Massage range in massage chairs – L-shape, SL-shape and iOpen technologies 


Massage by massage arms, which forms the foundation of a massage chair, is constantly refined and improved. To provide users with maximum comfort and massage efficiency, engineers are constantly working on optimizing the work of the massage mechanisms, but also on extending the massage range and making the mechanisms better adapt to the shape of the user’s body. As a result, the massage arms are no longer limited to back massage but reach much further. In the following article, you can find out what massage range you can count on in different massage chair models and what is responsible for this.

Massage range and types of guides in massage chairs

Let’s start with a video in which Paweł briefly introduces the topic of guides in massage chairs.

As you already know, the massage arms, which mimic the movements of a masseur’s hands, move along a specially constructed guide, located in the backrest and, increasingly, in the seat of the massage chair. The shape and length of this guide are responsible for the massage range of the massage mechanism. Models that only provide a back massage from the neck to the lumbar region have guides of a maximum length of 90 cm. However, it is worth remembering that this is not always a disadvantage and that it all depends on the individual user’s preferences. Sometimes the most advanced models have the simplest slides, which in their case work perfectly well, as the arm massage is complemented by other advanced functions. As an example, we can mention the Fujiiryoki JP3000, which has a massage arm range of less than 90 cm, and yet many people say it is second to none… and it has Japanese medical equipment certification! 

However, it is far more common for massage chairs to be equipped with L-shape or SL-shape technology, which are responsible for increasing the massage range. The extended and contoured guides of the massage arms adapt to the shape of the user’s body, allowing the massage to be carried out from the neck to the buttocks and even the thighs.

It is important to remember that, in addition to the shape and length of the guide, the massage range in massage chairs also depends on the size of the chair and the dimensions of the user. For example, a shorter person may feel the massage on a longer section of the thighs than a taller user who has longer legs. The same applies to other parts of the body, so it is worth testing several different models before choosing the right chair.

L-shape and SL-shape in massage chairs

L-Shape i SL-Shape in massage chairs

In L-shape technology, the guide along which the massage arms move is gently curved and shaped like the letter L. As a result, the massage range is larger and can reach up to 130 cm covering the entire length of the spine and buttocks. Interestingly, the L-shape was the starting point for the extremely popular SL-shape technology, in which the massage arms move along a guide in the shape of the combined letters S (on the upper part) and L (on the lower part). The additional curvature of the upper part, in the thoracic area, is responsible for the massage arms adapting better to the natural shape of the spine. This arrangement ensures that the user receives the longest, yet perfectly adjusted massage from the neck to the thighs.

All models in our range, except the Fujiiryoki JP3000 mentioned at the beginning, its predecessor the JP2000 and the fully personalised Keyton H10 chair, feature an extended massage range and SL-shape guide. 

Interesting fact! The longest massage range by massage arms of any massage chair on the market boasts the iRest Maesthron (A801) – as much as 153 cm.

Innovative iOpen function

Typically in massage chairs with SL-shape technology, the backrest and seat are joined together to form a single structure. This is why when the chair reclines, the user’s body remains in an unchanged position. Some seats, however, stand out from the rest in this respect thanks to the innovative divided guide bar – iOpen. You will encounter this function in the most advanced models from the iRest brand. The Grandease (A550), the Brillactiq (A665) and the Maesthron (A801) are all able to recline to the Flat position, allowing you to stretch your entire body more effectively while retaining all the benefits of the Zero Gravity position. When reclining, these seats tilt the backrest independently of the seat, which, combined with the appropriate operation of the footrest and the air cushions pressing the body against the backrest, increases the intensity of the stretch. 

Advantages of SL-shape in massage chairs

SL-shape technology allows you to take care of your thighs and buttocks first and foremost. Although they are often underestimated, the muscles of the thighs and buttocks allow us to straighten up and stand on our feet every morning. Nevertheless, these are quite intimate places, so their massage can cause discomfort, especially if performed by a masseur. However, you don’t have to worry about this when you have your own private “masseur” at your fingertips at any time of the day or night. ;-) Massage of the buttocks and thighs and in a massage chair improves their blood circulation, has a positive effect on skin firmness and muscle roundness, and in addition, prevents stretch marks and cellulite. As we mentioned earlier, the contoured SL guide also allows the massage mechanism to more accurately adapt to the shape of the user’s body, especially at chest level, resulting in a more intense sensation and a more precise massage, even in chairs with a 2D mechanism.

We hope we have illuminated a little about the range of massage arms and how one of the most relaxing, yet surprising features of massage chairs works. If you have any further questions or need help choosing the perfect massage chair, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Paul, please can you explain what a massage chair is?

It is not easy to explain in one short answer. How much time have you got? Many people think that a massage chair simply vibrates, but let me explain that it is a chair which uses a sophisticated, electronic mechanism to massage and relax your body. You can use it on your own, at home or in your office, whenever you want. If you’ve had a hard day at work – you can turn it on and just chill out, if you have stiff muscles – let the massage chair release them, if you need more energy – select the right programme and the chair will wake you up.

Can you tell me how it works?

There are three main elements.

Let me start from the back-rest, where there is a Mechanical massage system inside, which provides a gentle movement with adjustable speeds and in some models adjustable strengths. It has massaging arms which move up and down your spine from your neck to your hips, imitating human hand movements and massage techniques. Secondly, there is the air massage system, which uses air cushions to gently press your muscles and promote blood circulation. Depending on the specific models, there are usually airbags for the feet, legs, hands and arms. You can feel the result of this massage within 10 (to) 15 minutes. Your muscles should loosen, the heavy leg feeling should disappear and you will start to relax.

In addition to these two massage systems, there are some extra features which offer a greater massage experience. In some models there are stretching programmes, heating in the back-rest or foot-rest and also rollers for the feet. There are also special settings like zero – gravity position, zero – wall function, L-shape tracking, advanced scanning systems and many, many more…

So a massage chair can do lots of different things.

Yes, they have many functions and the market is growing, with new features and techniques being developed all the time. Massage mechanisms are getting better and better. So, I have just given a simple explanation of what a massage chair is and how it works. The functions of a massage chair and all of these features need to be explained in more detail.

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Published: 2024.06.20

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