Massage Chair Industry Update – March 24, 2016 (Video)

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Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – March 24, 2016”

microphoneAlan: Hi, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com’ and today is our biweekly massage chair industry update for Thursday, March 24th, 2016, and not a whole lot to talk about today. Of course, I always say that, and I end up yakking forever, but here’s the things that we’ve got cooking.

[SCREEN TEXT: Stock Status]

Alan: Let me get in to stock just briefly. I emailed the massage chair companies last night for information about their stock, and the only one I heard back from was Infinite Therapeutics, so – or Infinity now, as they’re more commonly known as, they have the – oh, and then Human Touch also notified me that the WholeBody 5.1 is out of stock. They didn’t have an estimated time of arrival of the new models. So, that’s the Human Touch WholeBody 5.1. They discontinued the ZeroG 2.0, and I think they’re also discontinuing the Human Touch 7450, so there are some changes there. Now, Infinity, they’ve discontinued the ‘Ivory’ IT-8500, they’ve discontinued the Iyashi, white exterior with the caramel interior, and they’ve discontinued the IT-8100, but I’m going to talk about a new model that they just introduced, to kind of replace that one, and I’ll talk about that in a moment, and also, the black on black Iyashi is just on back-order. So, that’s the only chair they have on back-order, and that’s back-ordered for two to three weeks. As far as Inada goes, I think they’re all in stock there. I haven’t heard of any other Human Touch chairs that’re back-ordered. Osaki, Titan, and, Apex, I never really quite know until I place the order, if they’re back-ordered. I believe the Ogawa chairs are all in stock. I think the Ogawa Refresh was back-ordered until the middle of March, I believe that’s in stock now. So, anyway, if you have any questions about stock at the time of purchasing any particular model, let us know, and I will say that sometimes we think that they’re in stock, or that we’re told that they’re in stock, and then you know, a week later, someone places an order, and then we send the order in, and they tell us ‘Oh, that’s back-ordered.’ Well, sometimes they don’t know fully if the chairs are back-ordered or not, at the moment – well, let me put it to you this way – at the time that they tell me that they’re stocked, or not stocked, I believe that, but the stock could disappear in a day or two, or three, or four after I do this recording. So, a week from now, the stock may be gone, and we’ll let you know if the stock, if it’s back-ordered, and usually it doesn’t take longer than one or two weeks, except for the Infinity Escape, which took like two-and-a-half months. January, February, oh my goodness, yeah, we didn’t – we got it, January, February, half of March – yeah, it was two-and-a-half months. That’s rare, that’s very bothersome to me as a retailer, and very bothersome to my customers, but sometimes that happens. So, anyway, having said that, let’s move on.

[SCREEN TEXT: New Infinity IT-8500X3 & Infinity Evoke]

Alan: Infinity, now, I told you that they were discontinuing – or that they discontinued the IT-8100 – well, they’ve made a couple of exciting announcements, one of which is very interesting to me. The Infinity IT-8500, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Infinity IT-8500 is a Chinese-made chair, all the Infinity, and Osaki, and Human Touch, they’re all Chinese chairs, but their chair, the IT-8500, has been our top selling Chinese chair for as long as I’ve been selling it. I figure that’s probably five, maybe five years, and our top selling Chinese brand, or Chinese model, made model. It just continues to be a popular chair, and the one thing that it lacked, in my humble opinion, was – it was a – it didn’t have the 3D rollers. Well, people were fine with that, because, and I’ll talk about this a little later as well, as far as adjusting intensity, for a chair that does not have 3D rollers, but this chair, the IT-8500, very popular chair, good bang for the buck. It was priced, for the longest time, at $3995. Now, it’s $4295; still a very good price, for a good feature set in a chair. Well, they’ve come out now, with the new IT-8500X3, and that has – and the X3 alludes to the 3D technology – so it has the same fit, and same body. I’m just looking at the thing here, excuse me, the spec sheets, and let you know what they have. They’ve got new 3D auto programs, they’ve got an auto extend neck feature, they’ve got five 3D intensity levels. Let’s see the chair is going to be selling – it’s going to be retailing for $5795, with a $300 off promo code, so that’s – instant savings, that is, so it’s $5495. So, it’s going to be $1200 more than the IT-8500, which will have the – but it’ll have the 3D rollers, it has – oh, it says here also, it has the Bluetooth compatibility. You know, the 8500 has the older, you know, download your music to a jump drive on your computer, and then plug it in to the USB port in the back of the IT-8500. Well, now it’s going to have Bluetooth connectivity, which is great because you can just connect from your cell phone, and play your music. It has a sleeker, redesigned remote, so I don’t know what sleeker looks like, but I know the remote right now, it’s a fairly, good rectangular shape. It’s a good size, easy to see, but we’ll see how it looks, and it still has the decompression stretch, and spinal alignment. They call it spinal alignment, it’s the shoulder airbags that pin the shoulders back. The stretch program on the IT-8500 is awesome, the neck massage, awesome, foot rollers, awesome, it’s a great chair. So, I’m very curious to see how this new IT-8500X3 is, and I’ll let you know once I find out more about it. I’m sure we’re going to get it in one of our showrooms – but one, maybe both of our showrooms – but definitely we’ll have it in the California showroom. Anyway, there’s another new model they’re sending out, or introducing now, to the market, called the Evoke, E-V-O-K-E, Evoke, and here are the basic features – and again, I’m sorry for not looking at the camera, I’m just looking at the stat sheet that they sent me – zero gravity, deep tissue massage, space saver, airbags from head to toe, well, everybody seems to have that, lumbar heat, foot rollers, heel rubber, and I think that’s the same thing that they have in their Escape, which is their lower priced L-track chair. And that heel rubber kind of – it’s a great foot massage – and I don’t know if it’s going to have the same six rollers per foot that the Escape has, but the heel rubber is pretty cool, as it grabs the heel, and gives that a massage. So, anyway, that’s the Evoke, and that one’s going to be selling for $2695, so it’s going to compete price wise, with the Osaki 4000T. The Osaki 4000T is a real – it’s a workhorse, it’s been around forever – it doesn’t fit some people very well. I’ve found that the Osaki 4000T, and probably the 4000 that you can get on Costco, the Dreamer, the Osaki Dreamer, and the Osaki 7200H, and 7200CR, they have shoulder airbag housing that’s a hard stop, and so what’ll happen is when you sit in the chair, and then you put your arms out, to go in to the armrests for airbag massage, the bottom of the housing, the shoulder airbag housing, digs in to your upper arms, and it can be quite uncomfortable. It’s worse on the Osaki 4000T, and the Osaki 4000, not as bad on the Dreamer, or on the 7200 series, but it is burdensome for a large, broad-shouldered person to sit in that bloody chair, it becomes irritating. Well, this is a chair, $2695, that kind of competes with the 4000T. It has the deep tissue massage, the 4000T is the more moderate, mild massage, this Evoke seems to be more deep tissue. It’s a space saving technology, none of the Osaki 4000, or 4000T models, have it, lumbar heat, foot rollers, the foot rollers on the Osaki 4000T are pretty mild. I suspect with Infinity, knowing their other chairs, it’s going to be a good, intense foot massage. Anyway, that’s the new Evoke, so I don’t know if I’m going to be having that in my showroom either, maybe I will. The 4000T is kind of an older technology, it’s been around for years. That’s kind of – that was the flagship chair for the Osaki brand, and then, of course, they’ve now got so many other models, and model – brand lines, and you know, whatever, so anyway, just so that you know.

[SCREEN TEXT: Update on the SoCal Showroom]

Alan: Alright, what else have we got cooking? Let’s see, oh, our Southern California store, I was just down there last week. We were doing some recording for a television commercial. Well, our walls are still as bare as the day is long, I mean, and they’re long walls. So, the guy that did our buildout is going to put up some sconce lighting for us, and some nice trim, and we’ll put up some pictures, and you know, we’ll have Mona kind of pick some nice artwork, or whatever, or maybe some nice pictures of massage chairs, heaven forbid, and we’ll put that up on the wall to kind of make the wall look a little busier. But I’ll take the videotape of that when we have that done, and it’ll look sharp, but we’ll post that up for you to take a look at, but that Southern California store is a nice store. I like it, it’s wider than our store here in Utah, it’s deeper than our store here in Utah. You feel like you can have more than one person in there at a time, looking at chairs, but I really like that store, great store, and great staff. So, go down and meet Michael and Chris, they’re just awesome, and for those of you that don’t know, and of course, if you’re only Vietnamese speaking, you’re not going to understand a word of what I’m saying now, but Michael Nguyen is our showroom manager, and he’s bilingual, Vietnamese and English. And so, you know, feel free to give us a call at that – at our, well, here – our number there is 562-865-4607, 562-865-4607. Go ahead and call, and you can talk to Michael, if you’re Vietnamese, of course, talk to him, but for Anglos, you can talk to Michael or Chris.

[SCREEN TEXT: Massage Chair Tip!]

Alan: And one last thing I’ll chitchat about, just – you know, I should do this every one of these video recordings – these biweekly updates, I should give like a massage chair tip, or something like that. But one thing that people – I tell people, all the time, about in our showroom is how to use – how to change the intensity of a massage chair if it’s too intense for you, and you don’t have the 3D rollers. Even if you do have 3D rollers – by the way, 3D rollers mean that the rollers can move forward or back to increase, or decrease, the intensity of the massage – well, what do you do if the lowest intensity setting of the 3D roller is still too much? Or, what do you do if you’ve got a chair like the IT-8500, which is a deep-tissue massage chair, but it doesn’t have the intensity adjustment ability, it doesn’t have the 3D rollers, or now it does, but if you can’t get it low enough? Well, what we always recommend is using something that we call a throw blanket. Now, I don’t know if you know what a throw blanket is, but a throw blanket is like a decorative blanket that a lot of people use for, you know, to decorate a couch, or a chair, and these massage chairs aren’t the prettiest things in the world, so a lot of people use throw blankets to kind of, you know, try to camouflage the chair. But well, you can use that throw blanket, if you fold it up in quarters, or whatever, and you use that as a back pad. It’ll, you know, lay it down the length of the chair, and use that as a back pad. It’s a wonderful way to do it, because sometimes people use pillows, like sleeping, bed pillows, or couch, decorative pillows. They’re too thick, you’re not going to feel much massage at all. So, you know, if you can get a thin foam pad, or something like that, that’d be great, a memory foam pad, like the iRobotics 7 comes with a memory foam pad now, which is great, but just use a throw blanket, it’s awesome. Plus, if you’re the decorator of the house, and you look at that chair, and you go ‘Oh my goodness, that is butt ugly,’ and you want to change the look of it, use a throw blanket for that too. Anyway, there’s my intensity adjustment advice, and my decorative advice, which is so amazing.

[SCREEN TEXT: 888-259-5380]

Alan: Well, I think that just about does it for this week. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 888-259-5380, there you go, and of course, you can always email me, comment on our YouTube channel, or on our Facebook page, or you can go on our chat software, whatever. You can always reach me, and if you don’t get directly to me, I will always call you back, but anyway, feel free to give us a call. If you found this video helpful, please feel free to thumbs up ‘Like’ us on YouTube, and of course, share this, or any of our other videos, on your social media platforms to help us spread the word about massage chairs, we appreciate that. Massage chairs are kind of a new thing, relatively infantile in its stage of development here in the United States, and we appreciate you helping us spread the word about it, because this is a great thing. Duh, that’s why I do it. Well, anyway, I’m Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com,’ and I will see you in two weeks. Bye bye.

Click on the following link to watch this Massage Chair Industry Update on our YouTube channel.

Infinity Escape Review!

Infinity Escape
Infinity Escape

Escape_Brown_sideThe long awaited arrival of this new offering from Infinite Therapeutics, the Infinity Escape, is finally here. We received ours at our Southern California showroom over a week ago. I actually set it up myself and spent quite some time on it to get a good feel for it for this review. Here are my thoughts on this model:

1. Set Up/Assembly

The chair took some time to set up. The shoulder airbags, hip airbags, ottoman, and arm rests all came in separate boxes and had to each be attached/assembled. The assembly was not terribly difficult…and that’s coming from a man who is not a fixer-upper person by any stretch of the imagination. I found the pictures in the owner’s manual to be too small to make out the detail of some of the parts being assembled, but I figured it out anyways.

The shoulder airbags took a little figuring out to get them locked in, but, again, I figured it out.

2. Comfortable Fit

When I first sat in the chair, before turning it on, I found it to be a very comfortable fit. It was not too narrow, as with some chairs, but it seemed to fit me quite comfortably. I am 5’9″ tall and about 185 lbs. No problem fitting. This chair can handle taller and wider bodies because of the broader seat and shoulder airbags as well as the longer chair back.

Infinity Escape Remote
Infinity Escape Remote

3. Remote Control

The remote control has a very simple button and screen layout. The screen is quite easy to use and seemed to be patterned somewhat after the remote control of the Infinity Iyashi. Don’t be fooled, though, by the simple remote layout. Once you get into the screen menu, you will see that this chair has a lot of versatility and can do so much more than what you might be led to believe when you first take the remote in your hands.

For example, the chair shows only 4 auto programs when you first go to the auto menu: Recover, Relief, Stretch, and Renew. But, then you have the option for “Special Programs”, which gives you 5 more auto programs to choose from, for a total of 9 auto programs. So, this chair actually has 5 more auto programs than the Infinity 8500 and Iyashi.

This chair has 10, 20, or 30′ timer increments and also allows the instructions to be viewed in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, as well as English.

One thing I almost forgot…on the remote there is a button labeled “Quick Relaxation”. Press that button and the chair goes into a nice, soothing auto program without the use having to go into the auto programs to select a program. Push one button and you are good to go!

4. Roller Massage

This chair has the extended roller track (aka L-Track), which allows for the buttocks to be massaged as well as the back and neck. I found the roller massage intensity to be moderate and very comfortable. It was not too intense, yet not too soft. It was, as Goldilocks would say, “just right”!

I found the neck roller massage to be a little soft in the auto programs, but when I went to the manual settings and moved the rollers up to the neck, I found it very intense. So, if you want a strong neck massage, don’t be discouraged during the auto programs…the manual settings will provide more than enough kick for your neck area. By the way, it did a great job at the base of the skull. Great news for stress headache sufferers.

I also felt as though the transition of the rollers from the low back to the buttocks was pretty smooth. On a lot of L-Track chairs the rollers hurt the user because the rollers go over the bony prominences of the pelvis. Well, on this model, the transition was smooth and quite comfortable (for me, anyways).

5. Mechanical Foot Rollers

This was a treat! This chair has 6 rollers per foot…more than any other chair that I am aware of. It felt fabulous; my soles, toes, and heels were all massaged. And quite comfortably, I might add. I loved it. After a while, as with most mechanical foot rollers, it got a little old and I had to turn off the foot rollers, but the overall experience seemed head and shoulders better than comparable chairs with foot rollers.

6. Airbags

The chair lists 38 airbags, but it doesn’t feel too much different than any other chair. The things I noticed about the airbags are

  • The arm airbags were long and “sausage-like” and ran the length of the forearms. I had to focus on keeping my arms pushed to the outside of the arm rests so that the airbags would not squeeze my arms out of the arm massager.
  • The calf airbags didn’t do much; I hardly noticed them.
  • The shoulder airbags both inflated at the same time (not alternately) to hold the upper body in place while the rollers passed by. They were not too strong, but quite adequate.
Infinity Escape Stretch
Infinity Escape Stretch

7. Stretch Program

Like most L-Track chairs, the stretch program is a little different, since the chair can’t flatten out the chair back and seat (they are one long unit). But, the stretch program on the Escape was good, nonetheless. It involved a lot of roller massage in the buttock area as well as using the calf and shoulder airbags for compression and distraction while the chair tilted back into it’s zero gravity position (only 1 zero gravity position on this chair, by the way). And I noticed that while the airbags were deployed in the stretch program, the rollers lifted the neck up. Then the airbags deflated and the rollers continued to hold the neck up so that it felt like the neck was getting stretched. It was reminiscent of the Panasonic MA73 or Osaki JP Premium neck stretch.

 

Well, that’s about it as far as the major observations go. Of course, I’ll learn more about the chair’s nuances as I sit on it more and as I hear back from my customers who purchased it.

It is a great bang for the buck for an under $3K L-Track chair. I will soon do a comparative review between the Escape and the Apex Ultra, another L-Track chair priced just the same.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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