If you have been shopping for a massage chair for any length of time, you will have encountered the phrase “4D massage chair.” That term may have left you scratching your head, wondering, “What’s the fourth dimension?”
In physics, this refers to time, but the massage chair industry defines 4D as change in speed. Read on to learn why the ability to vary the pace of massage chair mechanism movements makes a significant difference in the experience and the end result.
3D vs. 4D Massage Chairs
One of the most important differentiators to understand when shopping for massage chairs is 3D vs. 4D massage technology. But it’s also helpful to understand 2D technology.
The mechanism in a 2D massage chair can move the rollers or massage heads in two directions: up and down (parallel to the spine) or proximally and distally (toward and away from the spine, respectively). Those actions take place in one plane, providing a very simple massage. While 2D is older technology, you will still find it in use at places like nail salons and malls. You can even purchase an entry-level, 2D massage chair for your home.
The development of 3D massage chair technology enabled rollers to move perpendicular to the body’s plane. This advance opened the door to deeper or shallower movements, with users typically being able to use pre-programmed massage routines or tailor a session to their wants and needs.
In some instances, a user might want a deep, penetrating massage to free adhesions, mobilize the spine, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, a person might want a light, gentle massage to help them relax before bedtime. Massage chairs with 3D technology give you that choice.
Many massage chairs today still use 3D technology. However, an increasing number go beyond 3D to offer 4D functionality.
The Fourth Dimension: 4D Massage Chairs
Massage chair manufacturers vary somewhat in how they define “4D,” but change in speed is the common denominator. They may focus on the pace at which the massage mechanism moves up and down its track, the speed of a specific massage motion (tapping, kneading, etc.), or both. But any way you look at it, the fourth dimension is change in speed.
4D Massage Chair Performance
The ability to vary the speed of different aspects of a massage enables a 4D massage chair to perform even more like a human massage therapist. Manufacturers who leverage this capability (not all do) can create highly choreographed movements.
Although they are in their homes, users of the best 4D massage chairs can easily imagine themselves at an appointment and being worked on by a shiatsu master or an expert in some other massage style.
5D Massage Chairs
Massage chair companies are innovative by nature and always looking to improve the experience their products provide. Consequently, you should not be surprised to encounter terms like “5D massage chair.” However, the definition of “5D” varies widely by manufacturer, with some using it in an attempt to make standard features sound like something new or unique. Consequently, you should view the 5D label with a bit of skepticism and be sure you understand what the company applying it is trying to convey.
Remember that you can get the latest information about massage chairs in our Learning Center and by chatting with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives online. But to truly understand massage chairs and the experiences they deliver, you should visit a showroom near you to work with a Comfort Consultant on finding the ideal chair for your needs.