I think that the first time I ever saw shoulder airbags was on the Panasonic Ep30007 chair. I remember being curious as to why the airbags were in the chair back and pushed the shoulders forward, as this seemed rather counter-intuitive to a chiropractor who worked on correcting forward slumping shoulders. Why on earth would a chair push the shoulders forward, when they obviously needed to be pulled back? That was exactly my sentiment when I saw that feature on that chair.
Then, a few years later Inada introduced the Doctor’s Choice 3A massage chair, which had a shoulder housing on either side of the body that had airbags that inflated to the FRONT of the shoulders, thereby pinning the shoulders back. Now, that made sense to me. I remember being so impressed with the idea of airbags pinning the shoulders back in an effort to improve posture. I also remember sitting on that chair for the first time and feeling taller (and less “slumped” when I stood up afterwards. I was excited to have a chair to offer customers that had a feature like this. I felt it was very much needed and that it complimented the spinal correction I did as a chiropractor. Continue reading “Shoulder Airbags: What and How”
CUSTOMER EMAIL #1
Hi. The Iyashi has 49″ roller track,buttocks and thighs roller massage. I thought the 8500 also had a 49″ roller all the way down to the buttocks. When I do the compare models on your website I don’t see it listed for the 8500. Yes / No ? The newer Iyashi doesn’t have Neck/Head Airbags like the 8500 ..yes /no ? I also see the 8500 doesn’t have vibration and the new Iyashi does. Where does it vibrate on the Iyashi ? They both have Zero Gravity but I notice the 8500 has 2 stages and the Iyashi has only one. What are the pro and cons having 2 stages VS one stage ? I really like the Inversion feature on the 8500 and notice the Iyashi doesn’t have it. Is this the same as the Power Recline ? My job has me on my feet all day. I work outside here in NYC and walk 5-6 miles a day and have to wlk up 5-6 flights of stairs several times a day up and don. So my calves are in knots and feet on fire at the end of day so the foot rollers for the 8500 /Iyashi is a must. I also carry a backpack that weighs at least 20-25 lbs on a normal day. None of this is helping my back or neck (herniated discs) . I like deep hard massages so the least air bag features for back and legs is best for me. Too bad they don’t have the rollers for the arms or head ..lol What are Quad Style Rollers compared to other rollers ? Alos..Do any machines actually have Grasping/Gripping..I see that lisyed as a spec but haven’t found a model with that feature yet. Also. what is Junetsu ? Thanks for your time ..appreciate it ! Continue reading “Mail Bag – Iyashi vs. IT-8500; Sogno vs. iRobotics 6S; Broad-Chested Guy”
Hi Dr. Weidner, I was wondering if you could help me narrow my search for a chair based upon my specific issues. I currently have lumbar pain – which moves into the hip/buttocks as the day moves on. IT band and hamstrings are really tight. I have a long term tightness and pain in my neck- a result of a degenerated C5-C6. I enjoyed lounging on my brother in law’s Sanyo massage chair while in Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. We visited a local store and I tried out a Cozzia and Human Touch as well as one that had a feature called Dream Wave. The last one was the priciest, but was frustrating to me if I pulled my hand out for any reason, I was unable to re-insert it into the arm cradle. I live in West Michigan, an area that doesn’t seem to have retailers willing to invest in our market. The thought of traveling hours via plane to SLC makes my hip hurt, just wanted to see if you had any ideas for me. thanks for your consideration and ideas. Sue Continue reading “Mail Bag – Chair for low back and neck pain; Iyashi vs. Cyber; Titan vs. Omega Pro”
Well, tonight ends 2012. Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to visit my site, read my blog posts, watch my videos, and buy our products. I am completely and whole-heartedly grateful to you all for being a part of our business in 2012.
Here are a few items to chew on: Continue reading “Massage Chair News and Notes – 12/31/12”
I sat down, via Skype Video, with Jim Coppins, Vice-President of Infinite Therapeutics, in a 1/2 hour, 2-part interview to discuss the company, it’s product line, and the very popular IT-8200 and IT-8500 massage chair models. Here is Part 1 of that interview, along with the transcripts.
Transcript of Video Titled “Interview with Jim Coppins VP at Infinite Therapeutics (Part 1)” Continue reading “My Interview With Jim Coppins, VP of Infinite Therapeutics (Part 1)”
This issue comes up all the time as I speak to hundreds of massage chair shoppers. Pretty much everyone who calls knows about the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair and in their heart of hearts want one, but many of these shoppers are looking for something much less expensive.
With so many Chinese-made Sogno look-a-likes in the market now (i.e. Osaki OS-4000, Osaki OS-6000, IT-8200, IT-8500, Omega Montage Pro, among others) that are less than half the price of the Sogno, the question arises as to whether the Sogno is really more than twice the chair in features and quality as it is in price.
Today’s blog post addresses this issue since it is so commonly asked. Continue reading “Is The Japanese-Made Inada Sogno Worth The Higher Price?”
Panasonic just announced this week that they are increasing their new chair warranty from 1 year parts and labor to 3 years parts and labor. Both the old and the new warranties included in-home service. This is for all Panasonic massage chairs.
I think that ultimately the client wins and I am glad to see Panasonic step up to the plate to offer this kind of warranty. Inada introduced this warranty a couple of years ago and it has been awesome. Panasonic is only the second company to offer this type of warranty on all their chairs. Omega offers a 5 year parts and labor, in-home warranty on their new Montage Pro chair, but that is the only chair in their catalog that has this type of warranty. Continue reading “New Warranty For Panasonic Massage Chairs”
My Top 5 Zero Gravity Massage Chair Picks
I was asked the other day for my top 5-10 zero gravity massage chairs (As a reminder, zero gravity means a 30 degree tilt of the seat of the chair to reduce gravitational pressure on the low back. Nothing more, nothing less). Well, I could only come up with 5. And, here is the list and my reasoning for listing them in this order:
Massage Chair Shoulder Airbags
Shoulder massage in a massage chair means different things to different people. The same kind of confusion occurs when someone says “hip” massage. It could mean the thighs, the low back, the pelvis, the buttocks, etc.
With shoulder massage, to some people it could mean the shoulder blades, the trapezius muscles, the upper back, the outside of the shoulders, etc. So, you see it can be very confusing.
For the sake of this article, I will break down each definition of shoulder and then discuss which massage chairs can cater to what a “shoulder” is according to those definitions.
1. Trapezius muscles (the “traps”)
These muscles are located at the top of your shoulders and constitute those muscles that get really tight when you are working at a desk, particularly at a computer. They are the muscles you grab when your “shoulders” feel sore and tight. When you look at the muscle-man they are the muscles that can get so big that they make the man look like he has no neck. They are the muscles that go from the base of the neck to your shoulder joint.
There are really one two massage chairs that can come close to addressing this area. First of all is the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair. It has a head piece that Inada calls the Cervical Traction Device. At the bottom of this head piece, there are two massage airbags, one on either side of the user’s neck, that will inflate and direct pressure downward onto those trap muscles. It is a very intense airbag massage and feels delightful. This is the only massage chair that has this direct airbag compression feature on the traps. The intensity of the airbag compression can be adjusted, but it truly feels like the elbows of a trained massage therapist digging down into those “shoulder” muscles.
The Panasonic 30007 massage chair does not have airbag compression onto those muscles, but it has a roller system that tries to hit that spot. Like all massage chairs, the 30007 has rollers that go up and down your spine. Unlike other massage chairs, when the rollers hit the shoulder area (the trap area), the track of those rollers allows the rollers to roll for forward over top of the trap muscles. It is not a significant roll forward but enough to make it feel like the user is getting the trap muscles addressed to some degree.
The Inada Sogno is definitely better than the 30007 in terms of hitting that area of the shoulder, but both chairs make the effort.
2. Shoulder blades/Mid Back
Of course, these are located in the back and are very common areas of soreness. Virtually every manufacturer addresses this area with their own proprietary roller system in their massage chairs.
No massage chair actually massages the whole shoulder blade, but they all hit the edges of the shoulder blades that are closest to the spine. The principle muscles at that area are called rhomboids and they tend to get sore with lots of sitting and a slumping posture. Most folks don’t even realize that they have a problem there until they sit in a massage chair and the rollers hit that spot.
Massage chairs are great at massaging this area. This area between the shoulder blades is a common point of soreness for many people with poor posture. Not only will the rollers of the massage chair work over the muscles in that area and give the user some relief, they will also push the spine forward and give the user the feeling that they are standing taller and straighter after a session.
So, if you have a slumping posture, prepare to feel taller and straighter after a session on virtually any massage chair with a roller
Inada has a massage chair called the Doctor’s Choice massage chair, which has a neat posture correction feature. It actually has airbags that compress the front of either shoulder while the rollers go up and down the mid/upper back and shoulder blade areas. It pins the shoulders back while the rollers are hitting this area, thus accentuating the proper posture position and working that area even more intensely than any other massage chair model.
3. Outside part of the shoulders
This area is where the deltoid muscles are located. The recent onslaught of Inada Sogno look-a-likes out of China have an airbag that
inflates and pushes on the outside of the shouder where the deltoid muscle is, but their effectiveness are limited. A good sample of a chair with this feature would be the Osaki 6000 massage chair or the Omega Montage Pro massage chair. The Inada Sogno has a full arm massage feature which is very unique. The airbags that the Sogno employs get close to those muscles and do somewhat compress them, but it is not a full on deltoid massage.
This review of shoulder massage should assist in identifying what is meant by “shoulder” pain and what massage chair will cater to that issue.
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!)
Omega Montage Pro Massage Chair
Omega has come out with a new massage chair and they are calling it the Montage Pro. It is a nice looking chair, apparently patterned
after the design of the very popular Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair. We have seen Osaki, OSIM, and now Omega come out with Inada Sogno look-a-likes.
I can’t speak to how the Pro feels, since I’ve not sat in it yet, but I can certainly point out a few things about the chair which I feel are noteworthy.
1. Mechanical rollers in the feet. I wrote a blog post some time ago about mechanical foot rollers after a client asked me if I was aware of any massage chairs with mechanical foot rollers, and not just air bag compression massage. He had owned a King Kong chair which apparently had mechanical rollers, but they had gone out of business. Other than the “paddles” which the HT-9500 massage chair has (not rollers but air paddles), every other massage chair I could think of had only air bag compression massage in the feet. The Omega Pro HAS mechanical foot rollers.
2. 30″ Roller Track. 30″ is a good long roller track. Some chairs have 25″ or less roller track length. If that is the case, the area that is compromised is the low, low back. The longer the track length the further down the low back the rollers will go. If you’ll pardon the pun, the long and short of what I’m trying to say is 30″ is a good long length.
3. It has an intensity control, unlike the other Omega chairs in the Montage family. So, if you want it one intensity and someone else in your home wants it at another intensity, the Pro provides that option.
4. No Stretch program. Stretch programs, regardless of the manufacturer, are usually well liked features of a massage chair. I noticed in the literature that stretch is not an available program on this chair.
5. Heat. Just like the other Montage models, heat is a big feature in the Pro.
Well, that about sums up my initial observations of this new chair from Omega. The price point is $6499. Compared to the Inada Sogno that is a bit pricey for a Chinese-made massage chair. When Inada raises the price of their Sogno to $7799 in February 2012 Omega’s price might seem a little more reasonable, relatively-speaking. Learn more about the chair here: http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/massage-chairs/omega/omega-montage-pro/
Dr. Alan Weidner
Lots Happening in our Massage Chair World!
It is an exciting time of the year for us as massage chair retailers! Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping and it starts to get a little crazy for us…and I absolutely love the energy associated with this time of year. I love getting your calls and inquiries about massage chairs. It is so fun interacting with all of you.
I get lots of calls about whether we have Black Friday promotions going on at Massage Chair Relief. Well, yes we do! Call our showroom at 801-417-8240 and we’ll tell you what we have going on for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Here are some massage chair things you need to know:
1. The Inada i1 is replacing the i2A massage chair. The chairs are basically the same except that the i1 does not have arm vibration nor does it have the wood accent on the sides of the chair. Otherwise, it is the same chair. It is also a little cheaper at $3749.
2. Massage Chair Relief website redesign! Man, I am excited about this. We are completely revamping our website and it should be done this weekend. If you check in and find something lacking or anything that doesn’t work right, please let me know. It will be very easy to shop at www.Massage-Chair-Relief.com with the new design. We’ve been working on it for quite some time.
3. With the new site design, we will be adding a new line of massage chairs to our repertoire. The Osaki line of massage chairs is a
chinese-made line of massage chairs put out by the same company that introduced Titan chairs to the market. This line will provide a good line up of full-featured massage chair models in the under-$3000 price range. The models are the Osaki, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000. You can’t see them just yet…not until our site redesign is complete (see #2 above).
4. Omega massage chairsare introducing a new offering to the massage chair market. It is the Omega Montage Pro. I don’t know the
pricing yet, but I do know that it will be available after December 1. It appears to be, like the Osaki 3000 & 4000 models and OSIM uAstro, a lookalike model of the famous and extremely popular Inada Sogno massage chair. This is a chinese-manufactured chair with some nice features. Based on the other massage chairs already in the Omega Montage series, I suspect this chair will be priced in the $4000 range.
5. Inada has discontinued the Cube chair. A cute chair but it didn’t quite take off as they had hoped. It is still up on our website, as you can still buy inventory, but if you call me at 801-651-2026, I can get you a screaming deal on one! The Cube will not be on our site redesign. Inada massage chairs still include the Sogno, the Yume, and the i1.
Well, that’s about it. Have a fun shopping season. Please call with any and all massage chair questions. I’m always around. I told a customer last night in the showroom that my cell phone is like a body part to me…it goes with me everywhere I go and I use it at all times of the day and night.
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