The JPMedics Kumo massage chair (formerly known as the Fujimedic Kumo) comes from the same company that brings us the Cozzia and Ogawa brands. It is made in the same factory in China (previously called EasePal, now called Ogawa) and is virtually the same model as the Cozzia QiSE, with one major difference. The parts are made in China but exported to Japan where they are assembled, quality-control tested, and programmed before being sent to America. Thus, the statement "Made In Japan" is stamped onto it's shipping boxes.
The Kumo is a 3D/4D L-track (aka SL-track) chair with 4 rollers, 64 airbags, a multi-language pedestal remote control, and heated rollers and calf airbags. One of the first things you notice when you turn on the Kumo is that the calf airbags migrate to the knees. When the calf airbags heat up, the compression massage on the knee joints feels fabulous. This heated knee massage is unlike any other massage chair, excepting maybe it's big brother version, the Ogawa Master Drive AI. The calf/knee airbags play a big role in the stretch program of the Kumo, by the way, as I will discuss later in this article.
The Kumo also has heated rollers, which is a nice feature to have in a massage chair. However, I must say that the heated rollers provides very little heat, at least that's what we've noticed in the Kumo floor models we have in our showrooms. There is some warmth felt, but it is hard to tell if it is from the heated rollers or from the heat generated by the rollers moving up and down the spine and increasing the blood flow to the muscles and skin. Heat is generated in the massaged areas of the spine anyways by increased blood flow caused by the massing rollers. I expected a bit more heat emanating from the rollers so as to remove all doubt as to why my back was feeling warmer. Not a big thing, but a thing, nonetheless.
The JPMedics Kumo has an overall very comfortable fit, which you'll feel the moment you sit in it for the first time. "Quick Keys" are located on the right arm rest, which allow you to operate the chair with some very basic commands, i.e. power on/off, 3D roller depth, heat, body position, and two of it's 12 auto programs.
The remote itself is a pedestal type and is quite easy to use. The display is large, tablet-sized, making the user touch screen interface easy to read. This is one of the relatively few models that has a memory function. It will not memorize a spot massage or any of the auto programs, but you can create up to 3 programs for either the whole body or preferred areas of your body. Once you have created your program(s), you can adjust the depth/intensity of the rollers and the compression intensity of the airbags within that program each time you use it.
3D/4D Roller Intensity Adjustment
Speaking of the ability to adjust the 3D depth/intensity of the rollers, interestingly enough you cannot do that on a permanent basis for any of the auto programs. That is not to say that you can't change the depth of the rollers in an auto program, but when you do change the roller depth, the depth setting will automatically restore to the pre-programmed depth as soon as the rollers move on to the next spinal segment and the roller mode changes. In other words, the depth/intensity settings are all preset and when you change them, it will only be temporary, until the rollers move on from that spinal segment.
This is a little frustrating if you are accustomed to being able to adjust the depth/intensity of the rollers on other chairs you have been testing. The preset depth settings changes from one area of your spine to another so it is not always the same throughout the program. However, if you find the preset depth/intensity to be too strong, you can't make a permanent change to make it less intense other than using a throw blanket as padding.
You CAN, however, adjust the roller depth in the spot massage and, as mentioned above, your custom programs. By the way, if you want a regional/zone massage, you will have to set that up in the custom programs. The spot massage is just that...a spot massage. The rollers will stay in the one place you select and will not move up and down within 6" or 9" radius, like most other massage chair brands will do.
Massage Program Options
I hope I didn't confuse you with these different types of massage programs and the ability to adjust the depth/strength of the 3D rollers. In summary, you have 3 massage options:
- Auto Programs - 12 programs; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is preset and can only be adjusted temporarily.
- Spot Programs - focal roller massage; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is adjustable.
- Custom Programs (3) - regional or full body programs; 3D/4D roller depth/intensity is adjustable.
By the way, you can adjust the airbag compression strength during any of the above programs.
Regarding the 12 auto programs, their names are Spinal Care, Joint Care, Demo, Stretch, Relax, Japanese, Thai, Balinese, Chinese, Swedish, Vigorous, Gentle. I am not entirely familiar with each of these programs, but we use the Demo program with every new customer in our showroom since it gives the user a small taste of everything the chair can do, including the stretch program. I like to use the Joint Care program when I want a deep tissue massage. It will work on each segment of my spine with a shiatsu-like roller massage that is quite intense.
Although the stretch programs of L-track chairs are not the same as those of the S-track chairs, I will say that the Kumo has one of the better L-track stretch programs. I think it is because the calf airbags move up to the knees and when they inflate in concert with the foot airbags, the whole lower part of your body gets pulled by the stretch as one unit. If you want an S-track type stretch in an L-track, the Kumo comes closer to it than most other options.
I will say that the Kumo has the capacity for a VERY strong roller massage, if that is what you are looking for. Among the L-track chairs, it has one of the strongest roller massages in the neck and shoulder region. You will love it! But, if you prefer a more gentle massage, it has that capacity as well at the lower range of depth settings.
Regarding the Spot massages, these are the focal manual programs that incorporate kneading, tapping, swedish, clapping, and shiatsu modes. Each of those modes have two settings from which to choose. In the Spot massages you can combine kneading & tapping or kneading & clapping or kneading & shiatsu. Tapping, clapping, and shiatsu are all the same except for the rhythm/cadence of the tapping.
By the way, when you are in the Spot massage settings screen, you'll see a setting called "Kneading Strength". That is different from the 3D/4D depth settings and refers to the kneading speed. Increased roller speed can feel like a stronger massage without even changing the roller depth.
Custom Programs & Memory Function
Regarding the Custom programs, during the program setup, you have the following areas to deploy in your massage program: Neck & Shoulder, Back, Lumbar, Buttock, Arm, Knee, Leg, and Foot. You can select all or some of the regions in your custom program. The first 4 areas are covered by the rollers, the last 4 areas are covered by airbags. The massage mode options are Knead, Tap, Swedish, Clap, Shiatsu, and Roll. The owner's manual states that you can combine Kneading, Tapping, Shiatsu, and Clapping with Swedish or Roll, but this is not correct. You can combine Kneading with either Tapping, Clapping, or Shiatsu only. Swedish is a combination of Kneading and Tapping but with a different cadence.
If you cannot find the "Create New" button for a new custom program, it means that you've already created 3 and you will need to delete one of them before the "Create New" button will reappear. By the way, you can remove a program by holding your finger down on the program image on your remote control and it will be deleted.
The removal of a Custom program reminds me of the chromotherapy feature of the chair. You will notice that as soon as you turn on a chair program, the chromotherapy lights will appear above the shoulder airbags on either side of your head. You can select different light patterns from the remote control settings, but you there is no on/off button to push to turn them off. If you want to turn off the chromotherapy lights altogether, just push and hold for 3 seconds the image of the pattern that is displaying and it will turn off the chromotherapy feature altogether.
Foot rollers are quite comfortable in the Kumo. Not too intense at all. You can always use foot pads if they are too intense for you, but the intensity is less than a lot of other massage chair foot rollers we've experienced.
The body scan works like most others, with the rollers locating the top of your shoulders and the base of your skull so that they don't go too high or too low during the auto program. If you find that the chair is not scanning you properly, and the rollers are not going high enough up your neck, then you can override the scan and move the rollers as high as you need before completing the scan. Near the end of the scan, the chair will beep. That beep is the chair's way of asking you if the rollers are high enough or too high for your torso. At that moment, you can move the rollers up or down using the arrow buttons to get to where you need them.
A word of warning: During the scan, the rollers dig quite deep into your shoulders. You will feel like the chair is abusing you! Don't be discouraged. That is only temporary, while the rollers figure out the location of the top of your shoulders. Let the scan pass and you will feel the real depth of the rollers (it won't be nearly as strong).
By the way, this chair's specs states that it can fit someone as tall as 6'4". While it may be true that a 6'4" person can fit in the chair, the rollers will NOT reach the full length of the neck. Our experience is that it will massage chair entire neck of someone who is 6'1" - 6'2", tops. Of course, your torso may be longer than another, which means at 6'1" or 6'2" tall the rollers may still not get all the way up your neck.
The foot rest has an electronic extending mechanism. Whenever you start a new program, or change the chair or ottoman position during a program, the legs will reset and recalibrate. This involves the legs extending fully out and then retracting electronically. There is a sensor in the bottom of each foot massager that, when pressured by your feet, will stop the retraction of the leg massager. This is how the chair"measures" your leg length. If you push your feet against the sensor prematurely, the retraction will stop short. You will need to go into the remote control and adjust the leg length at that point.
Here are a few other features of interest in the JPMedics Kumo:
- One zero gravity position.
- Up to 30' long programs.
- Remote control language options - English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
- Factory warranty is 3 years parts & labor, with 2 more years of parts coverage.
- Color options: Pearl/Cappuccino, Pearl/Espresso, and Black/Red.
Overall, the JPMedics Kumo is a good strong L-track massage chair. If you are looking for an L-track chair with strong neck and shoulder massage, good stretch program, and a comfortable fit and feel, this could be at the top of your list.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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