Review of JPMedics Kumo Massage Chair

JPMedics logo on the side
JPMedics logo on the side

JPMedics Kumo massage chairThe JPMedics Kumo massage chair (formerly known as the Fujimedic Kumo) comes from the same company that brings us the Cozzia and Ogawa brands. It is made in the same factory in China (previously called EasePal, now called Ogawa) and is virtually the same model as the Cozzia QiSE, with one major difference. The parts are made in China but exported to Japan where they are assembled, quality-control tested, and programmed before being sent to America. Thus, the statement “Made In Japan” is stamped onto it’s shipping boxes.

The Kumo is a 3D/4D L-track (aka SL-track) chair with 4 rollers, 64 airbags, a multi-language pedestal remote control, and heated rollers and calf airbags. One of the first things you notice when you turn on the Kumo is that the calf airbags migrate to the knees. When the calf airbags heat up, the compression massage on the knee joints feels fabulous. This heated knee massage is unlike any other massage chair, excepting maybe it’s big brother version, the Ogawa Master Drive AI. The calf/knee airbags play a big role in the stretch program of the Kumo, by the way,  as I will discuss later in this article.

Heated Rollers?

The Kumo also has heated rollers, which is a nice feature to have in a massage chair. However, I must say that the heated rollers provides very little heat, at least that’s what we’ve noticed in the Kumo floor models we have in our showrooms. There is some warmth felt, but it is hard to tell if it is from the heated rollers or from the heat generated by the rollers moving up and down the spine and increasing the blood flow to the muscles and skin. Heat is generated in the massaged areas of the spine anyways by increased blood flow caused by the massing rollers. I expected a bit more heat emanating from the rollers so as to remove all doubt as to why my back was feeling warmer. Not a big thing, but a thing, nonetheless.

JPMedics Kumo quick keysThe JPMedics Kumo has an overall very comfortable fit, which you’ll feel the moment you sit in it for the first time. “Quick Keys” are located on the right arm rest, which allow you to operate the chair with some very basic commands, i.e. power on/off, 3D roller depth, heat, body position, and two of it’s 12 auto programs.

The remote itself is a pedestal type and is quite easy to use. The display is large, tablet-sized, making the user touch screen interface easy to read. This is one of the relatively few models that has a memory function. It will not memorize a spot massage or any of the auto programs, but you can create up to 3 programs for either the whole body or preferred areas of your body. Once you have created your program(s), you can adjust the depth/intensity of the rollers and the compression intensity of the airbags within that program each time you use it.

3D/4D Roller Intensity Adjustment

Speaking of the ability to adjust the 3D depth/intensity of the rollers, interestingly enough you cannot do that on a permanent basis for any of the auto programs. That is not to say that you can’t change the depth of the rollers in an auto program, but when you do change the roller depth, the depth setting will automatically restore to the pre-programmed depth as soon as the rollers move on to the next spinal segment and the roller mode changes. In other words, the depth/intensity settings are all preset and when you change them, it will only be temporary, until the rollers move on from that spinal segment.

This is a little frustrating if you are accustomed to being able to adjust the depth/intensity of the rollers on other chairs you have been testing. The preset depth settings changes from one area of your spine to another so it is not always the same throughout the program. However, if you find the preset depth/intensity to be too strong, you can’t make a permanent change to make it less intense other than using a throw blanket as padding.

You CAN, however,  adjust the roller depth in the spot massage and, as mentioned above, your custom programs. By the way, if you want a regional/zone massage, you will have to set that up in the custom programs. The spot massage is just that…a spot massage. The rollers will stay in the one place you select and will not move up and down within 6″ or 9″ radius, like most other massage chair brands will do.

Massage Program Options

I hope I didn’t confuse you with these different types of massage programs and the ability to adjust the depth/strength of the 3D rollers. In summary, you have 3 massage options:

  1. Auto Programs – 12 programs; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is preset and can only be adjusted temporarily.
  2. Spot Programs – focal roller massage; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is adjustable.
  3. Custom Programs (3) – regional or full body programs; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is adjustable.

By the way, you can adjust the airbag compression strength during any of the above programs.

JPMedics Kumo remoteRegarding the 12 auto programs, their names are Spinal Care, Joint Care, Demo, Stretch, Relax, Japanese, Thai, Balinese, Chinese, Swedish, Vigorous, Gentle. I am not entirely familiar with each of these programs, but we use the Demo program with every new customer in our showroom since it gives the user a small taste of everything the chair can do, including the stretch program. I like to use the Joint Care program when I want a deep tissue massage. It will work on each segment of my spine with a shiatsu-like roller massage that is quite intense.

Stretch Program

JPMedics Kumo knee massageAlthough the stretch programs of L-track chairs are not the same as those of the S-track chairs, I will say that the Kumo has one of the better L-track stretch programs. I think it is because the calf airbags move up to the knees and when they inflate in concert with the foot airbags, the whole lower part of your body gets pulled by the stretch as one unit. If you want an S-track type stretch in an L-track, the Kumo comes closer to it than most other options.

I will say that the Kumo has the capacity for a VERY strong roller massage, if that is what you are looking for. Among the L-track chairs, it has one of the strongest roller massages in the neck and shoulder region.  You will love it! But, if you prefer a more gentle massage, it has that capacity as well at the lower range of depth settings.

Regarding the Spot massages, these are the focal manual programs that incorporate kneading, tapping, swedish, clapping, and shiatsu modes. Each of those modes have two settings from which to choose. In the Spot massages you can combine kneading & tapping or kneading & clapping or kneading & shiatsu.  Tapping, clapping, and shiatsu are all the same except for the rhythm/cadence of the tapping.

By the way, when you are in the Spot massage settings screen, you’ll see a setting called “Kneading Strength”. That is different from the 3D/4D depth settings and refers to the kneading speed. Increased roller speed can feel like a stronger massage without even changing the roller depth.

Custom Programs & Memory Function

Regarding the Custom programs, during the program setup, you have the following areas to deploy in your massage program: Neck & Shoulder, Back, Lumbar, Buttock, Arm, Knee, Leg, and Foot. You can select all or some of the regions in your custom program. The first 4 areas are covered by the rollers, the last 4 areas are covered by airbags. The massage mode options are Knead, Tap, Swedish, Clap, Shiatsu, and Roll. The owner’s manual states that you can combine Kneading, Tapping, Shiatsu, and Clapping with Swedish or Roll, but this is not correct. You can combine Kneading with either Tapping, Clapping, or Shiatsu only. Swedish is a combination of Kneading and Tapping but with a different cadence.

If you cannot find the “Create New” button for a new custom program, it means that you’ve already created 3 and you will need to delete one of them before the “Create New” button will reappear. By the way, you can remove a program by holding your finger down on the program image on your remote control and it will be deleted.

JPMedics Kumo chromotherapyThe removal of a Custom program reminds me of the chromotherapy feature of the chair. You will notice that as soon as you turn on a chair program, the chromotherapy lights will appear above the shoulder airbags on either side of your head. You can select different light patterns from the remote control settings, but you there is no on/off button to push to turn them off. If you want to turn off the chromotherapy lights altogether, just push and hold for 3 seconds the image of the pattern that is displaying and it will turn off the chromotherapy feature altogether.

Foot rollers are quite comfortable in the Kumo. Not too intense at all. You can always use foot pads if they are too intense for you, but the intensity is less than a lot of other massage chair foot  rollers we’ve experienced.

Body Scan

The body scan works like most others, with the rollers locating the top of your shoulders and the base of your skull so that they don’t go too high or too low during the auto program. If you find that the chair is not scanning you properly, and the rollers are not going high enough up your neck, then you can override the scan and move the rollers as high as you need before completing the scan. Near the end of the scan, the chair will beep. That beep is the chair’s way of asking you if the rollers are high enough or too high for your torso. At that moment, you can move the rollers up or down using the arrow buttons to get to where you need them.

A word of warning: During the scan, the rollers dig quite deep into your shoulders. You will feel like the chair is abusing you! Don’t be discouraged. That is only temporary, while the rollers figure out  the location of the top of your shoulders. Let the scan pass and you will feel the real depth of the rollers (it won’t be nearly as strong).

By the way, this chair’s specs states that it can fit someone as tall as 6’4″. While it may be true that a 6’4″ person can fit in the chair, the rollers will NOT reach the full length of the neck. Our experience is that it will massage chair entire neck of someone who is  6’1″ – 6’2″, tops. Of course, your torso may be longer than another, which means at 6’1″ or 6’2″ tall the rollers may still not get all the way up your neck.

The foot rest has an electronic extending mechanism. Whenever you start a new program, or change the chair or ottoman position during a program, the legs will reset and recalibrate. This involves the legs extending fully out and then retracting electronically. There is a sensor in the bottom of each foot massager that, when pressured by your feet, will stop the retraction of the leg massager. This is how the chair”measures” your leg length. If you push your feet against the sensor prematurely, the retraction will stop short. You will need to go into the remote control and adjust the leg length at that point.

Here are a few other features of interest in the JPMedics Kumo:

  1. One zero gravity position.
  2. Up to 30′ long programs.
  3. Remote control language options – English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  4. Factory warranty is 3 years parts & labor, with 2 more years of parts coverage.
  5. Color options: Pearl/Cappuccino, Pearl/Espresso, and Black/Red.

Overall, the JPMedics Kumo is a good strong L-track massage chair. If you are looking for an L-track chair with strong neck and shoulder massage, good stretch program, and a comfortable fit and feel, this could be at the top of your list.

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.

 

 

Fujimedic Kumo Notes..and more!

Lined up Kumo massage chairs
Lined up Kumo massage chairs

When I was at the Las Vegas Furniture Market a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to meet with John Cribbs, VP of National Accounts for Cozzia massage chairs.

Did You Know?

I don’t know if you realize this, but Cozzia, Ogawa, and the new Fujimedic Kumo massage chairs all originate, to one degree or another, from the same factory in China. The factory used to be called EasePal but is now called Ogawa. Although Ogawa is a relatively new brand here in the USA, it is a well known brand and name internationally, as most of the chairs built at the factory are released internationally under the Ogawa name. Cozzia is primarily a brand for the North American market.

Made in Japan? Really?

They released the Fujimedic Kumo massage chair for mass US distribution in the 4th quarter of 2018. It has been touted as “Made in Japan”, yet it looks just like the popular Cozzia QiSE, a 100% Chinese-made, 3D L-track model sold primarily in furniture stores throughout the US. There have been some doubts about the truthfulness of the “Made in Japan” label since most of us in the industry know that the QiSE is a Chinese-made chair. What about that model justified the “Made in Japan” label? Was it actual components made in Japan? Did the chair just ship through a Japanese port and have the label slapped on the packaging before heading for America? Did the chair even pass through Japan at all? These were the questions that myself and others had asked about the chair.

Well, when I met with John Cribbs in Las Vegas, I pointedly asked him about these issues and what,  about the chair, justified the “Made in Japan” moniker. According to John, although many of the components were manufactured in China at the Ogawa factory, some components of the chair were, in fact, made in Japan. Also, the assembly of the chair was done in Japan, some programming, and the Quality Control (QC) all happened in a Japanese factory. To me, this sounded very similar to how Inada builds their chairs in Japan with a good portion of Chinese-made components, as well as Luraco’s chairs being “Made in the USA” with imported Taiwanese non-critical components.

Some other things John told me about the Kumo included the roller mechanism being the same as the Cozzia QiSE, that there are more Asian language options on the remote control than the Cozzia QiSE, and that the chair is not related at all with Fuji products. They are actually going to change the brand name from Fujimedics to JP Medics to make sure there is no confusion about a Fuji connection.

I have taken issue in the past with the veracity of the “Made in _____” labeling. It was always a bit muddled to me and not so easily cut-and-dried. The only chairs that I am aware of which are 100% made in one country are the “Made in China” chairs (which are about 99% of the chairs in the industry). Some of the massage chairs coming from Fuji Medical in  Japan are touted to be 100% Japanese-made, i.e. Synca JP1100, Osaki Japan Premium 4.0, Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium, and the Osaki JP Premium 4S Japan, but I’ve not heard or seen definitively if that is true or if some components are made in China. If any reps from those companies have some input on this matter, please feel free to speak up in the comments section of this post.

I hope this helps!

Massage Chairs for Dinner

I saw this commercial and found it so funny that I had to post it (even though no massage chair is that violent!!). Enjoy!

 

Las Vegas Furniture Market 1/29/19 – What I Learned!

Dr. Alan Weidner and company
Dr. Alan Weidner and company

I had a wonderful visit to the Las Vegas Furniture Market this last week and will share with you what I learned. I have already posted 3 videos from the trip on our YouTube channel, each video representing a visit with a different supplier of ours.

My video of my visit with Jim Coppins, co-founder of Infinity Massage Chairs, and his demo of the new Overture model was somehow deleted from my video camera and I have been unable to recover it (I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who deleted it, being so savy with electronics and stuff!). So, I will be visiting them in March for a personal tour of their new facility and to go over the new Infinity Overture in greater detail.

Synca Wellnes JP110o & Kagra

These were the two models that Synca had on display at the Furniture Market. They are new models for Synca. The Synca JP1100 massage chair is the first Japanese-made massage chair with mechanical foot rollers. It also comes with a 5 year parts & labor, in-home warranty, which we’ve not seen before as a factory warranty. Quite impressive. It also comes with dual rollers, instead of 4 rollers, for a deeper more target-specific massage.

The Kagra is an upgraded version of the Johnson J6800, which I learned from the rep will be phased out along with the whole Johnson line. They are moving towards the Synca line being their primary line-up. The Kagra is a Chinese-made chair but with the design and engineering input from former Panasonic, Inada, and Fuji engineers.

You can see the video of my visit here…

DreamWave M8

As I have discussed before in my Massage Chair Industry Update, DreamWave is a new line of chairs. The old, familiar Inada DreamWave is now called the DreamWave Classic and the M8 is the newest model for this new line. It is the brainchild of Cliff Levin, President of Inada USA and Furniture For Life. It is a 3D L-track chair with a very unique feature that we’ve never seen before…arm rests that swing open like a car door. It allows for older, less mobile folks and people with back pain to get into the chair easier, a problem we’ve experienced in our showrooms. It is a beautiful chair, made in Japan, and is a great sequel to the DreamWave Classic. It also has mechanical foot rollers and chromotherapy that turns on when you approximate the chair in a darker room. You can check out my interview with Ian Hays, VP of Sales for FFL, in this video at the Furniture Market..

It won’t be fully deployed until May or June of this year. It will be priced in the $9500-$10,000 price range.

Osaki Titan

We dropped by the Osaki Titan showroom and saw an array of many of their models, some of which we carry. They had a new floor model called the Osaki First Class. It is also a 3D L-track chair with the usual features, i.e. mechanical foot rollers, zero gravity, BlueTooth, etc. It has a strong base of neck/shoulders massage, like the Maestro (made in the same factory). It has a comfortable fit and a great stretch program for an L-track. Not sure if we’ll be carrying it, but should have a better idea in the weeks to come. Take a look here…

Infinity

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, my video interview with Jim Coppins mysteriously disappeared so I can’t show you the Overture. I can tell you, though, that is another high end 3D L-track chair and an upgrade of the Infinity Presidential. It is a J-track chair (you can search J-track vs. L-track on my site search field to see what the differences are) that also has air ionizing, voice recognition, calf rollers and oscillating calf airbags, a USB charging port and a very nice wireless remote. Although I don’t have the video, at least I have a picture of Jim Coppins, Michael Milone, and to prove I was really there!

I will do a thorough video on the Overture when I go visit their new headquarters in New Hampshire in March. Stay tuned.

Human Touch

Although Human Touch did not have a presence at Las Vegas Furniture Market this year, we met our contact from the company, Cathy Lou, at the Furniture Market for lunch and a chit chat about Human Touch’s newest offering, the Super Novo. It is like the XT2 but with some upgrades that escape me now, but I will discuss it in detail after I’ve sat on it at their headquarters in Long Beach, CA. It’s just a skip and a jump from our Cerritos showroom.

uKnead

I had a chance to see my friends, Nina and John, who own the run the uKnead massage chair business. Although they don’t have any new products right now, they still had a booth at the Furniture Market. They are working on a 3D L-track as we speak and hope to have it later this year. Great people, great visiting with them again.

Cozzia/Ogawa

I visited the Cozzia showroom, although I only have a couple of their e-commerce models on my site. We can’t carry the “good” Cozzia chairs on my site unless I have at least 4 different Cozzia models in at least one of my showrooms. Well, I don’t have room for 4 models of any one brand in my showrooms, so it may be a long while before we can carry any fancy Cozzia models on our site. I put a brief video on our Facebook page of a blinged up Ogawa Smart 3D, which caught my eye when I walked into the showroom. Go check it out. I think you’ll get a kick out of it like I did.

https://www.facebook.com/massage.chair.relief/

I also had a chance to learn a bit more about the new Fujimedic Kumo massage chair, purportedly the first Japanese-made L-track chair. It is built by EasePal, which is the same company that builds the Cozzia and Ogawa models. It has been a bit of a mystery to all of us until this last week when I spoke with the Cozzia rep at the Market. I found out that it has Chinese-made components AND Japanese-made components. It looks just like the Cozzia QiSE, with the same body, roller mechanism, and non-critical components. The assembly, Quality Control, and some programming is done in Japan. It is not associated with other Fuji products, although the name is a bit misleading. The name will be changed to the JP Medics Kumo at some point.

 

New Massage Chair Models!

Infinity Massage Chair logo
Infinity Massage Chair logo

We are smack dab in the middle of the busiest time of the year for the massage chair business. Many massage chair companies introduce or release new models in the 4th quarter to help jump-start their holiday sales. This year is no different. Right before the Black Friday Weekend, the following models were added to our site, with the permission of the massage chair companies involved.

Three of the new models we carry are from Infinity. These models are not really new, but circumstances have changed that now allow us to carry them on our site and in our stores. First of all, our status as an online massage chair retailer for Infinity has changed to be now considered a Furniture Store. As a result, we can carry these three Infinity models. The Riage x3 was once a Brookstone exclusive, but since that company is now defunct we can carry it in our showrooms and on our website. The Smart Chair x3 had been previously tested on a limited basis but is now available for full distribution. The Genesis was originally a limited release exclusive that is now also available for distribution through Massage Chair Relief.

The other three models in our list are completely new. I’ll give a brief overview of each model below.

  1. Infinity Genesis – This is a 3D L-track model with a beautiful, modern design. Also
    Infinity Genesis massage chair
    Infinity Genesis

    includes space saving technology, a USB charging station, zero gravity, BlueTooth connectivity, foot rollers, rocking technology, Apple & Android apps, 64 airbags, adjustable shoulder airbags, and automatic electronic foot extension. This is a very popular model.

  2. Infinity Riage x3 – Another 3D L-track model with a similar feature set to the
    Infinity Riage x3 massage chair
    Infinity Riage x3

    Genesis, less the USB charging station, the space saving technology, and electronic foot extension. A different feel than the Genesis but a great buy because of the price point. I remember always getting calls about this model when it was at Brookstone. A lot of folks liked it and wanted to know if we sold it. Well…now we do!

  3. Smart Chair x3 – This model is very similar to the IT-8500×3, which we already carry. It’s primary differences include the full synthetic leather arm rest upholstery (rather than synthetic leather and plastic material), a better stretch program, chromotherapy,  and some subtle programming changes.
  4. Health Mate HM-5200 – This is a new model for a new brand. The chairs are
    Health Mate HM-5200 massage chair
    Health Mate HM-5200

    “Made in Korea”, and Health Mate is based in Southern California. Features include 3D L-track, 2-stage zero gravity, mechanical foot AND calf rollers, adjustable shoulder airbag positioning, heated rollers, 5 year limited warranty, USB charging port, and a space saving technology.

  5. Fujimedic Kumo – The brand and model come from the same folks who bring us Cozzia and Ogawa chairs. As a
    Fujimedic Kumo massage chair
    Fujimedic Kumo

    matter of fact, the Kumo is a very similar chair to the popular Cozzia QiSE, except it is assembled and tested in Japan. The packaging says “Made in  Japan”. I know the components come from the EasePal factory in China, so I assume the chair must be assembled and tested in Japan in order to have the “Made in Japan” attribution. This is also a 3D/4D L-track and it’s features include mechanical foot rollers, 64 airbags, zero gravity, space saver, heated knee & calf therapy, 3 year parts & labor warranty, heated rollers, memory function, and BlueTooth connectivity.

  6. Positive Posture Sol – The Sol is the follow up chair to the Brio, which came onto the scene a year or so ag0. The Sol is a smaller chair packed with great massage features, including L-track, zero gravity, back heat, space saver, and USB port charging station. It is a small chair, what we have coined a “gamer chair”.

Other new models will be out within the next few months, including the new Infinity Overture and the Health Mate HM-8200. I’ll let you know about those models when they arrive.

You can tell that the industry is certainly leaning heavily on the L-track style of chair. All of these models are L-tracks and more will be coming. But, remember, if you want a fabulous stretch, you’re going to have to think about the S-track chairs. L-tracks aren’t known for their stretch programs.

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.