Inada Nest Massage Chair Review

Inada Nest Massage Chair
Inada Nest Massage Chair

We welcomed the new Inada Nest massage chair to our California showroom a couple of months ago and I finally had the chance to sit on it for an extended period of time last week when I was spending the day at the showroom. Here are my observations:

  1. Right off the bat, especially lined up with our other massage chairs, I noticed how much smaller
    Inada Nest massage chair
    Inada Nest (right)

    the Nest is. It certainly does not leave a large footprint! The picture to the right shows the Nest next to a larger, more bulky Infinity IT-8500 and you can see that it is shorter and not as deep. The Inada Nest does not have a space saving feature, so you will need to place the chair 16″ or so away from the wall.

  2. The remote control looks virtually the same as that of the Inada Flex 3S. As a matter of fact, at first glance the whole chair is quite reminiscent of the Flex 3S. The buttons on the remote control are also similar to those of the Flex 3S remote.
    Inada Nest massage chair
    Inada Nest Remote Control

    One thing I thought was kinda handy was the remote storage space on the chair. It is built into the frame of the chair on the right hand side so that all you need to do is slide the remote into the slot and you are good to go.

  3. The rollers are very quiet and smooth. I noticed that immediately and loved it. This roller system on this chair offer the strongest massage of any of the current Inada models. You will notice that right away. There is no shortage of intensity with these bad boys…plus you can use the 3D roller intensity adjustment to make the massage stronger or weaker, to your liking.The rollers, if you recall from my previous discussions about the Nest, have the “pumpkin-shaped” surface. I’m not sure how much that had to do with the stronger intensity of
    Inada Nest massage chair
    Inada Nest Remote Holder

    the roller experience, but the rollers really did a number on my levator scapulae muscles…and I mean that in a good way! The levator scapulae muscles are the ones that begin at the top of your shoulder blade and go all the way up your neck. It is the muscle you usually dig into when you reach to your opposite shoulder and try to work out the knots. This chair does a great job with those muscles. A great all-around roller massage from this chair.

  4. The chair does not automatically recline to a default position when you turn on the chair and choose a program. You have to adjust the positioning yourself. Not a big deal, but it is a bit of extra work that you will need to do when you begin a massage session.
  5. One feature that is lacking in most massage chairs is the arm massage. The Inada Nest offers a
    inada nest massage chair
    Arm Aircells

    great, full coverage arm massage. The hand, wrist, and forearm have 3 airbags (or aircells, as Inada prefers to call them) that comprehensively cover the whole forearm. Then, the chair has another aircell for the bicep region, similar to the Inada DreamWave, as well as shoulder airbags, like the Flex 3S, for posture correction. I was quite pleased with the whole upper extremity airbag coverage.

  6. The head/neck pillow uses weights on either side of the neck to keep the pillow weighted down so that it doesn’t move up when the rollers hit that area. This is a source of frustration for many massage chair owners.
  7. The rollers also do a great job on the rhomboid muscles, which is the area between the spine and the shoulder blades. This is a common area of stress for folks with poor posture or folks who sit at a desk all day, or someone who does a lot of upper body repetitive stress stuff. The rollers dig into the whole area, working it thoroughly from left to right. It also uses a shiatsu modality quite effectively with the rollers here as well. To be honest, I felt my bones “pop” between my shoulder blades more on this chair than any other I’ve sat in.
  8. The rollers also do a great job on the lumbar and thoraco-lumbar region. They actually reach all the way down to the Sacro-Iliac joint and the top of the buttocks. Not an L-track, but the rollers reach down nicely to the top of the buttock area.
  9. The air cells that inflate underneath the soles of the feet feel fantastic. None of the Inada chairs,
    inada nest massage chair
    Calf massage

    or any of the Japanese chairs for that matter, have foot rollers. But, the airbags feel great. The calf airbag mechanism has a slot for each leg into which you can place a hard rubber plate with nodules on the surface. This provides a trigger point compression massage on the anterior tibialis muscles of the front shins. Great idea. Surprised I’ve not seen that much in the past.

  10. Finally, to address the 3DLR rollers, which is Inada’s innovation that allows separate, independent movement of the left rollers from the right rollers, it really did feel like the left and right rollers were working a little different from each other. Maybe my musculature was tighter on one side of my spine than the other, which facilitated a different movement of the rollers from one side to the other.

Well, that’s it in a nutshell. Overall, I really like this chair. Fantastic massage. If you want foot and calf rollers, or L-track, or zero gravity, you won’t get those in this Inada chair…or any Japanese-made chair, for that matter. But, for a fantastic, thorough, nuanced, and sophisticated massage, the Inada Nest does a fabulous job!

Dr. Alan Weidner

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Massage Chairs Roller System: 2 Rollers vs. 4 Rollers

Quad Rollers
Quad Rollers
Roller Track
Roller Track

Pretty much all massage chairs that are not 100% airbag chairs have a roller system. The roller system goes up and down the spine, from the neck down to as far as the buttock muscles. The roller system consists of a roller track, one or two roller arms, roller “balls”, and an engine to move the roller mechanism up and down the spine electronically.

The roller “ball” unit is attached to the end of one or two massage arms, which in turn is attached to the track and moves up and down the spine. The roller “balls” come in either dual or quad arrangements. Dual rollers alludes to 2 rollers, one on each side of the spine, that do all the massaging. Quad rollers, or 4 rollers, have two rollers on each side of the spine. The roller balls work as a unit to go up and down the spine simultaneously to simulate massaging hands working the muscles on either side of the spine symmetrically.

Until recently, each ball moved in concert with the other ball(s); the pressure was equal on both sides of the spine. The new Inada Nest is the first massage chair to have the balls on either side of the spine work independently of each other for varying pressure depending on the tightness of the muscles on each side.

I want to talk about the difference between the dual and quad rollers. The vast majority of massage chairs have quad rollers (2 on each side of the spine). A relatively small group of chairs have the dual rollers, i.e. Luraco iRobotics 7, Ogawa Smart 3D, the Osaki JP 4S and 4D models, Apex Regent, and  the now discontinued Navitas Sleep from Human Touch.

Quad Rollers
Quad Rollers

My experience of the two types of roller systems is that the dual rollers tend to be more aggressive, providing a deeper, more intense massage experience, while the quad rollers have a lighter, broader contact massage. You would think that more rollers (4) would give a more intense massage than less rollers (2). This is not to say that the quad roller system doesn’t offer an intense massage. Many 4-roller massage chairs do provide exactly that, but the dual roller system seems to dig a bit more into the spinal muscles. Let me explain why:

The roller track is fixed in an S shape. The roller arm is

Ogawa Smart 3D
Ogawa Smart 3D

what protrudes from the track into the spinal muscles. The force that “transmits” from the roller arm onto the roller balls and then into the muscles is dispersed among the roller balls. The greater the number of roller balls, the greater the dispersion of the massage force among the roller balls. The smaller the number of roller balls, the less the dispersion of the massage force. All the force and energy of the roller mechanism is channeled through two balls instead of four, which makes for more force going into the spinal muscles.

This is why chairs with dual rollers tend to feel more aggressive, as though the rollers are digging deeper into the spinal muscles. It is because the massage force and energy from the massaging mechanism is directed through only two roller balls.

If you sit on a chair with quad rollers and then sit on a chair with dual rollers you will notice a couple of things about the dual rollers:

  1. the rollers feel like they are digging deeper into the musculature, and
  2. you will feel like the roller massage is much more specific and localized.

If you prefer a deeper, more intense massage you may want to consider checking out a chair with dual rollers. Although quad massage chairs, particularly those with 3D roller depth adjustment, can still offer a very intense massage, it will never quite feel as deep or as intense or as localized as those with the dual rollers.

I hope this made sense!

Dr. Alan Weidner

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Inada Nest – April 1, 2017 Launch

Inada Nest massage chair
Inada Nest massage chair

The New Inada Nest Massage Chair

I spoke of the Inada Nest massage chair in my video recording of my visit to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January. It is a new model from Inada that has some pretty cool features, which I will get into below. Inada just announced that they are taking pre-orders of this new model prior to the April 1, 2017 launch date. You can see the video, and the demo from my Inada rep, here…

I was quite impressed with this chair. It looks a lot like a hybrid between the Inada DreamWave, which has been Inada’s flagship chair since it overwhelmed the market 8 years ago, and the Flex 3S, a smaller chair with a very mild massage and awesome stretch function.

But, a few of the features of this new model really separate it from it’s predecessors:

  1. 3D LR Roller technology – This feature employs quad rollers, with the left two and the right two rollers acting independent of each other, in terms of mobility along the spine. Imagine a car that has independent suspension for the left and right wheels. That is kinda like what the Inada Nest has in terms of the roller system. In my mind, I see this being of great benefit particularly for folks with a spinal curvature. Undoubtedly, there is an imbalance of the musculature on either side of the spinal curvature that would merit different attention from the left and right side rollers. One side may be hypertonic (tight) and the opposite compensatory side may have more flaccid (loose) muscles. This chair will address those differences with 3D LR feature.
  2. Redesigned Roller Balls – Honestly, I’m somewhat surprised that his hasn’t been invented before
    Inada Nest Rollers
    Inada Nest Rollers

    now. It is quite ingenious but seems intuitively appropriate for a massage chair. Rather than having smooth surfaced roller balls, the roller system uses a “corrugated” or ridged roller ball surface. To me, the texture reminds me of a small pumpkin with it’s typical ridges around the sides. When I sat on the chair at CES, the rollers really felt like they were digging deeper into the levator scapulae muscles (top of the shoulder blades) better than most other chairs. I couldn’t help but think that the ridged roller balls were contributing to that deeper massage feel.

  3. Self-Adjusting Headrest – Another feature that makes intuitive sense. When the chair back inclines or reclines, the headrest will move with the body to make sure it stays behind the user’s head, regardless of the height of the user. In many massage chairs, when the chair reclines fully, the headrest gets pulled up higher than the head of the user. Can be irritating and frustrating when you are trying to relax and not worry about your body positioning.
  4. Targeted Shin Massage – The Nest has a calf massage that not only wraps around the greater part of the circumference of the calves, but also has nodules in the front-most part of the air cells that dig into the shin muscles (anterior tibialis) when the air cells inflate. This provides a shin massage similar to how the foot nobules massage the feet of non-foot roller chairs. If you run a lot and/or have shin splints, this is a very interesting feature.

The new Inada Nest also has these other features, more typical of most massage chairs:

Inada Nest massage chair
Inada Nest Massage Chair
  1. 64 aircells
  2. 11 auto programs
  3. Full arm massage (similar to the DreamWave)
  4. Whole body scanning
  5. Can fit users 5’0″ to 6’2″ tall

I’m looking forward to having this model in both of our showrooms in April. Once we have them there, I will provide a more comprehensive review of the chair.

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.

New Massage Chair Models at CES!

CES
CES

I visited Las Vegas from January 5-7 this month to meet with a bunch of the companies who supply the massage chairs we sell. I had the chance to meet with Inada, Infinity, Luraco, Human Touch, and uKnead. It was a great visit and I got some good video footage of some new models. The video is below, but here are the highlights for your perusal:

  1. Inada has a new model coming out in April called the Inada Nest. It will be priced at $5999 and has some pretty cool features that we’ve not seen before in a massage chair. First of all, the rollers are “pumpkin” shaped in that there are ridges on the massage rollers. It makes for a somewhat different massage experience, particularly in the top of the shoulders area. I really felt those rollers hit my levator scapulae muscles (tight muscles at the top of your shoulder blades).Secondly, the Inada Nest has quad rollers, each side of which are independent of each other. In other words, the left and right rollers work independently of each other as the rollers go up and down the spine. In my mind’s eye, the practical application of this would be for spines that have muscles imbalances from right to left, i.e. scoliosis perhaps. The rollers would address the hypertonicity of each side as differently as the muscle tightness might be from side to side. Pretty cool, actually.
  2. Luraco introduced it’s new 3D L-track chair, the Luraco Legend. This chair won’t be available until the 3rd or 4th quarter of this year, but it will be the first non-Chinese made L-track chair, which is interesting. It will be priced at $6499. Some of it’s features include a 58″ roller track, which actually massaged the belly of my hamstrings (I’ve never had an L-track reach that low down my thigh), 3D rollers that have separate intensity adjustments for different areas of your spine (in other words, you can make the neck massage stronger than that of the low back and/or buttock area), foot rollers, and can handle taller bodies as well as shorter bodies just like the iRobotics 7 does.
  3. Human Touch introduced their Novo XT around the beginning of the holiday season in 2016, but they never had inventory until the end of December. Now, they are out and about and there were some on display at CES. We actually have a floor model in each of our showrooms. Great chair. It is a 3D L-track chair that can handle taller bodies and has a very easy remote control to use, plus a lot of automatic programs to play with. It has foot rollers and Bluetooth, as well as a space saving feature. You can check out the chair already on our website.
  4. uKnead is introducing a new model, called the Lohas, to their line up. At this point, we only carry their L-track Lavita, which has been a pretty steady seller. The Lohas will also be an L-track, but has a sleeker body design. It also includes calf rollers, foot rollers, calf airbags that can flip up and massage the knees, quick access keys on the right armrest to control the positioning of the chair without having to fiddle with the remote control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a space saving feature. It will be priced at approximately $3895 and it will not be available until April.

Here is the video of my visit to CES with some conversations with the company folks talking about their new chairs…

I hope you found this interesting and helpful!

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.