I received an email from a client last night concerning the “fit” of an arm in the arm rest of the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair. It is something that I’d never really thought about before and it just may be something that others are asking about the arm airbags of this chair. So, here is the question and my response for your benefit.
I saw the music system feature the first time on the Omega Montage massage chairs. We had one in the showroom a few years back and it seemed like a pretty cool thing at the time. That chair had a zip drive that came with the chair along with some heavy-duty headphones. All you had to do was download music onto the zip drive from your computer, plug the zip drive into the back of your massage chair and then listen on the headphones. What was really cool was that certain massage features worked in rhythm to the beat of the music.
I love music and listen to it as often as I can. I think that music has a very therapeutic value to it in many respects. I actually feel that music can contribute to healing. As a matter of fact, here is a site wholly dedicated to music therapy: http://www.musictherapy.org/. So, is music in a massage chair a silly thing? Probably not.
Omega also has music integrated into their Skyline and Serenity models.
Music System of the Osaki OS-6000 Massage Chair
Recently, Osaki came out with a music system in their new Osaki OS-6000. This is one of the Inada Sogno look-a-likes, but has the music system as a distinguishing feature from the Sogno (along with zero gravity). I think I like the Osaki’s music set-up more than the Omega music system. Here’s why…
1. You just plug in your phone or mp3 player into a 3.5 mm plug that is located on the remote control pedestal.
2. You can play all the music on your phone or music player and manage it directly from your phone/player.
3. The chair has two speakers, one on either side of the head, both located on the shoulder airbag protrusions. This gives you a stereophonic feel. No need for headphones or earbuds. You just plug in your phone and play music from the phone.
I will admit that the speaker system is not of super high quality, so if you are looking for a quadraphonic, BOSE-style sound effect, you will be sorely disappointed. But, if you want to listen to your favorite tunes while doing something great for your body, this music system will do just fine.
By the way, this music system also allows for the vibration massage to work in rhythm to the beat of the music you are listening to.
Here is a new video we made discussing and demonstrating the music system of the new Osaki OS-6000 massage chair:
I hope this explains a little more about the built-in music systems of massage chairs.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Part 2: Comparative Review of the Inada Sogno Massage Chair and Omega Montage Pro
Yesterday, in Part 1 of my comparison review between the Omega Montage Pro massage chair and the Inada Sogno massage chair, I went over 6 points that differentiate the two massage chairs. Here are 6 more points for you to consider when considering these similar looking but quite different models:
I hope this helps. I am always available anytime to answer any other questions.
A great question from a massage chair shopper. Here is Part 1 of the 2 part email exchange between us:
Hello, I am trying to find a top end massage chair that will do a great job on a full body massage. I really want to have one that does a great job on the hands/forearms and the legs/feet. I had a chance to try the Sogno chair and like it a lot. But I was a little disappointed with the intensity of the massage and I was hoping the foot massage would be more mechanical than just air bags. So with all of that said, I was hoping you could give me more information in comparing the Sogno vs the Omega Montage Pro. Can you tell me more about the Omega’s intensity of massage and if the foot and forearm massage is better than the Sogno? Any other info. you have would be helpful. Thank you! – Kevin
Massage Chair Answer:
(Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!)
Some Thoughts and Pics of the Osaki 6000 Massage Chair (Part 1)
We’ve had the Osaki 6000 massage chair in our showroom for over a week now and I have some initial observations I thought I would share with you about my experience with the chair:
1. The Massage Chair Design
It is a very nice, trendy looking massage chair with great “lines” (as we’d say about a car). Their design is what I consider a
knock-off design of the very famous and popular Inada Sogno massage chair, but a very nice and maybe even better looking design than the Sogno. I have the black model that also has silver accent stripes on the outside of each armrest. It is made of a synthetic material (faux leather, if you want to sound hip!)
Within the silver stripes, towards the back of the chair, LED lighting is blended within the stripes. The lights are blue and look fantastic and quite stylish. I haven’t used the chair in a dark room yet to see how the blue LED lights look that way, but the integration of the lights within the design of the chair is pretty cool.
2. Music System
I love the ease of use of the music system. The Omega Montage massage chairs had a jump drive that was included with the chair. You could download music to the jump drive and then plug it into a USB port at the back of the chair. With the Osaki 6000 massage chair, you have a simple plug as part of the remote control pedestal that plugs into your cell phone or iPod.
You can pick and choose your music and listen to what you want. You just pick your music as you would any other time from your
phone or mp3 player but now the music is getting pumped through a two-speaker system built into the shoulder airbag pieces. Now you can listen to your music in stereo while you are getting a great massage.
The music system also includes a “Music Synch” program that coordinates and synchronizes the chair massage to the beat of your music! Pretty cool stuff, actually.
3. 30″ Vertical Roller Track
I love the extra long vertical massage roller track; the rollers go way down in to the gluteal muscles thus providing a massage in the sacral area (the area just above the butt-crack, if you’ll pardon my vernacular!). Most chairs don’t go down there, except for the Inada Sogno, Inada Doctor’s Choice, and Sanyo 7700 and 8700 models. Those chairs are all priced considerably higher than the Osaki 6000 massage chair.
The drawback with a longer vertical track, if you want to call it a drawback, is that the rollers go so low into the back but at the opposite end of the spine, the rollers don’t go up real high in the neck. Like the Inada Sogno massage chair, the head piece of the Osaki 6000 provides an airbag compression massage to the neck. Unlike the Inada Sogno, which actually provides a kneading massage with those airbags, the neck massage in the Osaki 6000 is really just some pretty mild compression by the airbags.
If you want to get a neck massage using the rollers, you can just lift the head piece up and over the back of the chair and set the rollers manually to go up to the neck muscles. If you are a taller body, then you may have to slide down the chair a bit and recline the chair back all the way to get the rollers to hit the neck muscles.
I had a couple come in last week to try the Osaki 6000 in comparison to the Inada Sogno. The husband was 6’2″ and the wife was 5’7″. Both had to slide down the chair a bit to get an optimal neck massage from the rollers. A little bit of an inconvenience.
The intensity of the rollers can be adjusted from the remote control. I like an intense roller massage so I put the rollers on full-blast. I was quite happy with the massage and the intensity thereof.
4. Seat, Thigh, Calf & Foot Massage
The chair utilizes 51 airbags (vs. 32 in the Osaki 4000 massage chair) and a good portion of those
airbags are found in the lower body. They provide good airbag compression massage in those areas, no difference really compared to other chairs with airbags in the same areas. I love that you can adjust the intensity of the airbags to your comfort level.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this review. I will post it this weekend for your reading enjoyment.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Massage Chair Heat
A very common question from massage chairshoppers is “Does this or that model have heat?” I am going to discuss the different
types of heat that are available in the massage chair market and whether or not it is helpful or an overrated feature.
Surprising to many is that not all massage chairs have heat. I would say it is about half and half for those that do and those that don’t (based on my experience in this industry). I will only speak of the name-brand massage chairs, which are the only ones you can consistently and regularly trust for quality and warranty support.
Most massage chairs that have a heat function have it situated in or close to the low back. For example, the Human Touch HT-7450 massage chair and HT-7120 massage chair have a low back heater in the lower lumbar portion of the spine, which is around the belt line.
The Inada Sogno massage chair has a very interesting heat function, wherein there is a small heating element at the back of the seat, in the area of the sacrum, which is the hard bone in the middle of your spine just at the top of your buttocks. Some folks say that they don’t feel the heater in the Sogno, but it is there. Inada suggests a simple test if you don’t believe them. Put a dishtowel or washcloth over the back part of the seat and then sit in the chair for a session. When you are finished with the session feel the towel and you will feel heat in that one spot where the heating element is located.
A Massage Chair With Heat in the Feet!
Sanyo massage chairs do not have heat in the back, which is intuitively where you think a massage chair heater should be, but in the souls of the feet! Yes, at the very bottom of the chair underneath both feet is located a heating element. I suspect that this is geared towards the whole reflexology aspect of foot massage, which is a pretty popular thing in alternative health systems.
The Omega Montage has heat in the low back, the buttocks, and in the legs and feet. When you sit in that chair you will feel very warm, very fast. There is no doubt of the heat function when you are using the Omega massage chair. It can almost get too hot and you may need to shut off that feature if you want to sit for an extended period of time in that model.
Does Heat In A Massage Chair Really Do Anything?
Now, the big question is…is the heat function all that important? Well, I have a couple of opinions on that. The purpose of heat is to increase blood flow to an area. Cold is used to decrease blood flow to an area. You can tell when there is increased blood flow to an area by how red that area becomes when heat is applied or, as in the example of a soft tissue injury, when you see red swelling around the injured area.
As far as massage chairs are concerned, just the repetitive action of the rollers on your back will increase blood flow to the back muscles and skin. When you are finished a massage chair session and you look at your back in the mirror you will probably see red lines from the rollers going up and down your back. That is a sign of increased blood flow, which is indicative of increased heat to that region. That will happen with our without a heating mechanism. You will also feel hotter in the massage chair while you are getting your therapy because of that increased blood flow.
So, if you are after heat when you are in your massage chair, you will get it no matter what, so long as the chair is on and the rollers are working. Adding a heating element will, in my opinion, just speed up the effects of heat. It will be introduced to your body as soon as you turn on that function on your chair anyway.
So, when it is all said and done, you will feel heat and benefit from the effects of heat regardless of whether your chair has a heating element or not. Of course, for every extra feature that you get on a massage chair, you will pay a little bit more too. So, if cost is an issue, reducing features like heat will most likely save you some money in the process.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Zero Gravity Massage Chair – The True Story
My 19 years of chiropractic and the last 9 years of massage chair usage bring me to some conclusions about the zero gravity massage chair. Also, termed “anti-gravity,” zero gravity has become a catch phrase with massage chair shoppers. It has become so
popular that much confusion about the term has resulted.
Unfortunately, many proponents of the feature make claims that cannot be supported. Nearly all sales people lately seem to be saying their chairs are zero gravity. Upon close examination of the chairs said to have this feature, I have to say the claims seem close to false advertising.
History of Zero Gravity Massage Chairs
Zero gravity first became known from NASA studies in the space program. The largestUSmassage chair manufacturer, Human Touch, used the concept of zero-gravity to design chairs for the home. They called the line of chairs – Perfect Chair.
To paraphrase the Human Touch website, NASA’s Skylab program discovered a body position which feels like weightlessness. It is the point at which muscles are balanced with lessened pressure from gravity and the result is true relaxation. The Perfect Chair recliner is designed to produce zero gravity.
There is a reason you were encouraged to avoid slumping as a teenager. Gravity exerts a horrific force on the body throughout life. If your body is not in proper alignment, gravity will cause all kinds of health problems. By positioning your body at zero gravity, pressure on joints is relieved. All those places like your knees, neck, hips, lower and upper back can relax because gravitational force is lessened. By regular sessions in your chair, you can keep your body structure aligned and healthy.
To give you an example, a common malady is a slouched shoulder posture along with a forward head carriage. Gravitational “pull” adversely affects your spine when you continue in such a body position. Fatigue sets in because it takes energy to battle the effects of gravity on your off-kilter body. The pressure on your joints causes them to wear out with such musculoskeletal conditions as degenerative arthritis the tragic result.
Perhaps you have tried out a zero gravity chair. If so, you know how the term “weightlessness” applies to such a massage chair. Your position in the chair removes pressure and is very comfortable. Sufferers of low back pain are especially helped. I have heard many people say their sleep is better in a zero gravity chair than in their own bed.
So, What On Earth Is Zero Gravity Anyway?
The best seated position to produce “weightlessness” is for the seat to tilt up 30 degrees. That’s zero gravity. A simple idea is what Human Touch used to design the Perfect Chair line. Then they applied the same concept to the HT-7450 massage chair. This was the beginning of zero gravity in a massage chair. This, along with the massage feature, spawned a whole new level of therapy from massage chair manufacturers.
Soon Sanyo introduced the Sanyo 7700 massage chair. They employed the same technology with the 30 degree seat angle along with massage therapy. The true zero gravity chairs, the Sanyo 7700 and the Human Touch HT-7450 are very popular for their respective manufacturers. I believe the tilted seat is the key to their popularity. Since then many new massage chair models have come out with zero gravity as a primary feature. Examples of some of these models include the Osaki 4000, Osaki 6000, Osaki 7000, Omega Montage Pro,
Zero Gravity Massage Chairs – False Advertising?
It is beyond me why there are so many models claiming the zero gravity feature when their seats have nowhere near a 30 degree upward tilt. It appears to be a marketing scheme to take advantage of the current zero gravity frenzy.
Regardless of the massage chair you get for your office or home, whether anti-gravity or not, it will be life changing. You will love it, and your body will thank you. If you want to own a true zero gravity massage chair, now you know enough to ask the right questions before you buy.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I just realized that it’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog entry. You are probably chomping at the bit for more massage chair info, aren’t you! 🙂 Well, nothing too terribly exciting to report. We are still waiting on the new Acutouch 9500 massage chair by Human Touch; Inada will be introducing a new color for the Sogno in a few weeks; we will finally be getting one of the new Omega zero gravity massage chairs in our showroom, now that we have sold the Montage floor model.
I also have another video to share with you of the Inada Sogno massage chair. We get asked all the time if we will make videos of other chairs. YES, we will. I am just too dang busy or lazy to get them done. But, we will be doing them later this summer on other models.
This video introduces the headpiece function of the Inada Sogno, which is very unique. It is the only chair that has a headpiece like this. Check it out…
Dr. Alan Weidner
I get lots and lots of folks visiting our Massage Chair Relief showroom here in Salt Lake City from many of our neighboring states. As a matter of fact, we’ve had visitors from as far away as Georgia and Illinois. Well, we had a lovely 86 year old lady from Malad, Idaho come to our showroom yesterday to purchase an Inada i2A massage chair. I personally drove the 2 hours to her home this morning to drop off the chair. What a lovely town. I had driven past it many, many times en route to visit our folks in Canada but had never stopped there. I just loved it.
As we drove through the town to drop off the chair, we noticed a little B-B-Que place on the town’s main street called “Speros House of B.B. Que”. Of course, on the way out of town, I just had to stop there for lunch (can’t pass up a b.b.que place!). It is a little tiny building with the grills and smokers outside. There was cedar wood all over the ground and wooden park benches for sitting all over the place. The food was fantastic…I’m still full from the meal. Anyways, if you are driving down the I-15 between Pocatello and Salt Lake City, drop by for a visit and enjoy. I included a little pic of it.
We are going to have the Sanyo 7700 massage chair in our showroom, finally, next week. We are excited about that. We are also bringing back the Omega Montage massage chair to our showroom. We had some trouble in the past with the chair back not working right, but Omega has put in a new motor that makes everything just right. It was a fairly popular chair before so we are glad to get it back in the showroom. I hope to have a Serenity zero gravity massage chair in the showroom in October when they are first introduced to the US market.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I just got off the phone today with Jimi and Peter at Omega Massage. We called to find out if the chair back problem that we had experienced with the Omega Montage Elite massage chair is still a problem or if it had been remedied. We had had a few models in our showroom but had decided to not carry them in our showroom because they had recurrent chair back problems, where the chair back wouldn’t come back up once it was fully reclined. Well, they told me that it has been rectified and a new motor has been put in these chairs to make sure that didn’t happen anymore. So, I am glad to hear that.
While on the phone, Jimi told me about the new Skyline and Serenity zero gravity massage chairs that they are coming out with later this year (probably September or later). These are very contemporary-looking massage chairs that go into a zero gravity position, much like the Perfect Chair by Human Touch. But, these ones have massage mechanisms in them, unlike the Perfect Chair. Jimi told me that it has a roller mechanism in the lumbar region but uses more air bags for the other parts for the massage effect. He sent me over a few pics of the new Skyline model and he gave me permission to share them with you. So, here they are:
What do you think? Kinda modern looking, but kinda cool looking too. I love the wood accents and the silver legs. We will give you the feature-set for these chairs when I get them from Omega Massage.
Have a super day!
Dr. Alan Weidner
Jimmie R. bought an Omega Montage massage chair from us a couple of weeks ago. I just had to share his experience with you because it teaches some really good and bad lessons about massage chair usage.
We set up the chair, left some instructions with Jimmie on how to use the remote control and some of the other features, and then left him to his own “therapeutic designs”.
A week later, I visited with Jimmie and asked him how the new massage chair was working for him. He told me the following…
He had sat on the massage chair for 3 HOURS! Yes, you heard me right…3 straight, solid hours of massage chair therapy, on the first day! He then told me that he was sick for a week. I asked him if he had nausea, a cold, flu, headaches, or what. He said “Yes” to all of those symptoms. So, after sitting on a massage chair for 3 straight hours, he developed all kinds of “flu-like” symptoms that persisted for a week.
I asked him how he was doing now and he said fantastic. He said that his neck and arm pain that he had had for years was all gone. He said he never felt better! Isn’t that something?
So, I figure what happened was that he sat on the massage chair way too long, which unleashed lots of toxins from the muscles into his body (most bodies are not accustomed to massage when they receive it). These toxins have a nasty way of expressing themselves, as in the above list of symptoms suffered by our dear friend Jimmie. Then he felt great because the long and short of it is that massage from massage chairs actually is VERY THERAPEUTIC. Jimmie reaped the benefits of massage, but just in a far more difficult way than he actually had to experience them.
Here are the lessons learned:
1. Do not sit on a massage chair for 3 hours if you are not accustomed to the massage chair therapy. 10 – 20″ is just fine to start.
2. Drink plenty of non-carbonated beverages, i.e. water, after a massage chair session to minimize the toxin pain.
3. Expect to feel better, because your body really appreciates being massaged.
4. If you are sore after your first few massage chair sessions, don’t be discouraged. It is commonplace and you WILL feel better…I promise.
Thanks for the lessons Jimmie and I am sure glad you are loving your new massage chair.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Sometimes we hear some pretty cool things about how our massage chairs have benefited a massage chair user. Here is a pretty neat story…
We had a visitor to our store who suffers from diabetes. He was only in his mid-30’s, but had already suffered for the majority of his life with numbness and burning in both of his legs. He also said that his legs had always felt very “heavy”.
Well, he came to try out our massage chairs and ended up enjoying the Omega Montage, which boasts a pretty good leg and foot massage, along with an MP3 player for you listening enjoyment. After he got up from the chair, following a 30 minute session, he immediately noticed that his legs felt lighter and, best of all, the burning and numb feelings were gone!! WOW! I love hearing stories like that. It just reinforces what we already know…that massage chairs have tremendous therapeutic value for everyone. Even with conditions where you wouldn’t think it could be of benefit for you, you just may be surprised by the results. And if you don’t have any physical ailment, you will definitely feel a decrease in stress after your session.
By the way, if you live in Utah, you are welcome to drop by our showroom anytime for as many times as you’d like to try out our massage chairs. You don’t have to buy one to enjoy it. You can drop by the showroom and just enjoy.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I rarely get asked this question, but some folks like to know which chairs, if any, have an arm massage feature on them. Well, here is what we have and what else is out there.
The Omega Montage massage chair comes with an additional feature if you want to order it…an arm massage device feature. They are large clamp-like gadgets that come off the arm rest into which you place your arms. They kinda look like large, metal blood pressure cuffs that fit on your forearm! It costs $200 extra for the feature, but some folks want that.
The other chairs that we carry that have this feature are the Panasonic 3222 and 30003. But it is also an additional feature for both these chairs. For example, if you want to get the arm massage feature on the Panasonic 30003 massage chair, you get to order the Panasonic 30004 massage chair. If you want the arm massage feature on the Panasonic 3222, then you order the Panasonic 3513. Brookstone used to carry the Panasonic 3513 but has since abandoned that model for their own OSIM chairs. Although we don’t have the Panasonic 3513 or 30004 models on our website, because they are not terribly popular chairs, we can get them for you. Just call us or email me and we can arrange it for you if you are interested in either one.
The HT-1650 massage chair has an arm vibration feature, but it is not a full massage like these other chairs. I wouldn’t consider it arm massage, but it at least is something for the neglected arms (neglected because all our massage chairs cater to eveything except arms!).
Dr. Alan Weidner