The motor is an essential mechanical aspect of a massage chair. Motors
power and control rollers and nodes, and move them to the right areas.
The motor also powers seat adjustments so you don’t have to.
Preset Massage Programs
Good massage chairs are equipped with preset programs which massage the
whole back. You can modify motors, nodes and rollers using the control
panel that comes with every massage chair. When you use a massage chair
you can specify the chair to focus on the lower back or neck through the
tapping, rolling or kneading function. Top end chairs like the Elite Optima feature roll, knead and tap simultaneously giving you all the
motions in one massage. Another unique feature of the Optima is that
it allows the user to reverse the motion.
Rollers and Nodes
Rollers and Nodes are built to imitate the hands and fingers of top massage
therapists. Just like human hands, rollers and nodes also vary in shape
and size. Massage chairs with dual rollers and nodes offer a general massage,
like many massage chairs found in malls. Newer massage chairs with four
smaller nodes and rollers known as quad nodes offer more specific deep
tissue massage. See a chair with deep tissue massage.
They target specific regions of the user’s back and move in many
different ways which are pre-programmed into the massage chair. The nodes
and rollers can be adjusted to best fit each user’s body type and
Computer Assisted Adjustability
The Elite Optima and Panasonic Real Pro Ultra EP 30007 automatically adjust
for the weight, height and width of each selected user. They scan each
user’s shape and calculate the pressure on the seatback and the
rollers and nodes adjust accordingly. They locate certain parts of the
anatomy of the back and make the needed alterations for the width and
height of the user. Choosing certain inputs on the control panel can refine
Stroke Length refers to the distance rollers and nodes travel along the
spine. Stroke length ranges from 19” to 30” and is one of
the most important things to consider when buying a chair. Chairs made by Elite, like
the Optima, offer a 30 inch stroke length, the longest available. The
greater the stroke length, the greater range of the back the chair will
massage. It is very important for people taller than 5’8”
to have a chair with a long stroke length.
People over 6’ tall will require a chair with a massage stroke of
30” like the Elite Optima or the Panasonic Real Pro Ultra EP30007.
Shorter people may still benefit from a greater stroke length because
a lot of the distance gained from the longer stroke is in the lower back
Head pillows can be adjusted to “mute” the massage function
if the rollers travel too high on the neck or head for shorter individuals.
For the average person a massage chair roller should travel from the bottom
of the spine up to the ears. A 27” stroke length is sufficient for
a person of average height.
Buying Guide 1
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