Effective Chair Massage Techniques to Relieve Stress

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08 Dec 2022

Effective Chair Massage Techniques to Relieve Stress teaser

Chair massage techniques have emerged as an effective form of stress relief massage therapy that dispenses with the formal setting of the wellness spa in favour of transportability and convenience. This flexibility makes it easier to introduce massage into the workplace setting than ever before. There are a number of benefits associated with seated massage techniques, both for the person receiving the massage and the masseuse. For the client, whether seated in an ergonomic massage chair or their normal work chair, the upright position promotes good posture, which in turn facilitates easy breathing. For the masseuse, the chair improves access to many of the client’s important body parts, particularly their extended neck and spine and the base of their skull, which are often harder to access when the client is lying down flat. Furthermore, the seated position improves communication between the client and the practitioner, making it easier for the client to communicate their needs and preferences.

Learn more about the benefits of an office massage service today. 

Chair Massage Techniques


This is one of the most common massage techniques and is great for providing workplace stress relief, whether you’re sitting at a desk all day or doing physical labour outdoors. Despite its name, this technique should not involve massaging the spine itself, but rather the muscles on either side of it. This is known as the erector spinae system, and essentially contains the muscles responsible for keeping you upright. This muscle system responds well to flat palms, knuckles, and twistings hands, generally pushing down but also alternating with hand pulling as the area loosens up.   


Spine-walking transitions well into lower-back work, especially around the sacrum, which sits at the base of the spine, between the hips. This is an area that can become particularly stressed during long bouts of sitting or engaging in heavy lifting. It is best approached with either fingertips or the flat part of the thumbs, which provide lower back relief by working into the sacrum area and its surrounds, particularly the hips and the glutes.  

Neck, Upper Shoulder & Traps

At the other end of the spine, chair massage techniques promote easy access to the upper shoulder area, as well as the extended neck, and trapezius muscle. The ergonomic chair means the masseuse is able to stand in front of the client and use their full body weight to push into these muscles, which often rise up towards the ears during a traditional horizontal massage, limiting access. Compressing these muscles by squeezing and rocking them, also known as petrissage techniques, provides the client with relief, and is especially effective in reducing the discomfort of tension headaches or upper body muscle pain.   

Shoulders to Arms 

After working on the neck and shoulders, it’s time to give the arms some attention, starting with the triceps and biceps, and then transitioning down through the elbow and forearm. Practitioners begin with lighter pressure between the thumb and hand to warm up the muscle group, a technique known as effleurage, before transitioning into more intensive petrissage tension-targeting and stretching. From the forearms, the masseuse can also move onto the hands and fingers, the latter of which respond particularly well to gentle pulling along the client’s knuckles. 

Head & Scalp

Focusing on the client’s head and scalp is the perfect way to finish off a seated massage session, providing them with stress relief and intense relaxation. The practitioner starts at the bottom of the neck and gradually works up to the base of the skull, head, and then scalp. While keeping the pressure consistent throughout, the masseuse will experiment with different hand and finger configurations, as well as timing variations. The rejuvenating potential of a scalp massage cannot be understated and will return you to work feeling invigorated and clear-headed.  

Are you interested in introducing chair massages to your workplace? Get in touch today to organise a quick quote.

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