Relaxation can come in so many forms. For some, it’s a leisurely walk along a nature trail. Some folks prefer to hit the treadmill or curl up with the latest (and last) David Foster Wallace tome.
Then again, sometimes all you want to do is plop down in a $5,400 massage chair and let the good vibrations take you away from the everyday. That’s exactly what the AcuTouch 9500 delivers, and while it’s not cheap, you can soon rationalize every penny within a few days of convenient in-home massage action.
Made by Human Touch, the 9500 comes in either black or “espresso” coloring and resembles any other high-end leather recliner you might find in an upscale department store. Except there’s awesomeness lying just below the unassuming exterior here. Eight programmed presets will run your entire body through a rigorous 15-minute program, targeting the specific areas where your muscles are most taxed.
And if you’re going for a more freeform massage experience, the 9500 sports four primary back massage settings, each involving percussion, compression, or kneading. Use the hand-held tethered remote to choose your settings and to control the reclining and the leg extension. There’s a single heat setting, as well as much-appreciated height adjustments, so shorter folk get a more customized massage session than their taller brethren. And should you start to doze off, the “seat” massage will most certainly wake you up.
When you add the functionality of the HT-Connect iOS app (free), you can access a total of 16 relaxation-inducing programs, and the app easily remembers your preferred settings from last time. Frankly, the app is worth it just for allowing you to skip the bulky, tethered remote control that dangles off the left side of the chair.
But the 9500’s killer app isn’t really an app at all. It’s the heaven-sent cubbyholes that extend from underneath the chair, giving your feet and legs an experience that, at worst, could be described as euphoric. After one dopamine-producing go-around, you may believe the Shiatsu-style massaging nubs initiated by the “CirQlation” function are worth the price of the chair in and of itself.
Ah, yes — the price. Certainly, you might need a few trips through the 9500 when you see your next credit card bill, what with a retail price of $5,400. And when fully reclined, the 9500 measures 80 inches in length, so it can take up quite a footprint in your home.
And if we have one quibble concerning the actual massaging, it’d be that the arms are completely ignored. With high arching arm rests, we would’ve preferred to have some sort of recess for the arms to rest within, even if there’s no actual massaging going on.
But complaining about this marvel of a massager is like saying the Mona Lisa isn’t smiling enough or that Bill Gates is getting a bit poor. The company’s website says this chair is “designed to improve your wellness and life.” Hyperbolic? Maybe, but you’ll have a hell of a good time finding out if that’s true.
Photo by Jon Snyder/
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