Another great email from a massage chair shopper. This fellow asks about the zero gravity function and if it matters that it is in the Osaki OS-7000 and not in the Inada Sogno Dreamwave. Here is his question and my subsequent answer...
First of all, I would like to commend you for providing such an excellent resource regarding all of these different massage chairs. Considering how difficult it is to find retailers that carry all of these models, I have had to rely mostly on your blogs as well as consumer reviews to get the information I'm looking for. Both have been very helpful!
My question is in regard to a feature that I see as a glaring ommission from the Inada Sogno Dreamwave model. I'm trying to decide between this and the Osaki OS-7000. I've read your comparison between the two in your blog, but there is only a faint mention of the Zero G functionality. It seems like a very beneficial feature, so I was hoping if you wouldn't mind sharing your opinion on that if you get the time. In your opinion, does the Dreamwave feature exclusive to the Inada model make up for the lack of Zero G functionality? I would assume that considering the advancement in the higher-end models, that would be a pretty standard feature. I guess my main concern is this: does the extra $4000 for the Inada model in conjuction with the Dreamwave functionality make up for a lack of Zero G? If I understand correctly, Zero G simply refers to the angles the chair makes at different points. Can the Inada be programmed to replicate those angles?
There is a retailer nearby that carries the Inada Sogno, so I'll be testing it out in the upcoming week. However, I haven't found any places that stock the Osaki models, so unfortunately that won't help to make this decision any easier.
One last thing: I notice the massage stroke length is shorter on the Inada (28.4") as compared to the Osaki 7000 (31"). I'm 6'4", so is that something that will make a big difference for me? I've read that the Inada is fit for people up to 6'5", but I assume that extra 2.5" in stroke length could make a dramatic difference.
I've read so many shining reviews of the Inada that it will be hard to pass it up, even considering the steep asking price. In my opinion, health is the most important thing to invest my money in. I suffered a football injury 6 years ago and have had back problems ever since. I've tried everything on the market from chiropractors to inversion tables, all to little success. So, if I plan on investing in a massage chair that will actually help fix my problem, then price isn't a detterant for me. I'm just curious if the Inada as an overall package is more beneficial than a comparable model with Zero G functionality. Since it appears I won't be able to test drive the Osaki model, your opinion will be very helpful 🙂
Thanks in advance! I sincerely appreciate all the helpful information you've provided! Either way, you will most likely be receiving a new customer in the forseable future!
Thank you so much for your email and your thoughtful and insightful comments.
I am frequently asked about zero gravity, or it's lack thereof, in the Inada Sogno. That feature has become quite popular as of late and it seems that most of the new models coming out have this feature. It has been something that has been around for quite a while, namely in the Human Touch HT-7450 and the now-discontinued Sanyo 7700. But, it wasn't until recently that many of the chinese-manufactured chairs have included zero gravity in their feature set.
Zero gravity was originally integrated into massage chairs to mimic the position that NASA determined was the optimal position for astronauts to be seated in whilst traveling in space. It is a position that takes pressure and load demand off the low back and distributes it a little more evenly throughout the entire body. It is a comfortable position to be in if you've ever sat in a zero gravity chair. It is also very helpful for folks with acute low back pain as it tends to ease up on the low back stress when the body is reclined and the seat angled up in the zero gravity position.
Now, in my opinion, if a chair does not have zero gravity functionality not all is lost! The Inada Sogno is known as the best chair in the world and, with it's bevy of very unique and innovative features, is our most popular seller...by far. Clients are not left wanting without the zero gravity feature.
But I will mention something that is not so obvious to the reader of the written word or even to someone who has tried out both the Inada Sogno and a zero gravity chair, in your case the Osaki OS-7000. If you've sat on the Inada Sogno you surely noticed how low the rollers go down into the buttocks and the sacral region of the spine. This is a very unique and wonderful feature of the Inada Sogno. As a chiropractor, I was so excited to see this incorporated into a massage chair because no other chair that I was aware of at the time had a roller that went so low down the spine.
Other chairs have lower traveling rollers too, as with the Osaki OS-7000, which actually has a 31" roller track versus the 29" track of the Sogno, but when the chairs incorporate the zero gravity feature when the chair is in full recline, the seat incline "distracts" the seat from the spine thus moving the sacral area and buttocks away from the lumbar spine. When this happens, the rollers will not be felt in the buttocks or sacral area to the degree that they would if the seat remained horizontal. You will feel a far better sacral and buttock massage from the Sogno rollers than you will from the Osaki 7000 rollers. And this is because of the functioning zero gravity feature.
So, the bottom line is that there is a trade-off: you can have the zero gravity feature of the Osaki OS-7000 at the expense of a superior buttock and sacral roller massage or you can have the buttock and sacral massage without the zero gravity feature, as with the Sogno. When the Sogno is fully reclined you will enjoy a better roller massage in that area. When the Osaki OS-7000 is fully reclined you will not, but you will have the benefit of the zero gravity seat positioning.
I, personally, appreciate the buttock/sacral roller massage more because I have a recurring sacro-iliac joint issue that gets great relief from the low roller track. I love that feature.
I hope this helps in some way understanding that not having zero gravity does not mean a lesser-quality massage. It just means that there exists a different feature-set in each chair that some may want or not want, but that has benefits for each user of the chair.
The issue of Dreamave technology is another thing altogether, though it is a feature that works wonderfully in conjunction with the non-zero-gravity seat of the Inada Sogno. This feature facilitates an up and down, left to right figure-8 shifting of the seat through a clever use of airbags. This feature alone will do more for a painful low back than will zero gravity, again in my honest opinion. At the time of the introduction of the Sogno to the US market, that feature was recognized as something so unique and therapeutic that I figured that it would only be a matter of time before someone copied it in another chair. It is a fantastic way to introduce passive motion into a painful low back. It feels great on a healthy back too, by the way.
Regarding your commonly-asked question about whether the higher price of the Sogno is justified, I just happened to have written a blog post last week discussing this very topic. You can read it here...
Your 6'4" frame will fit into either chair just fine. Your low back will be affected equally by both chairs. Where you might feel some deficiency in the massage would be the neck area. The Sogno has a more discriminating and refined massage than the Osaki OS-7000, but you might have to over-ride the body scan to move the rollers higher up the neck. I created a video demonstrating how to do that. Here it is for your perusal...
Austin, I really like both of these chairs. I am a huge fan of the Inada Sogno because of it's quality and technological innovation which everyone else is trying to mimic today. But, I also really like the Osaki 7000 because of it's massage intensity and the headband airbag massage, which is quite an interesting innovation. Time will tell if everyone likes it because if they do you will see knock-offs of that feature too, down the road.
I hope this review has assisted you in some way. I love questions from massage chair shoppers. They are always so insightful and often ask things that I've never thought about before. It has been fun answering your questions and I hope I've done it to your satisfaction. Please feel free to email me back or call me at 801-651-2026 if you have any other inquiries about these or any other massage chairs, or if you need help with your order. I am always at your disposal.
Dr. Alan Weidner