The first electric massage chairs originated in Japan in 1954. Massage chair popularity in Japan has long been associated with the way the culture deeply values and accepts massage therapy as a way to enhance health. A long massage chair manufacturing history, fastidious attention to detail, and unparalleled craftsmanship have made Japanese massage chairs the international gold standard for the massage chair industry.
Here’s an amazing factoid: roughly 20% of Japanese households own a massage chair. Contrast this with the 1% or so of American homes that do. Today, the Japanese have taken their long obsession with massage chairs, paired it with their relentless pursuit of perfection, and created some of the finest and most effective relaxation and wellbeing tools you can own.
To a typical Japanese person, using a massage chair is much more than just getting a massage. Rather it’s part of a complete, holistic approach to healthy living. And maybe – just maybe – the secret to the longevity of the Japanese population can be attributed to this approach and attitude?
Let’s look at one example of a Japanese massage chair titan: Panasonic. Panasonic has been an overachieving global engineering and electronics titan for so long that consumers everywhere know what to expect: innovation, reliability, great value, and exceptional performance across many industries and products. Panasonic happens to be the largest and oldest company in the massage chair industry.
Models from Panasonic, the MAJ7, and the MA73, have attributes that suit the needs of people who appreciate firm, deep tissue massage. Both these luxury models are built around a back mechanism called the Panasonic RealProTM, a mechanism so precise that it can actually transcribe Japanese characters!
opens in a new windowCheck out this video and see RealPro capabilities in action.
As the worldwide massage chair market has boomed, it’s still the case that the Japanese companies have the upper hand when it comes to understanding how best to make a machine stand-in for a real human therapist. Compared to all of today’s available technology, the Panasonic Real Pro mechanism (which you will find in their MAJ7 and MA73) takes top honors for sophistication, precision, flexibility, and durability.