Dangers of Massage Chairs

By James Mulcahy

If you receive a chair massage from a licensed massage therapist, it is likely that they have up-to-date equipment that should not pose any risk. Massage chairs may be dangerous in a few rare circumstances.

Illness and Infection

The biggest danger of a massage chair isn’t it collapsing, it’s the potential for transmission of illness. During a chair massage, the client’s face is inserted into a face cradle. It is important that the therapist disinfect the face cradle area after each session so that no germs are left for the following client. A thin sheet of paper can be placed over the face cradle to prevent the spread of germs.

Structural Failure

A well made massage chair can have a weight limit of up to 1,000 pounds, so there should be no worry of the chair failing while you are receiving your massage. Of course, accidents do happen. If the therapist modified the chair or repaired it, the risk of the chair breaking may increase. If you are uneasy about he stability of the chair, talk to your massage therapist.

Electric Massage Chairs

At home, you may have a chair that has electric massage capabilities. Be sure to research these chairs before purchasing one and make sure that there are no reported defects or issues with the model. It should be safe to sit in an electric massage chair, but prolonged use may cause numbness. If you are injured, check with your doctor before using a massage chair, as massage may worsen certain conditions.

Improper Usage

Massage chairs are made for massage. If you use the chair for another purpose, or sit in it incorrectly, you increase your risk of injury. Do not stand on a massage chair to reach things or use it as you would a regular chair.


While massage chairs are designed with portability in mind, they can be cumbersome. Be sure to carry the massage chair as indicated by the instructions. Transporting it incorrectly may cause back injuries or muscle fatigue.

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