Are Massage Cushions Good For You?

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I was sitting in a coffee shop and my friend asked me what I thought of a specific massage cushion.

We then started discussing whether or not massage cushions are good for you so I decided that I’d write about that and put it on MindBodyPal.

So let’s get to it.

Are massage cushions good for you? Yes, massage cushions are good. The biggest benefits of massage cushions are that they improve your circulation. Sitting for long periods can cause Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is a clot that forms in your leg. Massage cushions can help improve circulation in your legs to help prevent the formation of clots.


What Is A Massage Cushion?

Massage cushions come in two forms.

One type looks like a small pillow or cushion.

The second type is one that you can fit on top of your chair, it usually has a seat and a back cushion (attached not separate).

These devices try to mimic the finger and thumb pressure of a masseuse.


How Does A Massage Cushion Work?

Cushion massagers often use nodes or rollers, which look like balls, that rotate in a circular motion to resemble a shiatsu massage.

Some of the cushion massagers also roll up and down to resemble more of a Swedish-style massage.

Again, these massagers aim to relieve stress, relieve pain, and improve blood flow.


What Types Of Cushion Massagers Are There?

There are two different types of massage cushions out in the market

There are some for that looks like a pillow/cushion like this one here:

massage pillow black

The other type goes on top of your chair, like this:

shiatsu massage cushion


What Types Of Features Are Available?

These devices comes with different options and features.

  • Heat. Many of these devices come with a heat option.
  • Style Of Massage. Shiatsu, Swedish, kneading, rolling, vibration and percussion are among the most common massage styles for these devices.
  • Remote Control. The higher range devices will usually have a remote control that gives you the option to change the intensity and direction of the nodes.


How Often Should You Use It

Cushion massagers are fine to use daily.

In order to prevent bruising, it’s a good idea to limit sessions to 15 minutes.


Who Is It For?

Those who would benefit the most from massage cushions are those that sit for long periods of time.

Just like when you’re on a long flight, it’s important to periodically get up, walk around, and stretch on the plane; sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of blood clots forming in your legs due to poor blood flow.

The longer you sit, the higher the risk.

Same applies for sitting in a desk all day.

So if you sit for hours on end, a massage cushion can assist in getting the blow flowing in your buttocks and hamstrings area.

If you just want to de-stress or remove tension, a massage cushion is great for that as well.  


Benefits Of Massage Cushions

Massage, in general, has many health benefits. Here are the specific benefits as it pertains to the massage cushions.


Relieves Upper Back Pain

Massage cushions are really good for the back, especially the cushions that are specifically fitted for chairs. Most of your entire back will get treated and you experience at least some pain relief as a result.


Relieves Lower Back Pain

Either the pillow style or chair style works wonders for the lower back. Some pillow massagers also provide lumbar support too.


Helps With Neck Pain

Some (not all) of the cushion massagers are able to target the neck adequately enough to provide some pain relief to the neck area.

Not all cushion massager is able to target the neck effectively though.

If you need a really strong aggressive massage for your neck the Hypervolt massager is a better option for you, but it’s very expensive.


Reduces Shoulder Pain

Massage cushions work really well for shoulder pain, especially the cushion massagers that fit over chairs.


Stress Reduction

Stress is a major cause of death, and massage is proven to be effective for short-term stress reduction.


Loosen Muscle Knots

“Muscle knots are small, bump-like areas of muscle that can be painful to the touch. The medical term for muscle knots is myofascial trigger points. These knots occur when muscle fibers or the bands of tissue called fascia underneath them tense and tighten.”

– Rachel Nall, Medical News Today

Regularly massaging knots will help loosen the fascia and therefore reducing the pain associated with muscle knots.


Improves Posture

I find that cushion devices improve my posture, while also making me more conscious of my posture.

Massage also loosens your muscles which encourages the body to realign itself into a posture that is more inherently natural to the body.


Reduces Headaches

Migraine and tension headaches are less likely to occur because massage reduces muscle spasms and trigger points.

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Lowers Arthritis Pain & Improves Mobility

Massage can those with arthritis in two ways.

First, massage can help reduce the pain associated from arthritis since massage can put pressure on the pressure receptors located under your skin, thus reducing the pain.

Secondly, massage can help improve mobility due to the increase in blood flow.

It’s very important you check with your doctor BEFORE you try any massage therapy because some forms of arthritis actually worsen from massage.


Makes You Less Injury Prone

Your body produces a natural lubricant when it’s massaged.

This coupled with the muscle-relaxing effects from massage means that your body will be more flexible and nibble, make it less prone to getting injured.


Boosts Immune System

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine discovered that massage increased the number of lymphocytes, which is the white blood cells count, a major factor of the immune system which increases the body’s ability to ward off diseases and infections.


What Is The Best Massage Cushion?

Recommending the right massage cushion which type of cushion massager you’re looking for (pillow or chair integrated).

Here are the ones we recommend for each type:

Zyllion Shiatsu Back Neck Massager (Best Pillow Cushion Massager)

Snailax Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager (Best Chair Integrated Cushion Massager)


Where Can I Buy Cushion Massagers If I Don’t Want To Buy Online?

If you can’t buy online for some reason, you may be able to find some cushion devices locally at your local retail stores like Walmart or Target.


How Long Do Massage Cushions Last?

The length of time your device last totally depends on applying of different factors such as:

  • How often you use it
  • Quality of the device
  • How aggressive and how much force you apply to your device during use

From personal experience, I’ve found that massagers under $130 tend to last about one year if I use it daily.


How Much Does A Massage Cushion Cost?

You will find that most massage cushions in the market go from anywhere between $30 – $500 USD.

The pillow-style cushion massagers are the cheapest and the chair fitted cushion massagers are more expensive.


Is It Safe Sleep On A Massage Cushion?

It’s definitely not recommended that you sleep on your cushion massager because it’s a machine, not an actual pillow. Excessive use can cause bruising.


Resources

NIH staff. (September 10, 2010). Study Examines the Effects of Swedish Massage Therapy on Hormones, Immune Function. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/090110.htm

WebMD staff. (n.d.). Why Sitting Too Much Is Bad for Your Health. retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-sitting-health

Live Science staff (September 8, 2010). Massages Boost the Immune System. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/34910-massage-benefits-immune-system-100908.html

Editorial Staff
 

Editorial Staff at MindBodyPal is a team of experts led by Tyson Chiu. We love tacos, lattes and Funky Fridays.

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