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Massage Chair Research!

August 26, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
August 26, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Research!

I posted a two-part interview last week on our YouTube channel, with Dr. Michael Olpin. He is the head of the Stress Center at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and has been using our massage chairs for the last 3-4 years in that center. What I didn't know was that Dr. Olpin had been measuring blood pressure, pulse/heart rate, and stress levels on each chair user, pre- and post- massage chair session!

This sparked immediate interest in me when he told me about his data harvesting. I have wanted to do research studies with massage chairs since I measured lower back range of motion on a golfer some 7-8 years ago and found a 35% improvement in motion after a session on a massage chair. So, I began asking Dr. Olpin questions about a.) turning his current data into a research study, and b.) the potential for doing more studies validating the physiological effects of massage chairs on users.

Well, one month and 4 more meetings later, we have decided to pursue a series of studies to validate the anecdotal findings of many massage chair customers. We have put together a team of 4 to initiate new studies in a field where virtually no studies currently exist. I haven't been this giddy about something in a long time!

We will begin by checking on the statistical significance of the data already accumulated and presenting that information as a study. Then, we have plans to begin other, more demographically specific, studies using massage chairs as the therapy.

Some ideas we are contemplating include:

  • Range of motion
  • Pulse rate of different age groups
  • Blood pressure of different age groups
  • Skin Temperature
  • Perspiration
  • Muscle tension
  • Pain levels

The list could go on forever, but this is an initial list to which we will apply research protocols and figure out the therapeutic benefits of massage chairs. The studies will be performed at the Stress Center at Weber State University. Pretty cool, eh?

You can watch the video interviews at the following links:

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