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Massage Chair Design: The Art of Choreography

On the surface, it might seem easy to judge a massage chair based on features and specifications. However, the truth is there is something far more important, and it will never show up on a comparison chart: choreography. 

But what exactly is massage chair choreography, why does it matter so much, and how do you tell which chairs are the best at it? 

Merriam-Webster defines choreography as “the composition and arrangement of dances especially for ballet.” The best luxury massage chair brands, like OHCO, have adapted this term to refer to how a chair’s rollers, air cells, and other components “dance” across the human body in a planned and coordinated way to create an intended effect. That effect may be relaxation, pain relief, or increased mobility.

Mimicking a Massage Therapist’s Hands: An Art, Not a Science

The list of massage chairs—even luxury massage chairs—offering exceptional choreography is short. Why is that? In most cases, massage chair manufacturers rely on more obvious, less expensive features like touchscreens, wireless cell phone chargers, or extra massage rollers to WOW shoppers while they’re trying the chair. If these inexpensive features can convince someone to make a purchase, the manufacturer saves money on time-intensive and expensive choreography. 

In the end, creating great massage chair choreography is an art that takes a great deal of time, effort, and patience. It is only through a long and difficult process that any massage chair is able to faithfully reproduce the movements and patterns of a massage therapist’s hands. But, with expert guidance and proper commitment, it can be done, as evidenced by chairs like the OHCO M.8 NEO.  

OHCO: The Pursuit of Exceptional Massage Chair Choreography

To create a truly transcendent massage chair experience through the use of highly choreographed movements, OHCO’s engineers worked closely with revered Japanese shiatsu sensei Akira Okabayashi. He demonstrated the nuanced motions, levels of pressure, speed, and timing of movements that he uses to address each area of the body. 

The engineers translated this masterful symphony of touch into the chair’s programming. (And OHCO also went “all in” on the aesthetics of these chairs with guidance from legendary designer Ken Okuyama.)

How Do You Know If a Luxury Massage Chair Has Excellent Choreography? 

The answer to this is simple, if unempirical: You have to try several chairs for an extended period of time—at least 30 minutes—in a quiet setting, so that you can experience the differences. This is the only effective way to become familiar with the movements of any given massage chair. More importantly, it’s the only way to understand what you like and dislike about a specific massage chair model. Try to avoid being distracted by inconsequential features, and just be mindful of your body.

When you visit a Furniture For Life showroom, a Comfort Consultant can speak to each chair’s unique elements of choreography. But in the end, choreography (like beauty) is in the eye (or, in this case, the body) of the beholder. A chair considered by industry experts to be the gold standard in choreography may strike you exactly that way. If so, that’s great. But it may not. 

While the reputation of a massage chair manufacturer or a particular model might be excellent, you could discover that you prefer the experience you get from a different chair. Meeting your specific needs and preferences is essential when purchasing a massage chair. 

Why Massage Chair Choreography Matters

Get into a massage chair with excellent choreography, start one of the programs, sit back and relax, and you’ll quickly understand the first reason well-coordinated movements matter. The massage just feels right. The movements. The rhythm. The dexterity in the amount of pressure applied. You can easily imagine a skilled massage therapist working your muscles. 

Whether the massage chair is providing a relaxing or invigorating session, the sensations alone are reason enough for many people to focus on choreography in making their purchase. But what you’re feeling “in the moment” is only the start. 

Just as significant as your immediate enjoyment of a massage are the longer-term benefits. All high-quality massage chairs provide them, but those with exceptional choreography often are even better at delivering:

  • Improved circulation. The massage rollers and air cells can help to improve circulation by stimulating blood flow. And improved blood flow can reduce inflammation and pain in the muscles. 
  • Reduced stress. As the rhythmic movements of the massage relax your muscles and relieve your pain, they can also reduce your mental and emotional stress and anxiety. That benefit is partly due to massage triggering the release of endorphins that have mood-boosting effects.
  • Deeper, more restful sleep. Muscle tension, pain, and emotional stress can all make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Massage addresses those issues and prepares your body to drift off and get the restorative rest you need. 

These are just some of the benefits of getting massages regularly. And “regularly” is critical. If you receive in-person massage sporadically, you may not experience these effects as fully or at all. The tension your body accumulates over many weeks, months, and years is most effectively and thoroughly released when you get into a cadence of regular—ideally daily—sessions. That’s easiest, of course, when you have a massage chair in your home. 

Some massage chair users feel the best when they start their day with an invigorating massage and end it with a relaxing session. But whatever frequency and program you choose, the benefits of excellent massage chair choreography add up over time. 

Create Your Own Made-to-Order Massage

It’s also important to understand that advanced massage chairs enable you to do a certain amount of choreography yourself. Not the type where you develop massage programs, of course. But chairs typically have settings you can adjust to tailor a session to your needs. 

Whether that’s focusing on a specific area, dialing the intensity up or down, or some other adjusting of the massage characteristics, you end up with a session that soothes or stimulates your body precisely the way you want. 

Massage chairs are like so many other devices we use. We often just scratch the surface of their features and functions in our rush to dive in.

That’s vital to remember as a Comfort Consultant shows you the OHCO M.8 NEO or any of the offerings from our curated collection of The World’s Best Massage Chairs®. Take your time, experiment with all the settings, and be sure you understand the full range of the chair’s functionality. 

You’ll find the atmosphere in our stores is conducive to thorough research. We want to help you find a chair that will change your life for the better, but we’re in absolutely no hurry to do so. Your long-term satisfaction is our priority. 

You should fully experience the choreography and truly get to know the massage chair that will become a focal point of your physical health and emotional well-being. 

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