Sogno Shiatsu Massage
Good Vibrations: Magical massage chair feels almost like the real thing
By staff writer Jimmy Tomlin
Reprinted from The High Point Enterprise
October 21, 2008
High Point – Is it a good thing for potential customers to keep falling asleep in your showroom?
It is if you’re Cliff Levin, president of FIUS Distributors, the sole U.S. distributor of the new Sogno massage chair from Inada, a Japanese manufacturer that specializes in massage chairs.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people have fallen asleep in this chair,” Levin says, “and I have the unenviable job of having to wake them up.”
If massage chairs were cars, the high-tech Sogno would be a Rolls Royce—with a remote control.
“This chair is as close as you can get to a real massage,” Levin says, and it’s probably no exaggeration.
According to Levin, every shiatsu massage in the Sogno begins with an infrared body scan that compares a user’s body profile to 106 stored body profiles. Advanced robotics then mimic the expert hand movements of a human massage therapist—gently kneading, tapping and stretching the user’s body.
The chair provides more than 1,200 square inches of massage coverage, literally from the tips of your toes to the back of your head. Even your fingertips get a massage as arm cuffs gently tighten around your arms and hands, similar to what a blood-pressure cuff does.
“This is nothing like the old massage chairs that just vibrate,” Levin says. “Everything else on the market is comparatively primitive next to this one.”
Levin cites three distinctions that set the Sogno apart from other massage chairs: It provides neck and shoulder massage, as well as gentle neck traction; it provides over 1,200 square inches of massage coverage; and it feature innovative DreamWave technology.
“The whole bottom of the seat actually sways back and forth from side to side, like a gentle wave motion,” Levin explains. “It’s utterly and completely relaxing and it’s also used in conjunction with some of the stretching functions that provide gentle stretching of the hips and mid-back. It’s impossible to describe it—you just have to experience it.”
Plenty of attendees at this week’s High Point Market did just that Monday. Inada has set up two Inada Massage Centers at the market—both of them in the International Home Furnishings Center—providing free 15-minute massages for any market-goers who want to sample the chair’s many pleasures.
Levin expects the Sogno “test drives” to translate into a good many sales, he says.
“This chair is saving us from the economic malaise,” he says. “Have our other massage chairs been hurt by the economy? Yeah, sure, but not this one. It’s been very popular.”
The chair even features a youth massage session designed specifically for adolescent bodies.
It has been nominated for a Consumer Electronics Innovation Design Award for 2009.
The Sogno retails in the range of $5,999 to $6,499, according to Levin. The chair is carried by about 250 dealers nationwide, the vast majority of them back specialty shops and high-end furniture stores.