Luraco iRobotics 7 vs. Luraco Legend

Male using a Luraco Legend
Male using a Luraco Legend
Luraco Legend massage chair
Luraco Legend

Luraco introduced it’s newest model at the tail end of 2017. The Luraco Legend is the first non-Chinese L-track massage chair, with the electronics and software produced in the USA and the non-critical components imported from Taiwan. The L-track is the nickname given to massage chairs with extended roller tracks that go beyond the low back and down into the buttocks region, massaging the glutes, the piriformis muscles, and the top of the hamstrings. It is also a 3D chair, which means that you can adjust the depth of the rollers to create a more intense or less intense massage experience.

The Legend looks very much like Luraco’s flagship model, the iRobotics 7, although it has quite a few differences which make for a reasonably different massage experience. Below is a list of those differences:

  1. 2 Rollers vs. 4 Rollers – Most chairs on the market have a 4 roller system, what we call “quad rollers.” The Luraco Legend is no different; it is a quad roller chair. The iRobotics 7 (i7) is a 2 roller chair (or “dual rollers”). The dual rollers make for a deeper and more intense roller massage experience. Because of the quad rollers of the Legend, that chair will not give as deep or intense of a roller massage on your back muscles. Although it is a 3D roller chair, and you can adjust the depth of the roller massage, it is still not as intense as that of a dual roller chair like the i7.
  2. L-track vs. S-track – The i7 has a traditional S-track that extends 32″ from the base of the skull down to the low back. The Legend, as mentioned above, is an L-track chair with the 58″ rollers extending from the neck down to the mid-thigh region.
  3. User Height & Weight Limits – The i7 has a maximum user height limit of 6’7″, while that of the Legend is 6’2″ tall. The i7 can handle a user that weighs up to 300 lbs, while the Legend can handle someone up to only 240 lbs.
  4. Seat Width – Commensurate with the height and weight limits in #3 above, the seats of the two chairs are different; the iRobotics’ seat width is 22″ and the width of the Legend seat is 20″.
  5. Upholstery – The Luraco Legend is fully upholstered in a synthetic leather material. The i7 is, for the most part, covered in the same material except for those touch points where the user’s body may touch the chair without clothing covering the body part, i.e. neck/head, shoulders, hands, forearms, calves, feet, and thighs. Those touch points are covered in real black leather.
  6. Seat Swing – The i7 has a seat swing mechanism that moves the seat of the chair from side to side for passive motion in the low back and pelvic regions. The Legend uses the L-track to passively massage the low back and pelvic area so there is no need for a seat swing feature.
  7. Pause Function – You can pause your massage program at any time during the session in your Legend. The pause function does not exist in the i7.
  8. # of Airbags – The i7 has 105 airbags, whereas the Legend has 80.
  9. Music System – The Legend does not have a music system at all, while the i7 has an MP3 audio player and an SD card input for your listening pleasure. The speaker system in the i7 isn’t something to write home about, so don’t think you’re missing too much.
  10. Human Voice Response – The i7 has a voice system that speaks to you while you sit in your chair. It is great for explaining what the chair is doing to you as it goes through it’s various programs. The voice is programmed in English, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, French, and Spanish. The Legend does not have this feature at all.
  11. Remote Control – The touch screen display icons are pretty much the same in both chairs, but the size of the Legend’s remote is smaller than that of the i7. It is also a faster response remote control. When you press one of the buttons, the response from the chair isn’t quicker while the latent response from the i7 is a bit slower.
  12. Elbow Airbags – The Luraco Legend has a feature which is quite unique and not found in any other chair
    Elbow Airbags
    Elbow Airbags

    we carry. It has airbags that surround the elbow and compress onto the insertion points of the wrist flexor and extendor muscles. This is a great feature for those suffering from tennis or golf elbow.

  13. Overall Feel – Principally because of the different roller systems, L-track vs. S-track and Quad vs. Dual rollers, the overall massage experience of the two chairs is quite different. Both models have quality builds with extremely quiet operation, but the feel is different. You will notice that right away when you compare the two. They are well built chairs, with great 5 year limited warranties, but if you are looking for a more aggressive massage, the i7 is a better choice. If you are looking for an L-track roller system, but can live with something a bit less in the strength department, the Legend is a great option.

I hope you found this comparison 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.

Review of the Luraco Legend Massage Chair

Male using a Luraco Legend
Male using a Luraco Legend
Luraco Legend Massage Chair
Luraco Legend

The Luraco Legend massage chair was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2017. It was to be the first non-Chinese L-track massage chair option in the market. It wasn’t until December of 2017 that this chair finally was released to the public. We ordered one for each of our showrooms a couple of months before the release so that we could get our hands on it as soon as possible and be able to answer customer questions which would come (and had already come during the entire 2017 year!).

When the chairs arrived in December, both of our chairs had a problem with the 3D mechanism. Luraco, to their credit, sent out a tech to each of our stores to find out what the problem was. They figured that it was a part damaged in shipping in both cases and went about making it right. It delayed further deployment of the chair, but the problem was rectified and the chairs started to roll off the line in late December/early January. We have not had a problem with the chair since! I’m glad we were able to help them with this problem that didn’t raise it’s ugly head until the chair went through the rigorous shipping process.

In my review of the Legend, I will, from time to time, reference the flagship Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair (i7) in comparison to it, but a full comparative review will be done at another time. Here are my observations of the chair:

  1. The literature specifies height limits of 4’10” to 6’2″ tall. We have found that if you are 6’2″ and more torso than legs, the top of your neck/base of your skull may not be reached by the rollers. You may have to slump down a bit to get the rollers to hit those areas. The ottoman/leg rest has plenty of room to extend so they will fit the 6’2″ body whether you are all legs or torso.
  2. This is a 3D L-track, which means you can adjust the depth of the roller mechanism and, thus, the intensity of the roller massage. At it’s deepest point, you will get a good, strong roller massage of the neck. Like the i7, you can adjust the depth of the rollers in segments, independent of other segments. What that means is if you want to increase the depth of the rollers only in the neck or only in the buttocks or low back or mid back, you can do that independent of the other areas. It is a fantastic engineering idea that I love. Pretty much all non-Luraco chairs have 3D roller depth adjustment that, when changed, affects the depth of the entire roller mechanism.
  3. By the way, the 3D function has 5 different depth settings for each of the 4 independent sections of the spine.
  4. The Legend is a smaller chair than the i7, but looks similar in it’s overall appearance and upholstery. It has the same colors as the i7, same stitching and faux wood accents. It can handle folks up to 240 lbs and does NOT have a space saving/wall hugger feature.
  5. Elbow Airbags
    Elbow Airbags

    The Legend has hand, forearm, and shoulder airbag massage, like most other chairs nowadays, but also has an interesting elbow airbag massage. This “cuff-like” airbag mechanism inflates onto the medial and lateral epicondyles of the elbow. Fancy words for the areas of the elbow where golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow occur. It’s the first I’ve seen of this…and I like it.

  6. By the way, the forearm and hand airbags have sequentially inflating airbags, which means that there are two airbags for each side and they inflate one after the other, or sequentially, during the arm/hand massage. It is very comfortable and feels more therapeutic than just one airbag inflating like a balloon. I should also say that both sides of the arm massage inflate at the same time.
  7. The shoulder airbags are adjustable up and down for shorter and taller torsos. The purpose of the shoulder airbags are mostly for pinning down the upper torso during the stretch program and when the rollers come up the spine.
  8. 3-Tiered Leg Massage
    3-Tiered Leg Airbags

    The leg massage involves 3 tiers of airbags, one for the feet and two for the calves. I like this because for taller folks the airbags will cover more of the longer calves and for shorter folks the top tier has a good chance of massaging the knees, which is something that some folks are looking for.

  9. The calf airbags at full intensity are quite bearable. It think the airbags behind the calves are fantastic. It’s an area much neglected by most massage chairs.
  10. There are no hip airbags on this model.
  11. The Legend comes with mechanical foot rollers. The chair includes a pair of foot pads for those of you who have really sensitive feet. Those pads are already placed in the chair, under the upholstery that is directly under your feet. You can remove them by opening the velcro strip.
  12. The foot rollers work mostly the balls of the feet, but there are more under the arch of each foot although you don’t feel them as intensely as you do the rollers under the balls of your feet. The foot airbags are also programmed to move your feet from side to side across the moving foot rollers. This allows for the outer and inner most parts of the souls of your feet to also be massaged by said rollers.
  13. Although the chair will automatically adjust the foot rest portion to adjust to your leg length during the body scan, there is a sensor under your heels that you can press with your heels during the scan to lengthen the ottoman even further if the scan misses the mark. A great feature, in my opinion.
  14. The body scan of the Legend, like the i7, takes a bit longer to complete since it actually scans the entire body and not just the head and shoulder positions, like most Chinese chairs. It is shorter than that of the i7, which is 1.5 minutes long, but still a lengthy scan to map out your spine.
  15. The chair comes with two head pillows, one for head support and one for neck support. They are not attached to each other so one or both of them can be lifted out of the way if you want to experience the full depth of the neck roller massage.
  16. Remote Control - Programs
    Remote Control – Programs
    Remote Control – Settings

    The remote control is wonderful. It is smaller than that of the i7, but the same touch screen programming and icons. I find it to have a quicker response rate than the remote of the i7. It is a very easy remote control to use. There is no voice feature and no speakers/music system. That’s OK since the speakers of the i7 were nothing to write home about! There is a remote control pocket slot on the right arm rest and a Smart phone holder slot on the left arm rest.

  17. Like the i7, the Legend has a slower, more methodical massage function. Not a lot of tapping, but mostly kneading. Also, like it’s big brother, the Legend is a very quiet chair; you can hardly hear the rollers or airbags doing their thing.
  18. The Luraco Legend massage chair has quad rollers rather than the dual rollers of the i7. That means there are 4 roller balls going up and down your back rather than just 2.
  19. I love how the rollers hit the levator scapulae muscles, which are the muscles at the top of the shoulder blades. That’s the muscle you usually try to massage with your opposite hand when you have been sitting at your desk all day and your shoulders get sore. The rollers really work those muscles over well. Like most other massage chairs, though, the rollers really don’t do much for the trapezius muscles.
  20. The rollers are strong on the shoulders, neck, mid back, and lower back, but a little less intense in the lower lumbar and buttocks muscles, even at a 5/5 intensity setting.
  21. The roller track is reported to be 58″ long, which is longer than any other chair we carry. I think that because of that we all expected the rollers to go all the way down the hamstrings. Although the rollers do hit the hamstrings, it isn’t much further than other models we carry.
  22. I found something about the neck massage to be very interesting…in a good way. I could feel the quad (4) rollers doing the massage, but then it felt something like “side bars” behind my skull when the rollers went to the top of the neck. They felt like “guides” to keep my head in place while the neck was being massaged. Pretty cool feature. I liked it.
  23. The heating function covers the low back only but has 5 different heat settings. At it’s highest, it gets pretty warm.
  24. Very few massage chairs have a memory function, wherein you can save a program, be it an auto program or your own custom concoction, for future use. That way, with the push of a button you can bring back a massage program, and your associated settings, that you really liked before. The Legend massage chair will allow you to have 5 different programs memorized for instant recall. Great feature!
  25. There are 9 programs for the Luraco Legend massage chair. Most of them are fairly self explanatory. One of the 9 is a stretch program. A lot of customers want a good stretch program in a massage chair. L-track chairs tend to have weaker stretch programs than regular S-track chairs. But, I must say that I rather like the stretch program of the Legend. I thought I’d explain the sequence of what went on during the stretch program:
    1. The arm and shoulder airbags inflate while the chair reclines about 45 degrees and the ottoman rises to horizontal.
    2. The calf and foot airbags inflate to grab the legs firmly, yet comfortably.
    3. The heel airbags inflate to really grab the feet before the ottoman drops down and the chair reclines even further. While this is going on, the rollers are pushing forward on the mid back while the shoulder airbags are still pinning down the upper torso.
    4. The culmination of all these concurrent activities results in the low back being tractioned, i.e. stretched.
    5. The stretch program goes through this sequence repeatedly during the entire time of the program.

Well, that about does it for the Luraco Legend massage chair review. Feel free to ask any questions that I perhaps didn’t address here. At the time of this writing, the Luraco Legend is selling for $6990 and comes with a 3 year parts & labor warranty with an additional 2 years of parts coverage beyond that.

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.

 

2017 Holiday Massage Chair Specials!!

Season's sale tag
Season's sale tag

Well, ’tis the season once again and the special holiday sale prices from massage chair companies are beginning to come in. Since it is the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, kicking off the craziest buying season of the year, I am listing all the sales that are available to you. Some of these “deals” have already begun, and some begin this week. But, all in all, there are lots of offers to choose from. I am sure I will also hear about more that will come in this week…and will let you know when they happen.

If you’d like to be notified of all the sales that are and will be available for this holiday season, go ahead and download my free report, “8 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before You Even Consider Investing In A High Quality Robotic Massage Chair.” You don’t have to read my report, but downloading it puts you on my email list and it is to that list that I will be announcing all of the current and upcoming sales for this holiday season. Here is a link to download that report and get on my email list…

https://www.massage-chair-relief.com/noplunge/

Now, here are the current sales offerings that I am aware of so far for this holiday season:

Human Touch – From now until January 15, 2017, Human Touch is offering $300 off their ZeroG 5.0, the ZeroG 3.0, and WholeBody 7.1 chairs. They are also offering a free 5 year extended warranty on their incredibly popular Novo XT.

Luraco – $500 off their flagship iRobotics 7 and $300 off of their new 3D L-track, the Luraco Legend. It will be up on our website this week and will be priced at $6990 before the $300 discount. We will have one in each of our showrooms when it ships out on November 27th (plan on the first week of December). The Luraco discounts will be good from midnight, Wednesday, November 22nd to December 31st, 2017.

Infinity – Monday, November 13th to Tuesday morning, November 27th – Free 3 year extended parts and labor warranty with any Infinity massage chair. By the way, we just added the new 3D L-track luxury chair, the Infinity Presidential, this last week. It’s a beauty!

Johnson Wellness – $500 off the J6800 massage chair and $300 off the Inner Balance Jin model. These sales will be in place from 5:00 pm PDT November 22nd to 8:00 am EDT on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

I can promise you that there will be additional offerings by Thanksgiving Thursday, but this is what we’ve got so far. Download my free report and get on my email list and notify you when I have a full list of sales and discounts for this holiday season.

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.

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

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.

 

Some Massage Chairs for 6’3″ or Taller!

The motivation behind writing this article about massage chairs for tall bodies is two-fold:

  1. I get lots of calls and visits from folks who are looking for a massage chair that can fit AND fully massage someone quite tall, and
  2. Many chairs claim to fit folks this tall, but really fail to in a very big way, which I will explain in this article.

In our showrooms, we carry chairs that will cater to all kinds of body types, but there are only a few solid choices if you are 6’3″ or taller. Lots of chairs say that they will fit someone that tall or taller, and they usually do fit that size of a body. But, here is the kicker – although you may fit in one of those chairs, many of them will not have a roller track that will reach the neck area of your spine. In other words, yes, the chair will fit your body, but the massage itself will not reach your neck, let alone massage it. In my experience, you will certainly be left wanting.

So, just because you may read online literature that tells you that a chair can fit someone who is 6’3″ or taller, don’t believe that the chair will massage your neck. If you don’t care about a neck massage from your massage chair, pretty much any chair will “fit” you. But, if you want a good neck massage, MAKE SURE that the chair you are considering buying actually will provide a massage high enough up your back to reach your neck.

Here are some excellent choices of chairs that will handle the taller bodies AND still give you a good or great neck massage:

  1. Infinity IT-8500 or Infinity IT-8500X3 – This Chinese-made chair claims to fit someone who is 6’5″ tall and, by
    IT-8500
    Infinity IT-8500

    golly, it really does! This has been our go-to chair for taller folks for years not just because it can fit taller people and truly give the user a great neck massage, but also because it provides a great overall massage experience, including arguably the best stretch feature of any chair and a strong, intense, deep tissue roller massage. The foot rollers are great too.

  2. Inada DreamWave – This Japanese model does a great job on folks up to 6’4″ tall, and that means a great neck massage. It has the headpiece which will give an aircell massage to the neck, but it also has rollers underneath the headpiece that can offer a whole different, more vigorous neck massage as well. This chair also has break-away side arms, which allow for very broad shouldered and broad chested users.
  3. Luraco iRobotics 7 – This American-made chair claims to fit folks as tall as 6’7″. Although it will FIT folks that tall, it will not give a good neck massage to someone that tall. It will miss most of your neck. However, for 6’3″ or 6’4″, it does a great job on the neck. This chair also has a dual roller system, as opposed to the more popular quad roller system, which will also provide you with a very methodical and deep neck massage.
  4. Human Touch Novo XT – This Chinese-made chair is stated in the literature to fit someone as tall as 6’9″! That sounds impressive, but it will certainly not massage the neck of someone that tall. However, it is one of the few L-track chairs that will reach the neck of someone as tall 6’3″. This chair also has a 3D L-track to boot, currently the only 3D L-track chair we carry!
  5. Ogawa SMART 3D – This is Chinese chair maker Ogawa’s top of the line chair and it’s literature states that it will fit
    Ogawa Smart 3D Tablet
    Ogawa Smart 3D Tablet

    someone 6’4″ tall. I don’t have this model in my Utah showroom so I can’t prove it myself, but we do have it in our Southern California showroom and my manager there assures me, through in-store customer experience, that it will fit someone 6’3″ – 6’4″ tall, just as the literature suggests.

  6. Infinity Iyashi – Another Infinity chair that will handle a bigger body. The Iyashi claims to fit folks as tall as 6’6″ tall. Based on my personal experience with this chair, I would have to agree. Although the neck massage itself is a bit weak compared to others on this list, the rollers will certainly hit the neck of the taller bodies, i.e. 6’3″ +.

So, there you have a good list of chairs that will fit you or a tall loved one. Feel free to give us a call if you want to find out what other chairs might be able to handle. We are 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.

DreamWave Classic vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 (Part 2)

Inada sogno Dreamwave
Inada sogno Dreamwave

In Part 1 of this comparative review of these two top selling, high end massage chairs, I discussed the similarities between the two. Here, in Part 2, I discuss the all-important differences between the DreamWave Classicand the Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair:

DreamWave Classic vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 Differences

  1. Upper Arm/Shoulder Massage – DreamWave deploys aircells for shiatsu, sequential massage of the
    Inada Dreamwave massage chair
    Upper Arm Airbags – DreamWave Classic

    upper arm. These aircells compress the bicep muscles and region of your arm. Luraco uses airbags to pin the shoulders back for postural manipulation as well as providing a more enhanced stretch program. Advantage: iRobotics 7

  2. Hip/Thigh Airbag Massage – Both chairs use airbags to compress against the outer aspect of the thigh (IlioTibial Bands – ITB’s). These serve two purposes: a.) to help move the hips from side to side while the seat swivels and the waist airbags inflate to induce a rotation of the lower back, and b.) to provide a trigger point massage to the ITB’s. They both do quite well with the former purpose, but the DreamWave does a better job at massaging the ITB’s. Advantage: DreamWave
  3. Headpiece/Trapezia Massage – DreamWave pioneered what they call the “Cervical Traction Device”. This is the headpiece of the chair and is full of airbags that massage the neck with aircells as well as provide a compression massage to the traps and a tractioning of the neck. It is a wonderful feature of the DreamWave. The iRobotics 7 has a horseshoe shaped headpiece that has airbags that inflate down onto the traps, however, it is nothing close to that of the DreamWave. It does inflate but I don’t recollect it doing much to the traps, also attested to by discriminating users of the chair. Advantage: DreamWave
  4. Ease of Body Positioning – With the iRobotics 7, all you need to do is sit down in the chair, turn it on, and you’re ready to go. The DreamWave requires some special time and attention to get the body positioned “just right” so as to have the above-mentioned headpiece laying snugly upon the shoulders. Otherwise, the head will be awkwardly positioned and the user will not get the full benefit of the trapezia airbag compression massage/neck traction. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  5. Quad Rollers vs. Dual Rollers – As I mentioned in Part 1, the DreamWave uses quad rollers while the iRobotics 7 uses dual rollers. The advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it, is that the pressure from the rollers is dispersed among the 4 rollers moreso than the dual rollers. This means that the intensity of the dual rollers will be greater when the rollers move up and down your spine. The quad rollers disperses the roller pressure among 4 heads thus attenuating the intensity and making the rollers more gently overall. If you are looking for a more intense massage range, the iRobotics 7 is the chair for you. If you are looking for a more gentle, relaxing massage, the DreamWave is, generally speaking, a better choice. Advantage: both (depending on needs and wants of the user)
  6. Software Updates – DreamWave brings it’s chairs fully assembled in from Japan. All the engineering and production is done in Japan. What was packed in the box in Japan, is what you get upon delivery to your home. If there is a change or improvement in the operating software of the chair, the changes need to be made in Japan and then integrated into the next chair build. It could take months before the changes are available in North America. Luraco, on the other hand, has engineers here in the USA at their Dallas headquarters who build all the software of the chair. When software needs to be updated, improved, fixed, or changed, it can be done promptly here in the USA and the change can be deployed into the marketplace almost immediately. It is quite fascinating to see how quickly Luraco can improve upon their chair. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  7. Music System – Although not a game changer or deal breaker for most massage chair buyers, it should be noted that the DreamWave does not have a music system integrated into the chair. The iRobotics 7 has an MP3 music system, though a little archaic with SD card functionality, built into the chair. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  8. Zero Gravity – For some strange reason, none of the Japanese chairs we carry, be they DreamWave,
    zero gravity positioning
    zero gravity positioning

    Panasonic, or the Osaki JP chair series, have the zero gravity feature. This goes for the mechanical foot rollers too, which I’ll discuss in #9 below. As a brief review, zero gravity refers to chair positioning where the seat is tilted up at a 30 degree angle and the articulation between the seat and chair back is 120 degrees. This positioning is considered zero gravity because the weight of the user’s body is more evenly distributed so that there are no pressure points in anyone spot of the body moreso than another. The iRobotics has this feature, the DreamWave does not. Advantage: iRobotics 7

  9. Mechanical Foot Rollers – As I mentioned in #8, none of the Japanese massage chairs have mechanical foot rollers, which is a feature that most chair shoppers want in their new chair. Although the DreamWave has a great airbag massage of the feet, it does not have the foot rollers under the soles of the feet. The iRobotics 7 does have this feature and it is very good in this model. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  10. # of Auto Programs – The iRobotics 7 has 9 programs. Until the DreamWave upgrade in 2014, it only had 8 programs. But, since 2014, the DreamWave has a different variation of each of the original 8 programs, thus now providing a total of 16 auto program options available to the user. Advantage: DreamWave
  11.  Remote Control – Of course, both chairs have a remote control, but the iRobotics 7 uses an interface that is just like a SMART phone, i.e. touch screen, icons to press for each function/program. It is very different from all the other remotes out there and I would have to say that the remote control of the iRobotics 7 is much more intuitive and easy to use than pretty much all other remote controls. Inada has a pretty easy to use remote as well, but it is not as intuitive as that of the iRobotics 7. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  12. Memory Capability – More and more chairs are coming out with a memory function wherein the user can have the chair “remember” a particular auto or custom program for easy use the next time that user gets into the chair. I think it’s a great idea and I fully expect more and more chairs to have this feature. With this feature, you don’t have to set up your program every time you sit in the chair or even go through the 2-minute scan again when you go to use the chair next time. It is all there ready to go simply by pressing the button representing the saved program and your chair begins that program immediately. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  13. Massage Stroke Length – DreamWave lists their roller track length at 28.4 inches; Luraco lists the iRobotics 7 roller track massage stroke length as 32″. The advantage, if you’re just looking at the numbers, clearly goes to the Luraco chair. However, my experience from sitting on the two chairs quite a bit is very different. The roller track on the DreamWave seems to go just as low, if not lower, than that of the iRobotics 7. It also hits the top of my neck just as readily as does the iRobotics 7. So, I don’t know if the number of inches represents a different measurement for each manufacturer, but the length seems similar during actual use. Advantage: both
  14. Calf Massage – The iRobotics 7 uses two massage segments to massage the calf area, whereas the DreamWave, like most other chairs, uses only one segment. This lends to a better “grab” of the calves during the stretch program of the iRobotics 7 as well as a more comprehensive area coverage of the calves. You will feel airbags compressing your legs all the way up the knees and all the way down to the ankles. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  15. User Height & Weight – The DreamWave lists the optimal height range of a user as 4’11” to 6’5″. Luraco lists the range as 4’7″ to 6’7″ for the iRobotics 7. Both chairs can handle tall and short body frames, but the edge goes to the Luraco chair. The recommended user weight of the iRobotics 7 is 300 lbs; that of the DreamWave is 285 lbs. Advantage: iRobotics 

There are plenty of other subtle differences between these two very popular chairs, but the ones I’ve listed are the principle ones. I hope this helps you with your decision making process. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can do so by clicking on this link…

DreamWave Classic vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 Comparative Review Part 1

Dr. Alan Weidner

P.S. You can visit our blog/article library anytime to get the latest massage chair information…

DreamWave Classic vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 (Part 1)

Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair
Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair
Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair
Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair

When folks shop for a high end massage chair, they usually end up trying to decide between the Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair and the DreamWave Classic. The DreamWave has been at the top of the heap, when it comes to high end massage chairs, for as long as I can remember. It was introduced to the US market in 2009 and skyrocketed to the top right away. It was definitely a winner the moment it arrived.

In September 2014, it was updated with some new features and a new price point. Despite it’s perennially high price point, it has steadfastly remained our most popular selling high end massage chair. One of the reasons it has been so successful is because of it’s combination of a wonderfully innovative feature-set and the fact that the chair was assembled, and partly manufactured, in Japan (some Chinese components).

Inada DreamWave massage chair
DreamWave Classic

In July 2015, Luraco introduced it’s iRobotics 7 chair. A US made and assembled chair (with some Taiwanese-made components), it immediately became a big seller for us and for Luraco. It provided another alternative to the DreamWave Classic, as well as another high end alternative to the traditionally lesser quality Chinese chairs. Unlike all competing Japanese-made massage chairs, the iRobotics 7 included mechanical foot rollers, zero gravity, and a music system among it’s rich feature-set. This chair just seemed to captivate the interest and imagination of the discriminating massage chair buyer. We currently see it outselling the DreamWave in our local showrooms.

So, I’ve been thinking a long time about penning a comparative review of the two chairs, since they are both so popular. I finally got off my fat duff and am bringing this info to you now. I hope you find this review of their similarities and differences helpful in the process of your due diligence to choose the right chair for you. Part 1 will review the similarities and Part 2 will cover the differences. In both articles, I will mention which chair has the advantage, based on the literature, my personal observations, and feedback from customers.

DreamWave Classic vs. Luraco iRobotics 7 Similarities:

  1. S-Track – The L-track chairs have become quite the popular models as of late, but the traditional S-track chairs are still the most common. Both the DreamWave and iRobotics 7 massage chairs are purely S-track chairs. The roller track ends at the top of the buttocks area. The length of the roller track is different in each chair, but I’ll get into those in the “Differences” section. Advantage: both
  2. 100+ Airbags – Both chairs boast over 100 airbags/air cells, but, to be totally honest, if you didn’t know where these large amount of airbags were deployed in each model, you’d never guess that they have so many. It is just a number to most folks who sit on various massage chairs since you’d never really know about the number unless someone tells you. The DreamWave employs quite a few airbags in their Cervical Traction Device (headpiece) and their DreamWave technology in the seat and low back. The iRobotics 7 employs more in the leg massage area as well as the shoulder airbags. Advantage: both
  3. 3D Roller Technology – Both chairs give the user the ability to adjust the intensity of the roller massage, although they both go about it in a different way. The DreamWave uses airbag technology to move the body further away from and closer to the roller track, to simulate the 3D effect. On the other hand, the iRobotics 7  actually moves the rollers forward and back, into and away from the user’s body, making that technology a little bit more sophisticated. The bottom line is that the 3D technology is a similarity, but the mechanism for deploying it is different from one model to the other. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  4. Vibration – The vibration feature is not a common feature, although intuitively you would consider vibration as a massage modality. However, the DreamWave and iRobotics 7 both have this feature and both chairs give you the option to turn it off if you don’t want to use it. Advantage: both
  5. Shiatsu Program – Both chairs have an auto program that provides shiatsu massage. Again, not all chairs offer shiatsu as a massage option, but you can get that auto program on both of these models. Advantage: both
  6. 170 Degree Reclining Angle – Most massage chairs will recline to 170 degrees or more, as do these two models. The deep reclining angle is particularly useful in the stretch programs. The difference is in the zero gravity seat positioning, which is only available in the iRobotics 7. I’ll go into that feature in the “Differences” section. Advantage: both
  7. Stretch Program – 90% of the chairs in the market have some form of a stretch program. The DW and i7 use a full recline in their stretch programs accompanied by a leg pull by the calf and foot airbags. It is a great stretch program. The advantage of the i7 is that it uses shoulder airbags to pin the shoulders back and double calf airbag segments during the program to enhance the stretch. Advantage: both
  8. 3 Years Parts & Labor Warranty – The Japanese and American chairs typically have a better warranty than the Chinese-made chairs. These two models both have a 3 years parts and labor, in-home warranty, with the iRobotics 7 also coming with 2 additional years of parts (thus making it a 5 year limited warranty). And I will say, from personal experience, that the customer support from both companies is outstanding. Advantage: iRobotics 7
  9. Body Scan Technology – Both chairs employ comprehensive body scan technologies. Chinese-made chairs are notorious for limiting their body scan to locating the top of the shoulders and the skull so that the rollers don’t go too high up the head or too low on the neck at the apex of the roller track. The i7 and DW use a more sophisticated body scan technology wherein the actual shape of the user’s spine is mapped out and the rollers applied based on the body “mapping.” This makes for a more accurate full body scan and full body roller massage experience. Incidentally, the body scan process takes less than a minute on the DreamWave and close to two minutes on the iRobotics 7. Advantage: DreamWave (based on time)
  10. Seat Massage – Both chairs utilize airbags in the seat portion of their chairs and both create a swivel motion of the seat from side to side. The DreamWave technology is a bit more sophisticated when it comes to seat motion and passive motion of the lower quadrant of the spine. For example, the seat moves from side to side and up and down in a figure 8 motion. Both of these models have airbags that inflate the seat segmentally, as well. Advantage: DreamWave

In Part 2, I will go over the “Differences” between the DreamWave Classic and the Luruco iRobotics 7 massage chairs.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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Preliminary Massage Chair Research Findings

Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair
Luraco iRobotics 7 massage chair

As you may or may not know, we have been involved in a research study regarding the effects of massage chair therapy on the physiology of the human body. Dr. Michael Olpin, of the Stress Center at Weber State University, has been accumulating pre and post usage data for quite some time. We are in the process of harvesting all the data and compiling it for publication.

A few months ago, Luraco donated a couple of their iRobotics 7 massage chairs to the study and recently put out some graphs showing recent pre and post effects from patients specifically using their chairs. Here are the results in easy to read graphics:

bp heart rate stress level stress

Dr. Olpin had always told me that the findings were statistically significant, but I am very impressed with how significant those finds truly are.

Massage Chair Research Findings:

  1. The blood pressure chart shows systolic and diastolic numbers for pre and post massage chair usage. The higher number in both graphs is the systolic number and the lower number is the diastolic number. So, when you see a BP of 120/80, the upper number is systolic and the lower number is diastolic. The average drop in systolic is 4 points, 3 points for diastolic.
  2. Average heart rate dropped from 76 beats per minute (bpm) to 70 bpm.
  3. Average stress levels, unrelated to pain, dropped from 4.3 to 2.4. Now, these numbers are on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being max stress and 0 being no stress. These numbers are, of course, subjective, based on the user’s interpretation of their stress, but they are certainly relative and quite telling. Bottom line is that sitting on a massage chair for one session will, on average, drop your stress levels almost in half.
  4. Stress, related to the intensity and discomfort of pain experienced by the user, dropped almost one half in this study. I assume that the scale is from 0-10 again, but not sure.

This study involved 521 participants, which is a very good sized sampling. It also is a very good indicator of the positive physiological effects of massage, as administered by a robotic massage chair. A very promising study. This is actually the first time that a study of any sort, that I am aware of, has been done to show the positive health benefits of massage therapy administered by a massage chair. There are lots of anecdotal “testimonials” of these benefits, but now we have some hard data to support them, which is great for you analytical, scientific folks out there.

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

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

golden microphone
golden microphone

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.

Mail Bag – DreamWave Classic, iRobotics 7, and L-Track

email sign with mouse
email sign with mouse

Customer Question #1a

Dear Alan,

I have been searching for a good massage chair, but I’m having trouble deciding which chair would be best for me.

Over the years I have tried the basic Panasonic, and brief demos of the newer technology chairs, but I have been disappointed. I’m trying to find a chair that can duplicate the feel and beneficial effects of a human massage on my main trouble spots: back, shoulders, and neck.

I tried using the comparison feature on your website, but it did not help me narrow down my search. Can you recommend a specific model that would solve my issue?

Thanks,

Loren

My Response #1a

Inada DreamWave

DreamWave Classic

Hi, Loren
Thank you for your email. Feedback from visitors to my showroom is that the DreamWave Classic massage chair comes the most close to mimicking human hands. It has some versatility as far as the neck and shoulders are concerned…a headpiece that has airbag massage of the neck and traps or rollers to give the neck and upper back a good, stiff massage. It also has a great low back massage. Check it out here…

https://www.massage-chair-relief.com/massage-chairs/dreamwave/dreamwave-classic/

Customer Question #1b

Thanks for the fast response Alan. I see why you recommend DreamWave; the specs and number of testimonials are very impressive.

One concern I still have: DreamWave uses Airbag pressure to do a lot of the functions. In the past when I briefly tried similar chairs, the Air cylinders held my neck or arms in place, but did not seem to really relax my muscles like an intense roller (or human hands) could do. Is there any airbag technology difference between DreamWave and the other high end chairs?

Loren

My Response #1b

Hi, Loren
Yes the DreamWave uses a lot of airbags but aside from the traditional use of airbags in other chairs and uses them a little more creatively…

1. airbags in the headpiece are used to massage the neck and offer compression onto the trap muscles…something we don’t really see in any other chair.

2. airbags on the lateral aspect of the thighs actually offer a pretty deep massage of the IlioTibial Bands…again, something we don’t see very much of. Most other chairs use the hip airbags simply to hold the hips in place while the rollers go up and down the lumbar spine. But, in the DreamWave the airbags actually perform a compression massage.

3. airbags are used to move the seat up and down and side to side…this is what the term “DreamWave” actually alludes to. This is the first chair to use airbags in the seat to introduce passive motion to the low back and pelvis. Again, quite unique and innovative.

4 waist airbags are used to move both sides of the low back forward, simulating a rotation or “twist” of the lumbar spine. Very innovative in this industry…but now everyone has employed that in their chairs.

I hope this helps a bit in understanding how DreamWave uses airbags, but not in a typical fashion. Of course, the rollers in the back reach the neck all the way down to the sacral area of the pelvic area. Great roller massage. Combined with the airbags this chair gives quite a remarkable overall massage experience.

Customer Question #2

After 11 years as a US army physician and more than a decade working at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, I have returned back to the great state of Texas. I have put off buying a massage chair due to the 220 vs 110 voltage difference. Too many sandbox tours have left me with chronic knee pain and lumbar pain. Also as a gastroenterologist, I am constantly looking at monitors while pushing scope and suffer from cervical/thoracic muscle strain. I am looking at a couple different chairs to include the Osaki, Inada, Panasonic and the Luraco. I have touched base with Luraco as they are in Dallas and they do offer veteran discounts. Not surprising as they are the only US massage chair manufacturer. FWIW, I am 5’11” 220 lb and my wife is 6’1” and 160lbs. Is there any particular chair that you would recommend? Jeffery

My Response #2

Hi, Doc
Thanks for your email. My experience is that many massage chairs don’t have the strongest neck massage, although most massage chairs have a great mid thoracic massage and a sufficient lumbar massage. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind as I read your email:

1. There really aren’t any massage chairs that work directly on the knees, however there are a couple of models that have very good IlioTibial Band airbag massage, soft tissue that is typically affected by knee and back problems. Take a look at the DreamWave Classic and the Panasonic MA73. The Luraco iRobotics 7 has a 2-tiered calf massage mechanism that reaches up to just below the knee, which might also serve your knees well.

2. Most chairs hit the lumbar region well, but there are a couple of models that do an exceptional job in the sacro-iliac area. Again, consider the DreamWave Classic which has a roller track that hits the sacral area better than most. The trade-off is that the DreamWave does not have a zero gravity feature, which allows the roller track to hit lower down the spine. I wrote an article about that trade-off on my blog. Here is the link:

http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/blog/general/zero-gravity-or-not-that-is-the-question/

iRobotics 7

iRobotics 7

Incidentally, the Luraco iRobotics 7, mentioned above, does have the zero gravity feature. Another type of chair that might impress your lumbar and gluteal areas is the new L-Track chairs, where an extended roller track goes down the spine and under the seat to the top of the hamstrings. This is a wonderful new feature that really does a dang good job on the low back, glutes, and piriformis muscles. A couple of models to consider would be the Infinity Iyashi (although the neck massage is not stellar), Infinity Escape, the Apex Ultra, and the Titan TP-Pro Alpine. Take a look at those and see what you think.

3. The Osaki chairs are great overall chairs, but I often feel as though they are not outstanding in any one feature. But, they are a great bang for the buck.

4. Our most popular selling Chinese-made chair is the Infinity IT-8500. Awesome neck and upper back massage, good lumbar massage, mechanical foot rollers, and zero gravity to boot. Take a look at that model.

Our top selling Japanese chair is the DreamWave. Therapeutically, one of the best feature-sets around, and the quality, life expectancy, and failure rate are superb, but you pay for it. Great neck roller massage and, as I mentioned above, a great lumbo-sacral massage with a masterful combination of rollers and airbags working on that region. The US-made iRobotics 7 has taken the industry by storm and has a wonderful feature-set, too, including foot rollers and zero gravity.

I hope this helps somewhat. Let me know if you have any other questions or need assistance with your order. I am always at your disposal.

Dr. Alan Weidner
www.massage-chair-relief.com

Review of the iRobotic 7 Massage Chair by Luraco

iRobotics 7 massage chair
iRobotics 7 massage chair

irobotics7The iRobotics 7 massage chair came to market in July 2015 and has been a consistently top selling chair for us. Price-wise, it competes with the vaunted Inada DreamWave massage chair, but we are finding that it is also competing on the merits of it’s quality build. Whereas the DreamWave is manufactured in Japan, with a percentage of Chinese-made non-critical components, the iRobotics 7 boasts US manufacturing with some non-critical Taiwanese-made components.

The i7 is manufactured by Luraco, a Dallas-based tech firm that has, as part of it’s history, manufactured massage chairs that are used in nail salons around the country. From that industry, Luraco branched out to develop massage chairs for the everyday consumer that are descendants of the nail salon chairs and have also been built for heavy commercial use. It began with the iRobotics 6, which has since been discontinued, and, more recently, it’s best-selling iRobotics 7.

I have spent quite a bit of time in this chair, but for this review I sat in the chair for 1-2 hours straight going over the programs and features. Here are my notes:

  1. The programming and electronic components are built in the USA. The assembly and quality testing is also done in the USA. As a matter of fact, your new chair will not be assembled and tested until your order goes through so you can know that when your chair arrives at your home or business, it is quite literally a brand new chair. As I mentioned earlier, the non-critical components come from Taiwan. Here is a video that discusses what is made where and how…
  2. iRobotics 7 seat stitching
    iRobotics 7 seat stitching

    The chair has a more traditional look with a nicely finished upholstery. The seat has some symmetrical stitching, which is also duplicated on the memory foam back pad that comes with the chair. It comes in three colors (black, brown, and cream) and, according to it’s literature, can fit a body as tall as 6’7″ and as heavy as 300 lbs. It can also handle a body as short as 4’7″. I have not seen anyone as tall as 6’7″ sitting in the chair, but we’ll trust the literature!

  3. The upholstery of the chair, for the most part, is synthetic leather. But, where the skin touches the chair, i.e. arms/hands, thighs, calves, feet, neck, Luraco has stitched in real black leather.
  4. The chair is VERY easy to assemble. If you are not sure about whether to purchase the White Glove Delivery option because of your concern about assembly…don’t worry! It is one of the easier chairs to assemble. Two large bolts per arm rest, a zipper for the back pad, and some air hoses/electrical plugs and you are good to go. The chair comes in two boxes, one with the chair body and one with the arm rests. If you decide not to get the White Glove Delivery, you will need some help moving the main box into your home or business.
  5. Remote control
    Remote control

    The remote control looks and feels like a SMART Phone. The user interface is just as easy, too. The useability is so easy that I doubt you’ll need the owner’s manual for very long, if at all.

  6. One of the first things that impressed me about this chair once I sat in it and began using the programs, was how quiet the chair is! It has over 100 airbags, just like the Inada DreamWave, but it is by far the quietest massage chair in our showroom…and that includes all the other chairs with far less airbags. You will love how quiet it is.
  7. Speaking of airbags, for the most part the airbags on this chair are great. I found the shoulder airbags to be a bit lacking outside of the stretch program. They are the kind of shoulder airbags that are meant to pin the shoulders in while the rollers are working the upper back as well as hold the shoulders in place during the stretch program. Now, maybe in some portion of some of the auto programs the shoulder airbags are deployed a little more, but I didn’t find those places. The waist airbags, though evident, don’t do much either in my opinion. The calf
    iRobotics 7 calf airbags
    iRobotics 7 calf airbags

    airbags are great! They are broken down into 2 segments so that you have a much broader airbag contact on the calves. This dual calf segment idea is especially effective in the stretch program, where the airbags grab the legs from the knees down and really give a good pull during the stretch. The arm airbags inflate sequentially from lower forearm to hands and wrists.

  8. The roller system for the iRobotics 7 have 3D functionality and are dual rollers, not quad rollers. I would describe the feel of the rollers as more slow and methodical, i.e. more shiatsu-like. The rollers are quite firm and solid so you get the feeling of quality workmanship when they are running up and down your back. I also believe that because this chair has a 2-roller system vs. a 4-roller system, the rollers can penetrate deeper and more targeted into the back muscles. There are 5 settings of intensity for the rollers, which gives you the flexibility to have a very intense massage or a more gentle massage. Even if the lowest setting is still too much for you, the back pad I mentioned above, that comes with the chair will dampen the intensity sufficiently for any user. You can adjust the intensity of the upper back and shoulders independent of the intensity of the rollers in the low back area. I’ve seen that feature in some Human Touch chairs, as well, but it is not a very common feature. By the way, I love how low the rollers go into the pelvic area; they seem to hit the area round the tailbone (perisacral area) quite well for a slow, deep massage.
  9. Getting back to the airbags, you can also adjust the intensity of the airbag compression with 5 different settings, just like the rollers. There is an “Intensity” button at the bottom of the remote that allows you to access the roller and airbag intensity settings from one display.
  10. The chair has a comprehensive back heating element covering the back, seat, and feet.  It also has a 5-level intensity adjustment.
  11. The iRobotics 7 comes with 9 programs. Each program looks like an app button on your SMART Phone. The 9 programs give you a very wide and varied massage experience, depending on what you are looking for. You can go soft, deep, stretch, shiatsu, etc. The program selection gives you great flexibility. Or course, you can also go to the “Manual” button and easily customize your massage. Working around your spine in the Manual settings is very easily done with this remote control.
  12. This chair has mechanical foot rollers along with foot airbags that move your feet side to side across the rollers, in a shearing-like motion. Oddly enough, none of the Japanese models we carry have foot rollers. The foot rollers on the iRobotics 7 come with foot pads that allow you to adjust the intensity of the foot roller massage. Unlike some of the Chinese chairs, the foot rollers in the i7 are very comfortable.
  13. The body scan on this model lasts about 2 minutes, by far the longest scan of any chair we carry. One way that you can circumvent the 2 minute body scan is by memorizing the program  you like in the “User” settings. The next time you sit in the chair, simply press the User setting program and the program will begin automatically WITHOUT the body scan. You see, when you used the program before memorizing it, the body scan and it’s associated findings of your spine have all been discovered. Now, when you memorize the program, all the body scan findings will be memorized so that the chair doesn’t have to go through the scan again. I hope that made sense! Of course, you can also memorize any customized manual program you create through the “User” settings. I will say, though, that the body scan is very accurate in this chair. It measures the shape of the whole spine and not just the head and shoulders positions. It also has a knack of measuring the right length of your legs so that you don’t really need to adjust anything once the scan is complete.
  14. Voice response is a feature that can get a little annoying, but if it does you can shut it off in the “Settings” tab. When it is on, you will hear a voice describing the program you are in and what the chair is doing. It is quite helpful at first, but can be bothersome if you are really familiar with your chair. Just shut it off if it gets too annoying.
  15. The chair’s timer is set for 30 minutes so that is how long your session length is, but it can be adjusted down to as little as 5 minutes long. In the top right hand corner of the remote, you can see the timer display. If you change your massage program mid-stream, the timer will continue without resetting.
  16. Music speakers
    Music speakers

    You can use the SD card that comes with the chair and is located at the base of the remote control to download  and play music or whatever over the speakers, which are located in the base at the back of the chair. The speaker sound is nothing to write home about so I wouldn’t get too excited about a Bose-like music experience. But it is certainly better than nothing!

  17. Blood pressure cuff
    Blood pressure cuff

    The chair has a blood pressure cuff option that can be used when you are in the chair. The cuff is made by Omron and is a quality device that plugs into the side of the chair next to where the remote control plugs in. This chair is touted as a medical device by Luraco, so this blood pressure cuff option is very much in keeping with the whole medical device genre.

  18. The iRobotics 7 took an idea from the DreamWave playbook by integrating a seat swivel feature. It uses a motor to move the seat from side to side. I’ve always liked the DreamWave technology because it provides passive motion to the low back. You may wonder why I think it’s such a big deal. Well, if you or anyone has an acute low back problem, there isn’t much that can be done for you by any therapist. Your back is so seized up that no motion can be introduced without causing you pain. Well, this seat swivel/DreamWave technology can introduce passive motion to that compromised and “hot” low back so that something can be done. It’s a great idea, in my humble opinion.
  19.  File Mar 08, 1 11 44 PMThere is a great section on the remote control called “Info” that has some valuable educational charts showing body maps. These maps correlate the musculo-skeletal body parts where the massage chair can work along with corresponding viscera of the body that are affected by working on those musculo-skeletal parts. It’s really quite fascinating. I think you’ll love checking those parts out while you are enjoying your therapeutic massage.
  20. The stretch program is quite a good one. It is the more traditional stretch program, where the legs and shoulders are grabbed by the airbags and the chairback and the ottoman both drop down, thus tractioning the spine. Most of the airbag activity is in the calf area; the calf airbags inflate to hold the legs in place, then the foot portion extends to traction the leg and the ankles, as well as the spine. I also noticed that there are rubber knobs at the back of each calf that are pushed into the calf belly of each leg via airbags. It is not a mechanical calf massage, ala Apex Ultra or Navitas, but it does provide a trigger point-like massage to the calf belly of each leg.
  21. I noticed something interesting about the rollers during the Shiatsu auto program. The rollers went really wide in the low back and shoulder areas. In the low back, it felt like the rollers were hitting the Quadratus Lumborum muscles and integrating a nice tapping modality there as well. In the shoulder area, the rollers hit the full width of the rhomboid muscles between the shoulder blades.

One thing I’d like to mention before the end of this article is how responsive Luraco’s customer support is. I’ll give you an example. When the iRobotics 7 first came out, they sent a chair to my Utah showroom to test. I found a few things that were lacking, i.e. poor neck massage and more options in the manual settings. I sent those issues to Luraco for their response. They promptly addressed both issues and sent out a new chair with the fixes. It was very impressive. That is how they roll! By the way, the neck massage is fabulous now and does a wonderfully deep massage. You’re welcome!!

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.

Two 100% Japanese-Made Massage Chairs!!

Japanese-made massage chair
Japanese-made massage chair

stock-photo-13142341-japan-flagPursuant to my article last week about where the massage chairs are made, I’d like to chit chat with you about two new models from Osaki that are truly 100% made in Japan.

You may be wondering what the big deal is about whether a chair is manufactured in Japan vs. China vs. USA, but for discriminating massage chair buyers, it is a BIG deal!

Here are the main differences, and they all have to do with the quality of the chair build:

  1. Japanese & American chairs will last 15+ years; Chinese manufactured chairs will typically last up to 10 years.
  2. Japanese & American chairs have a less than 1% failure rate, whereas Chinese chairs have a failure rate from 2-5%…and that can even be higher if the chair is manufactured in a smaller, lesser known Chinese factory.
  3. Quality control is greater in the Japanese & American factories.

I will review the only American-made chair of consequence, Luraco’s iRobotics 7, next week so that you can get an idea of what a US chair is all about. But, for today’s post, I want to talk about two models that are truly 100% made, manufactured, and assembled in Japan.

As I mentioned in my earlier article, just because a chair box says “Made in Japan” or “Made in USA” does not mean that 100% of the chair is made in that country.

Osaki has introduced two new models to the US market that are manufactured 100% in Japan. The chair models are made by Fuji Medical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd, which is one of the oldest massage chair manufacturers in Japan and, thus, since massage chairs began in Japan, one of the oldest in the world. As a matter of fact, the first commercially-made massage chair with a roller track originated from this company.

One of the models, the Osaki-JP Premium 4S, is currently the #1 selling massage chair in Japan. The other model, the Osaki OS-4D Pro Jp Premium, is an older model that has become quite popular with customers looking for the Japanese-only massage chair. The 4S is a new model that we should be getting in our California showroom later this week. Of course, I will record some video of that chair for our YouTube channel.

The naming of these two models seems kind of weird, since they are quite similar and have been somewhat confusing for not only our customers, but also us!!

Here is a list of the primary features of each chair, for your perusal:

Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium

  • OS-4D JP Premium
    OS-4D JP Premium

    4D Massage Rollers – I’ve talked about the term “4D” before, and how I think it’s just a marketing term, but the gist of it is that the rollers can move forward and back to increase or decrease the intensity of the roller massage. That’s what’s known as 3D. It also has a roller speed adjustment, and that’s what the 4th D is all about. The rollers are dual, not quad, rollers but are quite sophisticated and can give the user a very intense massage.

  • 43 Airbags – Plenty of airbags available to provide compression massage to those areas of the body where the rollers can’t reach, i.e. seat, arms, hips, waist, shoulders, feet, and calves. I like the way the Japanese chairs, including Panasonic and Inada in the discussion of this point, use the airbags in concert with the rollers to affect a very therapeutic massage. It really contributes to the feel of a whole-body massage.
  • 10 Auto Programs – This chair provides lots of versatility with it’s 10 pre-set, auto programs. Each of the 5 main programs have a stronger version, known as KIWAMI MECHA courses. Inada has something like this, too.
  • Versatile Masssage Rollers – The dual rollers, referred to above, can provide various modes of massage to effect different therapeutic benefits for your muscles. Just because it has 2 less rollers than most Chinese chairs, in no way means that the massage experience is compromised. As a matter of fact, in some ways it can be better since the rollers can dig deep without the lower two rollers inhibiting that motion. But, my guess is that you would never know the difference between the dual vs. quad roller thing if no one told you which chair has which rollers.
  • Body Scanning – They call it the 3D Navigation System, but what the scanning system does is map out the shape of your spine to give you the personal and accurate massage. Not just measuring your head and shoulder position, the scanning system actually maps out the topography of your spine. Pretty cool stuff.
  • Easy Remote Control – The remote is quite intuitive and easy to use. Nothing fancy though, in terms of touch screens and smartphone-like usability.

Osaki-JP Premium 4S

  • OS-JP Premium 4S
    OS-JP Premium 4S

    3D Massage Rollers – This chair also has adjustable depth 3D dual rollers that can move 12.5 cm forward and back through 12 different positions. Although they didn’t call it “4D” rollers on this model (all the model numbers are getting too bloody confusin!!), this chair still has the roller speed adjustment to make the massage experience feel even more vigorous.

  • 43 Airbags – Also 43 airbags in this chair, covering pretty much the same areas as the 4D. Unique to the 4S, this chair has a hand-kneading air cell massage, plus all of the airbags offer a pulse mode to enhance and promote circulation as well as a more traditional/normal compression massage.
  • 16 Auto Programs – The auto programs of the 4S includes four 30 minutes PRO programs, five 7-minutes coures, and a bunch of 16 minutes localized auto program. It also has a full-body stretch program. I haven’t used this chair yet, so I can’t really tell you how cool or different the programs, but they certainly sound interesting.
  • Dual Masssage Rollers – The dual rollers offer a sophisticated kneading function that provides 85 kinds of techniques! Not sure how that feels, but, again, I’m looking forward to experiencing the roller system when the chair arrives at our showroom.
  • Contemporary Body Styling – The 4S improves on the older body styling of the OS-4D Pro JP Premium, with nicer lines and a simpler, more modern body design.
  • Shoulder Blade and Feet Heat – The area between the shoulder blades is typically tight and fatigued in todays computer-driven workplace. While most massage chairs offer low back heat, the 4S offers heat in the shoulder blade area to relax the musculature to allow the rollers to dig a little deeper and give a more therapeutic massage. Reflexology points are also warmed up with sole warmers.
  • Touch Screen Remote – This chair comes with the more traditional rubber buttons, but also has a screen display that will allow touch screen convenience.
  • Memory Function – If you like a particular program that you’ve created with your new chair, the chair can memorize that program, including chair position, roller and airbag intensity, roller modalities, and speed. So, the next time you sit in your chairs, and want to enjoy the program you created earlier, just push the memory button and you are on your way!

Well, I hope that helps! You are invited to visit our Southern California showroom, where we have both models on display. Feel free to call the showroom at 562-865-4607 and chat with our massage chair experts.

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.

Where Is Your Massage Chair Really Made??

luraco made in the usa
luraco made in the usa

luraco made in the usaThe headline of this post alludes to the confusion that can come from trying to figure out where each massage chair model is made. There is so much hullabaloo about a chair being made in Japan or the USA vs. a chair manufactured in China. Typically, we understand that Japanese and American-made products are of a better quality than their Chinese-made counterparts. I am in agreement with that statement, and the numbers bare that out (Chinese-made chairs have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, a failure rate of 2-5%, and typically a 1 year parts & labor warranty. Japanese-made chairs expect to last 15+ years, have a failure rate of <1%, and come with a pretty standard 3 year parts & labor warranty).

Well, when speaking of being “Made in ____”, it may surprise you to know that it is not as simple as being made in one country. Let me explain…

When we talk about the making of a chair, we need to consider a few things, i.e. 1.) where the design and engineering of the chair is done, 2.) where the parts of the chair are made, and 3.) where chair is assembled. In some cases, all three components of the manufacturing process are done in 3 different countries.

china-flag-1444024 Most chairs, nowadays, are made in China. The design and engineering, manufacturing of parts, and assembly are all done in China. The Ogawa chairs, for example, are 100% made in China. Most of the Osaki, Titan, Apex, Omega, and Infinity chairs are made 100% in China.

But, did you know that some of the non-critical components of the Inada DreamWave chair are made in China, too, although it is rightfully claimed to be made in Japan? Did you know that the Luraco iRobotics 7 chair is an American-made, designed and engineered massage chair, but a minority of it’s non-critical components are made in Taiwan? Did you know that the new Navitas Sleep chair from Human Touch was designed and engineered by the Americans and Japanese, but the components are manufactured in Taiwan and the assembly of the chair is done in China? Furthermore, did you know that all the other Human Touch massage chairs are designed and engineered in America, but manufactured and assembled in China?

Panasonic is a Japanese company and their chairs are designed and engineered there, but all production and assembly occurs in Chinese factories. I don’t know what the situation is now, but in the recent past the factories in which the Panasonic chairs have been manufactured were Panasonic-owned factories so that the Japanese parent company could still have complete quality control.

stock-photo-13142341-japan-flagIt might surprise you to know that at the time of this writing, there is only one brand of chair that is 100% designed, engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Japan? That is the Fujiiryoki chair, one of the oldest massage chair companies in the world. Osaki carries a privately labeled Fujiiryoki model and it is called the Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium.

So, have I confused you? I know I was sure confused when I first started learning about all the nuances of what it means to be “Made in the USA”. When Luraco first introduced their line of chairs as being made in America, there was some pushback because a few of their non-critical components were manufactured in Asia. I found out, soon thereafter, that even Inada’s famous DreamWave, touted to be made in Japan, has some Chinese-made components in it.

Manufacturing and/or assembly in China is cost-effective. Cheaper-made product ultimately costs less to the end user…that’s you and I. So, companies have tried to integrate China or Taiwan in some of the process of making a chair to keep costs down across the board.

By they way, why can a chair like DreamWave say it is made in Japan when some of it’s components are manufactured in China? Or why can Luraco say their iRobotics 7 is made in America when some of it’s components are made in Taiwan (Taiwanese products are known to be of a better quality than their Chinese counterparts, in cases you were wondering). You may be asking yourself these questions. I know I did.

All I can say about that is that each country has it’s own guidelines as to what constitutes the term “Made in _____”. I suspect it is slightly different for each country. Below is a video recently released by Luraco that specifically addresses the “Made in the USA” standard. I hope you find this helpful.

If you have any questions about any model we carry or any other model out there, feel free to contact me anytime by phone, email, or chat. 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.

A Great Massage Chair Customer Inquiry

email sign with mouse
email sign with mouse

emailAloha Dr. Weidner,

 

Thank you so much for your e-mails and your highly informative website and You-Tube videos. By all accounts (client testimonials in particular) you seem to be a man of impeccable integrity and honesty.  A very refreshing way for a man of business to build and maintain a loyal clientele. Thank you for providing us with your valuable services.

 

My wife and I are looking for the perfect massage chair (I know, I know, if you only had a nickel for every time you’ve heard that). I’m hoping that you’ll provide us with some guidance as to which of your chairs you might recommend for us.  Let me list some of the criteria we have in mind for a chair. Continue reading “A Great Massage Chair Customer Inquiry”

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

rss icon
rss icon

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!”