After reviewing several different massage chairs over the last little while, it’s comforting to know that they’ve really come down in price to the point at which most people can afford one. Granted, there’s a wide range of prices out there, but the point is you can spend as much or as little as you like on a massage chair and still be somewhat satisfied with the product. If you’re considering purchasing a massage chair that’s on the lower end of the price spectrum though, you really have to be careful and do your research as there are a lot of duds out there.
A chair that really caught my interest was the Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner Bed EC-69 by BestMassage as it seems to have all the features you’ll find on much more expensive chairs at a price that’s hard to beat. This will set you back somewhere between $700 and $800 – which is quite affordable when we’re talking about a chair that can offer you a full body massage in your own home.
There are massage chairs that simply rely on using basic vibration technology to help you relax your muscles – this is not a true massage chair. The better massage chairs all include real rollers that simulate the actions of the human masseuse when they’re working on your body. The EC-69 does indeed include these real rollers, which I was happy to see.
Kneading the Pain Away
This chair includes several different settings depending on what you’re trying to accomplish; one of those is a kneading setting that is effective in reaching into those deep pockets of pain where your muscles are tied up in knots. If you’ve ever experienced this type of sensation you’ll know how effective it is at removing the kinks in your body.
I was privileged enough to experience a real shiatsu massage a few years ago and I can tell you the experience was quite intense. Massage therapists that use this technique rely on a rapid vibration technique that quickly removes the stress that you’ve built up over a torrid work week. This chair includes this type of shiatsu feature, which re-creates the human technique in a mechanical form.
Compression and Percussion
Two other common techniques that are used in massage are compression and percussion techniques. Essentially compression technique sort of press into your body, pushing out the knots and relieving the tension. Percussion techniques act as sort of tenderizer for your body which can be quite a pleasurable sensation. This chair allows you to choose from either one of these techniques as well.
A Little Chop Action
One other technique that’s included as a setting for this chair that should be mentioned is a chop action technique which includes tapping and flapping sensations on your body that are sort of a much subtler version of the percussion technique already mentioned above. The overall effect of all these different techniques we’ve mentioned is to give you all of the tools you’ll need to address the various aches and pains that are commonly found in the human body after a stressful day.
To make things easy, all of the features we’ve talked about can be controlled from the simple built-in remote that comes with this chair. It allows one-touch access to everything and it lets you control how long your massage lasts as well. It will even let you automatically recline your chair so that you can sit back in a comfortable position and truly enjoy your massage. Basically these days, a built-in remote has become one of the minimum requirements for a massage chair and I would have been surprised if this chair didn’t include one as well.
Three Different Roller Settings
The great thing about people is that we come in all kinds of different packages – big, small, round, and flat, to name a few – and this chair is fully adjustable to match your body type, whatever that might be. The rollers have three different settings – wide, medium, and narrow – so that your spouse can adjust the chair to suit them and you can easily switch it back to your preferred settings when they’re done. It’s nice to have that kind of flexibility; I can only speak for myself, but my wife and I have very different body types.
Where It Fails
Up till now you might be forgiven for thinking that this chair seems like a great option, but it does have some serious flaws that are definitely cause for concern. For one thing, it does not include a heat option, which I was quite disappointed in as it’s one of my favorite features of a massage chair. There’s nothing quite like heat to remove the tension from your body.
Probably more disturbing, though, are the number of complaints that have been directed at the manufacturer of this chair. For many, it simply fails to work after only a short period of time, or at least loses some of its essential functionality. If there were just one or two customers making these complaints it might be easy to ignore, but I would say that easily one in four people have been very dissatisfied with this chair’s overall capabilities. It might be something you’d be willing to overlook if you knew that the manufacturer offered great service and warranty coverage, but that doesn’t seem to be the case either.
Not Worth the Risk
While I’m always willing to give a product the benefit of the doubt there are just too many complaints about this chair to overlook its shortcomings. It does include a ton of great features, but they’re not much good to you if they don’t work, and that seems to be the common complaint. I have to admit I was surprised at the negative complaints about this chair, as we have reviewed another chair by this manufacturer elsewhere on this site and most customers seemed to be much more satisfied with that particular model. I would be very reluctant to take a chance on this one.