I have been getting a number of calls about this massage chair for a couple of months now and I finally got the go ahead to be one of the few online retailers for this new Panasonic MA70 massage chair. It is a very hard to get chair with a very limited number of them in circulation here in the USA. I received a pdf brochure from Panasonic yesterday and wanted to share it with you right away. It is attached to this blog post for your enjoyment and learning. I will have my webguy put up some of the images from that brochure on our site so that everyone can check it out.
Some of the features of this chair which I find very interesting and for which I am excited to try out in person include:
1. I really like the idea of thermal massage heads. Massage chairs that feature "heat" typically have a heating pad within the massage chair section that offers heat, i.e. back, butt, and/or legs/feet. What the Panasonic MA70 has is massage roller heads that incorporate a ceramic heating mechanism as well they showed us the ceramic donut. It is reminiscent of the jade roller heads in the Ceragem roller tables, which I really used to like (although I didn't enjoy the roughness of the rollers in those tables).
2. Human Touch has had rotating ottomans for years, and for the aesthetically sensitive folks who don't want their massage chair to look quite so "therapeutic", the rotating ottoman feature is a nice touch. To allow for ottoman rotation, Human Touch has not incorporated foot massage, but only calf massage, because I assume it was too difficult to rotate an ottoman that had the bulky foot massager component sticking out. Well, Panasonic has figured out a way to rotate the whole mechanism, foot and calf massagers included. I like that feature.
3. I like the 7.2" extending ottoman feature too. The major drawback on the Panasonic 30000 series has been that the chair is designed ideally for folks 5'10" and less. For people that are over that height, particularly over 6', the chair feels a little too much like sitting in a small sports car with your knees up too high. Well, hopefully the 7.2" extension deals with that issue (of course, now with the rotating ottoman, I suppose that people who are still too tall for the this chair can rotate the ottoman under and lay their legs on the flat surface of the ottoman underside, giving the taller person the ability to stretch out their legs...they just won't get a leg and foot massage in this scenario).
4. Lateral shoulder airbags - now their are airbags at the side of the shoulders that massage the outside of the upper arm and shoulder. The 30007 just had airbags that pushed the shoulders forward...never could figure out the biomechanics in that feature (sorry...that's the chiropractor in me trying to make sense of an airbag feature that probably didn't need to be there). But, now with the MA70 it looks like there are airbags laterally that inflate and "massage" the outside of the upper arms and shoulders. Not the best, but better than what they had in the Panasonic 30007 massage chair.
5. Sliding arm rests when you recline. Now, there's a good idea! The other Panasonic models with arm massage had a little problem when you reclined the chair all the way back...the arm rests didn't move back with you. So, by the time the chair was reclined all the way, only your hands could fit in the arm rest massager. Now, with the new MA70, it looks like the arm rests recline with the upper body so that you can still get a full arm massage when you are fully reclined.
That's about it so far, based on what I read and see in the brochure. Panasonic has never been terribly big on buttock massage. It looks like this one has extensive thigh and buttock airbag massage. They are also touting 3D massage in the brochure. So far as I know, Inada is the only other company to boast a 3D massage feature. I'll be interested to see if it is a true 3D massage. Once we have the chair in our showroom, I can give a more thorough review. I think I will like this chair. It seems to address a few things that were lacking in previous Panasonic models. Price point is high at $6999, same price as the Inada Sogno. I won't know if it is comparable until I try it out myself. It seems as though the typical 1 year comprehensive warranty will be applied to this chair. Panasonic's are known for durability and toughness. I have no doubt that the MA70 will the much the same and last for years and years.
Hope this helps. For more information, check out http://www.massage-chair-relief.com/panasonic_ma70_massage_chair.html
Dr. Alan Weidner