Massage Chair Industry Update – 12/22/23

December 29, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
December 29, 2023
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chair Industry Update – 12/22/23

Hello, I’m Doctor Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and today is our bi-weekly massage chair industry update for Friday, December 22nd, 2023. This is the last recording of the year. And of course, Christmas and the remainder of the holidays are coming up this weekend. A little late to order chairs and have them delivered. In our showrooms, often we have floor models that we’re selling, so we can still have a chair available for you if you go in today and then maybe our delivery teams can deliver it tomorrow, but no promises. We’re right up against the 25th. But, of course, you can still order chairs at any time. We’re always open for business.



We still have some sales going on. The Ogawa chairs are on sale. The Kyota and Sharper Image chairs are on sale. Let’s see what else we got. Luraco extended their sale to January 7th, so you can still get $1,000 off on the i9 Max Special Edition, which is the model that we have in our showrooms. And we have some other in-store sales, so reach out to us at any time at 888-259-5380. You can see the phone number here. You can call us any time to find out what we have going on in our stores that we don’t advertise on the web. So live streams, we typically have a live stream at the end of every month. We’re not doing it at the end of this month because of the Christmas holidays, and New Year’s.



People have other things on their minds, like last-minute Christmas shopping, like yours truly, to take time off for a live stream. But we do have some things scheduled for 2024. We have a tentative guest in the second week of January. We have, tentatively, John Cribbs, who’s the VP for Cozzia at the beginning of February. We’re going to start doing our live streams more towards the beginning of each month. Then in March, we are going to have Nicholas Beese from Cinco Wellness, which is the parent company is Johnson Tech. They’ve got some interesting things to announce as well, and we’ll be able to talk about that in that livestream. In January, we have a guest invited, and they’re just checking the schedule to make sure they can make it.



It’ll be after the Consumer Electronics Show, which is January 9th through the 12th, I believe that week. I’ll be there on the ninth and 10th, and I will be visiting my suppliers. I know that Human Touch® will be there introducing their new Super Novo and the Super Novo X, so I’m looking forward to trying out both of those chairs. Let’s see who else is going to be there. Tru Chairs will be there. They have a booth. And I can’t remember who else is going to be there, but otherwise, I will be visiting to see what other kinds of massage companies are being represented from overseas, to see manufacturers that are available for carrying their lines. I’ll see what they’ve got going on. But I’ll get a video for that and I’ll post it on our blog. And then later in January is the furniture market, and I’ll be attending that as well. I usually go in the fall or in the summer, but I’m planning on going for a day at the end of January.



Both the CES and the furniture market are in Las Vegas. And I’ll be going there, Osaki will be there, and see what they’ve got new cooking. I know that Cinco will be there, and so we’ll be able to see all the new stuff and report on anything back to you. We’ll be squeezing the live stream between CES, which is at the beginning of the month, and the furniture market, which is at the end of the month. So, stay tuned for that. Those are good. And again, everyone’s invited. You can all come and listen in, ask questions, and make comments of our guests. [laughs]. That didn’t sound right. Make comments of our guests. You don’t want to make comments of our guests. You can make comments about the industry or questions to our guests about anything that you want to ask them. And we will be able to hopefully answer all those questions for you.



A lot of people who watch this video I know have already purchased massage chairs. But if you are still looking for a massage chair, and you’re thinking about maybe an Ogawa, Cozzia, JPMedics, or Brookstone chair. That’s for the Ogawa chat or the Ogawa live stream. Or if you’re interested in the Synca JP 3000, the JP 1100, or the Kagra chair, or anything from them, you can listen in and ask any questions you might have. Anyway, we’ll get back to you with a more firm schedule, but those are the tentative plans. We’re constantly changing what we have on our showroom floor because new chair models are coming in hot and heavy. We have the new Synca JP 3000, which is an almost 100% Japanese-made chair. There are not many Japanese-made chairs at all. As a matter of fact, I could think of 2 or 3 massage chair brands that have a chair that is made in Japan.



That’s where massage chairs were born. That’s where the inventor, if you will, of the massage chair, started this whole thing. And by the way, if you don’t know the story, from what I have been told, (and of course, sometimes these stories become embellished or changed or altered over the years), but in the late 50s, early 60s, a man in Japan sold sewing machine parts. And his daughter had terrible headaches, excruciating headaches, and she was in a lot of pain. And he thought, well, maybe I could create something out of these machine parts and a chair to dig into her neck or do something for her neck and her headache muscles. And so, he did.



He created a static. When I say static, there were no rollers or anything like that. It was just things that stuck out from the chair made out of sewing machine parts that dug into the muscles at the base of the skull. And sure enough, anybody that knows anything about massage therapy, if you’ve got what they call a cervicogenic headache or a stress headache or a muscle tension headache, these suboccipital, the muscles of the base of your skull are usually tight, and when you push on them, you can feel your headache more. He designed a chair, or he modified probably a dining room chair, or a kitchen chair, with these sewing machine parts. And it dug into her neck and created relief. It brought her some relief. And that is how the whole massage chair industry was born. And, of course, I think Panasonic was probably the first mass distributor of massage chairs.



There was Inada back then. There was Fuji Medical back then. There was one other player and I think I’m forgetting who they are. Anyway, those were the ones in the 60s that really started to propagate the whole idea of a massage chair and distribute them, mass distribution of the chairs. And I think it’s in Japan, 25% of the homes have a massage chair of some sort. So, that’s the birthplace. That’s the fountainhead, if you will, of massage chairs. Of course, now everything’s different. There are still chairs designed in Japan, like the Panasonic chairs and the Synca chairs, but there are a lot of them are being built in China. The vast majority are being built in China. And of course, now we have the Luraco that’s built in America. And so, it has become a worldwide industry. And we’re seeing that in the chair models that we get and that we sell.


Anyway, I thought you’d be interested to hear about that. We have the new JP 3000, which is a brand-new model. That’s the Japanese one. That one’s in our Northern California store. And we also have the Luraco Hybrid or Model Three Hybrid, which is a new model from Luraco. It’s basically the same chair as the Luraco i9 Max. I’m trying to remember. It’s like the regular i9 Max, not the special edition. What they’ve done is they’ve taken out some of the components like the dual roller track. They’ve taken out the calf rollers, the arm rollers, the sliding armrests. And they’re giving you an American-made chair for under 10,000. It’s priced at 9,999. We have that in our Northern California showroom as well.



We have the new Osaki Solis, which is a split track chair. And if you’re new and you don’t understand what a split track is, in our industry, there are S-Track chairs. Those are chairs that have rollers that go down the back following the shape of the spine, the s shape of the spine. The L-Track or SL-Track continues on underneath the buttock, so you get the glute muscles massaged by the rollers. And then they have a split track where they’ve taken an L-Track and cut it in half and split it, so you’ve got one section that has a roller track that works on your glute muscles or your butt muscles, you have the other section that works on your neck and mid-back and low back. And that’s a split track chair. Now, up to this point, these split track chairs have come out with four rollers on the bottom and two rollers on the top track. That was the original split track. Then we came out with four rollers on the bottom and four rollers on top. And that’s like the Dual Max or the new Daiwa Pegasus Hybrid.



Well, now the Solis comes out with two rollers on the bottom and two rollers on the top. And typically, the fewer rollers you have, the more intense the massage can be and more specific to the area where you want it to hit. So, the Solis is the only one now that has two rollers on the bottom and two rollers on the top. So, there’s a little lesson on split tracks. And we now have the Solis at the Arizona showroom. We also have the new Tru Eclipse Plus. The Tru Eclipse was the original chair that we carried, and now they’ve got the plus. And the difference is that the roller is gear back pushed. And what that means is … I’m trying to think in terms of someone who may be listening to these concepts for the first time. Rollers in massage chairs go up and down and side to side. Two dimensions, the x, and the y-axis.




Well, then 3D rollers came along where the rollers moved forward. And so, they were going up and down and they could go forward and back. That’s 3D. Well, a lot of the chairs have airbags that push the body forward and back closer to or away from the rollers. And that’s how you get the depth adjustment. Well, now the more sophisticated chairs have what they call gear back pushed. But what it is, now the roller mechanism is built with metal and mechanics to move. It’s the roller that moves forward, not the body being moved forward and back relative to the rollers. Now, the roller mechanism is now moving forward and back deeper into your back or more shallow in your back to increase or decrease the intensity of the roller massage, respectively



The new Tru Eclipse Plus has the gear back pushed roller, so now the roller mechanism itself moves forward and back. They have added a hand roller mechanism and they have a new remote-control interface, which they say is nicer and a little bit more user-friendly. From what I understand, they have a closed-toe foot massage. And then I’ve described this before where you have footrests on the Ottoman. The foot massagers on the Ottomans either come with open-toed so you can have any size of foot in there. But some chairs have the closed-toe, but that usually only fits someone who has a size 13. I have a size nine. I have no problem fitting in any of them. But for those of you with bigger feet, that’s important to know. If you have size 13 or less, you’re probably going to be okay with a closed-toe chair.



If you have more than size 13, 13.5, 14, or 16 or whoever you are, Shaq, then you’re going to need an open-toed one, no doubt. Anyway, I thought I’d tell you about those new models. And we have that new Tru Eclipse in our Arizona showroom. I think that’s pretty much all we’ve got in terms of news and updates. I just wanted to mention, one of the concerns people have is when they get a new chair, when it’s delivered, either there’s some damage to the box or they take the chair out of the box and they see that there’s damage to the chair. There are some things that you could do when you get a new chair to ensure that you’re taken care of in terms of getting things covered, and we’re also taking care of.



Because if there’s damage to the box and then there’s damage to the chair, the massage chair shipping company should be held accountable for repairing that chair or replacing the parts that are damaged by the shipping process. Well, if you don’t write that down on the shipping billing receipt when you get it so that they have a copy of it and you have a copy of it that says damage to the Ottoman or hole in the box, anything that you see that’s abnormal, even if it’s a curbside delivery and you don’t … And the shipping company’s not going to wait around while you set up your chair to check to see if all the parts are working. But you can see immediately if there’s damage to the chair. Make sure you mention it to the delivery team. “There’s damage to this chair. Could you please annotate that on the shipping receipt?”



So, that will help assign culpability to whoever it was that damaged the chair. If it’s a shipping company, they would be culpable. I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve dealt with a lot of damaged chairs, and the shipping company does all it can do to not have to pay to repair your chair, so it usually falls on us, the retailer. And sometimes the massage chair company will help by replacing a part that was damaged by shipping. They’ll replace it as part of the warranty, but they don’t always do that. So, if you see damage to the box, take pictures. If the delivery team is doing a white glove in-home delivery and set up, take a look at the chair before they leave. Inspect the chair. Make sure it turns on and off. Just basic things like that. And then if you need to take pictures of damage, do that there and maybe mention it even on the delivery receipt before the white glove agent leaves too.



Anyway, those are some things that are just buyers’ tips, buyers’ guides. Part of the other things you have to worry about when you’re looking for a chair or when you’re buying a chair. Just inspect it and get a good feel for what kind of shape the chairs are in, and what kind of damage, if any, is done to the chair itself or the box. Sometimes I’ve seen huge damage to the corner of a box and the chair is perfect. Other times I’ve seen a small hole, maybe this big in the side of a box, and we take out the chair and a forklift just drove through the box, and that’s what that small hole was. It was a forklift that went right through the chair and damaged the Ottoman or something like that. So, just keep a record, and keep track of things just to prevent any hassles down the road, for you, for us, or for the massage chair distributor. Anyway, that’s it for our massage chair industry update for this week.



If you have any questions again, please feel free to call us. Again, our number is 888-259-5380. If someone doesn’t answer immediately, leave a message, go to our Contact Us page or you can text that toll-free number. You can now text it as well and someone will get back to you pretty quick. Also, if you found this video helpful, please feel free to share it with your friends and family through your social media platforms. But also, if you have any questions about any of the chairs that we talk about or any of the issues that I bring up in this recording or anything at all about chairs, anything, feel free to reach out. We’re here to help you. Whether you buy the chair or not from us, we just want to help you get the right chair and help you get on your way and avoid problems down the road. Anyway, that’s it. I hope you have a Happy holiday. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We’ll see you in the New Year!



I’m sure next year is going to be an exciting year with new models, new things to learn, new things to know, and new technologies perhaps coming out of the manufacturers. We’re excited to be a part of sharing all that information with you. I’m Doctor Alan Weidner from Massage Chair Relief, and I will see you again in two weeks. Bye-bye.

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