What Is Kneading Massage?
The kneading technique is likely what most people think of when they hear “massage.” One of the most common techniques used by massage therapists, kneading combines long, sustained strokes with alternating tissue compression. This second step is achieved by grasping the recipient’s muscle tissue with both hands and pressing it against the bony surfaces beneath, then gently rolling the tissue forward or back and releasing.
The kneading technique is part of a Swedish massage, in which sustained, gentle pressure is accompanied by light, rhythmic, tapping strokes along targeted areas of muscle. The ultimate goal of Swedish massage is to soothe large groups of muscle at once, releasing tension, stimulating healing lymph fluid and sending the recipient into a state of deep relaxation.
Though kneading can be used on most parts of the body, it is especially beneficial for the upper back, neck and shoulders, since these areas are hard for a person to reach themselves. Luckily, you don’t need access to a massage therapist to benefit from this technique — there are plenty of high-end massage chairs on the market that can deliver a quality kneading massage.
What Is a Kneading Massage Chair?
To achieve a kneading technique, massage chairs utilize a combination of airbags and rollers to deliver both gentle compression and long, sweeping strokes. The airbags inflate and deflate rhythmically to press and release whole muscle groups at once, while the rollers glide along the user’s limbs, pressing and stretching muscle tissue in the direction of the heart. Rollers can also knead in smaller, circular motions to target more specific areas.
If you’d like to experience a kneading massage from a massage chair, look for models that feature Swedish massage in their list of programs. Kneading is a major component of the Swedish massage technique, along with tapping, vibration and friction. It’s not hard to find this program feature, since Swedish massage is one of the most popular techniques among massage chair users.
Be aware of massage chairs that only contain a simple vibrating system. They are often the less expensive models, and cannot accomplish the kneading technique.
Benefits of Kneading Massage
The kneading technique is one of the most popular massage chair features among users for a reason! Kneading massage delivers a range of positive benefits:
- Kneading can target hard-to-reach places, such as the shoulders, neck and upper back.
- The sustained, calming pressure releases tension faster than quick, targeted pressure.
- It stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream.
- Gentle pressure can relieve pain in sore muscles, leading to even deeper relaxation and tension release.
How to Choose a Kneading Massage Chair
Most high-end massage chairs include Swedish massage in their pre-loaded programs, which means that they incorporate a kneading technique. Furthermore, massage chairs with 3D or 4D variable roller technology provide a more natural kneading sensation that mimics the feel of human hands. If this variable pressure kneading is a must-have, look for massage chairs with soft rubber rollers — never hard plastic, which can cause pain and discomfort.
But don’t limit your search to just one feature: Premium massage chair programs will also include rolling, tapping, knocking, vibration and shiatsu techniques, along with reflexology, intelligent body scanning, heat therapy, stretching, zero gravity recline, a Bluetooth sound system and much more. Look for massage chairs with a comprehensive set of features that includes Swedish or kneading massage, and you’ll experience complete, full-body relief.
For more guidance on how to choose your ideal massage chair, check out our Complete Buyer’s Guide:
When you’re ready to take the plunge, or if you have more questions, simply request your free consultation with Massage Chair Store here: