Customer Question #1a
I have been searching for a good massage chair, but I’m having trouble deciding which chair would be best for me.
Over the years I have tried the basic Panasonic, and brief demos of the newer technology chairs, but I have been disappointed. I’m trying to find a chair that can duplicate the feel and beneficial effects of a human massage on my main trouble spots: back, shoulders, and neck.
I tried using the comparison feature on your website, but it did not help me narrow down my search. Can you recommend a specific model that would solve my issue?
My Response #1a
Thank you for your email. Feedback from visitors to my showroom is that the Inada DreamWave massage chair comes the most close to mimicking human hands. It has some versatility as far as the neck and shoulders are concerned…a headpiece that has airbag massage of the neck and traps or rollers to give the neck and upper back a good, stiff massage. It also has a great low back massage. Check it out here…
Customer Question #1b
Thanks for the fast response Alan. I see why you recommend Inada; the specs and number of testimonials are very impressive.
One concern I still have: Inada uses Airbag pressure to do a lot of the functions. In the past when I briefly tried similar chairs, the Air cylinders held my neck or arms in place, but did not seem to really relax my muscles like an intense roller (or human hands) could do. Is there any airbag technology difference between Inada and the other high end chairs?
My Response #1b
Yes the DreamWave uses a lot of airbags but aside from the traditional use of airbags in other chairs, Inada uses them a little more creatively…
1. airbags in the headpiece are used to massage the neck and offer compression onto the trap muscles…something we don’t really see in any other chair.
2. airbags on the lateral aspect of the thighs actually offer a pretty deep massage of the IlioTibial Bands…again, something we don’t see very much of. Most other chairs use the hip airbags simply to hold the hips in place while the rollers go up and down the lumbar spine. But, in the DreamWave the airbags actually perform a compression massage.
3. airbags are used to move the seat up and down and side to side…this is what the term “DreamWave” actually alludes to. This is the first chair to use airbags in the seat to introduce passive motion to the low back and pelvis. Again, quite unique and innovative.
4 waist airbags are used to move both sides of the low back forward, simulating a rotation or “twist” of the lumbar spine. Very innovative in this industry…but now everyone has employed that in their chairs.
I hope this helps a bit in understanding how Inada uses airbags, but not in a typical fashion. Of course, the rollers in the back reach the neck all the way down to the sacral area of the pelvic area. Great roller massage. Combined with the airbags this chair gives quite a remarkable overall massage experience.
Customer Question #2
After 11 years as a US army physician and more than a decade working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, I have returned back to the great state of Texas. I have put off buying a massage chair due to the 220 vs 110 voltage difference. Too many sandbox tours have left me with chronic knee pain and lumbar pain. Also as a gastroenterologist, I am constantly looking at monitors while pushing scope and suffer from cervical/thoracic muscle strain. I am looking at a couple different chairs to include the Osaki, Inada, Panasonic and the Luraco. I have touched base with Luraco as they are in Dallas and they do offer veteran discounts. Not surprising as they are the only US massage chair manufacturer. FWIW, I am 5’11” 220 lb and my wife is 6’1” and 160lbs. Is there any particular chair that you would recommend? Jeffery
My Response #2
Thanks for your email. My experience is that many massage chairs don’t have the strongest neck massage, although most massage chairs have a great mid thoracic massage and a sufficient lumbar massage. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind as I read your email:
1. There really aren’t any massage chairs that work directly on the knees, however there are a couple of models that have very good IlioTibial Band airbag massage, soft tissue that is typically affected by knee and back problems. Take a look at the Inada DreamWave and the Panasonic MA73. TheLuraco iRobotics 7 has a 2-tiered calf massage mechanism that reaches up to just below the knee, which might also serve your knees well.
2. Most chairs hit the lumbar region well, but there are a couple of models that do an exceptional job in the sacro-iliac area. Again, consider the Inada DreamWave which has a roller track that hits the sacral area better than most. The trade-off is that the DreamWave does not have a zero gravity feature, which allows the roller track to hit lower down the spine. I wrote an article about that trade-off on my blog. Here is the link:
Incidentally, the Luraco iRobotics 7, mentioned above, does have the zero gravity feature. Another type of chair that might impress your lumbar and gluteal areas is the new L-Track chairs, where an extended roller track goes down the spine and under the seat to the top of the hamstrings. This is a wonderful new feature that really does a dang good job on the low back, glutes, and piriformis muscles. A couple of models to consider would be the Infinity Iyashi (although the neck massage is not stellar), Infinity Escape, the Apex Ultra, and the Titan TP-Pro Alpine. Take a look at those and see what you think.
3. The Osaki chairs are great overall chairs, but I often feel as though they are not outstanding in any one feature. But, they are a great bang for the buck.
4. Our most popular selling Chinese-made chair is the Infinity IT-8500. Awesome neck and upper back massage, good lumbar massage, mechanical foot rollers, and zero gravity to boot. Take a look at that model.
Our top selling Japanese-made chair is the Inada DreamWave. Therapeutically, one of the best feature-sets around, and the quality, life expectancy, and failure rate are superb, but you pay for it. Great neck roller massage and, as I mentioned above, a great lumbo-sacral massage with a masterful combination of rollers and airbags working on that region. The US-made iRobotics 7 has taken the industry by storm and has a wonderful feature-set, too, including foot rollers and zero gravity.
I hope this helps somewhat. Let me know if you have any other questions or need assistance with your order. I am always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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