As someone who has been in the massage chair industry for over a decade, I have given thousands of demos on dozens of models. One question I get most often is “Why are massage chairs so ugly?” After attending hundreds of massage chair roadshows around the country, and with this question as a backdrop, I want to share a story.
While doing massage chair demos at a west coast wholesale store, a couple walked by and I heard the woman say “look at that thing, OMG that’s so ugly I would never put that in my house”.
I offered to have them sit down and try out a chair. They said “OK we have some time for a free massage”. She again asked “why are these things so ugly” I said, “Well before I answer your question, have a seat and then we’ll talk about that.”
They both settled into the massage chairs, I powered them up, gave them a brief overview and walked away to let them enjoy for a few minutes. She immediately started to giggle and said “it’s doing my toes, is it doing your toes”? Her husband said nothing, he still had his eyes closed and smiled.
I came back a few minutes later and asked if everything was OK, and whether they wanted me to adjust the intensity or massage depth for any body part. Both said everything was perfect, and I noticed that periodically they would quietly comment to each other with intense glances.
I let them “marinate” in their first massage chair experience taking note of the big grins. After several minutes more I walked over and noticed both of them looking intently at the ceiling. I said “this looks like the faces of two people wondering where they are going to put this ugly thing.” The husband asked me if I was a mind reader.
He then said, “Honey if we move the couch over just a bit…..”
She said, “No this should definitely go in the bedroom. This is amazing…”
“This is beyond amazing” he replied. “How soon can we get it?”
In a matter of 20 minutes the woman who swore a massage chair would never go in her home, had a revelation. Rather than wondering about massage chair appearance she immediately realized the depth and features hidden deep beneath the massage chair’s unique appearance.
At this point I said “now you know. If a massage chair was designed for beauty, it would not be a good massage chair. A soccer Mom’s mini-van may not be the prettiest thing in your driveway but it’s exactly what you need, and now I bet you couldn’t live without it”.
Function really can trump form. Particularly in a truly remarkable massage chair like the Brio which they purchased that day.