Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – July 30, 2013”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is our next issue of the bi-weekly massage chair industry update. Today is July 30th, I have no idea where the year has gone. It’s unbelievable how fast it’s gone, but it is already past half, and we’re well in to the second half of the year. Well, lots of cool things to talk about – well, not lots, but some pretty cool things to talk about today – that I’m excited about covering, particularly the new Iyashi chair, which came in this week.
[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]
Alan: Anyway, we’ll get in to stock status first of all, pretty much, the stock’s pretty good from everybody. Human Touch, it looks like all of their stock is in. It looks like Osaki is good, even though they’re low on the ‘Taupe’ 7075R and the 7200H ‘Brown.’ The Panasonic 30007 and 1285 are back-ordered for another while yet. The Sogno was back-ordered in the ‘Black Leather,’ but they were supposed to have been replenished by July 29th, which was yesterday. They’re usually pretty conservative on their restocking figures, or dates, so I assume that they are definitely in, and that’s about it. It looks like, as far as I know the Infinity’s in stock, the only one I’m not particularly sure on, and I don’t get regular stock updates on is Cozzia. But they have their own supply channel, so I assume that they’ve got plenty of their own chairs in stock. OK, now what’s kind of new this week – well, there’s lots of exciting things over the last couple of weeks – first of all, we’ve been talking about the Infinity Iyashi chair, which is the first chair in the U.S. market that will have rollers that go down the back and in to the butt and back of the thighs. We were expecting an Iyashi from Infinity, or Infinite Therapeutics, and it came in last Thursday night.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity Iyashi in Our Showroom NOW!]
Alan: We assembled it, and Friday I sat on it. I wrote a review – or sorry, Friday I sat on it and Saturday I wrote a review – part one of it, the primary things that I noticed while sitting in the chair. I sat on it for a couple of hours, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s a pretty cool chair, I’m pretty excited to have it.
[SCREEN TEXT: Read My Review of the New Iyashi on My Blog]
Alan: It’s a Chinese-made chair even though it’s got a Japanese-sounding name, but it’s got a very contemporary design. Some of the more conservative folks, despite the features of the chair that you might like, the design might be a little bit too contemporary for you.
[SCREEN TEXT: www.massage-chair-relief.com/blog]
Alan: Well, you know, that remains yet to be seen, and this chair, I have a feeling, is going to be a fairly popular chair, but I’ll tell you what, the butt rollers are fantastic. I was taking notes when I was sitting in the chair, a whole bunch of notes, and I, you know of course, transcribed those notes and elaborated on them in my review in the blog post. As I was reading through my notes, I wrote a couple of times, and I didn’t mean to, I didn’t realize that I’d said it, but I wrote ‘Butt rollers are fantastic.’ So, obviously it impressed me enough that I wrote it down twice in my notes, but that really is a wonderful feature, and I noticed that you kind of have to make sure that you’re always sitting back against – make sure your butt’s against the back of the chair – because when the rollers come down it kind of almost lifts you up and then moves you a little bit, so you have to push back so that you get the full benefit of the rollers in to the thighs.
Now, the extent of the rollers goes down to about mid-thigh when your butt’s up against the back of the chair, it does not go to just behind the knees. It’s a 49, I believe it’s a 49-inch roller track. It’s really quite remarkable, I mean, I really, really like that feel. I was a little disappointed in the way that it massaged the neck. It has a decent neck massage, but it’s not as vigorous as the 8500 or the 8200, and that’s kind of what I was comparing it to. The arm massage is great, the foot massage is great, it’s got a foot roller system that seems to go in different directions, like forward and then back. It also has airbags in the – the chair uses the foot airbags to kind of move your feet across the rollers – so while the rollers are going, you’re getting a shearing effect of the airbags moving you across the the surface of the rollers, and that’s a pretty intense foot massage. I mean, I like it, but that’s something that you may want to adjust or turn off from time to time when you’re sitting on the chair.
The intensity of the rollers in the mid-back and the shoulders – oh, it kind of has a little bit of a – when the rollers come up, kind of like the Panasonic MA70, the rollers come up a little bit – and a little bit up and over the top of the traps before it goes up the neck. I really like that, it seems to hit the levator scapula muscles really well. It hits the rhomboids, between the shoulder blades, awesome, it does the low back wonderfully. I’m really happy with the chair, and that sliding base is pretty cool. When you’re sitting in the chair, you could put that chair right up against the wall and then when you turn it on, the base will slide forward and then it’ll recline in to your zero-gravity position, or whatever reclined position you go in to. It kind of feels like you’re getting moved out on to a launching pad or something, preparing for launch, and then it’ll just recline.
The remote control is fabulous, it’s like a TV remote, I mean, it’s a very simple remote control. I will do videos on all of this, we’re doing a whole bunch of videos this week on it, by the way, but the remote, it just has a ‘Menu’ button. Push ‘Menu’ and on the screen comes up your options – auto programs, manual programs, settings, rollers, whatnot – everything is from that screen, it’s very easy to use. I’m very, very impressed with it, and it plugs in inside the right armrest, and there’s a little pouch there too, so the whole thing is obscured from view for the most part. It’s on the the inside, not on the outside of the armrest like some of the other chairs have. It also has plug ins on the side, where the power cord goes and the power switch is, which is unique, I’ve never seen that before, it’s always been in the back, that’s no big deal as far as function goes.
There’s a couple of deficiencies in it right now – well, not deficiencies, but things like – first of all, the shipping was supposed to have been this month, but it’s going to be the end of next month and the reason being is that the demand has been high enough that they’ve doubled their order, and their order amount, so that they can provide supply for the demand. Also, the Apple app, which it has a Droid app and an Apple app, the Droid app will download from a link, and I haven’t done that yet, I’ve got to do that when I do part two of this review today. The Apple app is not quite ready yet, so they want to have that ready, it may not even been ready when it comes out in the end of August, but they’re not going to delay the shipping any further. You know, if you’re used to massage chairs, you’re used to not having an app necessarily, unless you had the old HT – well, not the old, but the the HT-9500, and that connectivity has since been removed from that model – but there’s not many chairs that have that, so it’s probably not something you’re really going to miss, because you don’t really know what it is yet. Once you get it and you can, you know, manage your music from your cell phone, and whatever else you can do from the app, it’s going to be pretty cool.
Right now, they’re just getting the production up, but the chair is good, I really like the chair, I’m quite happy with it. The people that have sat in it so far in my showroom have liked it. One person loved it, but he knew his wife would not like the design, or sorry, not the design but the color of the body, which is all white, and then the inner material is either a red, ‘Cherry Red,’ I believe, or a ‘Caramel Brown.’ We have the red color, the ‘Cherry Red,’ and it’s very nice, it’s a very contemporary-looking chair, a pretty cool chair. I like it, and I think it’s going to be a popular chair in this industry and in this market, and I think you’ll enjoy the price on it. I think it’s $5495, they give a $600 instant savings, which brings it down to $4895, and you know, I think it’s a very reasonably priced, little higher than mid-range priced chair. It’s rich in features, it’s a pretty good chair, I think you’re going to like it. So, that’s the Iyashi, you can read my review, I’m going to be doing part two probably tonight, I have a few other things I want to talk about that I didn’t get to in the first article.
[SCREEN TEXT: New Osaki OS-7200CR]
Alan: Another thing that’s happened over the last couple of weeks is that Osaki’s come out with a revamped version of the 7200. The Osaki 7200H has been a fairly popular seller, it’s been a good chair. The Osaki 7075 chair has had a lot of problems with breakdowns and with, just a lot of hassles, a lot of headaches. So, I would probably encourage you, if you’re considering the 7075, I would probably encourage you to take a look at the Osaki 7200, if you want to stay within the Osaki brand. It’s a nice chair, and I haven’t heard a lot of problems about breakdowns with it, a lot of my customers that buy it don’t call me about it. That’s usually how I hear about it is – customers will call me when they’re not happy – and we had some problems with that 7075, and you know, Osaki acknowledges that as well, but we would encourage you to look at the 7200. The 7200H, it’s a good chair, I’ve got it in my showroom, a lot of people like it.
[SCREEN TEXT: Foot Rollers in OS-7200CR]
Alan: The 7200CR, which is the new model, it has foot rollers in it, and it has less airbags, it’s got 48 airbags, instead of 51, which is how many the 7200H has. Those airbags, I would guess, are taken out of the headpiece, because the headpiece on the 7200H and the old 6000 before that, had airbags in the neck, and at the base of the headpiece so it pushed down on your trap muscles. It was an imitation of the Sogno’s cervical traction device, and they have since removed that in this new model, the CR, they’ve taken out the airbags in the neck, from the headpiece. They’ve added a – like the top of the chair has more of a dome on it, as opposed to a chair back, you know, a typical chair back – it’s got kind of like a dome over it. The Iyashi kind of has that too, it’s got a body that has a dome over the top, and it makes it look cleaner, kind of cool, but, they’ve changed that. Also, there is – let’s see, what are the other changes on that chair – so, it has foot rollers, it has less airbags, it’s got a different head design, no shoulder, or trap muscle airbags coming down. Oh, and my guy at Osaki tells me that the leather, or the synthetic leather of the 7200CR is a nicer-looking leather, it looks more like real leather than the more shiny, the current 7200H, and I think the 7200H looks great, I like the body design of it, I like the look of it, it’s a nice-looking chair, it’s got the chromotherapy lights on the outside in blue, which is really neat-looking. Anyway, the 7200CR is the new chair, now here’s the thing that kind of surprised me, it’s a $5495 chair, so it’s about two grand more than the 7200H, for foot rollers and a little different design on the head, and so I’m a little surprised by that. They may have an instant discount that they haven’t announced yet, maybe $500 like they do on a lot of their other chairs, but I’ll let you know as soon as that happens.
[SCREEN TEXT: OS-7200CR Priced at $5495]
Alan: I had one of those chairs delivered to a local customer here, the new 7200CR, and they really liked it, and the guys that delivered it thought it was cool, and I’ve got young guys. They think the Iyashi’s cool, they think the 7200CR is cool, and so when those boys think it’s cool, it means that the younger folks really like the design, but I do like the design. They say it looks better – even though the body is basically the same, but with that new rounded head thing – it really cleans up the design a lot and I think people will really like that.
[SCREEN TEXT: Infinity IT-8500 Now in Our Showroom]
Alan: OK, so the new Iyashi’s out, the new 7200CR is out from Osaki, and oh, we also have the new IT-8500 in our showroom now. The IT-8500 is our second most popular-selling chair next to the Inada Sogno. For folks that don’t want to pay for the Inada Sogno, don’t want to pay that money, a lot of them will get the IT-8500 because it has the same body design, but it’s a very nice massage too. It’s not as refined and nuanced, and the components aren’t as quality, because it’s, you know, a Chinese versus a Japanese-made chair, but the 8500’s a very popular chair, and I have it in my showroom now and I really like it. I’ve heard some people say that the intensity of the 8500 is too much for them. So, I started to wonder if the 8500 was more intense, or had a different roller system than the 8200, and you know, it’s pretty close, it’s not dramatically different. I’ve had a number of people – since I got the 8500 in the showroom – I’ve had a number of people try both, because I have them sitting right next to each other, and the 8500 and the 8200, in their eyes, is not that different as far as the massage goes. The 8500 is nice, it’s got a good neck and suboccipital massage, it has airbags that inflate in the front and pull the shoulders back, as opposed to the 8200, which just kind of pins in the shoulders from the side, but the 8500 is a very nice, a very popular chair. We had a fellow in, Mike, from Minnesota a week and a half ago, and he came specifically to try out the 8500, and that was the chair that he eventually ended up buying and that is a nice chair, that 8500, and it is a very, very popular chair.
[SCREEN TEXT: Recent Blog Posts on Massage-Chair-Relief.com]
Alan: Blog posts that I’ve recently written on my blog include the Iyashi Review Part One, it’s about 1700 words, it’s not short, but it goes through the main things that really impressed me as I sat on the chair. I didn’t get an owners’ manual with this chair, it didn’t come with it, it was Infinite Therapeutics’ test chair, their prototype that they had at their head office. So, they sent it to us, and we’re really the first retail store in the country that has this chair, and we love it. I wrote my first impressions of the chair and the things I really liked, and of course, the butt roller is fantastic as I told you earlier, but read that review, I’ll have part two up today, today or tomorrow. Then also, I wrote an article, I did an article review, or a warranty review, on the Infinity. As you know, I’m doing an eight part series on the reviews of, doing reviews on the warranties of the different massage chairs that we carry, and we’ve done Inada, Human Touch, Panasonic, and I just did Infinity last week, and so take a look at that too if you’re interested to know more about their warranty. We call it ‘The Fine-Toothed Comb,’ and we kind of go through the warranty bit by bit, and I make some comments and opinions and whatnot next to various and sundry points in the warranty.
[SCREEN TEXT: Which Chairs are Best for Shorter People?]
I also wrote an article about, somebody had emailed me and said ‘I have a mother who’s very petite, she’s 4 feet,10 inches tall, and we’re having trouble finding a chair that will fit someone 4 feet, you know, 4 feet, 10 inches tall.’ So you know, usually I get questions from people that want chairs because they’re too large, like ‘I’m 6′ 7′ or I’m 6′ 5’, or you know, ‘What chair will fit me,’ or ‘I’m 350 pounds, what chair would fit me?’ Well, you know, once in a while I do get a question about which chair would fit a petite woman, or a petite man, for that matter, but typically a petite woman. So, I wrote an article about that, and made some recommendations of chairs. There are a number of chairs that cater to folks that are 5 feet and under, but it’s a tough fit. Sometimes you feel like the chair just swallows you up when you’re shorter, and some chairs are not designed for really, really short folks, like the Osaki 7075 is not really designed for really short people, as an example, and the 7200H is not really designed for really short people either. I’d probably say that Panasonic chairs typically fit shorter better, the Infinity chairs seem to fit some of the shorter people better, the iRobotics chair is a big chair and it may not fit the shorter folks as well. Human Touch, their older models were a little better for taller people, like the 7450 and the 9500, but the new ZeroG 4.0 and 2.0 fit shorter folks a lot better. So, there are some chairs, but I talk about them in this article, so if you’ve got someone that you’re buying this chair for, someone in your family that wants a chair and they’re short, really short, take a look at that article, you know, that will help you out in making a decision.
[SCREEN TEXT: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Alan: I think that is pretty much it as far as what’s going on in the industry right now, and what’s going on in our showroom, and what’s going on with the new models. You know, if you have any questions about anything that I talked about today, or any other massage chair industry updates that we have, or any of our videos, because we do a lot of review videos as you know, please feel free to email me. You can reach me at Alan, A-L-A-N, @ massage dash chair dash relief.com, which is our website URL.
[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]
Alan: You can call me on our toll-free number 888-259-5380. You can also comment through our chat program on our website, or through Facebook, on our Facebook page, or respond to one of our Tweets, or on our Google Plus or whatnot. There’s so many ways to get a hold of us, and so please don’t ever hesitate to call. I try to answer every call, and if I don’t get it, my gal that answers the calls when I don’t get them will text me or let me know immediately and I will get a hold of you as soon as possible. We appreciate the fact that you watch these videos, that you’re learning something, some information or some helpful tidbits from these videos. So, please feel free to ‘Like’ the video if you find it helpful and share it on social media platforms. It’s a great way to spread the word about massage chairs.
Massage chairs are becoming more and more a part of our culture here, not to the extent that they are in Japan or in the Far East, generally speaking, but Americans are starting to get the idea that these things are helpful, they’re getting to be more and more affordable, and they are phenomenal for, especially this baby boomer generation, and the senior, you know, the seniors’ market. These are folks – and I’m part of it – but we’re sore, man. We played like we were super-athletes when we were young, and now you know what, it’s starting to hurt now. We’ve spent 10 years in front of a computer, or 20 years, you know, bending over and working in weird positions, and playing sports and weird things, or doing rodeo, or you know, parachuting, or whatever the crazy things that we do when we’re young that we never think of the consequences long term. Well, you know what, now it’s starting to hurt and I’ve got to admit there’s some mornings I wake up and I’m limping like a crippled old guy to the bathroom just to, you know, just to get ready for the day. To be quite frank, I don’t like it so I use the massage chairs a lot more now, and I think this is becoming a bigger part of that baby boomer and senior generation industry, and that’s a huge part of our U.S. demographic, by the way. Anyway, if any of this helps, please feel free to share it and ‘Like’ it and Twitter it, or Tweet it, and whatever you’ve got to do, but we appreciate that. Again, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner, we will see you again in two weeks with more information that we have in the massage chair market. Thanks so much for spending time with me today. We’ll see you next time. Bye bye.
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