Mail Bag: DreamWave vs. MA73; chair for 6’4″ & 200 lbs.


Customer Question #1

I had a friend, who lives in Salt Lake City, visit your store this summer and he evaluated and recommended the Panasonic MA73 and Inada DreamWave massage chairs. Would you recommend one over the other for reliability, form or function?
I am in my 60’s and long ago realized you usually get what you pay for so buy once and buy right.

Thank you.

My Response #1

Inada DreamWave
Inada DreamWave

Hi, Mike
The DreamWave and MA73 are pretty equal as far as quality goes. Each has different features, pros and cons. Here are some things to consider:

1. Rollers are more vigorous on the MA73.
2. Heated rollers on the MA73, low back heating element in the DreamWave.
3. The MA73 has shoulder airbags, the DreamWave has upper arm airbags.
4. The Inada has the dreamwave technology where the seat moves from side to side and up and down, while the thigh airbags are inflating to massage the

Panasonic MA73 massage chair
Panasonic MA73

IlioTibial Bands and the rollers are hitting the low back. The MA73 does not have this feature, although it does have thigh airbags and a good low back roller massage.
5. The DreamWave has 100 airbags vs. 33 airbags in the MA73.
6. Stretch program is superior in the DreamWave (IMHO).
7. Arm airbag massage is superior in the MA73 (IMHO).
8. The DreamWave has the cervical traction device, which is a fancy title for the headpiece. That headpiece has airbags that massage the neck and compress on top of the shoulders.
9. The rollers of the MA73 actually reach up and over the top of the trapezia muscles at the top of the shoulders. The DreamWave uses airbags from the headpiece to massage the traps.
10. Both chairs have 3D roller massage technology (in other words, you can adjust the depth of the rollers for a more or less vigorous massage).
11. Customer support and warranty support for both chairs is now being handled by Furniture For Life, which is the distributor for both Inada and Panasonic in the USA. They actually send out a technician to repair your chair should anything go wrong with it.
12. Both chairs have 3 years parts and labor warranties and a less than 1% failure rate. Both chairs should also last you 15+ years. Great quality!!

I hope this helps. Let me know if these points bring up any other questions. I am always here at your disposal. One last thing…the DreamWave is a little better for taller bodies (can handle up to 6’5″ tall), whereas the MA73 is ideal for folks up to 6’3″.

Customer Question #2

Hi, I was wondering which massage chairs would you recommend for someone 5’10” to 6’4″, weighing 164 lbs to 200 lbs. Also for someone who works out at the gym so my shoulder and leg muscles can change. Has a deep tissue massage and for someone who has lumbar strain and neck and shoulder pain. These are the chairs I like: the Osaki JP Premium 4.0, Apex Ultra, uKnead Lavita, and the Infinity IT-8500.

My Response #2

uKnead Lavita massage chair
uKnead Lavita

Thanks for your email. All the chairs you mention are great chairs. They will all provide a good neck and shoulder massage. If you want a chair with the L-track, though, plus a good neck and shoulder massage, go with the uKnead Lavita. That is one of our top selling models right now and does a good all around job on the whole body.

The IT-8500 is an awesome chair, especially for the neck and shoulder area. The foot rollers are great and the stretch program is fantastic for anyone.

The Ultra will be too small for someone who is over 6’2″ tall, although it has a great neck and shoulder massage and a strong overall massage.

The Osaki JP Premium 4.0 is a good quality chair. Made in Japan, it is a better quality chair than all the other options you’re looking at. It is not ideal for someone over 6′ tall, so you might need to try it out before buying it to make sure it fits. It is manufactured by Fujiiryoki, the oldest massage chair company in the world.

I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to email or call me at 801-651-2026. I am always at your disposal.

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.

Foot & Calf Massage: What and How

foot calf airbags
foot calf airbags
foot calf airbags
Foot & Calf Massage

In 2014 I wrote an article discussing the different kinds of shoulder massage that is available on different massage chairs. In that article, I had to break down the different types of shoulder airbags and massage mechanisms employed by those airbags and what areas of the “shoulder” region are massaged by the differnet types of airbags. It can get confusing when someone asks if a chair has shoulder massage.

Well, everyone knows what the calf and foot is, so answering the question of whether a massage chair has calf and foot massage is moot. But, what does matter is the type of foot and calf massage a chair can offer. That is what this article will address.

    1. Airbags – These have been the most common form of foot and calf “massage” in the past. As a matter of fact, all the Japanese-made massage chairs still only use airbags in the feet and calves. Airbags are used primarily for compression of the inside and outside of the legs and feet. The compression affects the musculature as well as the joints (feet). Some chairs also use airbags behind the calves to push rubber nobules into the belly of the gastrocnemius musles, aka your calf muscles. Some chairs use airbags underneath the feet to do the same. I put quotation marks around the word “massage” because some would say that compressing the feet and calves is not truly massage. It can be therapeutic, no doubt, but it may be a stretch to call that compression a massge. The iRobotics 7 and the Fujiiryoki 3800 also employ a stacked calf airbag massage mechanism. Instead of the more traditional one calf massage mechanism, these models have two calf massage components stacked on top of each other. This allows for broader contact and massage for the calves as well as massage closer to the knee joint.
    2. RollersFoot rollers (under the soles of the feet) have become quite popular in the Chinese-made chairs. The American-made iRobotics 7 massage chair also employs foot rollers, but the Japanese chairs do not have them yet. I think they are a great feature and, used in concert with the foot airbags, offer a great experience for the user. Some chairs, i.e. Apex Ultra and Titan TP-8400, have strong airbags pushing down on the feet which can become very intense when combined with the foot rollers. Sometimes adjustments to the air pressure need to be made to make it bearable. But, for pretty much all chairs with foot rollers, they can be turned off too if it gets to be too much. Some other chairs, like the Osaki Dreamer, Cyber, 7200CR, and 4oooT, have foot rollers that are quite light. Chairs can have anywhere from 2-6 rollers per foot, which can affect the way the rollers feel. For all the talk of reflexology in the alternative health care world, the foot rollers really fit nicely in that conversation.
      Human Touch Navitas Sleep
      Navitas Sleep

      Calf rollers are a fairly new feature that we are seeing more of, but still not nearly as popular yet as the foot rollers have become. The two chairs that we carry with calf rollers are the Apex Ultra and the Human Touch Navitas Sleep. Here is the difference 1.) the Apex Ultra has a round disc behind the belly of each calf muscle that spins around and rubs that spot of the calf muscle (gastrocnemius). It is a nice feature but after a while it can become annoying after some time of spinning in the same spot on your muscles. You cannot turn it off like you can the foot rollers, and 2.) the Navitas Sleep actually has calf rollers that roll up and down the sides of each lower leg to give you a phenomenal massage. It can be intense, but man is it cool, in my honest opinion, and I think it is a phenomenal feature for athletes and folks who stand on their feet all day. Incidentally, both of these models that have calf rollers also have foot rollers and airbags or paddles (Human Touch – see below).

    3. Paddles – This is a feature exclusive to Human Touch chairs. It is a patented technology that uses soft rubber, molded “paddles” that move in a wave-like pattern to enhance circulation of the blood and lymph in the feet and calves. It is really quite remarkable. It is quite different from airbag technology and you’ll understand what I’m saying the moment you sit in the chair and use it.

That’s about it for my insights to the foot and calf massage options available out there. I hope it helps in some way.

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.

Review of the Apex Ultra Massage Chair (Part 2)

AP-Pro Ultra
AP-Pro Ultra
Apex Ultra
Apex Ultra

In Part 2 of my review, I’d like to go over the actual massage experience of the Apex Ultra massage chair.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on the chair (and I must say that I started with Auto program #1, which is “Deep Tissue”), was how intense the rollers were…especially in the neck and shoulder regions. I find a lot of chairs don’t have a lot of kick in the neck area and customers who like deep tissue massage in that area could be left wanting. But, this chair has quite a vigorous massage up there. Continue reading “Review of the Apex Ultra Massage Chair (Part 2)”

Review of the Apex Ultra Massage Chair (Part 1)

AP-Pro Ultra
AP-Pro Ultra
Apex Ultra
Apex Ultra

The new Apex Ultra massage chair is a great L-track offering in the under $3,000 price range. Originally priced at $4395 when it came to market, the competitive landscape for this chair forced the price drop. Osaki/Titan owns the Apex brand and has brought us an L-track chair with a great bang-for-the-buck.

L-track, for those of you who are wondering what I am talking about, is the commonly used term to describe an extended roller track that goes beyond the neck, mid-back, and low back, and extends down to the buttocks and top of the hamstrings. I personally think the L-track is the biggest innovation in our industry in years, perhaps even decades. Yes, bigger than foot rollers, 3D rollers, and zero gravity. Continue reading “Review of the Apex Ultra Massage Chair (Part 1)”

Mail Bag – Inada Flex 3S vs. IT-8500; Laundry List of Needs; Chair for 4’11”

email sign with mouse
email sign with mouse

emailQuestion #1
Dr. Weidner I never thought I’d consider a massage chair due to the prohibitive cost for me. I’ve owned all sorts of cheaper massage gadgets over the years for tight muscles. I have very little flexibility in my muscles and have had two cervical spinal fusions with the last being in 12/13. I am fused C3-7 now. I also have lower lumbar tightness.

I’m a Teacher’s Assistant who works with developmentally disabled adults who doesn’t make a lot of money and I’m very careful how I spend my money. It then hit me in brookstone why don’t I invest in something that will benefit my health. This raised my budget from $1000-$3000 That being said I wasn’t going to go crazy. Being price conscious I first looked at Brookstone’s $1200 osim ustyle 2 chairs which gave a great rougher roller back, neck and foot massage but the chair wasn’t big and it wasn’t too comfortable. It was a really narrow small chair. I then tried the Osim divine S $3200 which was great in those same ways, but didn’t have Zero gravity. The Astro 2 $3800 had Zero gravity and stretch but the massage was real soft so I was left confused. I could buy a refurbished brookstone chair to lower cost but I hadn’t tried any others and heard that brookstone didn’t have great customer service if something broke.

I decided to do some research. I came across your massage chair relief site which is a wonderful resource, but my main dilemma has been that besides brookstone in Syracuse N.Y. there is no other place to try chairs out. As you know there are tons of chairs online. I also am not a big flyer so as much as I would love to travel to your store it would be hard given the time of year (school). I went to the recent New York State fair and tried some cozzia chairs last week in the 2-4 thousand range (my range) and wasn’t very impressed and then tried the Flex 3 inada chair which was a revelation. The roller was so wide across my back and the stretch was unbelievable, but the foot part wasn’t working at the time. The other chairs really did feel amateurish compared to the inada. It seems like the rollers were so smooth and well put together. The salesmen there though were very aggressive and after 10 minutes wanted a buy decision. Would anything compare to the inada for $6500 which was way out of my budget? Besides the inada wasn’t zero gravity and I didn’t get to feel the foot massage.

I’ve been looking at your site and amazon and reading reviews. It’s very important to me that if I am going to spend the money even 3-4 thousand that the company be reputable if there is a problem. This is what I’m looking for in a chair:

1. A tougher massage that I can pinpoint and adjust to certain areas to work out knots

2. The upper shoulder, neck and scapula region is very important to me.

3. The lower lumbar region is very important to me

4. The foot massage is very important to me. I like a stronger roller foot massage.

5. I’d like a zero gravity chair

6. I’d like a chair that can give a good stretch similar to the inada flex and works on posture

7. I’d like a 3D roller chair

8. Reputable company to back it up.

What I don’t care about so much is:

1. music

2. lights

3. Vibrational massage isn’t that effective for me

4. Soft massage

5. Forearm, and hand massage isn’t that important to me.

I’m wondering if in my price range 3-4 thousand anything can compare to the Inada feel of the flex 3 with the additional features I’m looking for. I wonder if you can help shed some light on this for me. What is your opinion of the Brookstone chairs? Thanks in advance Chip from Syracuse N.Y.

My Response #1


Hi, Chip
Thanks for your email. After reading your email and considering your pain presentation as well as your list of must-haves, I would strongly recommend that you consider the Infinity IT-8500. It has everything you are asking for, except for the 3D rollers. But, it defaults to a very intense, vigorous roller. You can make it less intense by using a pillow, pad, or folded up blanket. It has everything else you need. Great chair. It is our top selling Chinese-made chair. It’s not an Inada, but it is a very popular chair for our shoppers…particularly those who come to our showroom and try a bunch of chairs out. Continue reading “Mail Bag – Inada Flex 3S vs. IT-8500; Laundry List of Needs; Chair for 4’11””

Massage Chair Industry Update – May 19, 2015 (Video)

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golden microphone

Quick Hits – New iRobotics 6SL brown color; Apex Regent=Johnson J6800

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rss-icon-1-970189-mHere are a couple of things to know that have recently come to light in the massage chair industry:

1. Luraco has changed the brown color of it’s iRobotics 6SL chair to a lighter, more chocolate-colored brown. And, when I say chocolate, I mean chocolate. In the words of Luraco, it is the color of a Snickers bar. Brown can mean a lot of different things to different people, from light brown to dark brown, to coffee brown, to yellowish brown, to chocolate brown, etc., etc. Every massage chair company has their own version or description of brown. Continue reading “Quick Hits – New iRobotics 6SL brown color; Apex Regent=Johnson J6800”

My Visit to Osaki/Titan & Luraco in Dallas, TX!

texas-flag-1192380-mI returned to Texas last week to visit my friends at Luraco and Osaki/Titan companies. I spent Tuesday afternoon at Luraco checking out their new iRobotics 7 massage chair and Wednesday morning visiting Osaki to check out their new “digs” and the new Apex massage chair line, which they just introduced…particularly the Apex Ultra. I had a wonderful time and learned an awful lot about these new chairs. Continue reading “My Visit to Osaki/Titan & Luraco in Dallas, TX!”