Getting Foot and Calf Therapy From Your Massage Chair

Foot and Calf Therapy in Massage Chairs
Most massage chairs, nowadays, involve some type of a foot and calf massaging mechanism within their feature set. Some chairs might just have the calf massage, but many of them have some sort of lower extremity massage function. These calf and foot massaging mechanisms tend to be called an ottoman.

Different Types of Ottomans in Massage Chairs
Some ottomans are created to have the foot and calf massaging mechanism all-in-one and completely attached as one solid unit, just like the Human Touch Actouch HT-9500 massage chair and the Omega Aires, but others have the foot detached from the calf massager, thus facilitating the power of a taller person to loosen up their legs by flattening out the foot part of the ottoman, making it parallel to the massager for the calf. An example of this type of foot and calf massager would be the Panasonic 30007. The problem with this type of use of the foot massager is that the foot massager eventually ends up massaging the sides of the ankles of an individual.

Inada has found a happy medium by engineering an “accordion-like” attachment between the foot and the calf massagers, allowing a taller person to simply extend their longer legs with the foot massager staying perpendicular to the calf massager.

Almost all the foot and calf massagers use airbags to generate the massaging effect. Each manufacturer has its proprietary setup of the airbags to supply their own unique feel, but the basic gist of every massager for foot and calf is that the airbags compress the calves and feet in one form or another. Some compression happens all at once, while some inflate in a sequence mode so that it feels as though the airbags are “rolling” up and down the legs.

A very few massage chairs actually claim to possess rollers in the feet bottoms. So, the feet end up getting the same kind of therapy that the trunk does with the typical back rollers. I really believe the Elite Optima and one of the King Kong chairs have the foot rollers in addition to the airbags. Human Touch claims that their HT-9500 massage chair has “paddles” in the ottoman that induce a very unique feel when you use that chair. That chair, for me and using the many, many chairs I have sat in, gets the best foot and calf massager of the massage chairs we’ve seen. It is just a wonderful experience for your feet.

Inada recently came out with a fresh model, the Inada Yume, which adds an interesting twist to the complete ottoman massage field. They have added what they call Thera-Elliptical-Kneading, wherein the sides of the calf massage wells actually move up and down within an elliptical motion to really massage the calf muscles combined with the airbag compression massage. It is extremely interesting and feels phenomenal.

A Drawback of the Foot and Calf Feature in Massage Chairs
Robotic massage chair foot and calf massagers will be the biggest reason that massage chairs don’t look like regular recliners. It really is kinda hard to hide a big foot and calf massager! Some companies have certainly tried to hide the “ugly” ottomans. For instance, Human Touch has created a retractable ottoman on the new Acutouch HT-9500. They will have also created a rotating ottoman on models like the HT-7120 and HT-7450 so that these calf-only massagers can rotate underneath thus hiding the calf wells from view.

It may take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with having a mechanical foot and calf massage, but once you’ve used it a few times you will get used to it and thoroughly enjoy the therapeutic benefit of this feature in massage chairs.