Massage Chairs With 4D Rollers? Really?

May 13, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
May 13, 2015
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

Massage Chairs With 4D Rollers? Really?

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

I am seeing more and more chairs that boast “4D” roller technology. The first time I saw this I wondered “I learned in physics class that there are only 3 dimensions – the x-axis, the y-axis, and the z-axis. Where is this 4th dimension?”

Well, of course, there really isn’t a 4th dimension, at least not on this planet, but massage chair manufacturers, in an ever-increasing attempt to differentiate their chairs from others use different terms to entice you to check out their chairs. 

For example, chromotherapy has become pretty commonplace in the massage chair world. You will see many chairs that have lights on the outside of the chair body the will illuminate a room when it is dark and the chair is being used. Well, the lights are pretty cool, but the massage chair companies now call that chromotherapy.

I Googled the term “chromotherapy” and this is what I found:

Osaki 6000 massage chair LED lighting

Chromotherapy is a method of treatment that uses the visible spectrum (colors) of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases. It is a centuries-old concept used successfully over the years to cure various diseases.”

That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? I have heard of therapies involving colored lights that are used as an alternative therapy for health, but I’m not sure I’d use that term to describe some lights on the outside of a massage chair. I figure it’s just marketing fluff.

Well, this “4D” business is just that too, in my honest opinion. I found this definition of 4D space on Google, too:

“In modern physics, space and time are unified in a four-dimensional Minkowski continuum called spacetime, whose metric treats the time dimension differently from the three spatial dimensions.”

I can pretty much assure you that these chair manufacturers are not creating something in a “four dimensional Minkowski continuum”, but something far less fancy, bordering on misleading.

What does it really mean, when you get right down to it? Here is the explanation:

All massage chairs have rollers that work in 2 dimensions: side-to-side and up-and-down. These are the “x” and “y” axes, respectively. The newer massage chairs are coming out with rollers that now can be moved forward and back to increase or decrease the massage roller intensity. That would be along the “z” axis. This is a great feature.

So, where is this 4th dimension, you ask? It really isn’t a dimension at all! It is nothing more than the roller speed function of the chair. Most, if not all, massage chairs have a button that can be pressed on the remote control that can speed up or slow down the roller function in play. For example, if you are experiencing a kneading and tapping mode in your chair, press the speed button and speed of the kneading and tapping increases. It actually does feel more intense when you do that. But, it is NOT a new dimension…a 4th dimension of massage!

It is nothing more than speeding up the rollers already working in the “x” and “y” axes. It does not speed up the “z” axis speed since movement in that direction is accomplished by moving the rollers forward or back at a preset speed.

So, the long and short of it is this: every massage chair out there has rollers do 2 dimensional work, with a few others having 3 dimensions of roller activity. But, NO CHAIRS have rollers that work in 4 dimensions…not on earth, anyways.

Speed is not a dimension. It is only a function of the 2 primary dimensions being served by all massage chairs. 4D rollers is just another marketing gimmick. Don’t be fooled or too overly impressed.

Dr. Alan Weidner

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