Transcript of Video Titled “Remote Control – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Arm Airbags – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Shoulder Airbags – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – June 3, 2016”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 23, 2016”
Transcript of Video Titled “Foot & Calf Massage – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 26, 2016”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – December 16, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Introduction – HT-Bali Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Trapezia Massage – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – November 17, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair vs. Recliner”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – November 3, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – October 21, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Panasonic MA73 vs. MA70 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “First Time Use – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Introduction – Panasonic MA73 Massage Chair”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – October 6, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – September 22, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – August 25, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – July 14, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – June 28, 2015”
1. Luraco iRobotics 7
Luraco introduced a new model, the iRobotics 7, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas back in January. At that time, the chair was not fully completed but the body was on display at the show. That model is now about ready for market deployment and I will be checking it out next week during my trip to Texas (see #3 below).
Here is what I know about the chair so far: Continue reading “Quick Hits – iRobotics 7; 18 Month 0% Financing; Visit to Texas”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 16, 2015”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 2, 2015”
As anticipated, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday was crazy busy! Because of the number of sales and the number of people who called me to see if they could have a few more days to decide on the right massage chair (it’s not really a spur of the moment decision!), we have extended our Cyber Monday pricing to the end of this week. I can’t put the deals on the website, so you’ve got to call me at 888-259-5380 to find out what pricing is available for the rest of this week. Continue reading “Christmas Shopping Deadlines!”
More and more folks are asking about a massage chair that doesn’t look like a massage chair, but can double as a regular recliner. I think that as more shoppers come into the marketplace, there will be more of a relative demand for that type of massage chair. Aesthetics are important to people and making a massage chair fit in with existing decorum can be quite a challenge.
There is a trade-off when a massage chair chooses aesthetics over feature-set. Obviously, you can’t have a full-feature massage chair, with all the bells and whistles, and still have a chair that doesn’t resemble a massage chair at all. So, the trade off is aesthetics for features. The manufacturers are getting more and more clever in their ability to hide blatant massage chair features, but for a full service feature-set, you will most likely have to compromise on looks.
I thought that today I might discuss some massage chair options that would provide therapeutic benefit while at the same time providing some looks that don’t so blatantly scream “therapeutic massage chair” and can soothe the savage beast of your home or business decorator. Continue reading “Massage Chair and/or Recliner”
EMAIL QUESTION #1
Hi, I am researching massage chairs and have a few questions: I’m a fitness enthusiast and exercise often. I often have sore glutes, quads, and hamstrings after an intense lower body workout. That’s why the 49″ roller track on the Infinity Iyashi is very interesting to me. My only concern is its shoulder and neck massage capability. My day job involves sitting in front of a computer all day, so I have tight neck and trapezius muscles. I’m reading conflicting reports on whether the Iyashi gives adequate massages in those areas. 1. Dr. Weidner mentioned that the auto-program isn’t as intense as he likes in those areas, but later mentioned that the manual program is pretty strong. He also once mentioned that the rollers seems to come forward a bit (like the Panasonic MA70) on top of the shoulders, but this was not mentioned again anywhere else. Can you confirm whether the Iyashi gives good massages on the neck and top of the shoulders? 2. Given my requirements, do you recommend anything other than the Iyashi? 3. What happens if something breaks down on the Iyashi in the 2nd year (when it’s under parts warranty, but not labor). Does Infinite Therapeutics still send someone out, but I’d just have to pay for labor myself? Roughly how much would it cost labor wise, for an in-house service visit? Thanks, Trent Continue reading “Mail Bag – Iyashi Neck Massage; Arthritic Hip and Low Back”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – September 18, 2014” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry – September 18, 2014”
We are heading into the 4th quarter of the year and soon massage chairs will be flying “off the shelves.” I might suggest you start thinking seriously about getting your chair early to avoid a run on colors and models that leaves you without an option for the holiday gift-giving season.
Here are some things of note going on in the industry as of late: Continue reading “Quick Hits – Black Iyashi Back; Montage Pro Warranty; Visiting IT”
Hi, I’m continuing to research and look for the chair that will be best for me at the best possible price. Initially the Osaki OS-4000t was on the top of my list. My research is making me concerned about the ability of the OS-4000t to massage the shoulders and neck. This is where I carry my stress… I’ve found the Infinity IT-8200 and it sounds very similar to the OS-4000t, but with inversion therapy and hip stretch. It doesn’t look like you carry the IT-8200 anymore, but will ask if you can get the Infinity IT-8200 as well as the best price on this chair. Another chair that is much more expensive, but keeps coming up is the Panasonic EP-30007. Mostly because it seems it does a great neck massage and has foot massage rollers. Panasonic also has the reputation and brand familiarity. I’m not sure if the foot rollers are under the foot or above the foot? I’ve also read the OS-4000t roller range is really more like 26″ instead of the 30″ advertised. I’m not against the OS-4000t, but am trying to uncover its weaknesses. Is the OS-4000t going to give me a better bang for my buck than the IT-8200 and EP-30007? Or, will I be frustrated I didn’t get everything I wanted? And finally, design… Seems in this aspect the Infinity in Taupe is the most attractive and the OS-4000t looks a little space-age for a liviing room. Too bad the Panasonic isn’t available in Taupe or brown. On the other hand, smaller is better so the chair isn’t the “elephant in the room”, putting the OS-4000t back in favor. Is there one that, in person, has nicer leather, materials, and design over the others? Sorry for so many questions but I don’t have the ability to sit in or see any of these chairs near where I live, Fort Collins, Co. Thanks again, Doug. Continue reading “Mail Bag – OS-4000T vs. IT-8500; MA70 vs. OS-Pro Intelligent”
CUSTOMER EMAIL #1
Dear Alan, I have scoliosis and arthritis and had initially thought to buy a Panasonic EP-30007. I am 5’tall and like firm massages and a good stretch to get me out of spasm. I’ve had one lower back surgery thus far ( synovial cyst ) and one bout of shots to numb nerves for sciatic and severe pain.
Years ago at a Las Vegas trade show I thought the Panasonic was the best chair but as I recently started looking around for a showroom ( east coast NYC area) to try one I discovered out of three showrooms, NY, NH and PA, no one had a Panasonic on their floors even though they sold their chairs. I was told consistently that they had old technology and people didn’t seem to like them so the owners did not want to take up space on them. I tried contacting the Panasonic Website for a place to try them in my area but got no response. Continue reading “Mail Bag – Panasonic MA70 vs. Dreamwave; Pro Cyber vs. Short Folks; DreamWave Remote Idea”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – July 10, 2014” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update – July 10, 2014”
Hi there. Is there any way to get around the built-in 15 minute timer on the Inada Sogno?
My Response #1
Thanks for your email. The sessions can last from 15-20 minutes in length depending on the body scan findings, but other than that you can’t adjust the session timer. The good thing with the Sogno, though, is when the program stops the chair will not come back up to the parked position but stay where you had it reclined. You just need to push the program button again and it will start up with you in the very same position. Continue reading “Mail Bag – Inada Sogno Timer; Compact Chair; Intense Massage”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – June 25, 2014” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update – June 25, 2014”
CUSTOMER EMAIL #1
Can you help me make the right choice between Infiniti IT-8500 and Osaki OS 7075R? We want a good massage chair with zero gravity functions. My wife likes a stronger massage and I am more of a relaxing massage type of a person. My wife really cares about upper back and shoulers and neck. Any advice? Thanks, Martin Continue reading “Mail Bag – IT-8500 vs. OS-7075R; HT-7450 vs. MA70 vs. J6800”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 12, 2014” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 12, 2014”
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”
I have a few things to go over today in our “Quick Hits” segment. I will post updated news and notes in this segment as they come over the wire to me. I also discuss most news and notes in my biweekly Massage Chair Industry Update videos which you can see on our YouTube channel. Please feel free to SUBSCRIBE to our channel so that you can be updated the moment we post a new video. Continue reading “Quick Hits – OS-3D Pro Dreamer change, J6800 colors, Used chairs”
Here are 3 more great questions from massage chair shoppers around the country. This week we touch on warranty support for small towns around America, the Sanyo chair which is supposed to be discontinued, and a question about how the Panasonic MA70 compares to the Osaki 7200H. Enjoy! Continue reading “Mail Bag – Small Town Warranty Coverage, Sanyo, MA70 vs. OS-7200H”
A new year is upon us and we, at Massage Chair Relief, have a lot of wonderful things planned for 2014. I will keep you posted throughout the year as new things are introduced or changed. The Weidner family had a fun, massage chair filled New Year’s Eve at the showroom. My whole family came to the showroom, including grandchildren, and we sat on chairs for a couple of hours before everyone went their separate ways to bring in the New Year. I will say that we used up every chair in the showroom! Here are a couple of pics from the event (I absolutely love the picture on the left of my granddaughter Olive on the Panasonic 30007…what an angel!)… Continue reading “Quick Hits – Black Iyashi Discontinued, Used MA70, Make-A-Wish Update”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – November 6, 2013 (Part 2)” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update 11/6/13 (Part 2)”
I have been writing an 8 part series of reviews of the warranty coverage of each of the 8 companies I represent on my website and store. It is important to note that the discussions in those reviews pertain solely to residential chair placements and use. What about commercial coverage? Do the chairs have different coverage if they are placed and used in a business? Well, for the most part, yes they do.
This article will address the commercial coverage offered by each company for their massage chairs. If you use the chair in a business setting where multiple employees and/or customers use the chair, then that would be considered commercial use. If you are buying a chair for your office and you are the principal user of the chair, then the normal warranty would typically apply. Some examples I have seen of commercial use meriting different warranty coverage would be spas, salons, tire stores, auto dealerships, employee perks in a business, doctor’s offices, dentist’s waiting or recovery rooms, retail outlets, gyms, teacher lounges at schools, etc.
I have contacted each of the massage chair companies that I represent and here are their commercial warranties: Continue reading “Commercial Massage Chair Warranties”
Transcript of Video Titled ” Massage Chair Industry Update – September 25, 2013″ Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update – 09/25/2013”
I’ve got a mixed bag of stuff to cover today, so here it goes…
1. Luraco recently received a UL Certification for their family of massage chairs. What does UL Certification mean? You have probably seen the UL logo on many electronic devices. I know I have. Here is a link to a site that answers the question about UL Certification…
A simple definition of UL Certification is “Underwriters Laboratories grants the UL mark for products that are tested and found compliant to a specific established set of standard tests.” (http://www.insultab.com/glossary.html)
I am not aware of any other massage chair companies that have this certification in the US.
2. I have two used massage chairs for sale:
a.) Panasonic EP30007 (black) – this chair was returned by someone after only 1 month of ownership. It is in pristine condition and is already packed up and ready to go. The folks who returned it decided to get a used Inada Sogno instead. I am selling this chair for $3499 (regularly $3999). I’ll pay for the shipping, NO sales tax if you live outside of Utah, and the 3 year parts and labor, in-home warranty is in full effect.
b.) Infinity IT-8500 (dark brown) – I came to work yesterday and I customer of mine from Brownsville, Texas was waiting for me at my showroom with his IT-8500 to return. He didn’t want to pay the high shipping fee so he rented a uHaul trailer and drove the chair 16 hours to my showroom to bring it back himself. It is in perfect condition, as well. As with the Panasonic 30007, I will pay for shipping, NO sales tax, and the warranty is intact (1 year parts and labor, in-home; 2nd year parts; 3rd year structure/frame). This chair is going for $3295, but is normally our top selling model at $3695.
If either of these chairs interests you, call me at 888-259-5380 and I’ll process the order for you.
3. As far as stock goes, the IT-8200 in brown and taupe is back ordered for another 2 weeks, as are the brown, taupe, and ivory OS-7075R from Osaki. The black leather Inada Sogno is back ordered until October 6.
4. I mentioned in a previous post that Luraco has come out with their app in the upgraded iRobotics 6S. This app is available for Droid devices and gives the user the ability to customize the massage experience on the chair, including the ability to adjust roller and airbag intensity. See the screenshot above.
I will be going over these and other items on this week’s Massage Chair Industry Update. Stay tuned…
Dr. Alan Weidner
Here in NY there is a dearth of information about massage chairs, and almost no place to go and see and try out the various chairs, so I rely on your information.
I believe we are about ready to purchase a chair but I need your input on what kind. I know you maintain that Japanese made chairs are the best, so I think we do want a Japanese made chair. However we are not prepared to spend what an Inada costs, so we need something reasonably priced.
Besides price, quality, and reliability, here are things that (we think) are important to us:
massage by rollers as well as airbags
large number of airbags
arms, shoulders, legs, feet (and maybe head?) massaging as well as the trunk
a fair amount of programs and intensity settings
a great warranty & service plan
Here are things that we don’t care about:
music compatibility or lights or any fancy effects
We’ve been interested in a chair for several years so we don’t want to make a mistake when we finally buy one, which is why we need your guidance & service. If you don’t sell what we are looking for, then we would appreciate your recommendation and referral.
If the chair you suggest is due to go on sale for the next holiday, kindly let us know and we’ll wait it out a bit longer.
Thanks very much for your time – Gail Continue reading “Mail Bag – Which Chair Has All Of These Features?”
I rattle off warranties to customers all the time, based on the warranty basics of each company. For example, I will tell customers that Inada and Panasonic have 3 year parts and labor, in-home warranties and that the chinese-made chairs have a 1 year parts and labor, in -home warranty. But, to be honest, there is a little more to it than that.
I thought I would write a series of articles on the warranties of each of the companies for which I am an authorized dealer, each article discussing the finer points of the warranty of each company. I will start this adventure today by reviewing the Panasonic warranty. Continue reading “Panasonic Warranty – Fine Toothed Comb (Part 1 of 8)”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – April 10, 2013” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update – April 10, 2013 (Video & Transcripts)”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – February 25th, 2013” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update 02/25/13”
One of the things that I hold most dear in my relationship with my customers is the ability to tell them that the chair they are buying is backed by a massage chair company with a great warranty for their chairs. It is so important to me that my customer has the best support available when they buy a chair from me because they are committing thousands of dollars, often sight unseen, to a chair that is supposed to bring them pain and stress relief. Continue reading “Customer Warranty Support – What Should You Expect!”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 29th , 2013” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update 1/29/13 – Video & Transcripts”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – January 15th , 2013” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update Video & Transcripts – January 15, 2013”
I had a wonderful visit from Ed Cini, sales manager for the Panasonic Wellness Division, yesterday. We spent the better part of the day together discussing massage chairs (or course), learning about the Panasonic way of doing things, and their flagship chair, the Panasonic MA70 massage chair. Ed had an MA70 shipped to my showroom, where it now sits.
I played around with the chair a bit and really enjoyed it. I will be doing a preliminary review of it in the days to come. We will also be recording some videos, as I do quite regularly on YouTube.com/massagechairrelief, to visually demonstrate particular features about the chair.
Ed has been with Panasonic for about 20 years and certainly had a thorough understanding of how things work over there. One of the reasons I was so excited to meet Ed was because in the 6 years that we have been carrying Panasonic products, I have never actually met a representative of the company before. I have dealt with my Panasonic distributor through the years, but they are not literal employees of the company. Whenever I had an issue or question about a Panasonic chair, i.e. warranty concerns or model rumors, my distributor would always have to “get back to me” with the information. Obviously, they had a direct line of communication with Panasonic. Continue reading “Visit From Ed Cini of Panasonic Wellness Division”
I have spoken before about a chair’s ability (or inability) to adjust the intensity of the back rollers. Most chairs have an intensity adjustment button on the remote control for the airbags in the chair, but very few have a roller intensity adjustment. For most chairs, “what you see is what you get” when it comes to the default intensity of a chair’s roller system. Of course, if one person in your household or business likes a gentle massage and another likes a vigorous massage, but the chair comes with a very intense default roller mechanism, or vice versa, it can be tough figuring out how to get the chair to accommodate both person’s preferences.
Of the chairs we carry, these are the models that have roller intensity adjustment: Continue reading “Roller Intensity Adjustments – How?”
I will be recording a Massage Chair Industry Update this week, but here are some news and notes from the massage chair world that will whet your appetite for that recording: Continue reading “News and Notes – 01/14/13”
It is not uncommon, with the high price of massage chairs, for people to look for refurbished or used massage chairs. Not a bad idea, but I think there are some things you need to consider before taking the plunge with a used or refurbished chair. Consider these things: Continue reading “Refurbished & Used Massage Chairs…Buyer Beware!”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – December 18th, 2012” Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update 12/18/2012”
Well, we are getting into the last week before Christmas, and I figured I better warn you about getting your orders in if you want any remote chance of getting a massage chair before the 25th. The problem is that the 25th falls on a Tuesday and many delivery companies are closed on Christmas Eve…which, this year, is a Monday.
Of course, no one really delivers on Saturdays, so if you are getting a massage chair it will need to get to you by Friday the 21st, which is one week from yesterday. In other words, we are really pushing it.
It is actually quite possible to get the chair to you in one week, depending on where you live and from where your new chair is shipping, but the bottom line is you better act FAST and get your order in pronto if you want to have any chance of getting your new chair by next weekend.
If you do order a chair and there is no way it will get to you in time, I can overnight a gift certificate to you that you can fill out and put under the tree. I can get that to you at the last minute. Then your family member or friend can look forward to getting their chair shortly after Christmas.
I will be available all weekend long and, of course, all week long next week to take your orders. You can order online or call me to process your order. I am always at your disposal…especially at Christmas delivery crunch time. We also have Christmas specials at the showroom that I can tell you about over the phone.
If you want White Glove Service, I think you just may be out of luck. If you live in Southern California and you order an Inada, Human Touch, Omega, or Panasonic chair, we can still get the chair delivered with white glove before the 25th. I have a Southern California guy who does all my deliveries there and can probably deliver all weekend long before the 24th. Who knows, he may even be able to deliver on Christmas Eve!
SOME GOOD NEWS: The Osaki OS-7075R shipments that were held out at sea during the port strike at the LA harbor have arrived and will continue to arrive through next week. You can get a new 7075R but if you want it by Christmas, the chances are kinda slim. Order NOW to get the best possible chance of getting one.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Industry Update – December 4th, 2012”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com‘ and today we are doing our massage chair industry update for the week of 12-04-2012. And we have some fun stuff to talk about today. First of all, I just want to, again, go over stock and we’re getting close to Christmas. Continue reading “Video & Transcripts of Massage Chair Industry Update 12/04/12”
Well, it was a very busy weekend in the massage chair industry, as it is in most retail businesses. I thought a stock update would be helpful for you this morning so you know what is available as of today:
1. Human Touch – HT-9500 (espresso color) is back ordered until the first week of December; ZeroG 4.0 (espresso color) is back ordered until late December; the ZeroG 4.0 in black is in stock but under heavy inventory pressure and will be restocked in late December. It could be out of stock long before then.
2. Inada – the red Inada Sogno is back ordered until later this week; there is about 1 week of inventory left of the Inada Sogno in creme and the black leather Sogno. So, if you want those colors order NOW. All other models and colors are shipping without delay.
3. Infinite Therapeutics – stock is good on all chair models and colors for the time being. The new IT-8100 has not arrived yet for the first shipments, although that model is available for purchase. It should be here this week.
4. Osaki – The brown and ivory OS-7075R’s are back-ordered until mid-December; the black OS-7075R is back-ordered until December 6; the OS-3000 in black and brown is out of stock, but there is no date for a new shipment; all OS-1000 colors are out of stock until the end of the first week of December; every other model is in good stock.
5. Panasonic – all available models are in stock, with some inventory pressure.
6. Omega – all chairs are in stock.
Considering that we just got through the busiest shopping weekend of the year, stock is not too bad. But, having said that, I will also say that it will change with each succeeding day as we march toward the Christmas cut-off. I feel pretty secure telling you that if you have your orders in by Monday, December 17th, there is a fabulous chance that your chair will get to you by the 24th. Of course, if you order white glove delivery or if you live in a remote place that may not be the case. But, call to be sure if you are concerned at all.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Next week I will be taking a two-day road trip to Southern California to do some massage chair business. I’m quite excited because I will be getting a 4 hour tour of the Human Touch facility in Long Beach. I’ve been there before a few years back but I’ve never really had a tour throughout. Human Touch has been kind enough to set up a visit with the CEO, David Wood, a tour of the warehouse, a visit with their VP of Design (with whom I will be able to interview about the new Immersion Seating chairs), a visit to the Engineering Lab, and a discussion with their marketing people. Dang, this is going to be great! I will also be able to videotape my visit and the interview so that I can share what I learn with you, my site visitors, and my YouTube viewers. I am quite excited.
I will also be visiting the warehouse where all the Inada chairs are stored. It is from this location that all orders are shipped to all points USA. I am excited to see how the logistics work and what kind of system they have set up. I will videotaping that visit as well to share with my viewers and readers.
I hope to have lunch with my Southern California delivery guy, Domenic, who takes care of most of my SoCal shipments. I’ve been doing business with Domenic for years but I have never met him face-to-face. If time permits I will also visit our Panasonic supplier who is also located in Southern California.
It will be a very busy trip, but I am so looking forward to it. While I am there I just might visit some old friends, since I went to Chiropractic College in Whittier, CA so many years ago. I still have a lot of connections in that area.
Well, that’s about it. I’m looking forward to going and learning. I’m also very excited about sharing with you what I have learned.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Dear Dr. Alan Weidner
Thank you for your information on your web site. It is really useful for a first time buyer. I am looking at buying a massage chair. The chair which I am most interested is the Osaki OS-4000 in terms of functional and price range. But I have a couple of questions on this brand and model.
1) How is the Osaki brand? Sounds like a Japanese name but not heard it a lot as the big name like “Panasonic” or… Looks it has good value. How is the overall quality of this brand and this OS-4000 model?
2) The Osaki OS-4000 looks very similar to the OSIM uAstro in Brookstone. I also heard that actually they are the exact same chair from the same China manufactory but just with different brand name or maybe control panel. Is that true? What is the real story behind?
Thanks a lot,
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Warranties Explained” Continue reading “Massage Chair Warranties Explained – Video & Transcripts”
Transcript of Video Titled “Massage Chair Relief Industry Update – 8/27/2012”
Alan: Hi, this is Dr. Alan Weidner from ‘Massage-Chair-Relief.com‘ for our bi-weekly Massage-Chair-Relief industry update and today is August 27th. I cannot believe how fast summer has come and gone, but we do have some updates for you this week in the massage chair industry. Continue reading “Massage Chair Industry Update 8/27/12 (Video & Transcripts)”
A great email from another massage chair shopper regarding which chair is the better choice…
Just a few questions… What s the difference between Panasonic EP30006 and EP30007 ? Why has the EP30006 been discontinued? Which one s a better brand, Human Touch or Panasonic? I was looking the HT5320 and HT7540 It seen to me HT5320 has more features and is more complete then the HT7540… But it’s a lot cheaper… Why? Is it because the zero gravity? So, overall, what’s the best chair between these that I asked about? EP3007, HT5320 or HT7540 ? Thanks Continue reading “A Client Asks – “HT-7450 vs. HT-5320 vs. Panasonic 30007?””
I love getting emails from customers as they always ask questions that get me thinking and it also helps me to know what shoppers are really wanting out there. Here is a question from a fellow named Karl and I figured I’d share my answer with you, since it just might help you in your own buying process.
Hello Like the website, very interested in a chair that can offer me great neck and back massage. Other stuff not really relevant. Would I be correct in thinking the inada Hume or songo offer the BEST massage? Look forward to hearing from you. Continue reading “A Good Neck and Upper Back Massage Chair?”
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”
Sanyo 7700 Discontinued!
Well, I guess it’s official. I received a call from my Sanyo/Panasonic rep yesterday afternoon and he tells me that there are 3 Sanyo 7700 massage chairs left and after they are gone…no more Sanyo massage chairs. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised what with my recent rants about virtually non-existent customer support for the Sanyo products, but it still stunned me to hear the news. Continue reading “Sanyo Massage Chairs Are No More!!”
I get a lot of inquiries from shoppers about the differences between the Inada Sogno Dreamwave and the Panasonic MA70 massage chairs because of the closeness in price. The chairs are actually very different. Here is another question (and, or course, my response) regarding these two popular models…
Hello, We’re considering upgrading our older generation Panasonic Real Pro chair. We see that Panasonic has a new EP-MA70 which we are considering as well as the Inada. I see you have some preliminary reviews comparing the MA70 to the Inada but wondered if you have more insight into how they compare. We like the coverage of the Inada but are worried the massage intensity might not compare to the Panasonic. Also, the controls of the Inada seem a little more rudimentary than the Panasonic (I need to program the unit to avoid areas that are damaged and need light touch whereas other areas need strong touch). Any help you can give in helping decide between the two would be great. Also if you can tell us what each will cost that would be great (including delivery to xxxxxxxx). Thanks, Dave Continue reading “Inada Sogno Dreamwave vs. Panasonic MA70 Questions”
I reported in a blog post last week about the hassle I was having getting a hold of Sanyo to take care of some warranty work for a Sanyo massage chair. Well, I never resolved it last week, but was back on the phones yesterday after a restful weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada celebrating my mother’s 80th birthday.
I needed the rest to be able to handle the 2 hour sojourn I had on the phones yesterday trying to get some closure to this Sanyo 7700 massage chair warranty issue.
Here is what happened…
I called the number given to me by my Panasonic/Sanyo distributor, which was a number that was to lead me to Sanyo warranty support. That number was 757-382-4518. Well, after a few minutes on that call, I learned that I needed to call Panasonic customer support. The kind lady gave me the phone number to that department,which is 800-211-7262. I called that number but was given another number, 800-332-5368, which was supposed to be the department in question.
When I called that number, I realized that it was the same department that the previous number had led me to. So, I pushed buttons until I got through to a person (oh, those automated phone trees are so bloody annoying!!). When I reached that person I was told to call 800-211-7262. Sound familiar? Yes of course it does because I had just called that number before this number! I called that number back and then was finally given the following number: 800-421-5013, which I dutifully called. I spoke to a nice fellow named Joe, who answered the phone saying “Sanyo Customer Support.” I was elated…
Elated until he said he could patch me through to the parts department. This he did and, after being on hold for a number of minutes (probably about 5-10 minutes), a fellow from Panasonic Canada in Mississauga, Ontario answered the phone and said that I was in contact with the Canadian branch of Panasonic.
I am from Canada and hold Canadian citizenship along with my US citizenship. So, ordinarily I’d be thrilled to be talking to a Canadian, especially if the person on the other end of the line knew anything about hockey. But, this time I was chapped and said that I was mistakenly forwarded to my Canadian friends but was really looking to get a Sanyo massage chair part in the USA. I was put on hold and referred back to somewhere in the States, where I was told to call 800-421-5013. Sound familiar? Yes, of course it does, because that was the number I was given which was known affectionately as “Sanyo Customer Support” (remember that one?).
I called that number back and, strangely enough, got Joe on the line again. I explained my journey and he apologized (not that I had to speak to Canadians in Mississauga, Ontario, but that I was sent off on a wild goose chase). This time Joe put me through to a lady named Lynn, who asked me where I wanted the part sent to.
Well, at this point, I almost broke down in tears because I had finally reached the promised land. Lynn sensed my gratitude and apologized for the fiasco. Then she proceeded to take at least 15 minutes to get my credit card info and shipping info. Oh, man, it was painfully slow.
I am happy to announce that I finally found the part that I wanted and it is now being shipped to my client in Washington (she will be so excited to get her chair part).
But, here is the bad news (yes, there is more)…
According to Joe, there is no warranty support for the Sanyo 7700 massage chair, or for any Sanyo massage chair, for that matter. Apparently, none of the Sanyo authorized repair centers have opted in to the Panasonic network…yet. Until they do, there is nobody out there to fix your Sanyo massage chair. Isn’t that delightful, especially after spending around $5K on a new massage chair???
The other bad news, is that because there is no warranty support or coverage, I had to buy the part for my customer and pay for it out of my own pocket. Dang, do you think I am going to encourage folks to buy a Sanyo 7700 massage chair? Duh…not now anyways! Sanyo is working hard at getting their authorized repair centers to join the Panasonic revolution. When that happens, then there will be warranty support for my Sanyo clients. How long will that take? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe someone from Panasonic will read this blog post, feel sorry for me, and change their entire massage chair department to make things a little easier on such a huge purchase.
(Thank goodness the Sanyo 7700 is a very well built massage chair that rarely breaks down…whew!!)
Man, I am feeling the stress of yesterday’s phone calls all over again. I think I am going to grab some Pha at my local Vietnamese restaurant to relax and bring my heart rate and blood pressure down a notch.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Arm Airbags – Depends on the Massage Chair Model
Arm airbags is pretty much a standard feature in most massage chair models nowadays. People have come to expect arm airbags to some degree. As you may or may not know, arm airbags simply inflate and compress on the parts of the arm covered by the airbags. Most chairs will inflate and compress in a wave-like manner to simulate circulation direction from the extremity to the heart.
There are different modes that various massage chairs use to administer the airbag therapy to the arms. For example, the Omega Montage Premier and the Osaki 2000 massage chairs have clamps attached to the arm rests that can be slid from along the arm rests to be positioned at the forearm position or all the way down to the wrist and hand positions. When we used to have the old Inada D-5 Robochair in our showroom, I used to love using this feature on my hands and fingers. It felt wonderful. From years of knuckle popping, my fingers tend to get a little swollen and tight and this type of airbag massage felt great on my fingers.
Another style of arm airbag massage works similarly to the calf massage of the ottoman. An example of that type of arm massage would be the Osaki 6000 or 7000 massage chair. It basically has an arm “slot” wherein the arm is placed and an airbag above the arm and another below the arm squeeze simultaneously, again in a wave-like motion, to compress the arm…most from wrist to forearm. Here is a video demonstrating the use of the arm airbags in the Osaki 6000 massage chair:
Panasonic uses a nifty arm massage feature hidden underneath the arm rests. The top of the arm rest lifts up and the user slides the arms underneath the top of the arm rest. Then, airbags above and below the arm inflate and compress. This type of arm massage works best on the hand and bottom part of the forearm.
The Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair is the first chair to have full arm massage. It has airbags that inflate on the hand, wrist, and forearm, but then also has an airbag on the upper arm as well.
Airbag intensity can be adjusted to the comfort of the user. Some folks don’t care much for airbags at all, regardless of whether they are on the arms or legs. But, for those that enjoy them and use them they can provide a very soothing massage of the extremities.
Dr. Alan Weidner
When Exactly Does A Massage Chair Warranty Begin??
I get this question a lot and, to be frank, I have always just said “When the chair ships out.” That sounds pretty good and most folks believed it…heck, I believed it. Well, I was discussing a massage chair purchase with a customer on the phone yesterday and the subject came up again.
This time, doggonit, I really wanted to know. I actually don’t like just saying stuff to satisfy a client, if I am not sure myself of the answer. So, I took it upon myself this morning to contact all of my massage chair manufacturer reps and find out exactly what the policy is regarding when the warranty kicks in.
Is it when the chair is purchased by the client? Is it when I place the order with the massage chair company? Is it when the chair ships? How about when it delivers? Of course this only really matters if a problem arises the week that the warranty is supposed to expire. Otherwise, a week or two won’t make that big of a difference. But, what happens if that scenario plays out…one year and two days after the client has purchased their massage chair, the warranty “expires” and something goes wrong with the chair. Will the massage chair company honor the warranty from the date of delivery to the home or business of the client? Well, here are the answers for each of the companies for which I sell massage chairs:
1. Human Touch – The company policy is that the warranty begins when the chair is purchased by the end user. So, I asked what happens if the order is placed and the chair is back ordered for a week or month…or more! I was told by the customer support rep at Human Touch that Human Touch is flexible in situations like that. If it comes to a situation like that, Human Touch will consider the delivery date as the beginning point of the warranty. Remember, this not in writing as company policy but it seems to be a general rule of thumb for customer support folks at Human Touch.
2. Inada – The purchase date of an Inada massage chair is considered the beginning of the warranty but, speaking with Inada directly, I am told that should a problem arise during that critical “end of warranty” period, Inada will check the Proof of Delivery date and go with that date. No fuss, no muss.
3. Osaki – Osaki considers the delivery date to the client’s home or business as the beginning of the warranty period.
4. Infinite Therapeutics – Like Osaki, the company policy for IT chairs also considers the delivery date as the beginning of the warranty period.
5. Panasonic and Sanyo – Same company now, so very similar policies. The purchase date is considered the beginning of the warranty, but should a situation arise, as I described above, Panasonic and Sanyo will side with the delivery date as the warranty beginning.
You know, come to think of it, it might not be a bad idea at all to save the receipt from the shipping company on the day of your massage chair delivery. You just might need it 1, 2, 3, or 5 years down the road if a problem arises on the “anniversary” of your warranty.
6. Omega – Date of purchase. Now, Omega was the only company that didn’t get back to me, so I can’t speak for them about using the Delivery Date as the warranty beginning. But, they are good folks over there, so I would assume that would be the case. When I hear from them I will share that info in this blog with an update.
By the way, if your massage chair comes with a warranty registration card, PLEASE MAKE SURE that you fill it out and send it back to the massage chair company. For some companies, like Omega, the policy is “no warranty registration card, no warranty.” So, just like saving the delivery receipt, make sure to send in the warranty registration card, should there be one with the massage chair you purchased.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Inada Sogno Massage Chair Remote Control
The remote control on a massage chair can be a very, very intimidating thing. For me, the remote control for a Panasonic 30007 or a Sanyo 7700 was quite intimidating when I first had these massage chairs in my showroom. On the other hand, the Inada and Human Touch massage chairs were quite user-friendly for me and I had little trouble getting used to working them.
Today, I am going to show you a video we made discussing the remote control of the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair. For such a sophisticated massage chair the remote is relatively simple and easy to use. It does not take much time to get accustomed to it.
It has the automatic programs visible on the top half of the remote and the manual settings under a cover on the bottom half of the remote. The only confusing things that take a bit of getting used to are:
1. The power lights. When the power button is green or yellow, the chair can be reclined and inclined. The button must be green to use any of the programs. The yellow light is more of a standby signal. But, when the button is red, nothing works on the chair. I look at it as an emergency position where nothing will function, including the recline and incline functions.
2. You cannot adjust anything on the chair until the initial body scan has been completed by the chair. As soon as you turn on an automatic or manual program you must wait about 45 seconds for the chair to perform it’s sophisticated body scan, which determines what your body needs from the chair. During the scan nothing can be adjusted. You must wait. If you try to push another button, text will appear on the display that says something like “That function is not available.” It doesn’t mean it is broken…just that it won’t be available until after the scan is completed.
One thing I like about the remote control of the Inada Sogno massage chair is the side pocket into which you can hide the remote when not in use. Some massage chairs have a pedestal remote which has the remote up on a stand that makes it look rather spaceship like, IMHO. The remote is a little more discreet with the Sogno.
Below is the video to which I have alluded. Enjoy…
I hope you learned something from that video. You can check out all of our videos on the Inada Sogno massage chair at our youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/massagechairrelief
Dr. Alan Weidner
Massage Chair Industry Update Video
I recorded another massage chair industry update earlier this week and thought I’d share it here on our blog. I covered some pretty interesting stuff, from Panasonic’s massage chair manufacturing being moved completely to China to the possibility of the Sanyo massage chair line being discontinued.
I also go over some back order updates, particularly with regards to the Inada Sogno and the Osaki 7000, currently two of our most popular massage chairs.
I also mention that we have a 1 month old Inada Sogno with a full 5 year head-to-toe in-home warranty for sale for only $6999. If you are interested in this chair, please give me a call at 801-651-2026 and I’ll get you hooked up with it right away. Pristine condition, hardly used. A client purchased it but his wife didn’t like it much. So, I have it back in my showroom waiting for a nice home to massage folks in.
I also discuss briefly the new Infinite Therapeutic massage chair line that we will be carrying here in the very near future. They have a couple of models that you will find interesting. One is all leather and has an inversion feature. The other is an under-$2k chair that is chinese-made with a nice set of features.
Human Touch came out with a new Immersion line of massage chairs. I talk about them a little bit. We will be carrying them on our site once new images of the products are out. I have included a photo here of one of the new models.
Here is the video for your enjoyment and information:
I hope you enjoyed this video and gleaned something from it.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Comparing the Inada Sogno and the Panasonic ma70 Massage Chair
It seems that when the discriminating massage chair shopper contacts me, it is usually a question about the Inada Sogno Dreamwave massage chair, either a question specifically about it or how it compares to some other massage chair model. This is the email I received from a massage chair shopper asking for a comparison between the Sogno and the Panasonic ma70. I make a point by point comparison between these to higher-priced but popular models.
Massage Chair Question:
Massage Chair Answer:
Best Massage Chair Turned On OR Off?
I received an email from a massage chair shopper recently who asks this question…one that I just happen to get quite a bit from other shoppers. I thought that since I’m asked this a lot, I’d share it and my response with all of you since you may be asking the same thing.
Massage Chair Question:
Hi, Is the Inada Sogno DreamWave massage chair comfortable enough to use as an every day recliner/tv chair for stretches of a few hours at a time? I am interested in getting a massage chair yet want one that can also replace my lounge chair (just a simple Ikea Poang chair) in my bedroom which I use for tv use and reading. I am interested in this chair and the Panasonic MA70 which I see has that removable extra back pad when using it as a regular recliner. It is that added pad that makes me wonder if sitting in the Sogno for an extended period of time would start to get uncomfortable. I think the Sogno on paper seems like it would be more to my liking in terms of its massage features so it’d be nice to know it can also do the double duty as an every day chair. Oh and aesthetics do not matter to me. Thanks Rob
Thanks for your email. Great questions!
The Inada Sogno massage chair, in my opinion, is the best therapeutic massage chair out there. But, it is certainly not optimal when it comes to just sitting to watch TV or read, unless it is turned on. It is not the most comfortable chair just to sit in…it is hard enough sit comfortably on any massage chair when it is off because of the big empty space down the middle of the back where the rollers go when the chair is turned on.
Now, the Panasonic ma70 massage chair is a new model from Panasonic and is a very nice therapeutic massage chair. It has the jade heated rollers, which we have never before seen in a massage chair. However, with its extra pad, which you mentioned, its rotating ottoman, and its arm rests, it would definitely be a better chair to just sit on for relaxation purposes, without the chair actually turned on.
I hope this helps. Again, it is just my opinion, but based on my experience with both chairs, I’d have to say the ma70 is the better massage chair for using as a regular recliner/lounger.
Please feel free to contact me with any other queries or if you need assistance with your order. You can email me or call me directly at 801-651-2026. I am always available to chat about massage chairs!
Dr. Alan Weidner
Part 2 of my Review of the Panasonic 30007 Massage Chair
In Part 1 of my review of the very popular Panasonic 30007 massage chair, I discussed price, durability of the Panasonic brand, the roller system, and the airbags of the hips and arms. In Part 2, I delve into many more of the features of this massage chair.
The Panasonic 30007 massage chair does not have any heat function. I’m pretty ambivalent about heat. I figure that with a few passes of the rollers over your backside your back is going to heat up anyway from the increased blood flow. Not a biggie to me, but if you love the heat function in a massage chair, the 30007 is not for you.
The chair does not fit a taller person very well. If you are over 6 feet tall, you may feel as though you are a tall person sitting in a small two-seater sports car. Your knees will be up higher than you would find comfortable. With the flexing foot massage component of the ottoman, you can always extend your legs and flatten out the foot massager, but then you have airbags squeezing on your ankles, which may not be optimal for you taller folks. This taller person issue is compounded if you just happen to have long legs. Your torso will be fine, but the legs will not like it too much. The ottoman does have a 5” extension feature but it doesn’t help much for the taller users.
More on the 30007 Massage Chair Rollers…
One thing I always look for in a massage chair is a good roller massage way down the back and even into the top of the buttocks. The Panasonic 30007 has a 30” roller track and it gets down below the belt line and into the sacral area (top of the buttocks). That is a nice feature if you suffer from low, low back pain.
The 30007 massage chair is available only in black. From the start, Panasonic said they would have black and brown models, but the brown has never been introduced to the US market in this model. If you want the brown color I suggest you look at the sister models to the 30007, which are the 30005 and 30006. They both come in the brown and there are very few differences between all three of these models.
The warranty is 1 year full, on-site comprehensive warranty with a 3 year limited warranty. Panasonic is pretty good about warranty work. Just give them a call and they have a local dealer pick up the chair, fix it for you, and then drop it back off at your home.
Next to the Inada Sogno massage chair, which covers over 1200 sq. inches of your body with massage, the Panasonic 30007 is the next highest in square inch coverage at 460+ of any name-brand chair of which we are aware.
Again, a great chair for the dollars spent. I love this chair a lot. It is very usable and functional. Gives a great massage and, if you’re not too tall, will really make you feel like you got a great work-over when your session is done. Oh, and it should last for a lot of years!
Dr. Alan Weidner
Part 1 of my Review of the Panasonic 30007 Massage Chair
Panasonic introduced the 30007 model as their top of the line massage chair and it’s first chair manufactured in Japan in a long, long time. When it hit the market, it retailed at $5999. As with most Panasonic massage chairs, the price eventually was chopped down to around where it is today…about $4000! Quite a difference. But, that is another story.
Today, I will review the main features of the Panasonic 30007 massage chair in this article, along with some personal opinions and observations from having used it in our showroom many, many times over the last number of years.
First of all, I’d like to say that Panasonic makes a very durable massage chair. Whenever someone comes into our showroom looking for a new massage chair to replace their old one, I learn that their old one is usually a Panasonic and they’ve had it for years.
A Little Massage Chair History…
Inada may have been the company to come out with the first massage chair, back in 1962, but I think it is safe to say that Panasonic was the first company to take the idea of a massage chair and mass produce it. They were everywhere in years past. Of course, new companies come along and we have so many manufacturers to choose from today, but Panasonic was the first big player in the massage chair market.
The 30007 model, in my opinion, is a chair that gives a great bang for your buck. At around $4000 you get a Japanese-made chair with a bunch of features that you would typically see on a more expensive chair, i.e. foot and calf massager, hip airbags, seat massage, forearm/hand/wrist airbag massage, body scan technology, among other things. I think the chair is certainly not a $5999 chair, but for $4K it is a great bargain.
The massage rollers offer a very nice, vigorous massage. When the rollers hit the shoulder area they do an interesting thing: they roll forward over a portion of the trapezia muscles (those are the shoulder muscles that get sore when you sit at a computer for too long…you know, the ones you grab with the opposite hand to rub out the tightness). Most other massage chairs will have the rollers go up the low, mid, and upper back before going on to the neck but will just move along the contours of the spine. This shoulder massage feature of the roller actually moves forward somewhat at the shoulder area to give those trap muscles a little attention. It feels fantastic.
The hip air bags are nothing more than a way for the chair to anchor your pelvis in so that the massage rollers get a better traction effect and a deeper massage to the spine. The airbags don’t massage anything, unlike the Inada Sogno massage chair thigh airbags which actually massage the IlioTibial Bands of either leg, but it just compresses the thighs so that your pelvis doesn’t move forward when the rollers come down the back. That is how it anchors your pelvis and you get a deeper massage from the rollers as a result of it.
The arm airbags are actually built into the arm rests. Lift up the top of the armrests and you slide your hands and arms into a space where airbags compress from above and below to give your upper extremities and good work-over.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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
Christmas Massage Chairs Shipping Deadlines
The holiday season is upon us and it is crunch-time for getting massage chairs before December 25th. Christmas falls on a Sunday this
year, so you are wanting to get your chair delivered by Friday, December 23rd. Each manufacturer and shipper has their own shipping deadlines to get you a massage chair by that date. Here is the schedule:
- December 16, 2011
Inada, Human Touch, Panasonic, Sanyo, and Omega Massage Chairs:
For standard delivery, plan on…
- 5-6 days for the east coast
- 4 days to Chicago to the states that boarder the east coast states
- 3 days to the Midwest and Idaho.
- 2-3 days to most western states
- 2 days to Phoenix and northwest
- Next day to California and Nevada
(Inada even has a shipping chart with more specific regions and dates. You can check it out here…
For White Glove Delivery…
- Inada: 3 business days prior to the dates on the above-mentioned link.
- Human Touch: December 14, 2011
- Panasonic, Sanyo, Omega: December 14, 2011
- Osaki: December 9, 2011
Here are a couple of things you need to also consider regarding the Christmas shipping deadlines:
1. Dates are never guaranteed because of inclement weather. It is snow season and these massage chairs do ship from California and Texas. They may have to go through a state where winter storms are a norm. Just be aware of that. In other words, order as early as possible to make sure you are not pushing your luck!
2. Since we are in Utah, we do the white glove delivery ourselves. That means that it will not take any longer time to get white glove delivery than standard delivery.
3. I have my own shipping guy in Southern California. He can deliver on Saturdays. So, if you order a massage chair during the last week before the 25th, we can most likely get you your chair by the 24th.
4. For confirmed, guaranteed delivery on a particular date, you will have to pay extra!
Well, that should do it. Get your orders in ASAP to avoid any hassle whatsoever with these deadlines and Christmas delivery.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Brand Name vs. No Name Massage Chairs
I get calls all the time from people searching for someone to help with their no name massage chair problems. They bought their chairs for “a song” and now they are paying the price for it. This article will help you see the difference between a no name chair and a brand name model.
When you buy a massage chair, it not unlike when you make other major purchases. You want to know there will be guarantees if something goes wrong. You expect good customer service if you need help figuring out how to operate an item.
The same goes for your massage chair purchase. You should do some research to find out about the manufacturer before you make a decision. You want a reputable company that serves its customers after the sale. High sales volume generally means the product is of good quality.
With an electronic gadget like a massage chair, things can go wrong. Rollers, airbags, or circuit boards can fail. You want a good warranty, but just because the warranty sounds great, doesn’t mean it is good. One of the best ways to check on a warranty is to ask for customer reviews. Reputable companies do not mind giving these out. They may post reviews on their website.
There are cheap Chinese knock-offs of name brand massage chairs sold for much less than their original counterparts. People get burned because they rush into a purchase without doing much research. It is such a good deal, they can’t pass it by. There is a saying, “Pay me now or pay me later.” This certainly applies to massage chairs.
Here are the pro’s and con’s of buying a name brand vs. a no-name massage chair:
No-Name Brand Massage Chairs
1. The products look good.
2. Big savings on a less expensive chair.
3. That’s about it
1. High rate of failure.
2. Warranty support lacking.
3. Usually cannot find parts.
4. Inaccessible customer support. Generally you have to email or leave a message and hope to hear back from them.
5. Generally the reseller does not stay in business more than a few months.
6. Outrageous warranty claims. I know of one reseller that boasted a ten year full warranty. No-names are lacking in warranty support.
Brand Name Massage Chairs
1. Parts are available. With thousands of chairs having been sold, the brand name companies have parts for your chair.
2. Customer reviews are more available now than ever before with so many chairs being sold. You can find them online.
3. Good customer service includes phone numbers that are generally answered right away and live chat on the company website. They stand ready to help you with any problem.
4. Continual upgrading of their chairs. Name brand companies spend money on research and development.
5. Even after expiration of the warranty, name brand companies can refer you to a technician nearby.
1. Cost. You will pay more for a brand name chair with the same features as a knock-off. Many brand name chairs are made in Japan and are generally higher quality than those from China.
2. Well…I realy can’t think of any other cons.
I hope this information convinces you to avoid the cheap, no-name massage chair trap. Maybe you like taking risks and don’t care if you lose money. If you want quality that will give you years of satisfaction, then go with the name brand.
Some good brand names include Inada, Panasonic, Elite, OSIM, Omega, Osaki, Sanyo, and Human Touch. There are other good ones, as well. The internet makes it easy for you to check on many companies and models for the features that interest you.
Do your homework if you decide to purchase from an online retailer. It is good to investigate customer support, even with brand name chairs. Call them before you buy and see how you are treated. Local showrooms will give you the opportunity to sit in the chairs and see how they feel.
Whatever you do, find a source with a solid reputation in the industry. With this information about no-names and brand names you should be able to decide wisely on a good massage chair for your home or office.
Dr. Alan Weidner
The Airbags of the Inada Sogno Massage Chair
With the advent of the Inada Sogno massage chair, competition has been eliminated in regard to airbag technology. The
additional descriptive name – Dreamwave – is more than a marketing moniker. The previous best massage coverage of the body at 450 square inches was offered by the Panasonic 30007 and was considered pretty good.
Well, the Inada Sogno has trumped that chair by a wide margin boasting over 1200 square inches of massage coverage. To be clear, square inch body coverage includes that provided by rollers as well as air bags. Most massage chairs utilize the airbag concept of massage, but the Inada Sogno technological advances are truly astounding.
Here are 6 body areas massaged by Inada Sogno massage chair airbags:
1. Cervical headpiece airbags – The Inada Sogno has a wonderful feature that feels like human fingers working your neck muscles. I’m not aware of another name-brand massage chair that uses airbags for cervical massage. There is the option of using the traditional roller massage by placing the headpiece over the chair’s back. After using the airbags once, you will be ready to return again and again, just for that feature.
Similar to the way your licensed massage therapist digs elbows into your shoulder muscles, the cervical headpiece has airbags for both sides of your neck to push down on your upper shoulders. For those of you that want to know, these are the trapezia muscles! This great feature loosens those muscles that get tight and sore after working at a computer all day. The airbag massaging motion feels so relaxing.
2. Full arm airbags – includes fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm up to and including the upper arm. I have not seen this thorough an arm massage in any other massage chair.
3. Lower lumbar airbags – airbags have been around for some time, but Inada’s technology is advanced. For sufferers of low back pain, the rotation that mimics a chiropractic adjustment brings welcome relief. The airbags inflate alternate sides to lift your low back forward on one side and then the other to produce rotation in that lower lumber area that so often needs corrective motion.
You can adjust the intensity of your massage experience with the remote control. I have found that for some people, the intensity of the airbag massage can be too much. It is easy enough to adjust to a lower setting for your comfort.
4. Seat airbags – this feature I have not seen in other massage chairs is known as Dreamwave technology. Through airbag pressure, the seat moves up and down as well as going side to side in a figure 8 movement. The relief achieved by sufferers of acute low back pain is marvelous.
5. ITB airbags – Accompanying almost any hip, knee or back problem is tenderness on the outside of each thigh. These sore spots are the Iliotibial Band (ITB) muscles. As you sit, the Inada Sogno ITB airbags massage your outer thighs. At first it can be extremely sore, but with more use, the area will loosen up. You will be pleased to find other problems in your lower quadrant resolving with regular use of this feature, not found in other massage chairs.
6. Calf and foot airbags – the Inada Sogno like most chairs does have a foot and calf massager. These airbags are good, but nothing special. With so many extraordinary functions that put the chair at the top of the line in most areas, my opinion is that the HT-9500 massage chair by Human Touch offers the best foot and calf massage feature.
There you have my views of airbag features in the popular Inada Sogno massage chair.
Dr. Alan Weidner
Massage chairs are made either in China or Japan, for the most part. All Inada massage chairs and Sanyo massage chairs are manufactured in Japan. Human Touch and Omega have their chairs manufactured in China. Panasonic has a couple of models made in Japan, with the rest being manufactured in China. Japanese massage chairs are typically more expensive than the less-expensive Chinese counter-part. Pretty much ALL of the cheap online massage chairs are what I like to call “Chinese knock-offs” because they are made in China at a lower price and many of these chairs are created to mimic quality name-brand massage chairs, but feedback we get is that those “knock offs” are of a poor quality.
Inherently, we tend to think that the Japanese chairs are of a better quality workmanship and that the Chinese chairs are of a lesser quality workmanship. I don’t know exact statistics from the massage chair manufacturers for which we carry their chairs, but based on feedback from clients, the Chinese-made chairs tend to have more warranty issues than do the Japanese chairs. Now, I don’t hear from every customer, but I do hear from some and there seems to be a tendency to a higher failure rate amongst Chinese-made chairs. I’d really like to see some legitimate stats from the manufacturers to support or debunk that hypothesis. But, I doubt that they would surrender that information for obvious reasons.
I did a little search on Google for any chatter or information about the comparison of Japanese and Chinese product quality…not just massage chairs. I didn’t find much, but I did happen upon an online political forum discussion that addressed the question. The reason I am putting it here is because the question and the responses are very similar to and indicative of what I hear from customers and shoppers in my industry (the link to this conversation is here: http://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=123607)
Sphinx: I am wondering why there is much difference in quality between Japanese and Chinese products, although as far as I am concerned they have similar IQ statistics.
Potemkin: Japanese products weren’t always of high quality. Back in the 1950s and 60s, ‘Made in Japan’ meant pretty much what ‘Made in China’ means now – shoddy workmanship and poor quality control. It’s what you bought if you couldn’t afford to buy American or British. It has nothing to do with IQ points, and everything to do with infrastructure, training and investment.
Eauz: Part of this reason was that they were just advised to produce goods and services, not perfect upon them. The Japanese given an idea of a commodity, and were advised to just reproduce it or copy it, in the cheapest way, in order to provide cheap consumer goods to society. As the Japanese society grew, they started to design and manufactor their own products similar to those that were originally imported from a foreign country and were highly successful, as we saw that within the span of one decade, Japanese manufactured goods were covering the world, with products that were superior in quality and design. This concept of continuous improvement is found in the word Kaizen (改善）.
Although, the Japanese had a more refined culture of analyzing and studying products (master-apprentice approach) to their smallest concept, from 1860’s until 1960, the Japanese, just like the Chinese were required to just copy and reproduce American made products in the cheapest way. It was not until the Japanese manufacturers became strong enough, in the global market, did they dump the foreign junk and start to reproduce more efficient commodities, with higher quality and design. I don’t think China has this concept of kaizen in its society, thus, I doubt it has anything to do with race or intelligence.
Potemkin: I believe the Chinese do have a concept similar to ‘kaizen’ in their culture. An interesting case study might be the recent development this year in Taiwan of a new and genuinely innovative fountain pen at an affordable price, which seeks to improve on the fountain pens available in the same price range in the West, as documented in this thread in The Fountain Pen Forum. The way in which the manufacturers have sought and incorporated feedback from the user base of consumers is exemplary, and bears comparison with the efforts of Japanese manufacturers to improve the quality of their products in the 1960s and 70s. The pen has even won a design award. This is clearly ‘kaizen’ at work, but in China (Taiwan) rather than Japan. Manufacturers in mainland China have also recently shown awareness of the need to improve their quality control and to produce genuinely innovative products.
I hope this post sheds some light on the Japanese vs. Chinese made massage chair issue. We are always asked about the country of manufacture for our massage chairs.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I received a letter from one of my massage chair clients last week and I thought I’d share his letter and my response with you:
Hi Dr Alan,My chair arrived in good time and good shape. It was easy to assemble as you described.That said, your emails are clearly part of your sales deal, you’re using a lot of sales pressure to move the chairs that are actually shipped from the supplier, not your showroom or stock. Maybe you’re confident that it works on Americans, but I’m not sure that I’m to confident that all of your repetitive emails to interested parties are actually doing you a lot of good. I automatically resist sales pressure as soon as I detect sales insincerity or generic email reminders that sound like you just wrote them but are obviously rehashed.I only bought from you, almost reluctantly, after doing some significant online research. I actually found the chair $900 cheaper than the price I paid you, cheaper than the websites that I sent you to reduce my price, but didn’t trust them or the lack of information that they gave. The $900 was probably worth spending if your word is as you say it is… I really don’t understand why you aren’t still a practicing chiropractor after spending all that time training and learning such wonderful knowledge. People need your abilities if you’re any good at it, someone else could take the call from the office. Any sales person can sell chairs.Looking at the list of published satisfied customers, I can’t really be bothered adding further comments apart from the fact that the Panasonic chair I bought works well, it’s used up to an hour a day and is working well in keeping this aging ex-pat Australian rancher in Texas functional. It’s not as good as a similarly priced machine that I rode in Australia but this isn’t Australia. That seemed to be a machine with much more finesse for the same money, but then, my impression has to be subjective.So, Dr Alan, “you can talk about anything you want. The chair, the customer service, anything you want”, do I get my lollipop for being honest? I’ll be seriously impressed if you use this comment as it is written, unedited…
Regards,Ralph(completely unedited, by the way)
“…your emails are clearly part of your sales deal, you’re using a lot of sales pressure to move the chairs that are actually shipped from the supplier, not your showroom or stock. Maybe you’re confident that it works on Americans, but I’m not sure that I’m to confident that all of your repetitive emails to interested parties are actually doing you a lot of good. I automatically resist sales pressure as soon as I detect sales insincerity or generic email reminders that sound like you just wrote them but are obviously rehashed. “
“I only bought from you, almost reluctantly, after doing some significant online research. I actually found the chair $900 cheaper than the price I paid you, cheaper than the websites that I sent you to reduce my price, but didn’t trust them or the lack of information that they gave. The $900 was probably worth spending if your word is as you say it is… I really don’t understand why you aren’t still a practicing chiropractor after spending all that time training and learning such wonderful knowledge. People need your abilities if you’re any good at it, someone else could take the call from the office. Any sales person can sell chairs.”
This is a frequent question for us at www.massage-chair-relief.com, so here is a brief overview of the warranties from the major massage chair manufacturers:
Here is a chart that Human Touch uses on their website that explains the warranties very well for their chairs:
|Standard Consumer Product Warranty 2011|
|Elite Series||1 year||3 years||5 years|
|Signature Series||1 year||2 years||3 years|
|iJoy / Casual Series||90 days||1 year||2 years|
|Perfect Chair Recliners||1 year||2 years||3 years|
The Elite Series includes the HT-9500 and the HT-7450. You can purchase a 5 year extended, in-home service and parts warranty for $369.
The Signature Series includes the HT-3300, HT-5320, HT-5040, and HT-7120. You can purchase a 2 year extended, in-home service and parts warranty for $199 and a 5 year extended, in-home service and parts warranty for $369.
The iJoy/Casual Series includes only the iJoy HT-2580 on our website. You can purchase a 2 year extended, in-home service and partswarranty for only $99.
The Perfect Chairs offer a 2 year extended, in-home service and parts warranty for $159 and $179 for a manual and power chair, respectively. There is also a 5 year extended, in-home service and parts warranty available for $279 and $299 for a manual and power chair, respectively.
You can purchase all of Human Touch’s extended warranties at www.massage-chair-relief.com.
Inada offers industry best 3 year comprehensive, on-site warranty on all their massage chairs, including the new Yume massage chair. An extended 5 year on-site warranty can purchased for $449. We include that warranty on the Inada Sogno. It should be mentioned that, as with all warranties, there are some logical exceptions to the comprehensive, full warranties, and Inada lists theirs as follows (this applies to most manufacturer warranties as well):
EXCLUSIONS – This Limited Warranty does not include service needed on Equipment as a result of any of the following: (1) Installation, set-up, moving, or relocation from the originally installed location; (2) Cosmetic changes, tears, or failure of fabrics, woods, foam, pads, plastics, upholsteries, exterior coverings, and damages and changes resulting from normal wear and tear; (3) Negligence, misuse, abuse, improper maintenance, electrical disturbances and power surges, acts of nature, or work, attachments, additions, alterations, or modifications by persons other than authorized Administrator service providers. (4) Failure by the Customer to use a high-quality surge protector during the entire Service Period; (5) Improper operating environment; (6) Any problem not involving a defect; (7) Damage or malfunction whatsoever caused by an animal or pet; (8) Damage or malfunction whatsoever caused by liquids of any kind; (9) Rental, business, commercial, institutional or other non-residential use; (10) Unnecessary service calls. If no problem is found upon diagnosis by us or any other third party, you may be charged our standard rate for service calls, shipping costs, and parts; (11) Dropped product or components (including remote controls); and (12) Use of any item with the Equipment if the item is not designated for use with the Equipment. Floor models that have been on display for more than nine (9) months are not covered under any provisions of this Limited Warranty.
Panasonic offers a 1 year parts and labor in-home warranty on all their new chairs. They also have a 3 year limited warranty, which covers the “motor block” and mechanics parts, but not labor. You can get an extended warranty from Panasonic after your purchase and the chair is in your home. A card comes with the chair that offers the extended warranties, but you must purchase them directly from Panasonic. A 1 year extension on the parts and labor in-home warranty costs $199, while a 2 year extension costs $299.
Sanyo explains their massage chair warranty as follows: “SANYO massage chairs are covered under a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty which includes in-home service. The roller mechanism is covered for three years from date of purchase.” The first year, like Panasonic, Human Touch, and Omega, is covered fully and comprehensively for 1 year. The next two years are limited in that the warranty only covers the roller mechanism and that coverage is for parts only…not service. Oddly enough, Sanyo claims that they do not offer any extended warranty at all, which is very interesting.
Omega’s warranty varies according to the chair model, ala Human Touch. Here is the breakdown:
6 months parts*
1 year frame
90 days in-home service (parts and labor)
2 years parts*
3 years frame
90 days in-home service (parts and labor)
3 years parts*
5 years frame
*motors, solid state controls, electrical or mechanical parts and assemblies or leg rest mechanisms (collectively the “parts”)
So, there you have it…a breakdown of the warranties for the major massage chair manufacturers. Hope this helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner
I haven’t written in a while with any specials because, quite frankly, we haven’t had any returns or exchanges for a while (and heaven knows the massage chair companies never lower their prices!).
That changed this week when a recent customer experienced “buyer’s remorse” and returned an Inada Doctor’s Choice 3A massage chair to my showroom on Monday. The chair is only a week old and still has a full warranty. It is brand new, for all intents and purposes.
If you have heard of this limited-edition massage chair from Inada before, then you know how great this chair is. It retails for $5799 but I have this 1-week old, gently-used one for $4999, while it lasts.
If you haven’t heard of it before, check it out here: www.inada-3a-massage-chair.com
I have one on display in my showroom and since we’ve had it, I’d say that folks who visited the showroom were split 50/50 on whether to get the famous Inada Sogno or the Inada Doctor’s Choice 3A massage chair.
When a customer would try this chair along with the Sanyo 7700 and Panasonic 30007 massage chairs, which are chairs in the same class and price range, the Inada Doctor’s Choice 3A was picked virtually every time over the other two.
Yes…it is THAT good! I just love this chair.
Here are some of the cool features about the Doctor’s Choice chair:
1. It has shoulder airbags that push the shoulders down FROM THE FRONT! This allows the massage rollers to push your mid back forward while the shoulders are held back…that’s how the primary posture function works (don’t we all have slumped shoulders to some degree or another?)
2. Hand massage airbags on the SIDE of the chair and not on TOP of the armrests, like most conventional massage chairs. In a normal posture, aren’t your hands supposed to be at the SIDE of your body? Yes!
3. Seat airbags that inflate on your left side and then on your right, simulating the twisting/turning motion that your low back discs need so badly to keep healthy and nourished…and which no other manufacturer’s chairs can do.
4. Low back stretch program that is heavenly…my personal favorite program on the chair.
5. The rollers go WAY down the back…all the way to the top part of of the buttock muscles…no other chairs’ rollers go so low in the low back (absolutely amazing if you have “sacral” or “sacroiliac” problems).
6. Like all Inada massage chairs, this chair is manufactured in Japan.
This gently-used chair is dark gray (slate, almost black) in color and is in absolutely PRISTINE condition. I will pay for shipping to your home or office. Inada’s famous, industry-best, 3 year comprehensive, on-site warranty applies to this chair.
The price for this 1-week old massage chair is only $4999 (regularly $5799).
You will need to call me at 801-2026 when you order this chair as I don’t have it on my website at this price.
Feel free to call me anytime also if you’d like to discuss this or any other massage chair we carry. I am always at your disposal, day or night.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I received an email from a massage chair shopper last night asking for the differences between the Panasonic 30005 massage chair and the Inada i2A massage chair. The Inada i2A has been discontinued, but the i1 is available in it’s place. The difference between those two Inada models is that the i2A has the wooden panels on the side and arm vibration, whereas the i1 does not have those features. Below is the question from the shopper and my email response to him:
Hi, I am looking to purchase a massage chair for my father. He has calf and back pain due to standing for most of his work hours. 2 of my current top choices are Inada i2a and Panasonic EP30005. I haven’t try these 2 chair; however, I am leaning more toward the i2a due to Inada’s history and reliability. What holding me back from placing the order is the i2a does not have the color i want (black) and it is already a discontinued item since 4/1/11. Please provide more information regarding which chair will better suit for my father (5’11”). If there is (or will be soon) any reliable good chair around the price range, please also share the information with me. Thanks.
Thank you for your inquiry.
I called Inada and they have only beige and chocolate in the i2A. Are you aware of the i1 chair by Inada? It is the same chair, minus the wooden side panels and arm vibration. It’s cost is $50 less than the i2A and also is available in black.
Now, comparing the i2A/i1 with the Panasonic 30005:
1. Panasonic chairs have foot massage, the Inada models do not.
2. Panasonic model is ideal for 5’10” and shorter. 5’11” may be pushing it as far as comfort goes for your father. If your dad has long legs, then the chair may fit him a bit small.
3. Inada has air bags in the seat, Panasonic does not.
4. Panasonic has air bag massage under the arm rests, whereas the i2A has arm vibration and the i1 does not have either.
5. Panasonic has an intensity adjustment for the rollers; the Inada i2A does not…it has one default setting, albeit comfortable.
6. Both chairs are manufactured in Japan.
7. Inada has a 3 year comprehensive, on-site warranty on all their chairs; Panasonic has a 1 year comprehensive, on-site warranty on all their chairs.
8. Both have great reputations for reliability and functionality…they are both very durable chairs with very low breakdown incidences.
9. One feels more like sitting in a bucket seat with the Inada, whereas the Panasonic chair has a more formal chair-like feel, if that makes sense. The Inada chair is a more snug fit when you sit in it.
That is about it, as far as I can recall. If I think of something else, I’ll let you know. Feel free to email me again or call me at 801-651-2026 if you’d like to discuss these chairs further.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I received a great email from a visitor to our site…obviously someone who has been doing their massage chair homework. Below is their email to me followed by my response to them:
“Wanted to hear your thoughts. I have been struggling with for the last 6 months to try and make a chair selection. The issue I continue to run into is that there aren’t places in my area to try all the chairs.
The basics –
Details: Myself – 5’10, wife 5’6
Issues: Myself – C4 bulging disk, straight neck spine, slight curvature at base of spine. Regular discomfort usually located behind shoulder blades or in neck. Occasional issues with lower back. I do see a chiropractor.
My wife: Slight issues with hip (stiffness) and problems with circulation in legs and feet.
What we have sat in: Inada Dreamwave, Sanyo 8700DRK, Human Touch (most of them), Panasonic EP-MA51KU, Osim Ucomfort, Osim uAstro
Favorites (Mine): 8700DRK and Dreamwave. In particular, I really like the 3D massage. My issues is whether 3D is truly worth the cost variation. I am more about utility – what will truly be theraputic and helpful. Taking a step down I did like HT-7450. Didn’t like the other Human touch chairs. Was ok with Panasonic.
Favorites (Wife): Osom Ucomfort. Liked Sanyo and Inada. Others were “ok”. Didn’t really notice 3D.
In general we both like the 5 year warranties. I have been coming back to the Elite Optima – but really unsure since I can’t sit in the thing. Do you have thoughts or suggestions?
Dr. Weidner’s response:
Since I didn’t hear from you via phone, I figured I’d write up as much as I could for you to answer your inquiries.
It sounds like you have tried most of the better chairs. Your height and your wife’s height does not preclude you from any chair model, actually. If you were over 6 feet tall, that would affect some model recommendations. I would suggest the Sanyo 7700 over the 8700 since the price differential is $1000 and the 8700 is much like the 7700 but for folks over 6′.
Your spine sounds like you need a massage chair…that’s for sure. I can pretty much promise you that you will get a tremendous amount of relief from a massage chair, especially if you use it daily. Here are some thoughts about the chairs you mention and the conditions you suffer from:
1. if your wife suffers from poor circulation in calves and feet, then I would probably suggest a chair with both foot and calf massage. The Human Touch chairs, for the most part, do not have a foot massage feature…only calf massage (unless you go to the HT-9500 or HT-5320).
2. I think it is safe to say that all massage chair models massage the the mid back (thoracic) region quite well. If you want a chair that massages “way down” into the low back, i.e. the top of the butt/sacrum, then I would suggest an Inada chair or a Sanyo chair. Human Touch chairs typically only go down to the belt line.
3. For the neck and shoulders, all models are pretty good. The Inada Sogno has a cervical traction device which uses air bags to traction your neck and massage it. You can lift the cervical traction device off and let rollers work your neck and shoulders, too, if you so choose. The cervical traction device and the dreamwave technology in the seat of the Inada Sogno are incredible features, unduplicated by any other manufacturer at this point. From my perspective as a chiropractor, I must say that I absolutely love those two features of the Inada Sogno chair. There is great therapeutic value in them.
4. I don’t know much about the Panasonic MA51, other than what I have read about it. You know more about the feel of the chair than I do. I’d love to hear from you what your opinion of it is. Panasonic’s are traditionally well built chairs that are not great for taller folks. Your height, again, is perfect for any manufacturer’s chair, including Panasonic.
5. I have sat in the OSIM chairs and they are a typical, generic Chinese-made chair. Nothing out of the ordinary. I would have to classify the Elite chair the same way, though I have never actually sat in one. Feedback from clients is that it is also a typical Chinese-made chair. I have also heard from other shoppers and clients that the customer support for the OSIM and Elite chairs is questionable, based on either their personal experience or what they have found through their research on the web.
6. The uAstro chair by OSIM is a copycat look-alike of the Inada Sogno body appearance, but it is nothing like the Sogno in feature and function. The Inada Sogno is a very unique chair that does feel quite different than other traditional massage chairs.
In our business, the Inada Sogno is the most popular-selling chair, for what it’s worth. I have written quite a bit on my blog about the Sogno, the Panasonic 30007, and the Sanyo 7700, including some comparisons between the chairs. Please go to my website, www.massage-chair-relief.com, and do a search for any of those models and you’ll find a lot of info. For example, here are 3 blog posts comparing the Inada Sogno to the Sanyo 8700:
I hope this input helps in some way. Please feel free to call me anytime on my personal cell number, 801-651-2026, and I’ll be happy to chat about any of the models you are interested in.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I have been getting a number of calls about this massage chair for a couple of months now and I finally got the go ahead to be one of the few online retailers for this new Panasonic MA70 massage chair. It is a very hard to get chair with a very limited number of them in circulation here in the USA. I received a pdf brochure from Panasonic yesterday and wanted to share it with you right away. It is attached to this blog post for your enjoyment and learning. I will have my webguy put up some of the images from that brochure on our site so that everyone can check it out.
Some of the features of this chair which I find very interesting and for which I am excited to try out in person include:
1. I really like the idea of thermal massage heads. Massage chairs that feature “heat” typically have a heating pad within the massage chair section that offers heat, i.e. back, butt, and/or legs/feet. What the Panasonic MA70 has is massage roller heads that incorporate a ceramic heating mechanism as well they showed us the ceramic donut. It is reminiscent of the jade roller heads in the Ceragem roller tables, which I really used to like (although I didn’t enjoy the roughness of the rollers in those tables).
2. Human Touch has had rotating ottomans for years, and for the aesthetically sensitive folks who don’t want their massage chair to look quite so “therapeutic”, the rotating ottoman feature is a nice touch. To allow for ottoman rotation, Human Touch has not incorporated foot massage, but only calf massage, because I assume it was too difficult to rotate an ottoman that had the bulky foot massager component sticking out. Well, Panasonic has figured out a way to rotate the whole mechanism, foot and calf massagers included. I like that feature.
3. I like the 7.2″ extending ottoman feature too. The major drawback on the Panasonic 30000 series has been that the chair is designed ideally for folks 5’10” and less. For people that are over that height, particularly over 6′, the chair feels a little too much like sitting in a small sports car with your knees up too high. Well, hopefully the 7.2″ extension deals with that issue (of course, now with the rotating ottoman, I suppose that people who are still too tall for the this chair can rotate the ottoman under and lay their legs on the flat surface of the ottoman underside, giving the taller person the ability to stretch out their legs…they just won’t get a leg and foot massage in this scenario).
4. Lateral shoulder airbags – now their are airbags at the side of the shoulders that massage the outside of the upper arm and shoulder. The 30007 just had airbags that pushed the shoulders forward…never could figure out the biomechanics in that feature (sorry…that’s the chiropractor in me trying to make sense of an airbag feature that probably didn’t need to be there). But, now with the MA70 it looks like there are airbags laterally that inflate and “massage” the outside of the upper arms and shoulders. Not the best, but better than what they had in the Panasonic 30007 massage chair.
5. Sliding arm rests when you recline. Now, there’s a good idea! The other Panasonic models with arm massage had a little problem when you reclined the chair all the way back…the arm rests didn’t move back with you. So, by the time the chair was reclined all the way, only your hands could fit in the arm rest massager. Now, with the new MA70, it looks like the arm rests recline with the upper body so that you can still get a full arm massage when you are fully reclined.
That’s about it so far, based on what I read and see in the brochure. Panasonic has never been terribly big on buttock massage. It looks like this one has extensive thigh and buttock airbag massage. They are also touting 3D massage in the brochure. So far as I know, Inada is the only other company to boast a 3D massage feature. I’ll be interested to see if it is a true 3D massage. Once we have the chair in our showroom, I can give a more thorough review. I think I will like this chair. It seems to address a few things that were lacking in previous Panasonic models. Price point is high at $6999, same price as the Inada Sogno. I won’t know if it is comparable until I try it out myself. It seems as though the typical 1 year comprehensive warranty will be applied to this chair. Panasonic’s are known for durability and toughness. I have no doubt that the MA70 will the much the same and last for years and years.
Hope this helps. For more information, check out http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/panasonic_ma70_massage_chair.html
Dr. Alan Weidner
With all the snow and rain we are getting in Utah, I would venture to say that it feels more like Christmas than it does Easter! Can’t wait for spring.
Anyways, here are some things going on at www.massage-chair-relief.com:
1. adding two models of the popular Perfect Chair series from Human Touch. The Perfect Chair is a zero gravity phenomenon that Human Touch came out with a number of years ago, but until recently, they did not have any models
with a massage feature. That is why I never carried them…I was intent to remain somewhat true to the massage chair niche. Well, Human Touch has now come out with two new models, the PC-086 Serenity (yes, the same name as the Omega chair!), which boasts air bag massage and jade stone-transmitted infrared heat, and the PC-085 Transitional, which doesn’t have air massage but is a sister chair to the PC-086.
2. adding the Panasonic 30005 massage chair model. We currently carry the Panasonic 30007 and, though not on the website, the 30006. The 30005 is very similar in appearance to the 30006 but made in Japan. It doesn’t have as many air bags as the 30006/30007 but has an ultra deep massage program, which apparently goes deeper than the most intense setting of the 30007/30006…which is already pretty intense. I am not sure of the pricing on this model yet, but we should be getting this and the Perfect Chairs up soon.
3. Product page layout changes. Folks love watching our videos. So, we are going to have the videos more prominent on the product pages. Right now, you have to click the Video tab, which some folks aren’t even aware of. We will make the massage chair videos more readily available for viewing.
Dr. Alan Weidner
We get calls all the time from folks around the country who want to know where they can go to find all the major massage chair manufacturer brands under one roof. When we tell them that we have such a showroom, many end up coming to
our showroom in Salt Lake City, just to try out the chairs. We’ve had people fly in from New York, Louisiana, Oregon, Illinois, California, Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho, off the top of my head.
I figured I’d let you know what models we have in our showroom currently, just in case you were thinking of coming out for a visit (mind you, the showroom inventory changes periodically as we sell floor models of chairs that have become discontinued or that don’t get a lot of interest from our visitors, but for now this is what we have…priced from highest to lowest):
Inada Sogno Dreamwave Plus
Inada Doctor’s Choice 3A massage chair
HT-9500 by Human Touch
HT-7450 by Human Touch
HT-7120 by Human Touch
These massage chairs represent a great cross-section of prices, popularity, styles, and manufacturers. When someone calls us to tell us they are coming in for a visit, we always tell them to plan on 1-2 hours because they are going to want to sit on most of the chairs to get a good feeling for what is out there at their disposal.
Of course, the more chairs we have, the more confusing it can become when trying to find one that works. Then, if a spouse comes along too…look out, decision making gets taken to a whole new level!
I thought I’d share a couple of pictures of the showroom that I took this morning. You can see it is snowing here in Salt Lake City today!
Dr. Alan Weidner
I received an email from Joe in the Netherlands. Though he is not buying a chair from me, he felt comfortable contacting me with some questions about the Panasonic 30007 massage chair and Sanyo 7700 massage chair. I thought this would assist all my readers to share his email and my response with you:
Hi Dr. Weidner,
Thanks for your email. I appreciate your inquiry. It is so hard to evaluate the sensor system in the Sanyo because the technology and application is something that none of us fully understand. The chair remote just puts up red circles around the blue dots that represent your body parts. The red circles mean “problem area”. When we used to take the Sanyo to trade shows and people would use the sensors, many times the client would say “That is exactly where I am hurting!” when they saw the red circles on the remote after their spine was scanned. Is it worth the extra cost?…probably not.
The outer shoulder airbag of the Panasonic 30007 massage chair is a waste of airbag in my opinion. If anything the airbags should push the shoulders back, not forward (check out the Doctor’s Choice 3A chair by Inada www.inada-3a-massage-chair.
The hip massage airbags in the Panasonic 30007 are not really designed to massage your hips…they are more for “pinning” your hips to the chair so that when the rollers go over your back, they get some traction while rolling because the hip airbags pin you in so that your body doesn’t move forward too much when the rollers go over the spine. I hope that makes sense (harder to describe in writing than in person!).
Yes, you can and WILL use it everyday. Massage chairs are fantastic…not like a treadmill, where you buy it and use it for a few days and then it becomes a clothing rack. The only person who won’t want a massage chair is someone who is hurt by massage. Most folks are a little sore when using a massage chair for the first time, but if pain persists or if there is a history of pain following massage, it might not be the best idea. But, I can say with absolute certainty that 99% of the folks who use a massage chair love them, even if there is a little pain the first few sessions.
I hope this helps, Joe. Feel free to contact me with any other inquiries. Best of luck in your massage chair shopping experience!
Dr. Alan Weidner
A common question we get from massage chair shoppers is the difference between the Panasonic 30005 and 30006 and 30007 massage chairs. I have previously written in this blog about the differences between the 30006 and 30007, which are relatively minor differences, i.e 30006 is made in China and has faux leather on arm rests, 30007 is made in Japan with wood on arm rests (http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/blog/chair-models/panasonic-30006-vs-panasonic-30007-massage-chairs/).
But, the differences between the 30005 and 30007 are a little more pronounced. I figured this would be a great forum to share those differences with you. The Panasonic 30000 series of chairs is their upper-echelon family of massage chairs. The are the most feature rich and more expensive of the Panasonic massage chairs army. I have been told that the Panasonic 30005 massage chair was made in conjunction with Premier Health Products. I think that they, and their family of websites, along with Panasonic’s own website, are the only retailers of the 30005 model. Here are the major differences between the two:
1. Total square inch coverage by the 30007 is 460 sq. inches; coverage by the 30005 is only 296 sq. inches (other than the Inada Sogno massage chair, the 30007 has the most sq. inch coverage of any other of the major massage chair models – the Sogno covers over 1200 sq. inches, FYI),
2. 22 airbags in the 30005, compared to 36 airbags in the 30007,
3. Waist air massage and outer arm massage are available only in the Panasonic 30007 massage chair model. The outer arm massage is really a rear airbag shoulder massage that pushes the shoulders forward from behind,
4. The 30005 model has an “Ultra Deep Massage” feature that is not available on the 30007 model,
5. It seems as though the massage roller width is fixed on the 30005 and is adjustable on the 30007 (can be adjusted between 2″ and 8.3″),
6. Suggested retail price is $5999 on the 30007 and $4499 on the 30005. But, I can tell you that you can get the 30007 for around $4000 and I’ve seen the 3005 for around $3800.
Hope that assists you Panasonic massage chair shoppers.
Dr. Alan Weidner
I wrote a blog post about our policies on international massage chair orders. I actually spoke to Panasonic this week about a chair sale to Canada. I was told that even Panasonic and Sanyo do not honor their warranties when the chairs leave US soil. I was surprised somewhat by that, as they are international companies with a presence in virtually every market. I was told that the massage chair would have to be brought back to the US to have warranty work done on it.
If the chair goes to another country, and there is a problem with the chair, the local “service centers” can still work on the chair, but it will not be covered by the warranty. This is good information to know if you are contemplating an overseas purchase.
Massage chairs are designed to last many, many years…far more years than the warranties last. But, should something go wrong with it during the warranty period, it would sure be nice to know that it is covered.
Hope this helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner
There are certain times when we get more overseas buyers inquiring about massage chairs than others, and now is one of those times. We can go for literally months without an international massage chair inquiry and then all of a sudden have 3-4 a week. I have decided, and this is only observation, that when the US dollar is weak and the international dollars are stronger, the US massage chairs are a better bargain for our international customers.
So, given that now is a popular massage chair shopping season for our international clients, I thought I would review our policy for sales outside of the USA.
1. Generally speaking, warranties on chairs sold in the US are not valid overseas.
2. Inada’s warranty will cover chair sales to Canada and Mexico, in addition to USA. Also, if you buy an Inada massage chair that is shipped overseas, the warranty will pay for parts, but not shipping and you will be responsible for the labor on the chair in your country.
3. Panasonic and Sanyo are international companies and have a presence in most countries. You will probably have a better chance of getting warranty coverage overseas for a Panasonic or Sanyo massage chair (even though it may be a “crapshoot”, depending on where you live).
4. We do not offer refunds on international chair sales.
5. The buyer is responsible for shipping costs. We do give some breaks on some chairs, in lieu of the free shipping that we offer on domestic US sales.
6. Generally speaking, free shipping does not apply to Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico (call us to be sure, depending on the model of chair you get).
7. No online ordering for international orders, unless you are having the chair shipped to a US destination where you will take care of shipping from there to your country.
8. We need your shipping city and zip/postal code in order to get you a shipping quote.
9. We can get you freight quotes for sea and air shipping.
10. Wire transfer is the preferred payment method for international orders. In some rare cases, we will accept a credit card.
11. Bonus gifts and 90 day money back guarantees do not apply to international orders.
12. You will be responsible for customs and duty taxes, if applicable.
13. We use 110 V electrical outlets in North America. Many foreign countries have 220 V outlets. You will need a step-up/step-down transformer in that case. We can provide you with a heavy duty transformer which runs $195.
Well, that should just about do it. Please feel free to call us at our showroom if you live overseas and are interested in a massage chair from Massage Chair Relief. Our number is 1-801-417-8240. Here is the link to our policy page on our website regarding international orders:
Looking forward to hear from you!
Dr. Alan Weidner
I learned a little about the new massage chair from Panasonic, called the EP-MA51. Here are some of my observations and thoughts about it. I haven’t sat on it or even seen it in person, but from my review of the literature out there, I have some things to say:
1. The body styling looks a lot like the Panasonic 1285 massage chair. The only markedly obvious difference would be the arm rests having the familiar Panasonic arm massage feature, which is a “flapping” arm rest that comes down on the fingers, wrist and forearms to facilitate an airbag massage on the arms.
2. Panasonic touts a pelvic tilt and trunk rotation feature which seems pretty cool. Inada introduced that idea a couple of years ago with it’s Inada Sogno and Doctor’s Choice 3A massage chairs. The idea is for the seat airbags to rotate the hips so that the lower back joints are rotated instead of just pushed forward by the rollers. I love that feature on the Inada chairs, so I suspect it will be a lovely feature on the Panasonic MA51 model.
3. They’ve added a feature called a “Leg Stretch” which looks to me like a basic stretch program, which most massage chair manufacturers now employ on at least one of their models. Stretching is a nice feature in a massage chair. I particularly like the stretch function on the Human Touch HT-7120 family of massage chairs. My clients sure love it too.
4. Seems quite pricey at $5499. Of course, when Panasonic came out with it’s highly anticipated 30007 a couple of years ago, it ‘s initial price was $5999. And as you may or may not have read in an earlier post of mine on this blog, Panasonic’s dismal pricing integrity model allowed the price of the 30007 to drift, rather quickly, down to the $4000 range. Pricing and value tend to drop with Panasonic chairs. I suspect this chair will be no different. I suspect that competing retailers will gouge the price down to below $4000 before long….if the 30007 history (or any Panasonic massage chair for that matter) is any indicator.
When you compare this chair to the Inada Sogno or Doctor’s Choice massage chair, or the new Human Touch Acutouch 9500 massage chair, you’ll probably intuitively assess that the MA51 is over-priced at $5499.
5. I called my Panasonic distributor today but he was not aware of whether this chair is even on the market yet. I await his response. I will tell you more when I hear more. I will also notify you when we have placed this chair on our site.
Here is a link to a video that explains the chair visually:
One of my competitors has a neat comparison chart that will show you the differences (and similarities) between this chair and the 30007 and 1285 which are also Panasonic chairs or any other chair you wish to compare. Here is a link to their site: http://www.massage-chairs.com/compare.php
Well, hope this helps you in some way, if you are considering this chair for your home or business. We will be posting it on my website shortly.
Dr. Alan Weidner
There seems to be a lot of the popular massage chairs back ordered right now. I figured it might help some of you who are buying to know which models are back ordered right now and when you can expect to see them back in stock at the manufacturer’s warehouses. So, here is the scoop:
Panasonic 30007 massage chair
Just heard today that this chair, which has already been on back order for over a month, should arrive between May 12-16. We get calls on this chair all the time and it is very frustrating that the inventory management is so poor that we have to go for 2 months before a chair model is available.
Human Touch HT-1650 massage chair
This chair is a very popular model and the dark chocolate (cognac) color is back ordered until this week. I was told two days ago that the shipment should be in “any day now”. So, we expect to see this chair early next week at our showroom. We sold our floor model and have a list of folks who are waiting for it come in so that they can sit on it and try it out.
Inada Sogno massage chair
This chair is on back-order based on color. According to an email I received yesterday from Inada USA President, Cliff Levin, the chocolate is back-ordered until June 1st; the creme color is back-ordered until May 17th; the bright red color is back-ordered until May 10.
I should warn everyone who reads this post that if you want one of these models DO NOT wait until those dates to order your new chair!! The demand is high and if you wait until then, you may not get them because the folks who have already ordered will be in the queue to get a chair from those shipments long before you get your order in on those dates. Does that make sense? So, bottom line is that if you want one of these chairs, ORDER NOW and don’t wait until the dates I just gave you, cause you just might be too late.
Feel free to call us anytime if you have any questions or to place your order. We are always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner
We get this question ALOT at our showroom and over the phone when folks inquire about a massage chair.
I want to start by saying intensity is very subjective. A chair that I may feel is very intense, another person may not feel is intense enough. So, what I will share with you in this blog post is what my experience has been and the feedback that I have gotten from many customers.
Panasonic massage chairs have been known to offer a bit more of an aggressive massage overall compared to others. They have Junetsu rollers that really get into the musculature and can be quite intense. However, saying that, I have put some people on that chair fearing that it will overpower them and they have loved it, so again, who is to say!
Human Touch massage chairs are much the same way. I, personally, think that they are quite intense, generally speaking, but some folks who claim to be very delicate, sit in a Human Touch chair and find it “just right.”It is so hard to say. A lot of the nicer chairs have an intensity adjustment, just in case the chair is too intense for one person in the family or too light for another family member.
The other point that I would like to bring up about intensity is that the chair will be perceived to be more intense if it happens to roll over or work some areas on a person’s back that is already very tight, in spasm, or have trigger points throughout. These are conditions that are most likely already firing pain signals but then with the added pressure from the massage seem to bring more awareness to the person. This doesn’t necessarily mean that that chair in particular is not right for you; it just means that the chair is actually working out the areas that deserved to be worked the most, to decrease that sensitivity. Hope this helps when it comes to deciding what chair is best for you!
Dr. Alan Weidner
I just read a press release from Panasonic that talks about a new massage sofa that is suppose to be a great sofa, the EP-MS40, which is being introduced to the US market. It is a cute little thing, looking like a piece of furniture as opposed to the traditional massage chair. The
Human Touch HT-1650 massage chair has always been a fan favorite at our showroom because it looks more like a regular recliner than it does a massage chairs. Omega came out recently with their new Skyline and Serenity zero gravity massage chairs, which are also designed to look like a regular chair…getting away from the traditional massage chair look, too.
Here is the image of the MS40 for your perusal. I don’t know if we will be carrying this model, especially with my concerns about Panasonic’s customer service and price integrity (see blog post http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/blog/general/changes-at-panasonic-thank-goodness-i-hope/ ). But, I like the aesthetics of the chair (oops…I mean sofa). The only thing that concerns me with the improved aesthetics is the compromise of features to accommodate the appearance. Maybe it won’t just be another “pretty face” but a real therapeutic, feature-rich massage chair, too. I’ll have to try it out to be sure. If anyone has already tried this baby out, let me know what you thought.
Here are some of the specs: it will come in avocado green and latte colors, the airbag massage ottoman retracts underneath the chair seat (ala HT-1650), washable polyester upholstery (may be prone to getting dirtier than the regular leather or faux leather), 26 inch track, 4 pre-set programs and 2 manual programs, price tag of $2499.
Oh, by the way, I saw the coolest thing I think I have ever seen in the massage chair genre the other day. My next blog post will talk about that, along with a picture. It will blow you away.
Dr. Alan Weidner