I spent 4 days in Southern California last week visiting a couple of massage chair companies as well as checking out some other things relative to the business. I thought I’d give you a report of the visits.
I had a wonderful 2 hour visit with a group of folks, including CEO David Wood. We chatted about the Human Touch line, exciting things coming from them this year, the industry as a whole, as well as our plans at Massage Chair Relief for 2015. I just love talking shop with other folks in the industry. I always come away more excited about this industry and it’s future.
I also got to sit on their WholeBody 5.1 and 7.1 models…and I was pleasantly surprised at the bang for the buck for these lower priced chairs. Here are some things I noticed about the 7.1 that I really liked:
1. This chair has a warm air feature that disperses heated air through the porous chair back liner. I’ve never seen anything like this before and it was awesome! I could feel the heat throughout my thoracic and lumbar areas.
2. This chair, along with the 5.1 has calf rollers as well as foot rollers. Not many chairs that we carry have calf rollers so I found this fascinating for a lower priced model.
3. These models have a new roller technology, innovated by Human Touch, called FlexGlide. The rollers seemed smoother and covered a wider berth, particularly in the lumbar region below the ribs. A very comfortable massage.
4. The length of the roller track seemed exceptional, as it rolled from the top of my neck all the way down to the peri-sacral area. Many of the old-school HT chairs didn’t have a very long track and it was the low back that was cheated. Not any more.
5. The styling is very slick and contemporary. Holding true to their aesthetics first philosophy, Human Touch has created two low price models that look great!
I also learned that the new AcuTouch 8.0 Bali has more color options now, rather than just black. The color selection includes black, espresso, butter, and bone. I noticed on their website, that Human Touch is also just calling it the HT-Bali.
This model also has an extendable ottoman for taller folks. Although we just got our own Bali a few weeks ago in our showroom, I have not had a opportunity to try out the extendable foot massage with a taller customer just yet. But, I am looking forward to learning more about this chair and, of course, writing a review and posting videos.
Fujiiryoki has a store in San Gabriel, CA that has all their models on display. I spend an hour or so sitting on the EC3800 and EC3700 models. I actually am a distributor for them, but don’t carry their chairs on our site. I wanted to learn more about their chairs and their warranty support. I am still learning. The 3800 is their top of the line, Japanese-made chair. Besides Inada, Fujiiryoki is the only other chair line that comes from Japan and is manufactured there.
I was told that the 3700 is being discontinued and that the 3800 is their top chair. This company also carries a separate chinese-made line that I am not interested in carrying. It was the Japanese Fujiiryoki line that I went to see.
The ladies at the store were very gracious and kind, although they could not speak English very well. But, between hand gestures and a few English words we were able to communicate just fine. Here are the things I noticed about the EC3800:
1. It has a 3-tiered ottoman, which I’ve not seen before. The foot and calf massage was good, but the airbags deflating was quite noisy.
2. The foot massage did not have mechanical foot rollers, but a device protruding into the soles of my feet, ala the new Panasonic MA73.
3. The arm airbags had sequential airbag inflation and were open at the top for insertion of my arms, ala Titan TP-Pro Alpine.
5. Rear shoulder airbags pushed the shoulders forward, much like the Panasonic 30007, but more aggressive. Ergonomically, these types of shoulder airbags never made sense to me, as a chiropractor, as they tended to push the shoulders forward into the slumped shoulders position which was always so problematic in clinic.
6. The rollers reached down to the top of the buttocks and the peri-sacral area, which was good. The low back massage seemed weak at first, as it seemed the rollers were not meeting the forward curve of the lumbar spine very well. But, after adjusting the 3D rollers forward, they did a much better job.
The rollers also reached laterally very nicely in the lumbar spine.
7. The chair has a good neck and shoulder massage, with particular emphasis on the shoulders.
This is not a cheap chair, but the massage was quite good. I would not say it was as comfortable as the DreamWave, but a good massage and, of paramount importance to me, made in Japan with the accompanying superior quality of the Japanese designed and engineered chairs.