What are the main features when considering an automatic massage chair in India? What distinguishes the low cost massage chairs from the high end machines?
Cost - Massage chairs in India vary in price from Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 10,00,000. If you are new to massage chairs, it is wiser to start with the more inexpensive ones to see how they work for you and if you'll use them before investing in an expensive high end one if it's just going to collect dust or lay unused. The inexpensive machines may have a shorter life as they use cheaper parts and are meant for lighter payloads vs the expensive machines. Think of it them like a Maruti 800 vs. a Mercedes Benz.
Roller track shape- These are usually in S shape that are shorter but have a better curvature or L shape that are longer, but straight on the back, but go down and along the butt if you prefer that.
Number of individual Rollers - Usually 2, 4 or 6 rollers are most common. Higher meaning more rollers or 'fingers' and therefore a better massage. Newer machines have ribbed rollers to replicate human fingers.
Number of Airbags - Airbags, when inflated give you the squeezing sensation (like in blood pressure checking machines). The more airbags the more 'human' the massage chair seems as the pressure can be staged and varied to resemble a human massage. These vary from 30 airbags in the lower end machines to 100 airbags on the high end machines.
Zero Gravity - While many massage chairs let you lie flat or recline 170 deg like 1st class plane seats, there is a specific position called "Zero Gravity" which is a reclined position elevating the feet above the heart and creating a torso-to-leg angle of roughly 128 degrees with a variation of +/- 7 degrees. This is supposed to be the most relaxing position for humans. Some chairs market them as such and others may have this ability and not advertise them. So it is not a big differentiator anymore.
2D, 3D, 4D & 5D massage machinesAll machines are 2D at least which means the rollers can go up and down (Y axis) but also narrow and wide (X axis). Pressure is usually varied by inclining the backrest so if you incline the bed full flat, your entire body weight is pressing against the roller for max pressure.
Anyhow, if this was not enough, 3D machines have rollers that can also go in and out (Z axis) to increase and decrease pressure.
4D is marketing hype as scientists haven't discovered a 4th dimension in the real world yet. This naming is used by massage chair marketers to indicate that the rollers have the ability to vary rotation speed of the rollers (yawn).
Don't be surprised if you see 5D with machines releasing vapor like humidifiers or aroma (You heard it here first)!
Programs - Not a big differentiator as they are easily copied, different brands have different sets of auto programs and a number of programmable options. Some are even called choreographs and are designed by famous massage therapists.
Heating - Most massage chairs have heating for feet and back now. The more expensive chairs have heating all over
Sound & Lighting - Bluetooth connections, USB charging ports, speakers, ambient lighting, etc. Mostly marketing gimmicks if you are into those things
Made in Country - Although massage chairs will claim to be Japanese, Korean or American- like Apple iPhones or Nike shoes, every chair is very likely made by the same factories in China or other Asian countries. In massage chairs, reputation wise, justifiably or not, Japanese brands rank as the best, followed by American made and then the rest. India, unfortunately doesn't manufacture robotic massage chairs yet. Most massage chairs in India too are made by white label manufacturers in China and labeled by the brand. Most brands just import and sell these machines along with any other items they can find demand for (Diwali lights, treadmills, clocks) as they have no intention to provide support to their customers which is very difficult and expensive.
Osada India is focused on massage chairs only. We believe in long term success and as a customer oriented brand we will offer customers the best support for massage chairs throughout India as this is our core business.
After Sales Support - This is by far the most important factor for these chairs. While most companies will offer you warranty and support, because these chairs sell in small quantities it is impossible to have parts or trained technicians available everywhere at all times. Most manufacturers or dealers will send an untrained mechanic to try and fix your machine. Also shipping these heavy chairs is not feasible. So to avoid having your massage chair become a 'white elephant' recliner taking up space, only trust Osada India to take care of your massage chair throughout the warranty period and beyond.
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