Foot and Calf Therapy in Massage Chairs
Most massage chairs, nowadays, have some sort of a foot and calf massaging mechanism as part of their feature set. Some chairs may just have the calf massage, but most of them have some sort 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 designed to have the foot and calf massaging mechanism all-in-one and completely attached as one solid unit, 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 portion of the ottoman, making it parallel to the massager for the calf. An example of this type of foot and calf massager would be the Panasonic 30007. The down side with this type of use of the foot massager is that the foot massager ends up massaging the sides of the ankles of the user.
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.
The vast majority of the foot and calf massagers use airbags to create the massaging effect. Each manufacturer has its own proprietary setup of the airbags to provide their own unique feel, but the basic gist of every massager for foot and calf is that the airbags compress the calves and feet in one form or another. Some compression happens all at once, while others inflate in a sequence mode so that it feels like the airbags are “rolling” up and down the legs.
A very small number of massage chairs actually claim to have rollers in the feet bottoms. So, the feet end up getting the same kind of therapy that the back does with the standard back rollers. I believe the Elite Optima and one of the King Kong chairs have the foot rollers in addition to the airbags. Human Touch claims that their HT-9500 massage chair has “paddles” in the ottoman that create a very unique feel when you use that chair. That chair, in my opinion and based on the many, many chairs I have sat in, has the best foot and calf massager of any of the massage chairs we’ve seen. It is a wonderful experience for your feet.
Inada recently came out with a new model, the Inada Yume, which adds an interesting 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 in an elliptical motion to actually massage the calf muscles along with the airbag compression massage. It is very interesting and feels phenomenal. masajes medellin
A Drawback of the Foot and Calf Feature in Massage Chairs
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 hide the “ugly” ottomans. For example, Human Touch has created 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 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 are not accustomed to having a mechanical foot and calf massage, but once you’ve used it a few times you will get used to it and thoroughly enjoy the therapeutic benefit of this feature in massage chairs.