Customer Question #1
Hi, I am keen on purchasing a massage chair but my problem is that I need to know how safe they are. I have three compression fractures in my spine because I used to have osteoporosis. After a decade of treatment my condition has improved to now be classified as osteopenia. I can not get any clear information about how appropriate a massage chair is for me and my doctor, who appears to know nothing about massage chairs, advises caution. If you have any information, advice or feedback I would very much appreciate your input before I make any decision. Thank you for your time, any qualified advice would be most welcome. Regards, Ben
Thanks so much for your email. I have had quite a few customers (and patients) with osteoporosis and osteopenia use massage chairs and, to my knowledge, no one has had a problem with their spine from the roller mechanism of a massage chair. I suppose that there might be more risk for severely osteoporotic patients because of the decreased bone density, but the rollers, for the most part, only work on the paraspinal musculature and not on the vertebra themselves.
To be extra safe, here are a couple of suggestions for you when choosing a chair:
- Make sure the chair has a width adjustment feature (most chairs do), which will allow you to widen the rollers if you feel like they are hitting your vertebral bones at all, and
- Use a back pad or throw blanket when you first begin using your chair to make sure the intensity is accommodating enough for your spine. Some chairs come with 3D rollers, which means that you can move the rollers more forward or back to allow for a more or less intense massage experience, respectively. Then, if the massage feels too intense for your back, you can just retract the rollers a bit to a more comfortable position.
Customer Question #2
Hello. I have just started looking into massage chairs. I thought the Osaki 4000T would be a good fit for functionality and budget. I had read on your website that it is very similar to the Brookstone UAstro2, so I went to our local Brookstone to try out their model. It was nice, but I tried their newer model, the Renew, and found that I really liked the L-track on that model.
With that in mind, I saw that you mentioned the Iyashi as well as the Osaki 8500 & Osaki Summit as having L-tracks; the 8500 is the only one even close to my budget. So I have a few questions about that model:
1) How do you think the 8500 compares to the Iyashi and Summit? I see that you mentioned a more advanced roller system in the Summit. Would that difference be very noticeable to a novice? From your comparison chart, it looks like other key differences are # of airbags (I’m not sure what the practical implications of this are), music (I don’t care about this at all), and twisting. Anything else?
2) If you’ve tried the Brookstone Renew, is there anything you can tell me about how similar is it to the experience in the 8500? I understand this is quite subjective!
3) What is the non-reclined length of the 8500? I understand the chair back needs to be 6″ from the wall (which is a great feature!), but how much additional distance (on the floor) is there from the back of the chair to the front of the chair/ottoman? Is that the 60″ that’s noted on the comparison chart?
Thanks so much for your email. I’ll just start off by saying that whatever massage chair you eventually decide upon, you are going to love it!!
Here are the answers to your questions:
1.) The 8500 is a great chair for the money, but it’s roller system is less sophisticated and does a bit less than the roller system of the Iyashi or Summit. If don’t know how the Renew feels, but I’ve heard it is a cheaper made chair. I don’t think you’d recognize much of a difference between the two if you’ve only sat on one…and it was a while back.
The other major difference would be the size of the chair…it is a smaller chair than either the Iyashi or the Summit, so it will ideally fit folks who are 6′ tall or shorter. The Iyashi and Alpine will comfortably fit people as tall as 6’5″. The Summit and Iyashi have hip airbags which are absent altogether on the 8500. The foot roller mechanism is quite intense on all three models, but even moreso in the 8500, in my honest opinion. You can actually adjust the foot roller speed with the 8500, which is quite unique.
2.) Regarding the Renew, see my comment in #1 above.
3.) You only need about 3.5″ from the wall for the 8500. The 60″ length you saw is, as you assumed, the length from the back of the chair to the front of the ottoman.
If your budget allows a chair the price of the 8500, I might suggest you take a look at the Osaki Maxim, which is our top selling online L-track chair.
Customer Question #3
Hi Dr. Weidner,
First, thanks. I’ve appreciated all that I’ve learned on your site, your Youtube videos, and the reviews your clients have given on the various chairs. I’ve decided, based on their customer service reports, that you’re the one person I would do business with with respect to buying.
I can’t get over a few hurdles. Obviously, this is a lot of money. I’m looking at it as a long-term investment, but it’s still steep. Adding to that is the fact that there’s so much in the way of chair failure out there. I worry that when I drop several thousand dollars I’m going to end up having long-term problems to go with my long-term investment.
I looked at Osaki, but I’m a bit too big for the chair, and then there’s the Chinese manufacturing.
I can’t afford an Inada or a Panasonic chair that does what I would like it to do, though I know they are the most reliable.
I’ve been looking at the Infinity IT-8500 based on features, price point, and its accommodation of a person of larger size like me (6’2″, 285), but again, there’s the Chinese manufacturing, and all those airbags seem to be begging for a rupture.
So I’m stuck. I would like to pull the trigger but I’m still doubting. What do you say to people like me? What chair can you recommend as reliable? Why should I buy, and what will allay regret and buyer’s remorse? Thanks for listening. Joy to you and your family,
Thank you so much for your email and insightful questions. I truly appreciate your trust and confidence in me to assist you in this decision-making process.
I totally get your concern about the quality of Chinese-made chairs, especially when compared to the Japanese-made models, but I must say that the quality of the Chinese chairs has improved so much over years since I got in the business. The failure rates are between 2-5% and the chairs should last you 10 years.
I will also say that Infinity chairs are great! I rarely hear from my customers complaining about issues with their chair, which could mean one of two things, both of which are great for you, the buyer:
- Their chairs are not breaking down, or
- When they break down, Infinite Therapeutics (IT) takes such good care of the customer that I never hear back from them about the problem they had.
Now, some companies have a weak tech support department and, when that is the case, I hear back from an unhappy customer because they are not being taken care of as they should. I rarely, if ever, have a problem with the customer support at IT.
The IT-8500 is one of our most popular sellers currently. It is a fabulous bang-for-the-buck and has a vigorous massage, which is something that a lot of people are looking for. The foot rollers and stretch program are also awesome. It’s just a great combination of features for the price, IMHO. The only thing it lacks in today’s market is the L-track. If you are considering an L-track chair, I might suggest the Osaki Pro Summit, which has the L-track and is priced the same as the IT-8500.
I hope this helps put your mind at rest about a chair, especially a Chinese-made chair.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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