My wife and I were shopping at a local mall and we passed a Brookstone store. I peaked in the store to see what massage chair they had on display and, to my delight, it was the uDivine S model. I get a few calls about that chair from time to time and I thought it would be cool to sit in it and check it out. So, I did. I had the salesperson turn it on for me and I had a 5 minutes uDivine experience. I took a couple of pictures too.
All I had ever really heard about this chair is the poor customer support for the OSIM chairs (that is the name of the company that bought Brookstone and the name of their chairs, which are manufactured in China). A number of shoppers had commented to me that OSIM doesn’t have a great customer support reputation. But, other than that, I really had no idea about any of the features of the uDivine.
Of course, the OSIM chairs are only sold through Brookstone stores. They are not distributed, in the US anyways, through any other channel.
Here are my observations of this chair (mind you, I was only on the chair for 5 minutes so I didn’t get a chance to really “sink my teeth” into the review):
1. The chair was surprisingly small and compact, which would be great for space-conscious shoppers. The ottoman retracted which also contributed to the compact look.
2. I noticed that the neck massage was fairly intense and thorough, but I couldn’t say the same for the low back. I hardly felt the rollers in the low back area. From the mid back up to the neck it was a fairly deep massage.
3. The arm airbag massagers were cleverly hidden within the armrests. A simple pull with your finger lifted the end of the massagers closest to the user. You can slip your arm into the airbag housing to get a massage. The airbag massage was not too intense or thorough, but at least it had some arm airbags.
4. I also noticed that the rollers did a nice job not only on the neck, but on the posterior aspect (back part) of the traps across the top of the shoulders. The rollers moved out quite wide on the shoulders and did a decent job on that part of the neck/shoulder junction.
5. The chair had ample vibration in the feet and seat. Some folks don’t care much for vibration, but many people do like this feature. I can’t remember, though, if you could turn off the vibration. Hopefully so, to cater to folks who can’t stand to have their butts vibrated.
6. The chair has shoulder airbags which compress the outside of each shoulder. This feature, which is common on a lot of chairs, works to “pin” in the upper body so that the rollers can work the upper back with more intensity. I don’t really buy the notion that the shoulder airbags “massage” the shoulders; they are more for holding the upper body in place so that the rollers don’t push the upper body forward, thus diminishing the intensity of the roller massage in that region.
7. Not much in the way of buttock and thigh massage. For the limited time that I was on the chair, the only thing I felt in the butt area was the vibration feature I mentioned above.
8. Price tag: $3799. When I saw the price, the thought immediately came to my mind that the Infinity IT-8500, which goes for $3995, seemed to be a much better bang for the buck in this price range.
Well, that’s about it. I hope this helps those of you who are including the uDivine in your massage chair search.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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