From the Mailbag: Raynaud’s and a Stinky Sogno?

April 3, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
April 3, 2013
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

From the Mailbag: Raynaud’s and a Stinky Sogno?

Stinky Sogno

I had a customer contact me about a smell that was originating from his new Inada Sogno. He described it as a “strong plastic/chemical smell” that was not dissipating right away. He contacted Inada and was told that the oils and other lubricants of the new motor were the source of the odor and that it would go away within 2 weeks to 2 months.

The interesting thing is that I have been selling Sogno’s for almost 5 years and have never heard of this before. I suspect that if it happens with Sognos, other models of other companies may have this issue as well. I would love to hear from any of you if you have experienced this phenomenon before with your massage chair, be it a Sogno or any other model for that matter.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Massage Chairs

An interesting email asked about whether massage chairs were OK to use in a person with Raynaud’s Phenomenon, which is “a condition in which cold temperatures or strong emotions cause blood vessel spasms that block blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, and nose.” (Google!)

Here is the question from my customer:

…about 5-7 years ago I developed Raynauds which I assume you being a doctor have heard of basically when I have a Raynaud’s episode the small blood vessels just under the skin on my feet constrict depriving my feet of blood flow for several minutes resulting in tinging nerves and extreme feelings of coldness. So as I consider a future massage chair I am wondering about the foot massage mechanisms available in the better models. On the one hand having a chair with the ability to stimulate blood flow into and out of my feet and lower legs would do wonders for my conditions. Yet I am a little concerned that the ones that have the metal balls that roll and massage the bottoms of your feet might just be painful due to my conditions. 
Do you have any suggestions on my concerns and needs?
Have you helped others with Raynaud’s?
Do you sell chairs that have the feet rollers balls that can be turned off or down in intensity if they cause too much discomfort?
Here is my response:
I think you will love a massage chair. However, based on what you shared with me in your email, I would suggest staying away from the Osaki OS-7075R. It has foot rollers, but they, along with the rollers of the spine, can be very intense. It may be a bit much for your feet. The IT-8500 might be a better option for you as it has a more gentle foot roller. It actually feels like a tickle when you first use it, but it feels quite therapeutic once you have used it. You can turn it off as well should it feel too intense during your massage session. I don’t recall any specific questions about Raynaud’s over the years, but I can only imagine that the rollers combined with the airbags in the feet and calves would be fantastic for your circulation issues. Raynaud’s is often precipitated by cold temperatures or intense stress. A massage chair would be great in either situation; the rollers and airbags would increase the temperature of the extremities and the overall massage experience would contribute to a more stress-free and relaxed demeanor. By the way, you can also adjust the airbag intensity in the feet and calves, on top of being able to turn on or off the mechanical foot rollers.
Hope that helps!
Dr. Alan Weidner
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