Contraindications to massage in the massage chair


One of the most common questions before buying a massage chair is who should not use it. Massage chairs are safe, but there are contraindications to their use. Valuable advice when making a purchase decision could be knowledge about how massage chairs are viewed by doctors. In this episode, Paweł explains the most common contraindications for a massage, and what is not an obstacle to using this form of relaxation.

Regarding the effectiveness of massage chairs, doctors’ opinions are optimistic. In one study, researchers proved that both standard physical therapy and massage chairs are effective in controlling pain and improving satisfaction with life quality – with an advantage for standard therapy. The massage chair proved to be more cost-effective than typical physical therapy. The costs of the chair were only 60.17% of the costs of physical therapy. However, using a massage chair does not replace visiting a professional physical therapist.

Massage chairs are very safe and can be used by most of us. Before being allowed for use, they are thoroughly checked and tested, for which special certificates and certifications are issued. The most important document required by the European Union is the CE certificate, which every massage chair must have. This means that it meets the requirements of all EU directives, is allowed for use, and is 100% safe!


Can a massage harm you? Massage chairs are tested equipment, however, there are situations in which they should not be used. The most common contraindications for using a massage chair are:

  • high fever
  • bone fractures
  • osteoporosis
  • injuries in the areas where the massage is conducted
  • varicose veins
  • pregnancy or menstruation
  • fresh postoperative wounds
  • implanted pacemakers, bypasses, or other electrical devices
  • spinal injury
  • scoliosis of several degrees
  • cancer

As you can see, some contraindications limit the use of massage for a short time, while others do so for longer or exclude it entirely. One of the main contraindications for leg massage is varicose veins. People suffering from them can use massage chairs that do not have a leg massager, or in which the leg massage cushions can be turned off. Our product offer includes the iRest QL (A185) relaxation massage chair, which is equipped with a comfortable footrest. The chair focuses on back massage, so it can be used by people with contraindications to leg massage.

As with everything, it’s worth remembering to approach the subject of contraindications with common sense. Manufacturers, especially American ones, adhere to the “duty of care”, according to which they include all possible risks in the instructions. These, in turn, sometimes go to the point of absurdity, such as the ban appearing in the instructions on putting a plastic container on a child’s head (sic). On the massage chair market, one such example would be kidney stones, in the case of which, as every person with this ailment knows, it’s not recommended to climb stairs or sleep on a particular side. The same is true of treatments relating to the circulatory system. Pacemakers are always included in contraindications, but implanted devices are constantly being improved and now have the most diverse parameters. Therefore, it is advisable to make a decision about massage in a massage chair, taking into account your health and well-being, or as always, in case of any doubts – consult the possibility of massage with your doctor.

Pregnancy always turns up in contraindications. A growing belly can put a strain on a woman’s spine and cause other pains, so massage in a massage chair can be helpful in relieving aches and pains and the resulting tension. And usually, if the pregnancy is going well and the woman feels fine, there are no contraindications to massage. Of course, every mum-to-be is different and endures pregnancy in a different way, so it’s always a good idea to consult with your attending doctor before getting a massage in a massage chair. We wrote more about massage during and after pregnancy in the article Massage chairs during pregnancy.

If you already know that the massage chair is right for you, we invite you to take a look at our offer or contact us. On the other hand, if you are still unsure and have doubts, remember that it’s always worth consulting – as we repeatedly emphasise – with your doctor and have complete peace of mind and pure pleasure from the massage.


  1. Kim S. Min A, Jeon C, Kim T.,  Clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of massage chair therapy versus basic physiotherapy in lower back pain patients,
  2. Andersson GB. Epidemiological features of chronic low-back pain.
  3. Balagué F, Mannion AF, Pellisé Fl., Non-specific low back pain.
  4. Orozco T, Feldman DE, Mazer Bl. Low back pain: current patterns of Canadian physiotherapy service delivery.
  5. Demmink JH, Helders PJ, Hobaek H., The variation of heating depth with therapeutic ultrasound frequency in physiotherapy.
  6. Kubsik A, Klimkiewicz P, Woldańska-Okońska M., Application of laser therapy in the physiotherapy of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Paul, are there any contraindications for using a massage chair?

That’s a common question and a wise one, that requires careful consideration.
We’ve discussed the advantages of using massage chairs and you have to remember that all the machinery is tested and certified, approved for the European market, so they are safe to use at home without the need for an expert or instructor. However, with all equipment there are some contraindications and in our experience, sometimes it’s simply common sense.

What do you mean?

Many contraindications are self-evident and most people would know that it’s not sensible to use a massage chair if you have specific wounds, broken bones or spinal injuries for example. However, the list can be longer and sometimes you do need to check with a doctor to see if it’s advisable to use a massage chair or not.

Can you give me some examples of what else might be on the list?

Of course, for instance, If you have a high fever or for example ladies who are pregnant or having a menstrual cycle may not feel comfortable in a massage chair. Other contraindications can include varicose veins, pacemakers, by-passes; kidney stones and cancer.

Please remember that it depends on individual circumstances, these can all be complicated issues and sometimes debatable reasons for being cautious. You should take your health and well-being into account before deciding to use a massage chair. As always, if in doubt, consult your doctor.

So if you’re sensible and fully informed there should be no problem?

Basically yes – if used responsibly, massage chairs are safe. More importantly, they leave the factory with special attestations and the CE certificate, which is required by the European Union. It states that it meets the requirements of all EU directives, is approved for use and is 100% safe. You will always find them on our massage chairs.

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Published: 2023.08.31

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