One of the things about 99% of all massage chairs that confuses the people who use them is why the arm airbags (aka air cells) inflate on one arm and then the other, rather than at the same time. Great question! And the answer has everything to do with safety and not symmetry.
When folks come to my showroom, many of them want to know why the arm airbags all don’t inflate in unison. It seems logical and intuitive that both arms would be compressed by airbags at the same time. After all, the legs, shoulders, and waist airbags all do. So, why not the arms?
The thinking of the massage chair engineers is that if both arms are being squeezed at the same time and an immediate emergency arises, it can be quite difficult and time consuming to get an arm out from between compressing airbags in order to get to the remote control to turn it off. It can be a challenge if the airbags are at full squeezing capacity.
So, the came up with the idea of inflating the airbags on one side and then the other. That way, you can always easily escape your chair should the immediate need arise. Some folks also feel a little claustrophobic when both of their arms are restrained by the airbags. It can create a bit of panic in the user’s mind.
Well, that’s it! Pretty simple isn’t it? But helpful and practical when you think about it. There are still some models that have bilateral simultaneous arm airbag inflation, but we are seeing less and less of them.
Most, if not all, chairs have a full body stretch program. That is the only time in pretty much all massage chairs when both arms are compressed and grabbed by airbags at the same time, but even that event is fleeting. It is only done when the chair back is reclining and the leg rest is dropping to facilitate the stretch.
I believe the Osaki Dreamer and Cyber as well as the uKnead Lohas have the simultaneous arm grab.
I hope this helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner
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