What is a Chair Massage? | Broadview University

What is a Chair Massage?

Massage therapist giving their client a chair massage

Interested in becoming a massage therapist? Consider looking for a vocational school to start a new career. Massage therapy programs will prepare you for the licensing exam and help you find your first job as a massage therapist. There are many different techniques that you will learn during a massage therapy program. One of those techniques is chair massage. So, what exactly is a chair massage?

What is Chair Massage?

Chair massage is similar to traditional table massage however it focuses on the upper body. Instead of laying on a table in a traditional massage, clients kneel in a massage chair with a pad and face cradle to support their head and chest. Chair massage allows for a public atmosphere increasing the places and people that can receive massage services. Since chair massage deals with the upper extremities and limbs of the body the client’s clothes always stay on. Where privacy is needed in other forms of massage, during chair massage a client won’t disrobe so the massage can happen in many different locations.

How is a Chair Massage Performed?

A chair massage can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. It focuses on the upper body including the back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Before starting a massage, you will ask a few questions about strains or stress in any part of the upper body. You will make sure that the client doesn’t have any allergies to the supplies that you may be using, including a latex allergy. Once you feel confident about your plan to help the client, you begin the chair massage. The massage will focus on the parts of the upper body that are most stressed. For those office workers, the shoulders and neck may be the tightest from sitting all day. For clients at a festival or trade show, the back may hold most of the stress from walking around and standing. Each client massage is different and should focus on their chief concerns.

Where is a Professional Chair Massage Given?

Since a chair is much more portable than a traditional massage table, chair massage can be performed in many different public places. The client doesn’t need to disrobe so they retain their privacy even at an office, trade show, festival, casino or resort.

The Office

The most common place a chair massage therapist will be seen is at an office or business location. Many employers offer massages as a perk to their hard-working employees. Like a lunch cart, you can go office to office in a large building and inquire whether anyone in the office wants a chair massage. Not only will you pick up the occasional massage, but over time the offices will know who to call when they want to offer chair massages to their employees.

Trade Shows and Festivals

As long as the location is within the geography of your massage therapist license, you work with trade shows and festivals to open a booth or rent a space to offer show goers chair massage. After a long day watching bands or searching for the right wedding cake, many people at trade shows and festivals will be ready for a quick massage.

Casino & Resort

You may see the occasional chair massage therapist, if you visit a casino or card room. Poker players and other table game players can sit for hours and need a relaxing massage. Many casinos will offer massages to keep players happy and encourage them to continue to play. If you are interested in offering chair massage at your local casino or card room, inquire about their rules regarding third-party massage vendors.

What are the Benefits of Offering Chair Massage?

There are many benefits to starting a chair massage business. You enjoy lower start up costs, you are travel ready, and you need less space for services.

Lower Start-up Costs

Even though you must still pay for an education, licensing and supplies, the start-up costs are lower as compared to a traditional table massage practice. No overhead, retail space, utilities, or other fixed costs that eat into your profit. Chair massage can be performed in many different places at many different times. An initial investment can pay off handsomely.

Travel Ready

All you need is a massage chair, some limited supplies and a client base and you are ready to travel. However, it is important to note that a massage therapy license is usually awarded by the city or county government so this may limit the amount of travel you can make.

Less Space Needed

Most massage retail need a dedicated location and square footage to perform massage services. It takes a reception area, bathroom, and massage rooms. A chair massage can be performed in many different places and you can see clients out of their own homes.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a chair massage therapist is a good career for many. And the best part is that when you complete your massage therapy program and get licensed, you will be well versed in many different massage techniques. You can work in a spa, at a massage salon or at your client’s home. The opportunities are endless.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about chair massage interest you? Want to learn more about a massage therapy program? Broadview University developed the Massage Therapy certificate program with your future in mind. The certificate program is designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for entry-level employment as a massage therapist. The Massage Therapy program at Broadview University prepares students to take the MBLEx licensing exam offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Board (FSMTB). Upon completion of the program, students will be eligible for professional membership in such associations as the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) and the Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist.