Robot Massage, Anyone?

robot hand and butterflyArtificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are more sophisticated than ever, and are improving every year by leaps and bounds. At this rate, many of the jobs being perfomed by humans may soon be peformed by robots or computers with sophisticated AI. These include

  • cab/rideshare drivers
  • food service
  • custodians and janitors
  • receptionists and personal assistants

Even more sophisticated tasks such as writing blog posts like this one could one day be the domain of the machines.

But what about massage therapy?
Your massage practitioner does a very specific job very well. It involves a series of motions that really wouldn’t be so difficult for a robot to master, at least at first glance.

It sounds great, right? Imagine the world’s most sophisticated massage tool, but one with the smarts of a 21st century AI program.

Not so fast
For one thing, the primary benefit of massage is human touch. Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to release dopamine, oxytocin, and other neurotransmitters that give you a sense of being loved, accepted, and connected. This psychological aspect of massage and touch therapy can’t be underestimated, nor is it easily imitated by machines.

Touch therapy and massage have been shown to be an effective aid in treating depression, anxiety, and can even help improve body image. Can robots replicate these effects? Not now. Maybe not ever.

Personal touch
When you get regular massage treatment, you have the chance to form a personal relationship with your practitioners. These professionals can get to know your body: the feel of your muscles, the composition of what lies underneath the skin. They can approach whatever aches or pains you may be experience with a sense of love and compassion.

It’s all you need …
That’s right. We said love. Love might be the most significant aspect of massage a robot may never ever be able to fully replicate. Our culture tends to sexualize everything, but make no mistake: there’s nothing sexual or romantic about licensed professional massage. Having said that, there is an aspect of being a massage practitioner that has everything to do with compassion, love, and acceptance. For massage practitioners, love is what separates the mere technicians collecting paychecks and true masters of the art of massage.

To get a massage from just such a practitioner, book your massage today!

Could androids or robots ever fully replace your human massage practitioner? Possibly, but real, live, human touch may never be fully replaceable, at least in our lifetimes.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor for The Good Life Massage. You can find him on Twitter @elmanoroboto. 

 

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