questionsmassages & massage chairs - do either do anything…

vote-for18vote-against
vote-for5vote-against

I'm not sure if massages release muscle tightness, but...
I would first try stretching every day, multiple times a day. It's free, and you can do it whenever you have the time.
I know some personal trainers around where I live offer a stretching session, instead of working out.
I would give that a shot before you spend some money on a chair.

vote-for5vote-against

Chairs are complete crap. A sports massage (deep tissue) will certainly aid in releasing the tension in the muscles. But, without proper stretching, a massage will only do so much.

Also, don't feel uncomfortable about being the hairy, fat guy. If you are going to a certified and licensed massage therapist, they should be professional enough to make you feel comfortable. Also, you do not have to remove all your clothing if you are not comfortable doing so. They should be able and trained to work around whatever your limitations are.

vote-for4vote-against

I haven't had great success with massage chairs or pads for chairs. However, for your situation I'd recommend self myofacial release with a foam roller. Professional athletes and most amateur runner/triathletes that I know (including myself) use it all the time for muscle release. Here are some good links:
(http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PBOnePieceView?storeId=10151&catalogId=10751&languageId=-1&pagename=91)

(http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpll5dgpLCg

vote-for1vote-against

This site seems to believe that a massage will loosen tight muscles, but also mentions alternatives. Good luck!

vote-for2vote-against

I was a licensed massage therapist, and I would recommend Tai Chi. You can buy a DVD/ Bluray and start at home, at your own pace. It will gradually, and painlessly improve your range of motion, as well as lowering your blood pressure. Swimming is also a good choice.
A professional massage does loosen the muscles, and will do so more effectively than a massage chair or cushion, but ultimately will not work as effectively as the Tai Chi.
As far as professional massage goes, the regs vary from state to state, and professionalism varies from masseuse to masseuse. The massage therapists I know are quite professional, but I understand your discomfort, as I have seen a few who weren't. I would be surprised if any of them would raise an eyebrow at you weight, or think anything of it. If you decide to try massage, ask your doctor for a recommendation, so that you get a professional atmosphere, that will help alleviate your discomfort.

Good luck!