Mail Bag – Iyashi Neck Massage; Arthritic Hip and Low Back

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EMAIL QUESTION #1

emailHi, I am researching massage chairs and have a few questions: I’m a fitness enthusiast and exercise often. I often have sore glutes, quads, and hamstrings after an intense lower body workout. That’s why the 49″ roller track on the Infinity Iyashi is very interesting to me. My only concern is its shoulder and neck massage capability. My day job involves sitting in front of a computer all day, so I have tight neck and trapezius muscles. I’m reading conflicting reports on whether the Iyashi gives adequate massages in those areas. 1. Dr. Weidner mentioned that the auto-program isn’t as intense as he likes in those areas, but later mentioned that the manual program is pretty strong. He also once mentioned that the rollers seems to come forward a bit (like the Panasonic MA70) on top of the shoulders, but this was not mentioned again anywhere else. Can you confirm whether the Iyashi gives good massages on the neck and top of the shoulders? 2. Given my requirements, do you recommend anything other than the Iyashi? 3. What happens if something breaks down on the Iyashi in the 2nd year (when it’s under parts warranty, but not labor). Does Infinite Therapeutics still send someone out, but I’d just have to pay for labor myself? Roughly how much would it cost labor wise, for an in-house service visit? Thanks, Trent

MY RESPONSE #1

Hi, Trent
Thanks so much for your email and questions. Here are my responses to your questions:

1. The neck and shoulder massage on the Iyashi is better in the manual mode but still not like the Panasonic chair. It’s massage of the top of the shoulders is marginal, at best. The Infinity IT-8500 has a better neck massage but doesn’t have the extended roller track into the buttocks. You will still get a neck massage on the Iyashi, but it won’t be as firm as the mid and lower back massage.

Iyashi_black_Straight_right2. The Iyashi is the only chair that comes with the gluts massage. The rollers reach just the very top of the hamstrings in the back, but do not massage the quads at all (front of thigh). The Inada Sogno has a roller track that hits the top of the gluts and the sacral area, better than all other chairs besides the Iyashi. The Panasonic MA70 does the same.

3. If your chair breaks down after the labor warranty expires, you have a couple of options: a.) you can install it yourself with the assistance of the attached instructions and phone support from IT’s tech support, and b.) you can still have a technician sent out to do the work, but it will probably cost you $100-200 or so, depending on the issue and the time it takes to replace the part.

EMAIL QUESTION #1A

Hi Dr. Weidner,

Thank you for the detailed reply. It seems like no chair does everything I want (glutes + neck/shoulders). Given my requirements, what do you think the best chair is for me?

MY RESPONSE #1A

IT-8500
IT-8500

Trent
I would recommend the Infinity IT-8500 for a great neck massage or the Iyashi for a great buttock massage. Since the Iyashi is the only chair that has buttock massage, the only other option would be something like the Inada DreamWave, which has a great neck massage and a roller that goes down to the sacrum and the top of the buttocks…but not down to the buttocks like the Iyashi. I hope this helps. I know it doesn’t answer all your issues, but these suggestions can at least point you to the chairs to consider.

EMAIL QUESTION #2

I am looking for advice in selecting a massage chair. I am an extremely active 53 yr old (I work out 5x/week including cardio, weight training and sports.) I am 6’3 and 210 lbs. I have arthritic hips and had a total anterior replacement 2 years ago. I also have elevated blood pressure and migraine. I go to deep tissue massage twice a month. I have very tight IT bands, periformis, upper and lower back, and sub occipital areas. What additional information would you require to make a solid recommendation? Thanks!

MY RESPONSE #2

Hi, David
Thanks so much for your email. You bring up some diverse issues that may not all be addressed by one chair. Here is what I am thinking:

1. Your height will preclude you from some chairs which have some of the features you are looking for.
2. Pretty much any massage chair will be just fine for our high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, massage has been shown in some studies to lower blood pressure so you may benefit from that.
3. If your headaches are “true” migraines, then a chair may not do a whole lot for the symptoms. However, if your headaches are “migrainous” but not true migraines (i.e. they stem from the muscles under the skull or in the neck), then a chair with a good neck massage could do wonders for you.
4. There are really only two chairs that address the IT bands and that is the Inada DreamWave and the Panasonic MA70/MA73, both of which use airbags to provide a good pressure to the IT bands. However, none of the airbags will probably be as deep as the massages you are getting from your LMT.
5. Most chairs do a decent job on the upper and lower backs nowadays.

Having addressed each of your specific concerns, and knowing what is available out there in the chair models we carry, here are some recommendations:

Panasonic MA70
Panasonic MA70

1. I’ve already mentioned the Inada DreamWave and the Panasonic MA7o/MA73 for the IT bands. Both chairs also have great neck and suboccipital massages and low back massages. The drawback with the MA70 is that it is designed for folks who are up to 6’2″ in height. If you are taller than that, then go with the MA73, which was designed for taller bodies. The DreamWave has a light default massage but can be increased in intensity quite a bit to give you a good, aggressive massage. These are also the only two chair models that massage the trapezia muscles, which you didn’t mention in particular, but are often precipitators of headaches.

2. The IT-8500 is considered a “deep tissue” massage chair and will give you a great upper back and neck massage, including your suboccipitals. It does not have any IT band massage, although it does have thigh airbags, but they are used more for holding the hips in place rather than massaging the IT banks.

3. The Infinity Iyashi has a great low back massage, as the roller track extends down into the buttucks up to the top of the hamstrings, but the neck massage (and suboccipital massage) is not great. This chair will hit the piriformis muscles to some degree and is the only chair that will hit those muscles in particular.

4. Another model that hits the neck and suboccipitals quite well is the Osaki OS-3D Pro Dreamer. You can adjust the intensity of the rollers and it does a good job in the upper and mid backs. Very good in the low back area as well.

I hope this helps give you a little direction. Let me know if you have more questions or need help processing your order. I am always at your disposal.

Dr. Alan Weidner
www.massage-chair-relief.com

 

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