Transcript of Video Titled "Garrett Hammerel - Massage Chair Relief Customer Interview"
Dr. Alan Weidner: How's that?
Garrett Hammerel: Yes.
Alan: Alright, we have contact.
Garrett: Can you hear me?
Alan: I can hear you, yes. I think I had mute on my headphones, so I just checked it, and it went off mute, so it looks like we're good to go. Well, thank you so much, Garrett, for making time today, I appreciate this a lot.
Garrett: Yeah, no problem.
Alan: Especially on short notice. Can you, is the volume OK, yeah?
Garrett: I can hear you just fine.
Alan: Well, great. Well, thanks. Hey, listen, as you may or may not know, I do these interviews with customers that are willing to do it, and we chitchat about your experience, and about your chair, and whatnot, and so maybe we could begin by just talking about the chair that you have. You have the Infinity IT-8500, right?
Garrett: Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Alan: Well, how long have you had it? Tell me a little bit about how you came to decide on that chair, and what journey you went through to get there.
Garrett: Oh man. Well, originally I was looking at a few Osaki chairs from my local furniture store, and I was really kind of iffy about them, and I ended up actually watching your videos, I found you on YouTube …
Garrett: And I sat and watched your videos probably for three weeks straight. So, when I called, I have to admit, when I called, and you answered the phone, I was a little star struck.
Garrett: I was like 'Wow, this guy actually answers his phone, and is a real person,' you know, and I was blown away.
Alan: Yeah, it's legit.
Garrett: Yeah, you know, I kind of figured, you, you know, you were the face, but didn’t actually do any part of it, you know?
Garrett: And I'd get some sleazy salesman, or something.
Alan: Well, you got that.
Alan: But I do do way too much, I keep, businesspeople keep telling me I need to delegate more, and have other people do stuff. So, maybe someday I won't be answering the phone all the time, but I'm glad I got it for you.
Garrett: You know, whatever you're doing now works great, but …
Garrett: Yeah, I was like 'You know, it's crazy to call somebody that I saw on YouTube, but I need to know more about these massage chairs.'
Garrett: And I don't know anything about them, you know, I'm not a doctor, so I don’t normally have a massage chair, you know, I'm not very wealthy, and this is my first time.
Garrett: I got it as a graduation gift for graduating school, and so I didn’t know anything about it, so I called, and I was like 'Hey, you know, I'm looking at this chair, but I'm not going to buy it through you.' And then you were like 'Oh, well, that’s OK, but you know, you won't get very good quality with that Osaki, try looking at this Infinity instead, even if it's not though me.' And I was like 'Oh, well, you know, I never heard of a person doing that before.'
Alan: Were you looking at the 7075, the Osaki 7075?
Garrett: No, it was one with the head thing.
Garrett: Yeah, yeah.
Alan: That’s the one chair I try to steer people away from, because of its history. It's got a very high failure rate, so …
Alan: I ordinarily don’t direct people to another chair if they want one.
Alan: But I tried to save you some trouble.
Garrett: Well, and you know, it really got me, because you were even like 'You know, I'd probably make more money off the Osaki, but this other one's a better chair.'
Garrett: And so I started watching all the videos, of course, and doing as much research as I could, and one of the big features was the foot rollers I wanted. And I was like 'You know what, despite the fact that I have a credit line at my furniture store, I'm going to try this guy out, and see what it is.' So, I called you, and I love it. I got the chair back in, it was right around Thanksgiving, it was the week before Thanksgiving, I think, is when I placed the order.
Garrett: And I got the chair some time in early December, I think, yeah.
Alan: I remember, I actually remember processing your order. I was in California, training our staff for the grand opening of our Southern California store, and I was at the hotel that night, and I was beat because we'd been going all day, and I remember that was when I processed your order through Synchrony Bank. Now, from the start – and by the way, thanks for trusting us with your business, that means a lot to me …
Alan: I'm glad you ended up with us – but tell me, how long of a period was it from the time that you decided 'OK, I'm going to get a massage chair,' to the time you got one, what, how long was that? Was it a month, was it a few weeks, was it six months?
Garrett: Well, I decided I was going to get a massage chair the first week I started school, which was August of 2014.
Garrett: And I knew it was the one at my local furniture store, so I had it set in my mind for a year and three months or so, before I finally called you, because it was kind of a pipe dream. So, I guess when I got serious was probably about a month before I called you.
Garrett: And I started doing research, and started watching videos, and then I called you, and you gave me some suggestions, and I want to say it was maybe a week later that I finally was like 'OK, I'm ready to place the order.'
Alan: Were you, when I suggested that chair to you, were you overwhelmed by all the options out there, or were you pretty much fixated on that one model until I kind of directed you to the 8500?
Garrett: You know, I was fixated on that model only because it was the best option in my price range that my furniture store offered.
Garrett: And it was a bit overwhelming, there's a lot of models.
Alan: Yeah, yeah.
Garrett: And since I'm not a massage chair guy, you know, I didn’t know a whole lot about them. So, honestly, when you guided me to the Infinity, it was kind of like, you know, I felt like I had been lost at sea, just trying to figure out my own way, and I finally had you be my lighthouse, so to speak.
Alan: Good. Well, I'm glad.
Garrett: You know, I didn’t know what to really look for, and you know, every review you see online, or every video of every massage chair is 'Well, this is the best massage chair ever made', of course, and so it's really hard to kind of pick through that without somebody who knows what they're talking about.
Alan: Right. Well, I'm glad you found that chair. Now, tell me a little bit about your experience with the chair since you’ve owned it. Was it what you expected, was it different? What were the things you liked about it, what things that you may would like to see different done on it, if anything? How did you feel?
Garrett: It's fantastic. It surpassed my expectation.
Garrett: I use it every other day, at least, for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
Garrett: And it's amazing. The stretch program, I just can't even explain how …
Alan: It's a good one, huh?
Garrett: Yeah, like you know, I'll get in it, and I'll put it on the 'Relax' program to kind of warm me up, so to speak.
Garrett: And then, I'll do that for about 10 minutes or so, and then I'll put it on the stretch program, and it's incredible. In fact, you know, you feel it in your lower, lower, lower back, like right where your pelvis attaches to your vertebrae, and after about a week of doing it, I actually had that vertebrae pop.
Alan: Oh, really?
Garrett: Yeah, and like because every time it would pull on me, I'm like I feel like I'm so close to it popping, and like aligning properly, you know?
Garrett: And it took a week, but it finally did it, and it was amazing, I felt like a gained an inch. I was like 'I'm a new man.'
Alan: Well, that’s cool.
Alan: Well, you know, those shoulder airbags that pin the upper body down, a lot of other chairs have the airbags in the feet that pull the legs down, but that chair has the shoulder airbags, which really accentuates the stretch, and I can see how it could release that fixated joint.
Garrett: Well, and in addition, the recline, when you're in the stretch program, is such that you're almost upside down …
Garrett: So that your body weight kind of pulls you the opposite direction also. But no, I love it, the only – I mean, I didn’t get the white glove, because I'm cheap, and it was – and I'm a pretty handy guy, and I've got a roommate who's a really strong dude, and we, it was a chore to get that thing put together, because it was so heavy.
Alan: Mm, yeah.
Garrett: So, I would suggest the white-glove treatment for anybody who's buying a massage chair, but you know, because I'm only 31, my roommate's 36, and he's in CrossFit, and I'm a pretty fit guy, but it was tough.
Alan: Now, are you talking about it was tough to move it, or tough to actually assemble it?
Garrett: Oh, no, assembly was fine.
Garrett: Moving it was, I mean, that thing's …
Alan: Yeah, it's a bear.
Garrett: And it's really an awkward heavy.
Alan: Yeah, yeah.
Garrett: You know, if it had handles on it, or something, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it's a really awkward kind of space to be able to move.
Alan: Well, did you move it in to your house in the box, or did you take it out of the box before you moved it in?
Garrett: I moved it in to the door in the box, and then I only made it to the landing, and then I had to take it downstairs to its final destination.
Alan: Oh, OK.
Garrett: So, the stairs were really the bear of it.
Garrett: But I mean, yeah, if I were to do it again, I would pay the extra couple hundred bucks to have somebody assemble it for me, definitely.
Garrett: But the only issue I've ever had with it is where the arm kind of connects in to the air hoses …
Garrett: When I was putting it together, I must've been too rough on it, because the little bracket that connects there …
Garrett: The piece of plastic on it broke, but I ended up taking it apart, and again, I'm kind of handy, and I made a little metal piece that attaches it.
Alan: Oh, really?
Garrett: So, it's been great, it's never disappointed, it's a great chair.
Alan: Good. Now, do you, when you use the chair, do you have the neck-and-head airbag headpiece and the pad down, or do you have it up and over the back of the chair?
Garrett: I use, I like to have it down for the first 10 minutes of my massage, in the 'Relax,' because the 'Relax' program uses the head one …
Garrett: And then, when I switch over to the stretch program, it just kind of naturally comes off, because the stretch program pushes it off …
Garrett: And I just let it go.
Alan: Have you found the neck massage, and the other programs, I think it's the – oh, for heaven's sake, 'Recover,' and what's the 'Restore,' or 'Renew' …
Garrett: 'Restore,' yeah.
Alan: I can't remember – but do you find that the neck massage is too aggressive for you, or do you like it, because it's a very strong neck-and-shoulder massage?
Garrett: You know, I actually didn’t really find it very effective. Usually, those are kind of my least favorite ones, just because it spends a lot of time in the neck, and I don't know if it's just my neck, but it doesn’t quite hit the spots on the neck where it does anything.
Garrett: So, it kind of gets at the base of my head when it does it, and it's just not very effective.
Garrett: So, that’s not one that I ever really care that much about, if I'm honest.
Garrett: It doesn’t really do much for me, not like the stretch program.
Alan: OK, you know, well, one of the highlights of that chair that people like, one of the things is the stretch, yes. The other thing is the neck massage, because a lot of chairs don’t have a strong neck massage, and the 8500 does. But it, you know, like you just mentioned, it's got to feel right to you, and if it doesn’t, well then, you use the programs that do.
Garrett: Everybody's different.
Garrett: And you know, I think it just may be my neck is a weird shape, or something, I don’t know. I could see how other people would really like it, but it's not really my thing.
Alan: It's not doing it, it's not your cup of tea.
Garrett: Not mine, not as much as like the foot rollers are.
Alan: Yeah, the foot rollers are nice on that chair. Some chairs are too intense, others are too light, that, like Goldilocks, that’s just right.
Garrett: Yeah. There's this one program that it – well, in the 'Relax' program – where it will move your feet and your body to one side, and it's almost like it's going over a corn on the cob on the foot roller, or something. And when it does that, there's one big lump on the foot roller that hits the outside of your foot, when it's moving across it …
Garrett: And that is like heaven to me. I don't know what it is, but whenever that one big lump hits, and my foot's going this direction, it's like 'Ahh, oh, that was great.'
Alan: I've never heard that before. Next time I sit in it, I'm going to have to notice that.
Alan: But I do like that, because the airbags kind of shear your feet across the rollers.
Alan: And that, you know, there's the rolling action, and then the shearing of your foot across the rollers, which is nice.
Garrett: It's great.
Alan: Now, when you got that chair, were there any kind of physical complaints that you had, like 'I needed it for back pain, or for shoulder pain,' or whatnot, was there anything like that?
Garrett: Nothing really. I mean, I went to school for automotive technology, so I, you know, I was kind of like, instead of waiting for things to get bad, I wanted to get the massage chair to prevent things from getting bad.
Alan: Right on.
Garrett: So, I didn’t really have any bad back issues or something, other than evidently a vertebra that wasn’t popping that was connected to my pelvis. But no, I got it really as more of a preventative measure, so that I didn’t …
Garrett: I wasn’t 40 years old, going like 'Oh, yeah, I can't get out of bed,' you know?
Alan: You mean like me?
Garrett: Right, yeah.
Alan: OK, that’s what happens, it happens. Now, have you noticed any other physiological changes, like I don't know – and it may not be related to pain, because you don’t have pain, but could it be something like, sorry – but sleeping better, or feeling like you’ve got more range of motion, or being able to breathe deeper, have you noticed anything like that at all?
Garrett: You know, actually I hadn’t really thought about it, but since I have the massage chair, I have been sleeping amazingly.
Garrett: And I actually suffer from insomnia occasionally.
Garrett: And I haven’t any problems sleeping really since I got it, I don't know if that’s coincidence, but I never really thought about it, but yeah, no, I've been sleeping like a baby. I do notice that I have a lot more energy, when I get out, like it's kind of weird because one side of me kind of feels rubbery, and I don’t want to do anything, the other side of me is like heh, a-heh, a-heh, a-heh, a-heh, a-heh, I have all this energy.
Alan: Ready to go.
Garrett: Yeah, it just pumps me up, so it, I mean, the extra energy, I just feel better throughout the day since I've had it. Anytime I, you know, get out of it, or I mean, just the benefits from having a long day of work, and then coming home, and sitting in it, it's …
Alan: It's awesome.
Garrett: It's all that you need, really.
Alan: Well, especially if you're on your feet all day, or in your case, if you're working in cars, you're probably doing some lifting, and tweaking, and turning. Yeah, I think a chair is fantastic for that. The reason I mentioned the sleep thing is because that’s one of the most common comments we get from people that own a chair, that they hadn’t really anticipated, was that they sleep better, especially if they use it right before they go to bed. Another thing that some people comment on, and maybe, you may not notice it, because you're maybe not involved in a sport like golf, where there's a lot of rotation, but golfers mention that these chairs will often increase their range of motion, rotation from side to side, so they feel like they’ve got a better swing.
Alan: And so, you may notice some of that stuff too, as you continue to use it, if you're, you know, physically active in sports, or whatever, you may notice stuff like that too.
Garrett: Right. Well, you know, it's funny you say that, because my roommate and I went to a yoga class …
Garrett: In January, just off the cuff, and I'm not a very graceful, or …
Alan: Flexible guy?
Garrett: Yeah, and he was like 'I'm really impressed by how flexible you were,' and I was like, 'Huh, I don’t think I'm very flexible,' but I never really thought about the overall kind of benefits of the chair. But now that you mention it, I mean, I have been sleeping better than I have in probably years.
Garrett: And I mean, maybe I am more flexible, I guess I never really thought about it.
Alan: Well, you never measured it, so how do you know?
Alan: But the reason we found out about that was we went on TV, on a TV show here in Utah, and we had a subject come on to sit on the chair, and we measured his range of motion before he sat on the chair, and after he sat on the chair, and it showed he had a 35% increase, you know, a percent increase in motion. Now, in the low back, 35% is not a ton, because the low back only moves about one degree per vertebral segment, but a 35% increase on any range of motion is good. That’s kind of we – we didn’t realize it did that, until we did that measurement, but that’s a pretty cool thing.
Alan: So, hopefully you'll notice other things as time goes on.
Garrett: Yeah, yeah.
Alan: Any suggestions that you have for people out there that are looking for a chair, any words of wisdom, or advice, or tips?
Garrett: Always make people take their cell phone out of their pocket before they get in the chair.
Alan: Yeah, OK.
Garrett: Rule #1.
Alan: Change, keys, cell phones.
Garrett: Yeah, yeah.
Garrett: Mostly cell phones though, because we've had two people lose their cell phones in the chair, and one of them got crunched.
Alan: Oh, no.
Garrett: And you know, it is what it is, so now anytime somebody comes over, which is a hit, having a massage chair is a hit with people.
Garrett: I love that part about it, anytime somebody comes over, you know, I don't know if I'm a lazy host, but I just go 'Hey, sit in this massage chair,' and then I leave for 20 minutes, and do my own thing, and I come back, and they think I'm awesome, and I'm like 'Sweet, you're really easy to entertain.'
Alan: Oh, that’s great.
Garrett: But it's great, and I love it.
Alan: You're such a lazy entertainer, or you're such a lazy host.
Garrett: Hey, it works for me.
Alan: Everybody loves the chair, everybody loves them, they're like people magnets.
Garrett: It is, it is a magnet, and I'll have people now making excuses to come over to my house, and I know that they just want to sit in the chair, like …
Alan: That’s called being used, and that’s perfectly OK with a massage chair.
Garrett: Yeah, yeah.
Alan: Just remember now to refer them to us, when they get out of school or whatever, and they hit the, you know, their payload, have them come and buy a chair from us.
Garrett: Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely. But yeah, no, I would say, tips and tricks, I'd say, #1 get your cell phone out of your pocket. You know, one thing, to be serious though, I realized in the beginning, not having a massage chair before, I had to force myself to be relaxed by it. It was hard for my body to let the relaxation happen.
Garrett: And a lot of people were like 'You know, you should put the TV in front of it, or you should, you know, you could play on your cell phone while you're in it,' and I would suggest to anybody, if they're thinking about doing that, to not, and to just have the massage chair by itself in a quiet corner, you know, with maybe some mood lighting. I finally got like a little lamp that was kind of soft lighting, and some place that you can just go, and do nothing but be in the massage chair, because I find anytime I get distracted, and I'm in the chair, I don’t get kind of the full effect from it, you know what I mean?
Alan: That’s a great idea. So, you're basically saying when you first sit in the chair, to get accustomed to it, maybe just, kind of just focus on relaxing when you're in the chair, without being distracted by anything else.
Alan: Because that chair is an aggressive chair, so I could see why you'd want to focus maybe on 'OK, I've got to relax while this chair's going up and down my back, because I want to get the full benefit from it,' is that kind of what you're saying?
Garrett: Yeah, exactly, and you know, I think, I don't know if it was being a guy, or that I've not been on a massage chair, but you know, it is kind of aggressive, so it feels almost intrusive the first time.
Garrett: And so, I kind of like clench up against it, you know, like not that much, but I could tell that I was kind of fighting the chair.
Garrett: It took me having to consciously force myself to relax, and so on and so forth, to really kind of get the full effect of the chair.
Alan: Right on. That’s a great suggestion, and most of the Chinese-made chairs are aggressive that way, and so it takes a little focus. Some of the Japanese chairs are more gentle, and so it's easier to relax. But yeah, I could see that that’s a great suggestion. Any other things that you want to share before we close off today, anything that I haven’t covered that you might want to say?
Garrett: Just that if anybody happens to see this, and is thinking about it, just do it. You know, there have been a lot of times I'm like 'Should I have spent that money on the chair?' And then, I go sit in it, and I'm like 'Absolutely, yes, 100%.'
Garrett: And my experience with you, Doctor, has been amazing. I keep telling people that if you were to sell used cars, you'd be a millionaire by now.
Alan: Thank you.
Garrett: Because the market is a lot bigger, I'd have to imagine, with used cars, than with massage chairs.
Garrett: Yeah, I mean, the service has been amazing, the price was amazing, the everything, it was …
Alan: Thank you.
Garrett: Probably one of the best sales things ever in my life.
Garrett: You know, it was this thing. Yeah, so you know, I honestly tell everybody who has an ear to buy one from you.
Garrett: I don't know if it'll stick or not, but you know, if anybody out there happens to watch this and they're on the fence, I'd say just do it.
Alan: Go for it.
Garrett: You can afford it, you can figure it out, it's worth it. It's one of those things I told my wife that we didn’t know we needed until we had it.
Garrett: And now that we have it, I don’t think we'd be able to go without one.
Alan: Wow. That’s fantastic. Well, that’s great advice, thank you, and thanks for your kind words.
Alan: Well, Garrett, thanks. I'm going to put this up on YouTube probably later today, and we'll start sharing it with our massage chair world, but I really appreciate you. This is awesome, it's been great talking to you.
Alan: And you’ve got such great feedback and input, so thanks a lot.
Garrett: Hey, no, thank you, Doctor, I really appreciate everything.
Alan: Alright, buddy. See you.
Alan: Take care. Bye bye.
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