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 may just have the calf massage, but many of them have some type of lower extremity massage function. These calf and foot massaging mechanisms are often called an ottoman.
Different Types of Ottomans in Massage Chairs
Some ottomans are created to have the foot and calf massaging mechanism all-in-one and completely attached as one solid unit, just like the Human Touch Actouch HT-9500 massage chair and the Omega Aires, but others have the foot detached from the calf massager, thus facilitating the ability of a taller person to stretch out their legs by flattening out the foot part of the ottoman, making it parallel to the massager for the calf. A good example of this sort of foot and calf massager would be the Panasonic 30007. 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 the user.
deweyshouse.com 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 generate the massaging effect. Each manufacturer has its proprietary setup of the airbags to supply their own unique feel, but 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 in order that it feels like the airbags are “rolling” up and down the legs.
A very few massage chairs actually claim to possess rollers in your toes bottoms. So, the feet end up getting the same kind of therapy that the back does with the typical back rollers. I really 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 induce a very unique feel when you use that chair. That chair, in my opinion and in line with the many, many chairs I’ve sat in, has the best foot and calf massager of the massage chairs we’ve seen. It is just a wonderful experience for the feet.
Inada recently came out 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 progress and down in an elliptical motion to actually massage the calf muscles along 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 appear to be regular recliners. It really is kinda hard to hide a large foot and calf massager! Some companies have certainly tried to cover the “ugly” ottomans. For instance, Human Touch has created a retractable ottoman on the brand new Acutouch HT-9500. They have also created a rotating ottoman on models like the HT-7120 and HT-7450 so that these calf-only massagers can rotate underneath thus hiding the calf wells from view.
It may take some getting used to if you’re not accustomed to having a mechanical foot and calf massage, but once you have used it a few times you will get used to it and thoroughly benefit from the therapeutic benefit of this feature in massage chairs.