Foot and Calf Therapy in Massage Chairs
Most massage chairs, nowadays, involve some sort of a foot and calf massaging mechanism within their feature set. Some chairs might just have the calf massage, but many of them have some type of lower extremity massage function. These calf and foot massaging mechanisms tend to be called an ottoman.
Various kinds of Ottomans in Massage Chairs
Some ottomans are designed to have the foot and calf massaging mechanism all-in-one and completely attached as you solid unit, like the Human Touch Actouch HT-9500 robotic massage chair and the Omega Aires, but others have the foot detached from the calf massager, thus facilitating the power of a taller person to stretch out their legs by flattening out the foot portion of the ottoman, rendering it parallel to the massager for the calf. An example of this sort of foot and calf massager will be the Panasonic 30007. GearHow.com The problem with this type of usage of the foot massager is that the foot massager eventually ends up massaging the sides of the ankles of an individual.
Inada has found a happy medium by engineering an “accordion-like” attachment between the foot and the calf massagers, allowing a taller person to simply extend their longer legs with the foot massager staying perpendicular to the calf massager.
Almost all the foot and calf massagers use airbags to create the massaging effect. Each manufacturer has its own proprietary setup of the airbags to supply their own unique feel, however the basic gist of each massager for foot and calf is that the airbags compress the calves and feet in a single form or another. Some compression happens all at one time, while some inflate in a sequence mode so that it feels like the airbags are “rolling” up and down the legs.
A very few massage chairs actually claim to have rollers in your feet bottoms. So, the feet end up receiving the same sort of therapy that the trunk does with the typical back rollers. I believe the Elite Optima and something of the King Kong chairs have the foot rollers as well as the airbags. Human Touch claims that their HT-9500 robotic massage chair has “paddles” in the ottoman that create a very unique feel by using that chair. That chair, for me and using the many, many chairs I have sat in, has the best foot and calf massager of any of the massage chairs we’ve seen. This can be a wonderful experience for the feet.
Inada recently arrived with a new model, the Inada Yume, which adds a fascinating twist to the whole ottoman massage field. They have added what they call Thera-Elliptical-Kneading, wherein the sides of the calf massage wells actually move up and down within an elliptical motion to actually massage the calf muscles together with the airbag compression massage. It is very interesting and feels phenomenal.
A Drawback of the Foot and Calf Feature in Massage Chairs
Robotic massage chair foot and calf massagers are the biggest reason that massage chairs don’t look like regular recliners. It is kinda hard to hide a big foot and calf massager! Some companies have certainly tried to cover the “ugly” ottomans. For example, Human Touch has generated a retractable ottoman on the new Acutouch HT-9500. They have also created a rotating ottoman on models like the HT-7120 and HT-7450 in order that these calf-only massagers can rotate underneath thus hiding the calf wells from view.
It may take some used to if you are not familiar with having a mechanical foot and calf massage, but once you have used it several times you’ll get used to it and thoroughly benefit from the therapeutic advantage of this feature in massage chairs.