Why Don’t Both Arm’s Airbags Inflate at the Same Time?

OS-Pro Ekon arm airbags
OS-Pro Ekon arm airbags

One of the things about 99% of all massage chairs that confuses the people who use them is why the arm airbags (aka air cells) inflate on one arm and then the other, rather than at the same time. Great question! And the answer has everything to do with safety and not symmetry.

When folks come to my showroom, many of them want to know why the arm airbags all don’t inflate in unison. It seems logical and intuitive that both arms would be compressed by airbags at the same time. After all, the legs, shoulders, and waist airbags all do. So, why not the arms?

inada nest massage chair
Right Arm Airbags

The thinking of the massage chair engineers is that if both arms are being squeezed at the same time and an immediate emergency arises, it can be quite difficult and time consuming to get an arm out from between compressing airbags in order to get to the remote control to turn it off. It can be a challenge if the airbags are at full squeezing capacity.

So, the came up with the idea of inflating the airbags on one side and then the other. That way, you can always easily escape your chair should the immediate need arise. Some folks also feel a little claustrophobic when both of their arms are restrained by the airbags. It can create a bit of panic in the user’s mind.

Well, that’s it! Pretty simple isn’t it? But helpful and practical when you think about it. There are still some models that have bilateral simultaneous arm airbag inflation, but we are seeing less and less of them.

Most, if not all, chairs have a full body stretch program. That is the only time in pretty much all massage chairs when both arms are compressed and grabbed by airbags at the same time, but even that event is fleeting. It is only done when the chair back is reclining and the leg rest is dropping to facilitate the stretch.

I believe the Osaki Dreamer and Cyber as well as the uKnead Lohas have the simultaneous arm grab.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Alan Weidner

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uKnead Lohas Massage Chair

Massage Chair Relief logo
Massage Chair Relief logo
uKnead Lohas

We started carrying the uKnead line of chairs last year and began with the Lavita, which has been a pretty popular selling model for us. A few months ago they introduced the Lohas massage chair and we got a model for our Utah showroom. Here are my early impressions of the chair, without going into full “Review mode” and considering that the model we got for our showroom was an earlier Beta test chair and the current publicly released version is a bit different:

  1. Ergonomic Body Design – The body design is pretty sleek and is reminiscent of the Human Touch Novo XT. With this chair, the Novo XT and the new Infinity Altera, maybe this unibody design is the new standard of chair designs. I remember when the DreamWave came out in 2009 that many of the Chinese chairs released subsequent to it mimicked it’s design. Maybe this is the new trend.
  2. 50″ L-track – Just like the uKnead Lavita, the roller track is 50″ long. However, it feels different on the spine than does the Lavita. Of course each different model has it’s own feel, but I was kind of expecting the rollers to feel the same as the Lavita. It is definitely a different feel. And, although it is the same length as the Lavita, I didn’t feel like it hit as far down the hamstrings as does the Lavita.
  3. Foot & Calf Rollers – Most chairs nowadays have foot rollers, but still very few have any form of
    uKnead Lavita
    uKnead Lavita massage chair

    calf rollers. The Lohas (and Lavita) has a disk behind the calf muscles that rotate and stroke the gastrocnemius in the process.

  4. 3-Stage Zero Gravity – You have 3 options for zero gravity (although, honestly, there is only 1 true zero gravity position) so you can recline the whole chair while simultaneously raising the ottoman down to 3 different positions.
  5. Space Saver – You can place this chair close to the wall, if you’re tight for room space, because of the way the chair reclines. It rotates down and away from the wall when reclined, allowing you to place the chair only a couple of inches from the wall.
  6. BlueTooth Connectivity and Speakers – Pair up your device with the chair and listen to your device’s playlist over the stereo speaker set up.
  7. Other features include 48 airbags, 8 auto programs, heat, 1 year parts & labor in-home warranty (with a 2nd year of parts coverage), quad rollers, user weight recommendation of 285 lbs, user height recommendations of 5′ – 6’3″, and quick keys on the right arm rest for rapid deployment of the massage.

The Lohas is a nice, compact massage chair that gives you a vigorous massage while also looking pretty dang good at the same time. It comes in mocha or black interior with a cream outer shell. Priced at $3895 at the time of this writing.

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.