When choosing your massage chair, the range of features available can be overwhelming. From programs, to massage types, to roller tracks, the variety seems endless—how do you select the best massage chair for your needs? This handy guide will walk you through the latest developments in massage chairs, focusing on the roller types and tracks available.
What are massage rollers?
The rollers are the parts of a massage chair that do the massage motions, such as kneading and tapping. The rollers are able to move within the massage chair to reach different areas. The shape of the track and the type of rollers used greatly influences the type of massage you’ll get, and the quality of the massage itself. New roller technology means that you can have a deeper, more authentic massage from your massage chair, giving you all the benefits of a massage.
The rollers can be used to target specific areas of the body, directing the massage to where you need it most. The intensity of the massage can be varied using the rollers as well, so if you prefer a deeper or lighter massage, this can be adjusted to suit your preferences. Some massage chairs also adjust the rollers to fit your body shape, for a more personalized massage.
L-Track vs. S-Track
The massage rollers are attached to a track within the massage chair, which can extend from the shoulders to the lower back, and on some chairs down to the hamstrings. On this track, the rollers are able to travel up and down to provide massage to different areas of the body. Many chairs are also able to move the rollers from left to right. The type of track that a massage chair has will affect the type of massage that you’ll receive. The two main types of tracks are:
- S-tracks — a curved track that follows the sinusoidal curve of the spine, and
- L-tracks — an extension of the S-track variant that reaches all the way to the top of the hamstrings.
A massage chair with an L-track can provide massage to more areas of the body, as the rollers can reach the areas where the track is located (such as the upper legs). The S-track, however, will only be in contact with the back area from the shoulders to the lower back. In these types of massage chairs, airbags would be used to provide compression massage to areas such as the glutes and hamstrings. If you have conditions such as a tight piriformis or sciatica, the deeper massage provided by the rollers in these areas may provide more relief than an airbag massage.
Types of Rollers
There are two types of rollers found in massage chairs: back rollers, and foot rollers. The back rollers provide the majority of the massage motions that your massage chair can do, and will target areas from the neck down to the hamstrings, depending on the track. They are mechanically controlled, so they perform the massage techniques that you have selected. Foot rollers have been incorporated into massage chairs in the last few years, and can be mechanically controlled, or manual. Manual rollers will massage your feet as you apply pressure with your foot and roll over them, whereas mechanically controlled rollers will perform massages according to the selected program.
2D vs. 3D vs. 4D Rollers
Another recent development in massage chair rollers is the 3D and 4D options. A 2D massage roller is a roller that can move along the track either up and down, or left and right (essentially, in two dimensions or 2D). A 3D massage roller can do this as well as moving in and out of the massage chair (three dimensions), which can provide a deeper massage than a 2D massage chair. The latest developments in massage chair rollers are now referred to as 4D, which means that the speed and timing of the 3D rollers can be controlled and varied to provide a larger range of massage techniques and a more accurate replication of a massage therapist’s hands. A massage chair with 4D rollers gives a deeper and more thorough massage, providing greater relief to sore muscles.
The best chair available with 4D rollers is the Osaki OS-4D Pro JP Premium massage chair, featuring a 4D kneading ball system that provides 28 different types of massage techniques. The rhythmical movements combined with the speed variations give a more effective, smoother massage, making it the industry leader in 4D technology.
Computer Body Scanning Technology
Body scanning is another useful feature to have in a full body massage chair for a more personalized massage. The computer will scan your body and adjust the rollers to reach all areas of your body. For example, if a chair was designed for a person who is 5’6” tall, the location of the neck, shoulders, and lower back would be different than someone who is 5’0” or 6’0”. The body scanner feature means that you get a massage that targets your specific areas and gives you a more thorough, customized massage.
Where can I buy a full body massage chair?
Now that you understand the various features of massage chairs, you can be more confident when selecting the right massage chair for you, allowing you to reap all the benefits of a massage in the convenience of your own home. As one of the leading distributors of high-quality massage chairs, Titan Chair specialize in importing and distributing directly to consumers, often at well below national retail prices. With their superior customer service, you can rest assured that you’ll get excellent service when buying or maintaining your full body massage chair.
Massage chairs are rapidly developing, and it can be difficult to know what the latest technology and jargon means. Our helpful guide can help you make an informed decision when purchasing your massage chair, for the best full body massage chair experience.