Do Doctors Recommend Massage Chairs?

Do Doctors Recommend Massage Chairs?

Doctors will typically rely on more traditional treatment methods when it comes to easing pain or anxiety for example.

However many have also concluded that massage chairs are good for you, due to their range of health benefits.

Dr. Vijay Sharma, an Internal Medicine specialist at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, recommends the Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair[1]:

I understand and can vouch for the difference a regular massage can make to your pain relief, your endurance and your performance along with flexibility… I’m able to get to this massage chair whenever I want it, when I get home, before going to work…

What is great about it is that it goes all the way from your gluteal muscles all the way to your neck and even provides that stretch that helps relax your joints, straighten out your back, help with your posture…

Another medical professional, Doctor of Chiropractic Linda Elyad, also had positive things to say about the Medical Breakthrough model.[2]

Over the years she has seen how chronic pain has negatively impacted on people’s lives and the way massage chairs can be used to help overcome it.

She also highlighted one of the biggest selling points of making an investment in a chair — that you can enjoy regular relief without having to leave your home!

Research published in 2020 was keen to highlight the same benefit when they compared a chair massager with physical therapy.[3]

The study focused on 56 participants who were all struggling with chronic lower back pain.

Conclusions were drawn showing evidence that both physiotherapy and massage chairs were effective forms of pain control:

The home massage chair system was cost-effective, but pain control and disability improved more with physiotherapy. However, our results showed that the massage chair is a promising treatment for pain control and quality of life modification…

Though it couldn’t quite reach the heights of physical therapy, the cost difference was important for medical professionals to understand.

In fact, sitting back in the chair was assessed as being only 60.17% of the physical therapy cost.

Take a look at high-ranking universities such as UC Berkeley and you’ll see how they’re offering free massage chairs to staff and students.[4]

Located within their communal areas, they’re recognizing the mental health benefits and encouraging students to relax between lectures.

The David S. Rosenthal Center for Wellness and Health Promotion at Harvard University also make chair massage available to their faculty members.[5]

They describe how it has the ability to loosen tight and sore muscles in the neck, back and shoulders to create an overall feeling of wellbeing.

Harvard Law School even go as far as shipping in chair massagers as a “stress-buster”, perfect for those coping with the high pressure of establishing their law career.

Fancy finding a chair for your home?

We’ve compiled a round-up of 12 highly-rated massage chairs.

You can read why we think they deserved to make the list and also how to judge features and functions for yourself.

Laura Smith


Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.


  1. Dr. Vijay Sharma (2018). Medical Breakthrough Massage Chair Review - Doctor Review - Dr. Vijay Sharma, MD [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2023].
  2. Linda Elyad (2017). Chiropractic Doctor endorses the Medical Breakthrough Series Massage Chairs [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2023].
  3. Medicine (2020). Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of massage chair therapy versus basic physiotherapy in lower back pain patients [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2023].
  4. UC Berkeley (2023). Massage Chairs [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2023].
  5. Harvard University Health Services (2023). Massage [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 26 May 2023].