving into air compression massage and its benefits to show you how it can enhance your overall massage chair experience and why it’s a feature you won’t want to miss.
What is Air Compression Massage?
Today’s models offer more massage chair features than ever before. With options such as 3D and massage rollers, S-track vs L-track massage chairs, heat therapy functions, and more there are loads of features to consider. What is air compression massage, then, and why is it so important?
Unlike the kneading, rolling, or percussive movements of massage chair rollers, air compression massage is a different method for massaging your body. Different compartments (called airbags or air compression chambers) inflate and deflate against your body to provide a full body massage experience. While these airbags can mimic the rollers if inflated and deflated rapidly enough, more often they are set to a wave-like motion.
The best massage chairs with air compression massage features let you choose from different intensity levels. These intensity levels determine how fully the airbags inflate against your body. Whereas massage chair rollers are set on a track starting at your neck and working their way down to your lower back (or glutes and hamstrings in L-track massage chairs), airbags are located in areas where the rollers can’t reach as easily. The best models may have upwards of 60 airbags all along the body to provide a full body massage to every region including:
- Neck and shoulders
- Thighs and seat area
- Hands and arms
- Calves and legs
Air Compression Massage Benefits
Is there a real benefit to air compression massage? Absolutely! Simply put, air compression massage benefits your body in a variety of ways ranging from better blood flow to faster healing. Top-of-the-line luxury massage chairs have more air compression chambers to provide a better experience.
Some air compression massage benefits include:
- Increasing blood circulation throughout the body
- Improving the lymphatic system for removing toxins from the body
- Helping to alleviate pain from swelling and inflammation
- Enhancing how the body heals itself
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Using Air Compression Massage to Increase Blood Circulation
One of the top benefits of air compression massage is increased blood circulation. Better blood flow means oxygen and nutrients are delivered throughout the body more efficiently, enhancing the many of the benefits of massage chairs for health. When blood circulates better, blood pressure is naturally lowered which also takes stress off the heart. This means that air compression massage may help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Good blood circulation is a top massage chair benefit for athletes as bad blood flow can lead to muscle fatigue or other sports injuries. Increased blood circulation is also directly associated with better respiratory function (a key element in athletic performance), helping spinal tissue rehydrate more quickly, and contributing to how the body heals itself.
Benefits of Massage On the Lymphatic System
Another of the potential benefits of air compression massage is improving the performance of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of your immune system and made up of an enormous network of vessels that pass through our tissues and move a fluid called lymph. The lymphatic system works to help remove toxins and foreign bacteria from your body to keep you healthy.
How does air compression massage benefit the lymphatic system then? Lymph moves through our body similar to blood. Air compression massage increases the efficiency of this movement in the same way it increases blood circulation, helping the lymphatic system remove toxins more effectively.
Correlation Between Air Compression Massage and Pain Relief
As we mentioned earlier, increased blood circulation functions as a catalyst for many health benefits of massage chairs. As air compression massage improves blood flow, you may experience some pain relief from any swelling and inflammation. The reason behind this is because as the blood vessels dilate, swelling and inflammation are reduced because blood is able to flow more freely.
In addition to pain relief by reducing swelling and inflammation, air compression massage also helps our bodies increase endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that help reduce stress levels and alleviate pain. They’re also associated with elevating one’s mood and inducing a sort of euphoria.
Air Compression Massage Enhances How the Body Heals Itself
What is air compression massage’s role in how the body heals itself, you ask? Stemming from increased blood circulation once more (the catalyst of so many benefits of air compression massage therapy), tissue is able to hydrate faster, muscles are able to stay loose, and scar tissue development is limited. All of these combine to help the body heal itself faster and more efficiently than when left solely to its own devices.
Faster bodily healing is great for everyone, though especially beneficial for those with more active lifestyles. The potential for air compression massage to help athletes recover from sports injuries faster makes a massage chair worth buying and using as part of a regular fitness routine. Air compression massage may also help prevent muscle strain, lessen muscle tension, and even avoid Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which may have athletes unable to perform at top levels for several days at a time.
Potential Air Compression Massage Benefits for Anxiety and Stress
Last up in our quest to answer the question “what is air compression massage and its benefits?” is the potential benefits of air compression massage for anxiety and stress. While the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of massage is the physical benefit, studies have shown strong correlations between massage and stress management, as well.
Learning how to manage stress levels is crucial to improving mental health and your overall well being. Full body massages reduce stress by deepening relaxation, releasing endorphins, and lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is a naturally-occurring hormone within our bodies responsible for our stress levels. It’s commonly associated with the “fight or flight” instincts that we have. As cortisol levels lower, serotonin levels rise and we’re able to more efficiently handle stress and anxiety.
When you’re learning how to choose the right massage chair for you, be sure to pay attention to its air massage capabilities to get the most from your investment. The many potential benefits of air compression massage makes it one feature you won’t want to miss out on. Different models may offer different intensity levels and airbag coverage, so choose a massage chair to fit your needs and experience it for yourself!
Learn more about the benefits of owning a massage chair with these guides:
- Benefits of Using a Massage Chair vs. Human Massage
- 6 Ways Knee and Calf Massages Help Muscle Strain
- What to Consider When Deciding The Best Massage Chair to Buy
- 7 Benefits of Massage Therapy At Home