Tom Sensabaugh – Massage Chair Relief Customer Interview (Video)

Inada DreamWave


Transcript of Video Titled “Tom Sensabaugh – Massage Chair Relief Customer Interview”

Inada DreamWaveDr. Alan Weidner: Well, hi, Tom.

Tom Sensabaugh: Alan, how you doing?

Alan: Good. I actually can’t believe that we’re actually talking now. It’s no minor achievement that I got this thing up and running.

Tom: No, absolutely not. Now, can you see me alright?

Alan: I sure can. Can you see me OK?

Tom: Yeah, I needed to, I wanted to get a different, use a different camera for this, so I had to get Skype on a different system.

Alan: Well, it looks great, the video clarity’s great, I hope that the reproduction’s good. I did a test yesterday morning with someone, with a friend of mine, just to see if it would work, and it seemed that it only recorded her, and not me.

Tom: Oh, OK.

Alan: So, hopefully today it’ll record both of us, but if it’s only going to record one person, I’d much rather it be you than me.

Tom: OK, no problem.

Alan: Thanks so much for being available to do this, I’m very grateful. We’ve had some good interviews with our customers, and people have shared some great information that I think is really helpful for other people that are looking to make a decision about buying.

Tom: Right.

Alan: So, if you don’t mind, I’ll just go ahead and ask you, now, you’ve got the Inada DreamWave, right?

Tom: Right.

Alan: The Inada DreamWave chair, and tell me, what was it initially that inspired you to look for a chair, what was the reasons, what were the reasons for looking for a chair?

Tom: Well, so I was in – so, my son lives in Tokyo, and we stayed at a hotel where they had, not the Inada chairs, but they had a different – I think they were Panasonic chairs …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: But we had, we were in that hotel for almost a week, so I’d trot down to those chairs every day, and I thought ‘These chairs are fantastic,’ this is – you know, I think I’ve probably used – you know, they have them in a variety of places in the airports out here in the Chicago area. But these were much more, you know, these had, you know, they were much more targeted, you know, they had a lot more features, and so I started doing some research because I thought ‘This is really a helpful thing.’ I’m pretty active, and I like to do triathlons, I run marathons …

Alan: Wow.

Tom: And I’m a big guy, so you know, I need, you know, I’d like to have something to kind of help me recover.

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: So, I started looking in to it, and continually, I just saw the DreamWave just showed up at the top of the list as, you know, certainly a chair to consider.

Alan: Well, now, the fact that you are as active as you are, and that you use it as an athlete, I think that’s great, and a lot of people do that.

Tom: Right.

Alan: Did you have any musculoskeletal complaints as well, did you have a back pain, a neck pain, headache, hip pain, anything like that, or was it mostly just for the wellness aspect?

Tom: No, no, I would say what I would run in to – I mean, sort of the usual runner’s problems, I mean, it’s – you know, particularly, me as a bigger runner, you know, you tend to, you know, you’re taking on a lot of, you know, joint stress, and things like that. So, it’s kind of more recovery, you just have to take your recovery a little bit more seriously.

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: What I’ve found is, about five years ago, I started getting in to triathlons, and the recovery, you know, sort of, the musculature is different, as you’d guess, for each of those sports …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: And I’ve found that, not so much the recovery is different, but the areas that you would target, you know, if you’re a runner, you’ll tend to have, you know, like your legs, your quads, you know, things of that nature …

Alan: Uh huh.

Tom: Your low back, that’s kind of an issue, when you’re biking, it’s kind of more upper body, and obviously when you’re swimming, it’s kind of shoulder. So, each of those areas, you know – sometimes I’ll go for a massage, you know, we have, our health club has, you know, somebody that does sports massage – and you know, I’ve done like Thai massage, which is kind of more of an active yoga stretch thing.

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: Those are nice, but sometimes you just want to, you know, kind of more relax, and because I was getting more in to these sports, having something at home, I thought would be a little bit easier. As it turns out, it was a lot easier, we use it all the time here.

Alan: So, that was my next question, do you continue to use it as regularly as you thought you would?

Tom: So, I’m trying to think. We got it from you, I’m thinking about a year and a half ago …

Alan: OK.

Tom: It’s been, you know, it’s somewhere in that time frame, and I would guess it gets used – in fact, my wife is using it, she’s working from home today, and she’s either down using it, or just finished using it – and I would say we use it six days out of seven.

Alan: Wow.

Tom: Personally, I use it five days out of seven, and you know, when our children come over to visit, they use it, friends love it, it’s a popular spot in the house to stop by and check out.

Alan: Yeah, I have heard that a lot. As a matter of fact, there’s some couples that – and I think they say it jokingly – but they fight over time on the chair because they both come home from work at the same time, and they both want to sit in the chair, and it leads to some conflict.

Tom: Well, gosh.

Alan: And I guess I could see that with, if you really love your chair.

Tom: Right.

Alan: Have you noticed any other physiological benefits from the chair, so you know, I mean, you use it for the things that you just explained to me, were you surprised by any other benefits from the chair, that came – like for, the reason I ask that is, sometimes people will say ‘Well, you know, geez, I find that when I use it before I go to bed, I sleep better,’ or ‘I’ve found that I can breathe deeper’ – or I’ve heard diabetics say that it gives them some sense of, you know, like a relief from the neurological deficit in their feet …

Tom: Right.

Alan: Have you noticed anything like that, in anybody in your family?

Tom: Well, so yeah, I would say – and so, the chair, first of all, if anybody that’s listening to this has a chance to try it out, it’s, to me, it’s, you know, I guess, the term Rolls Royce – so whatever …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, whatever, superlative you want to use, you know, I think is really applicable to this chair because it’s fairly, it’s deep and sublime at the same time, and the reason I say that is because there’s so many different kinds of settings that you can – you can either customize, or you can – they have a great set of programs built in to it. And believe me, I don’t work for these guys, right …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: I mean I, I’m just a, you know, I’m just a, one of the, you know, I’m just somebody that’s a big fan of the chair, and what I’ve found is, you know, they did a really good job with the settings that were in there. But here’s kind of the benefit I’ve found, so most of the time, I’ll – you know, the settings are either 15 or 30 minutes – depending on what you set up. There’s a short 8-minute one, but I don’t use that too often, but so you know that – it’s kind of like mentally, you know that you’re going to be on that – you know, that’s sort of your chair time, and I find that it’s really mentally relaxing. I mean, it’s sort of a combination, it’s like a really good massage, which I guess is, you know, the benefit of it, but when I first got it, you know, it was more of a ‘Hey, this is great for musculature relief,’ and it does a fantastic job for that, particularly for me as a runner, it does such a good job with lower body …

Alan: Mm-hmm, yeah.

Tom: What it does with the feet, what it does with the IT band …

Alan: Yeah, the IT-band feature’s really great on that chair.

Tom: It’s pretty amazing. So, but now I when I use it, it’s like, I know that’s – you know, 15, usually it’s 30 minutes that I’m on there – and I know that that’s 30 minutes I’m not going to be interrupted. So, it’s almost more of like a meditation, if you will …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: I mean, it’s, Inada should just call it the meditation chair, I think they might have a little bit of a marketing spin there.

Alan: Well, a lot of people buy the chair for stress relief …

Tom: Mm-hmm.

Alan: And for anxiety relief, and that’s kind of – you’re speaking to that, a little, with different verbiage, but that’s kind of the idea – is that it just is an opportunity to de-stress and relax from the havoc of the day, so that’s good to know, I’m glad to hear that. I love the word you used, ‘sublime,’ that’s a great word. I try to use different words to describe the Inada DreamWave chair, and you know, Cliff Levin, the president of Inada, he uses the word, ‘nuanced,’ ‘it’s a nuanced massage,’ I like ‘sophisticated.’ Cliff also likes to use the word, ‘the magic of the chair,’ I like the word ‘sublime,’ I think I’m going to use that, in one of my blog posts.

Tom: That’s my gift to you today, Alan, absolutely. But it is, you know, it’s …

Alan: Sublime.

Tom: I mean, that’s, I don’t know that I necessarily expected that as a benefit …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, I really looked, I kind of concentrated on the physical, the physical aspect of it …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, it’s sort of like – you know, I’m a fan of body work, you know, and I mean, massage, and you know – and I do yoga and things of that nature. So, I kind of went to it from that – you know, with that lens on, but then when, you know – it became pretty apparent that, a lot of times, I’ll fall asleep on the chair …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: Even if I’m not, you know, particularly, Inada’s pretty good about, they’ve got a wake up setting, if you will …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: They’ve got, you know, the daytime setting, and they’ve also got like a nighttime sleep setting …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: And it’s really, you know, I will find that it’s a really good relaxant before I go to bed …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: And that’s what, kind of what got me in to this whole thing where I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s chair time, I’m just going to completely unwind,’ and it’s as mentally de-stressing as it is physically de-stressing.

Alan: Did you, did you find, from the start of your search for a chair, to the time you actually bought, what would you say was that period of time, and did you find that that process of finding the right retailer, and finding the right chair, and getting it at the right time – was that, was that a – were there any stress points in that search for you? If you could address those, that’d be great. Are you there? Tom? We lost you. Hello?

Tom: So, yeah, so as I mentioned, so I – you know, I knew, I had a sense that this was really going to be a good thing to get, you know – I just felt like there was a real health positive that was going to come out of it. I went over, this happened, this was probably, 4 years ago, maybe 5 years ago, in Tokyo, which kind of corresponded with the time I started getting in to doing longer events, and moving in to triathlons. So, from a health perspective, I had sort of a body need to go out, and you know, help with my recovery. You know, I mean, you know, I was just getting in to this stuff turning 50, so I needed to make sure that I was able to, you know, take care of myself. So, I felt like the massage chair was a good inroad to it – you know, you can, because you can use – I kind of felt like I’ve used it pretty regularly. And as I’ve seen, if you fast forward to today, I’m using it – I probably, I would say arguably 6, 5 days a week – sometimes all …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: Every day of the week, always when I’m in like big, heavy training mode. So, the research was really just, you know, checking, I – they’re very popular in Tokyo, so I used, I sat in many of them over in different Tokyo department stores, talked to a friend of mine who had one. He’s a big sports guy, he’s a big weight lifter, and he’s – for him, it’s like, it’s almost mandatory to be used. So, at that point, it was just, how do you research, you know, things like this, you know, they’re, it’s a little bit of a niche item …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: You know, Internet research really kind of drove me fairly quickly to you, and I started watching your YouTubes, and found a lot of value in those. And I thought ‘Well, I believe this is a guy I can work with,’ you know, I’m not, I’m not completely ready to go out to Utah to, you know, to spend some time with you in person …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, because I’m here in Chicago, right? So, my take was – your, you know, you had things set up pretty well from a – ‘We can do this all remotely,’ and so, you know, I went from there, you know. It was pretty – the decision was more of ‘Do I want to get the DreamWave versus some other models – you know, it was kind of, you know, that was a question mark. And a lot of that was just based on then conversations with you, and I felt like it was a – I felt like it was kind a risk-free endeavor, you know, not – because I would imagine that most people are pretty, pretty set on what they want to buy …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: When they, you know, after they, particularly if they’re working with you, you know, you have a lot of knowledge about all the different chairs, and you know, our conversations were pretty quick on it, because I think I knew everything I wanted, and so it was almost more of a sanity check with you …

Alan: Right.

Tom: ‘Am I thinking in the right direction,’ and I’ve been, I’ve been 100% happy with – or both with working with you, and with the product itself – it’s been great.

Alan: Well, thanks, I appreciate that. What feature, or features, about the chair do you like the most?

Tom: I think the programs that are – the preset programs are excellent, they – I kind of wondered about that when I first got it, because they, you know, basically, there’s just 8 programs that are preset in there, and I thought ‘That is, you know, is that going to be enough?’ And as it turns out, I very rarely venture outside of those, you know, they …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: And they’re different enough that they are, they really are – you know, like there’s a full body one that I use quite a bit, but I like the one, the night one, because the night one has – it’s a different dynamic than the full body one. And you know, what it does is, it tends to be, it tends to promote a lot of relaxation, and I’ll do that, and like I – like I said, I may have said the other day – I may fall asleep in the middle of that one, and it’s …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: I just find it to be a very relaxing one, and you can customize it.

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, sometimes I do that – sometimes I want to work on like maybe a lower back area, and it’s very good with that, and you know, so sort of the controls – the remote controls are very easy to use …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: And basically the build quality, I mean, the thing’s built like a tank, and I think that feature, you know, I feel like there’s a lot of longevity in it …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: The other thing I like are, the air bladders, work really well. I had, that was sort of a question I had …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: How well, you know, that, you know, I’m like ‘How well can that air bladder work?’ As it turns out, pretty excellently.

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: And I think it does a fantastic job on feet, and you know, I mean, that surprised me, how good that was. If anybody that’s listening has ever had a really good foot massage, and if you’re a runner, you know, you probably enjoy those quite a bit, I’m pretty, I’m really pretty impressed with how well that works, too.

Alan: Did you, what did you think of those airbags on the – you know, being a runner, and having, and you know, using the lower body so much in your triathlons – did you like the iliotibial-band airbag, airbags on the sides of the thighs? Because that’s kind of unique to only a couple of chairs.

Tom: Right, I, that is tremendous, I find that that, because, particularly because – you’re right, it’s either of a function – well, it could be a function of my age, but I think it’s a function of the sports I like to involve myself with, I think the IT band, what it does with the IT band is really good. In fact, it’s, I also get a sense when I need to stretch a little bit more, depending on how the massage feels against the IT band, if that makes sense …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, I can kind of, it gives me a good read of how tight or not the IT band really is.

Alan: Yeah, and you, and those muscles are tender, I mean, if you’ve never had your IT bands worked before, and you’ve ever had low back pain, or hip pain, or knee pain, boy, are those IT bands tender …

Tom: Right.

Alan: But most people don’t even realize that.

Tom: Right.

Alan: Now, are there any features of the chair that you didn’t like, or that you wished it would’ve had, is there anything along those lines?

Tom: From a didn’t like perspective, no. You know, I think that there, I knew what, I knew the features I wanted, and so, getting, and so, and spending a lot of time with the chair, I think the one thing that I would – I mean, if I were Inada, and maybe they’re looking at this – I would probably try to figure out some way to create like a custom, custom program. You know, like if I do a custom program myself – that’s something that will – it’s kind of a one-shot thing …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: And so, hence, I know what, how I like to set things up …

Alan: Uh-huh.

Tom: But if I could, you know, record, you know, sort of like a …

Alan: Like a memory, a memory of a custom program?

Tom: Right.

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: That, that’s probably, that would be, that’d be the one thing on my wish list. Outside of that, I can’t really think, you know, I’m really a very satisfied owner of it, and you know …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: It holds true not just for me, but for family, friends that try it. I don’t know, I should probably get an Inada, I should wear an Inada shirt when friends come over because they, they love the thing.

Alan: I’m sure Cliff at Inada USA, when he reads this, or sees this, he’ll probably send you one.

Tom: OK.

Alan: Now, speaking of Inada, have you had any opportunity to call them about customer support, like has, have you had any problems with the chair, anything that you needed to contact them about?

Tom: Well, actually, so I had – when it was delivered, I noticed that there was a crack in one of the piece parts that made up the bottom, I think it was the bottom left base, and that – that was a part that, it was not, it was not immediately user serviceable, it was easily serviceable by the tech. I just called you, and you took care of it with Inada, and it was, a new part showed up two days later, a tech showed up three days later …

Alan: Wow.

Tom: And it was, it was done in no time, it was good.

Alan: Well, that was great. Well, you know, I, asking about customer support’s a tender issue for some people, depending on the chair, and so it’s nice to hear, you know, pros and cons, or good and bad, about the customer support issues. Because people don’t realize – well, I think they do realize, but they don’t really think too much about it until – until something happens to the chair, but after-sale support is so important when you purchase something like this, and you spend thousands of dollars on a device. You expect it work perfectly forever, but things happen …

Tom: Sure.

Alan: And so, and not because it’s a piece of junk, but because it’s the nature of mechanical devices, and so, sometimes there’s a – you know, there’s a need for technical support, and some people, you know – they don’t like the way they’re treated, or they’re handled, and that’s good for me to know, but also good to hear feedback from you that Inada took good care of you.

Tom: Yeah, you know, I …

Alan: They’re a good company.

Tom: Yeah, I would say one thing that, you know, I have probably thought about – and just from a standpoint of – I thought I would like the chair. I kind of figured that, you know, there’s no way I’m not going to like this chair …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: But, you know, it’s as much a part of – it’s kind of as much a part of what I do with the triathlons these days, you know, I mean, I’m a big guy, right – I mean, the more I can kind of make things easier for me, than the better it’s going to be. And just overall, I think it’s a good thing from a health perspective, from a mental relaxation perspective, I say all this because it’s kind of like a friend I want to keep around for a while, so I …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: So, you know, I do think about – you know, I think I do the care and feeding of it as, you know, as recommended in the manual – but the, it’s the kind of thing where I, and maybe a service exists, and I just don’t know of it …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, like with my, with my furnace, for example. Somebody comes out once a year, and takes a look at it, and just does a check on it, and you know, the preventative maintenance is something that I just want to make sure I’m keeping on track with. And I don’t know if Inada offers that service, if, you know, if they don’t, they may be missing a trick because, you know, people like me would probably jump on that right away.

Alan: Yeah. Well, you know, there’s not much to it, as far as maintenance goes – other than wiping down or cleaning, and I’ve talked about that in my, on some blog posts – but there isn’t much to it, it’s pretty much self-sustaining for 15 to 20 years, or how ever long you, that it endures.

Tom: Right.

Alan: And the Japanese chairs do tend to endure quite a bit longer …

Tom: Good.

Alan: So, I expect you’ll have this thing at your disposal for years to come.

Tom: Good.

Alan: Well, you know, I can’t think of anything else to ask you, is there anything else that I haven’t touched on, or anything that was on your mind that you’d like to share in closing?

Tom: No, I, you know, I mean, and this is, you know, from the heart, I’ve recommended you to other friends, I’ve, you know, I’ve …

Alan: Thank you.

Tom: You know, it was, I felt like – you know, I’ve had generally good success dealing, you know, over the Internet, but, you know, with purchases – but this was, this I think was the largest purchase I’ve done over the Internet …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: And you know, it wasn’t one that I made lightly, and you know, so working with you was great. I would encourage people to view your videos, because there’s a lot of good information in there, just in general. I mean, there’s a lot you could get out of this massage chair, I mean, surprisingly so. It’s a – if you excuse the pun, it’s, you know – it’s a deep device, deep in as much as if you put some thought in to how you use it, and when you use it …

Alan: Mm-hmm.

Tom: You can, I think you could get a lot of value out – you know, for example, a few years ago, I started really getting in to stretching, and in to yoga, and things of that nature, so if I kind of balance that out, if I say well, I’m going to – you know, if I, if I pad in another 15 minutes, after a stretching routine, so I can sit on the massage chair, it becomes even more beneficial …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: You know, I enjoy the relaxation, and the muscle work that the chair does, but it’s because I’ve just padded in that time from a stretching routine.

Alan: Right.

Tom: So, I would say, you know, how do you, you can, this is definitely something you can integrate in to your life, it’s …

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: And it has been. So, I think people, you know, can – it’s not just something that’s going to sit and gather dust, you know, if, you know – if you want to use it, you can really get some tremendous benefit out of it.

Alan: Well, I’m glad you mentioned that, I tell that to people, because this is not like a treadmill, and I say this only from personal experience. We’ve had a treadmill, a Gazelle, and a couple of other exercise pieces that have just gathered dust, and eventually ended up going in to a garage sale. So, this is something that you will use, and especially if you’ve got it in front of a TV, a TV with a good remote control, you can, you can stay for hours in the chair …

Tom: Yes.

Alan: But I’m glad you mentioned that.

Tom: Sure.

Alan: Well, Tom, thanks so much, and again, I apologize for all the confusion, and the mess up with the computer, it’s been a nightmare on this episode.

Tom: No problem.

Alan: But thanks for sticking with me, and I – hopefully will have this up next week, and – on YouTube, and it’ll start to benefit other shoppers who are out there thinking of chairs, and what chair to get …

Tom: Yes.

Alan: And whether to buy from us, and whether to get an Inada, or an Osaki, or whatnot, and we’re really grateful for you, thanks for taking time.

Tom: Absolutely, Alan, you take care, have yourself a good weekend.

Alan: You too, and we’ll talk to you, I hope, soon, again, on not a computer glitch issue, but just to talk.

Tom: Absolutely there, thanks a lot, Alan, you take good care.

Alan: Thanks Tom, you too.

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