Once in a while, we are asked if there are any massage chairs that massage the head and not just the back and extremities. Well, there are some models that have airbags in the headpiece that offer some compression to the temple and surface skin of the head, but there aren't really any chairs that specifically offer roller massage to the back of the skull.
That doesn't mean you can't get the rollers to massage the skull, but a massage chair body scan is designed to avoid having the rollers go high enough on a user so as to massage the skull. The scan should limit the top end reach of the rollers to the muscles just below the skull (the suboccipital muscles). From personal experience, I can tell you that when the rollers do reach the skull, it is not very comfortable at all.
But, some folks seem to really like the roller-on-bone sensation so I will not let you down. Here is what you can do to get the rollers to massage the back of your skull:
1. Change body position - After the scan is completed, slide your body down in the chair a bit so that the rollers hit the skull after they move up the neck. The problem with this method is that you have to change your body position of comfort to accommodate the the skull massage. It will not be the most comfortable position for you over a 30' program (the skull massage will not be that comfortable anyways, so you'll want to at least be seated comfortably in the chair, at the very least).
2. Override the body scan - This is a little known trick that is typically used when a customer can't seem to get the rollers to go high enough up the neck to hit the suboccipital muscles. This is particularly a problem for tall bodies. But, you can use this hack for getting a skull massage, too. Here is what you do to override the body scan:
- Sit in the massage chair.
- Turn on one of the auto programs.
- Let the chair go through the body scan.
- Near the end of the scan, the chair will notify you, either by beeping or displaying some text on the screen, that you can adjust the shoulder position of the rollers.
- At this point, hold the up arrow down and feel the rollers move all the way up to their highest point.
- When the rollers have gone all the way up, let go of the up arrow button and you will be notified by the chair that the scan is completed, either by another beep or by text on the screen. Every time the rollers come back up the spine to the neck during the auto program, it will hit the skull at the apex of the roll.
3. Manual roller positioning - If you don't want to use the scan override feature, just go to the manual setting of the chair, select the mode you want from the rollers (knead, tap, clap, etc.), select the point or spot massage option, and then move the rollers up to the highest position and let go, using the up arrow. This will get the rollers to massage the back of the skull at the same location for as long as you can bear it.
The only thing that will prevent these last two methods from working is if the body of the user is too tall. Otherwise, you'll have to go back to the #1 option above, changing your body position.
Here is a brief video that demonstrates the #2 option above, overriding the scan. I hope this helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner
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