The Big Picture of Permanent Weight Loss

Most people who read my articles and e-books know me as a science guy who likes to quote studies and apply research to everyday problems such as weight loss, bodybuilding, and other health/fitness related topics. However, sometimes you have to step back from the science and look at the big picture to help bring people back into focus, so they can see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

For most people reading this article, finding an effective diet that works most of the time must seem as complicated as nuclear physics. It’s not, but there are a bewildering number of choices for diets out there. High fat or no fat? High carbohydrate or no carbohydrate? Low protein or high protein? To make matters worse, there are a million variations and combinations to the above diet scenarios to add to the confusion. It seems endless and causes many people to throw up their hands in frustration and give up. In this article I will attempt to change all that.

There are some general guidelines, rules of thumb, and ways of viewing a diet program that will allow you to decide, once and for all, if it’s the right diet for you. You may not always like what I have to say, and you should be under no illusions this is another quick fix, “lose 100 lbs. in 20 days,” guide of some sort. However, if you are sick and tired of being confused, tired of taking the weight off only to put it back on, and tired of wondering how to take the first steps to deciding the right diet for you that will result in permanent weight loss, then this is the article that could change your life…

Does your diet pass “The Test”?
What is the number one reason diets fail long term; above all else? The number one reason is…drum roll…a lack of long term compliance. The numbers don’t lie; the vast majority of people who lose weight will regain it – and often exceed what they lost. You knew that already didn’t you?

Yet, what are you doing to avoid it? Here’s another reality check: virtually any diet you pick which follows the basic concept of “burning” more calories then you consume – the well accepted “calories in calories out” mantra – will cause you to lose weight. To some degree, they all work: Atkins-style, no carb diets, low fat high carb diets, all manner of fad diets – it simply does not matter in the short term.

If your goal is to lose some weight quickly, then pick one and follow it. I guarantee you will lose some weight. Studies generally find any of the commercial weight loss diets will get approximately the same amount of weight off after 6 months to a year. For example, a recent study found the Atkins’ Diet, Slim-Fast plan, Weight Watchers Pure Points program, and Rosemary Conley’s Eat Yourself Slim diet, were all equally effective. (1)

Other studies comparing other popular diets have come to essentially the same conclusions. For example, a study that compared the Atkins diet, the Ornish diet, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet, found them to be essentially the same in their ability to take weight off after one year. (2)

Recall what I said about the number one reason diets fail, which is a lack of compliance. The lead researcher of this recent study stated:

“Our trial found that adherence level rather than diet type was the primary predictor of weight loss”(3)

Translated, it’s not which diet they chose per se, but their ability to actually stick to a diet that predicted their weight loss success. I can just see the hands going up now, “but Will, some diets must be better than others, right?” Are some diets better then others? Absolutely. Some diets are healthier then others, some diets are better at preserving lean body mass, some diets are better at suppressing appetite – there are many differences between diets. However, while most of the popular diets will work for taking weight off, what is abundantly clear is that adhering to the diet is the most important aspect for keeping the weight off long term.

What is a diet?
A diet is a short term strategy to lose weight. Long term weight loss is the result of an alteration in lifestyle. We are concerned with life long weight management, not quick fix weight loss here. I don’t like the term diet, as it represents a short term attempt to lose weight vs. a change in lifestyle. Want to lose a bunch of weight quickly? Heck, I will give you the information on how to do that here and now for no charge.

For the next 90 to 120 days eat 12 scrambled egg whites, one whole grapefruit, and a gallon of water twice a a day. You will lose plenty of weight. Will it be healthy? Nope. Will the weight stay off once you are done with this diet and are then forced to go back to your “normal” way of eating? Not a chance. Will the weight you lose come from fat or will it be muscle, water, bone, and (hopefully!) some fat? The point being, there are many diets out there that are perfectly capable of getting weight off you, but when considering any eating plan designed to lose weight, you must ask yourself:

“Is this a way of eating I can follow long term?”
Which brings me to my test: I call it the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” Test. I know, it does not exactly roll off your tongue, but it gets the point across.

The lesson here is: any nutritional plan you pick to lose weight must be part of a lifestyle change you will be able to follow – in one form or another – forever. That is, if it’s not a way of eating you can comply with indefinitely, even after you get to your target weight, then it’s worthless.

Thus, many fad diets you see out there are immediately eliminated, and you don’t have to worry about them. The question is not whether the diet is effective in the short term, but if the diet can be followed indefinitely as a lifelong way of eating. Going from “their” way of eating back to “your” way of eating after you reach your target weight is a recipe for disaster and the cause of the well established yo-yo dieting syndrome. Bottom line: there are no short cuts, there is no free lunch, and only a commitment to a lifestyle change is going to keep the fat off long term. I realize that’s not what most people want to hear, but it’s the truth, like it or not.

The statistics don’t lie: getting the weight off is not the hardest part, keeping the weight off is! If you take a close look at the many well known fad/commercial diets out there, and you are honest with yourself, and apply my test above, you will find most of them no longer appeal to you as they once did. It also brings me to an example that adds additional clarity: If you have diet A that will cause the most weight loss in the shortest amount of time but is unbalanced and essentially impossible to follow long term vs. diet B, which will take the weight off at a slower pace, but is easier to follow, balanced, healthy, and something you can comply with year after year, which is superior? If diet A gets 30 lbs off you in 30 days, but by next year you have gained back all 30 lbs, but diet B gets 20 lbs off you in the next 3 months with another 20 lbs 3 months after that and the weight stays off by the end of that year, which is the better diet?

If you don’t know the answer to those questions, you have totally missed the point of this article and the lesson it’s trying to teach you, and are set up for failure. Go back and read this section again…By default, diet B is superior.

Teach a man to Fish…
A well known Chinese Proverb is – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

This expression fits perfectly with the next essential step in how to decide what eating plan you should follow to lose weight permanently. Will the diet plan you are considering teach you how to eat long term, or does it spoon-feed you information? Will the diet rely on special bars, shakes, supplements or pre-made foods they supply?

Let’s do another diet A vs. diet B comparison. Diet A is going to supply you with their foods, as well as their special drink or bars to eat, and tell you exactly when to eat them. You will lose – say – 30 lbs in two months. Diet B is going to attempt to help you learn which foods you should eat, how many calories you need to eat, why you need to eat them, and generally attempt to help teach you how to eat as part of a total lifestyle change that will allow you to make informed decisions about your nutrition. Diet B causes a slow steady weight loss of 8 -10 lbs per month for the next 6 months and the weight stays off because you now know how to eat properly.

Recall the Chinese proverb. Both diets will assist you to lose weight. Only one diet, however, will teach you how to be self-reliant after your experience is over. Diet A is easier, to be sure, and causes faster weight loss than diet B, and diet B takes longer and requires some thinking and learning on your part. However, when diet A is over, you are right back where you started and have been given no skills to fish. Diet companies don’t make their profits by teaching you to fish, they make their money by handing you a fish so you must rely on them indefinitely or come back to them after you gain all the weight back.

Thus, diet B is superior for allowing you to succeed where other diets failed, with knowledge gained that you can apply long term. Diet programs that attempt to spoon feed you a diet without any attempt to teach you how to eat without their help and/or rely on their shakes, bars, cookies, or pre-made foods, is another diet you can eliminate from your list of choices.

Diet plans that offer weight loss by drinking their product for several meals followed by a “sensible dinner;” diets that allow you to eat their special cookies for most meals along with their pre-planned menu; or diets that attempt to have you eating their bars, drink, or pre-made meals, are of the diet A variety covered above. They’re easy to follow but destined for failure, long term. They all fail the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” test, unless you really think you can eat cookies and shakes for the rest of your life…Bottom line here is, if the nutritional approach you use to lose weight, be it from a book, a class, a clinic, or an e-book, does not teach you how to eat, it’s a loser for long term weight loss and it should be avoided.

The missing link for long term weight loss
We now make our way to another test to help you choose a nutrition program for long term weight loss, and it does not actually involve nutrition. The missing link for long term weight loss is exercise. Exercise is the essential component of long term weight loss. Many diet programs do not contain an exercise component, which means they are losers for long term weight loss from the very start. Any program that has its focus on weight loss but does not include a comprehensive exercise plan is like buying a car without tires, or a plane without wings. People who have successfully kept the weight off overwhelmingly have incorporated exercise into their lives, and the studies that look at people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off invariably find these people were consistent with their diet and exercise plans. (4)

I am not going to list all the benefits of regular exercise here, but regular exercise has positive effects on your metabolism, allows you to eat more calories yet still be in a calorie deficit, and can help preserve lean body mass (LBM) which is essential to your health and metabolism. The many health benefits of regular exercise are well known, so I won’t bother adding them here. The bottom line here is, (a) if you have any intentions of getting the most from your goal of losing weight and (b) plan to keep it off long term, regular exercise must be an integral part of the weight loss strategy. So, you can eliminate any program, be it book, e-book, clinic, etc. that does not offer you direction and help with this essential part of long term weight loss.

Side Bar: A quick note on exercise:
Any exercise is better than no exercise. However, like diet plans, not all exercise is created equal, and many people often choose the wrong form of exercise to maximize their efforts to lose weight. For example, they will do aerobics exclusively and ignore resistance training. Resistance training is an essential component of fat loss, as it builds muscle essential to your metabolism, increases 24 hour energy expenditure, and has health benefits beyond aerobics.

The reader will also note I said fat loss above not weight loss. Though I use the term ‘weight loss’ throughout this article, I do so only because it is a familiar term most people understand. However, the true focus and goal of a properly set up nutrition and exercise plan should be on fat loss, not weight loss. A focus on losing weight, which may include a loss essential muscle, water, and even bone, as well as fat, is the wrong approach. Losing the fat and keeping the all important lean body mass (LBM), is the goal, and the method for achieving that can be found in my ebook(s) on the topic, and is beyond the scope of this article. Bottom line: the type of exercise, intensity of that exercise, length of time doing that exercise, etc., are essential variables here when attempting to lose FAT while retaining (LBM).

Psychology 101 of long term weight loss
Many diet programs out there don’t address the psychological aspect of why people fail to be successful with long term weight loss. However, quite a few studies exist that have looked at just that. In many respects, the psychological aspect is the most important for long term weight loss, and probably the most underappreciated component.

Studies that compare the psychological characteristics of people who have successfully kept the weight off to people who have regained the weight, see clear differences between these two groups. For example, one study that looked at 28 obese women who had lost weight but regained the weight that they had lost, compared to 28 formerly obese women who had lost weight and maintained their weight for at least one year and 20 women with a stable weight in the healthy range, found the women who regained the weight:

o Had a tendency to evaluate self-worth in terms of weight and shape
o Had a lack of vigilance with regard to weight control
o had a dichotomous (black-and-white) thinking style
o Had the tendency to use eating to regulate mood.

The researchers concluded:

“The results suggest that psychological factors may provide some explanation as to why many people with obesity regain weight following successful weight loss.”

This particular study was done on women, so it reflects some of the specific psychological issues women have – but make no mistake here – men also have their own psychological issues that can sabotage their long term weight loss efforts. (6)

Additional studies on men and women find psychological characteristics such as “having unrealistic weight goals, poor coping or problem-solving skills and low self-efficacy” often predict failure with long term weight loss. (7) On the other hand, psychological traits common to people who experienced successful long term weight loss include “…an internal motivation to lose weight, social support, better coping strategies and ability to handle life stress, self-efficacy, autonomy, assuming responsibility in life, and overall more psychological strength and stability.” (8)

The main point of this section is to illustrate that psychology plays a major role in determining if people are successful with long term weight loss. If it’s not addressed as part of the overall plan, it can be the factor that makes or breaks your success. This, however, is not an area most nutrition programs can adequately tackle and should not be expected to. However, the better programs do generally attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support. If you see yourself in the above lists from the groups that failed to maintain their weight long term, then know you will need to address those issues via counseling, support groups, etc. Don’t expect any weight loss program to cover this topic adequately but do look for programs that attempt to offer support, goal setting, and resources that will keep you on track.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”
So why don’t you see this type of honest information about the realities of long term weight loss more often? Let’s be honest here, telling the truth is not the best way to sell bars, shakes, books, supplements, and programs. Hell, if by some miracle everyone who read this article actually followed it, and sent it on to millions of other people who actually followed it, makers of said products could be in financial trouble quickly. However, they also know – as the man said – “there’s a sucker born every minute,” so I doubt they will be kept up at night worrying about the effects that I, or this article, will have on their business.

So let’s recap what has been learned here: the big picture realities of permanent weight loss and how you can look at a weight loss program and decide for yourself if it’s for you based on what has been covered above:

o Permanent weight loss is not about finding a quick fix diet, but making a commitment to life style changes that include nutrition and exercise

o Any weight loss program you choose must pass the “Can I eat that way for the rest of my life?” test,

o The weight loss program you choose should ultimately teach you how to eat and be self reliant so you can make informed long term choices about your nutrition.

o The weight loss program you choose should not leave you reliant on commercial bars, shakes, supplements, or pre-made foods, for your long term success.

o The weight loss program you choose must have an effective exercise component.

o The weight loss program you choose should attempt to help with motivation, goal setting, and support, but can’t be a replacement for psychological counseling if needed.

Conclusion
I want to take this final section to add some additional points and clarity. For starters, the above advice is not for everyone. It’s not intended for those who really have their nutrition dialed in, such as competitive bodybuilders and other athletes who benefit from fairly dramatic changes in their nutrition, such as ‘off season’ and ‘pre-contest’ and so on.

The article is also not intended for those with medical issues who may be on a specific diet to treat or manage a specific medical condition. The article is intended for the average person who wants to get off the Yo-Yo diet merry-go-round once and for all. As that’s probably 99% of the population, it will cover millions of people.

People should also not be scared off by my “you have to eat this way forever” advice. This does not mean you will be dieting for the rest of your life and have nothing but starvation to look forward to. What it does mean, however, is you will have to learn to eat properly even after you reach your target weight and that way of eating should not be a huge departure from how you ate to lose the weight in the first place. Once you get to your target weight – and or your target bodyfat levels – you will go onto a maintenance phase which generally has more calories and choices of food, even the occasional treat, like a slice of pizza or whatever.

Maintenance diets are a logical extension of the diet you used to lose the weight, but they are not based on the diet you followed that put the weight on in the first place!

Regardless of which program you choose, use the above ‘big picture’ approach which will keep you on track for long term weight loss. See you in the gym!

For information on SystemAgility Resurge review click here.

How To Choose The Best Dental Services

A good smile is always said to have a positive impression of a person over others. Adversely spotted and uneven teeth give the impression of a very poorly managed and unhealthy impression of an individual. Dentists are professionals, dedicated to provide excellent services for all your dental and oral needs. It is a wrong impression that only people who are suffering from dental problems require dental assistance, rather even people who have had shiny white teeth from the very beginning require to visit dentists regularly for the cleaning and examination of their teeth.

Not every person has bright, shiny teeth but through regularly visiting a local dentist you can acquire the services of these specialists in your area and achieve a brighter smile. There are no dental flaws today that cannot be fixed by an expert dentist, the only need is to visit them regularly. Dental services are available very easily today and you can walk in any clinic in your town for expert treatments and consultations for almost any problem of yours.

When you initially visit a dentist, you will be examined and diagnosed by skilled dentists and in case you are found with any dental problem,a perfect dental treatment program is designed based on your health conditions, age and the current condition of your teeth. Expert dentists are often very costly almost everywhere, but through acquiring the right dental plan or insurance, some leverage can be achieved in the area.

You may even come across less expensive dental treatments in the area, but make sure the dentist you are dealing with is experienced and offers quality services in all areas. Dental insurances are taken for the purpose to cover related expenses. These insurances come under dental services. These insurances are needed not only to cover the overall wellbeing of your teeth but also any tooth treatment that you may require. There are however some restrictions to dental insurance plans.

Normally dental insurances do not pay for any existing problems you may have, as it only covers any unforeseen event. Also cosmetic dental services are not included in the dental insurance such as it will not pay for any braces you get to fix your teeth. All orthodontic related dental care is excluded from general dental insurance and these services are required to be purchased separately. Many dentists provide many appealing dental plans at very affordable prices and the requirement is only to check them out on what they cover and what they exclude. Some very beneficial offers are available with the expert dentists which can be checked on the net through the various comparison sites available.

There is no arguing on the expert and skilled services provided by dentists and you can easily find one near you that can serve to all your dental and oral needs at the best prices. You may even come across a dental clinic which will perfectly blend with your dental insurance requirements and make your treatment a financial bliss for you.

For information on award winning dentists in Bethnal Green click here.

The 5 Key Steps to Receiving a Massage That Will Help You to Feel Better

1. You are always right and should get exactly what you want. Many massage consumers assume that you are going to a professional massage therapist and therefore whatever they say goes. The old adage that the consumer is always right also applies to the massage therapy industry. Of course, you want to work with a “trusted expert”, but that does not mean that if you think you need more focus on a particular area or altered pressure that you should not receive exactly that.

A “trusted expert” will listen to exactly what you want and apply the techniques that are going to help you achieve that goal. When you go out to buy something that you have already decided to purchase you are not going to let a salesperson sell you on something different than what you had in mind (although this happens all too frequently in the marketplace). The same is true for your massage therapy experience. If you are not sure what you need but have a specific complaint, your massage therapist should listen to your chief complaints and provide a solution that helps you achieve your desired outcome (more on this later).

If you sense that the massage therapist you are working with is not listening to your needs, it is perfectly alright for you to end the massage session. This may seem a bit harsh, but wasting your time and money on ineffective treatments is not an acceptable option.

2. What you should expect from your massage therapy treatment. The massage therapy treatment should specifically fulfill your desired result. You should expect that you are going to work with a skilled massage therapist that is going to listen to your issues and help you receive a massage that is very satisfying for you. From the moment you call in to schedule your massage treatment you should have a sense that you are going to work with a therapist that is going to treat you as an individual and respect your individual needs. It is appropriate to ask for the massage therapist’s credentials and experience.

You may also want to speak with an existing client to ensure that they have had a pleasant experience an existing client that they work with that has had a pleasant experience with the practitioner you are about to have a massage with. You can ask to come by and see the facility where you will be receiving your massage. Does it look clean, relaxing, and therapeutic? What does the energy of the facility feel like? Does it align with your energy and feel like a place that you will be comfortable with? It is also appropriate to ask to meet with the therapist who is will potentially be working with you prior to the massage treatment so you can be assured that you will be comfortable with the massage therapist.

When you have set up your massage treatment and arrive for your massage you will be asked to fill out some paperwork. Allow for enough time to fill out the paperwork so it does not interfere with your massage time. After all, if you are seeing a massage expert, chances are they are very busy and they have clients before and after you.

When you arrive at the establishment you should be warmly greeted and offered water while you fill out the paperwork and wait to meet your therapist (if you did not meet them prior). Your therapist should introduce themselves to you and welcome you and direct you back to the massage room. The therapist should then ask you about your specific goals for the session and listen to you before proceeding. You should feel that the therapist cares deeply about your goals for the session and is interested in helping you achieve them. The treatment room should be relaxing and comforting. The massage therapist should explain that you can disrobe to your level of comfort.

Note: For some people their level of comfort may be to keep all of their clothes on. This is perfectly fine. I have worked with clients who started with me working with me fully clothed and as their comfort level increased they began to remove some clothing so I could massage directly to their skin. The fact is that massage therapy feels better when it is applied directly to the skin. The other fact is that a skilled massage therapist can work with you with all your clothes on and still provide a great massage.

You should be covered or draped with sheets properly during your massage. This is not only a law, but is intended for your comfort. This means that only the area of your body that is being massaged will be exposed. The rest of your body will be covered by a sheet and when you are cold a blanket as well.

Note: I have had massage at establishments that have used very little towels to cover my naked body. I am very comfortable with my body, but in one session in particular (at a San Diego establishment) I was very cold during the session and the draft made the massage very uncomfortable. I have come to find out that this particular establishment may not be a legitimate massage practice but a front for prostitution. You would never know this as it is marketed as a day spa, so be wary of where you set up your appointment. I can guarantee that if I would have implemented these 5 steps I would have known that this establishment was not legitimate and I would have saved myself the uncomfortable experience and the waste of my time and money.

The practitioner will leave the room once they explain where you should place your clothes and they will indicate that they will be back in a while to start your massage.

Note: We implemented a “relaxation switch” in our clinics that when pressed by the client turns on a light outside to know you are ready. I have had numerous experiences of opening the door on clients who were not comfortably under the sheets. If the establishment does not have the “relaxation switch” make sure that you are quick to get on the table to avoid any uncomfortable racing to the table scenarios.

Once you are on the table you should not have to wait too long for the therapist to come and start the massage. The therapist should enter the room and ask you how you feel on the table. How is the temperature of the room? How does the table feel? How do the pillows or bolsters feel?

Before therapist begins doing the massage they should tell you that if at any time during the massage you would like more or less pressure to just let them know and they will accommodate you. If you are getting the massage for general relaxation the massage therapist should not talk with you during the session. This is one of the chief complaints I hear from massage consumers across the country when they tell me about their massage experiences. I have heard of therapists who will tell the client about all their personal problems while the client is “held hostage” and is paying good money to council these therapists on their personal issues.

Remember the first step, You are always right and should get exactly what you want, so tell the therapist that you prefer to just listen to the music or zone out during your massage. If your therapist is a massage expert you will find that they will have listened to you describe your goal of relaxation and therefore they would be quiet during your massage session.

NoteIf you are receiving a massage for a goal of reliving pain or a specific injury then your massage therapist will need to discuss your history with you and explain what they are doing. You also may be asked to move around on the table from face down, side lying to on your back.

After the massage your therapists should thank you for the session and discuss their assessment of your muscular health. Your therapist will explain what they recommend for a treatment plan for you to achieve your goal. It may be as simple as you needing to receive massage once a month to keep stress levels low enough to help you to better manage your life; or it may require that you come in as often as 2X a week for 6 weeks to aggressively treat a specific issue you are dealing with.

Whatever the case is, the therapist you work with should give you a plan that will help you achieve your massage goals. It may be that massage therapy will not be the best method for helping decrease your pain. In this instance, your therapist should refer you to the appropriate group or therapy that will help you achieve this.

3. Why massage modalities are a thing of the past and what a massage modality is. If you are new to massage you will peruse the massage menu and wonder what all these treatments are. A massage modality is a massage technique that has a specific purpose for the massage receiver. There are literally hundreds of massage modalities and they can seem daunting to someone who has never received a massage before. There is also misrepresentation of massage modalities by therapists who are not adequately trained in the modality they offer. This is due to the third point I discussed in the potential problems massage consumers can experience when receiving massage.

The fact is that the only people that know what a shiatsu, reiki treatment, deep tissue massage or Swedish massage are massage practitioners. As the massage consumer you care about one thing: that you will receive a massage that will help you achieve your specific goal for that particular session. Whether that is stress management, sports performance, injury prevention, injury rehabilitation, pain relief, or just overall wellness, the modality that is used to achieve these goals is not of importance to you. Most of the time you do not even know what the modality is. So, if you are faced with having to choose between a Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, thai massage or trager, then you know that you may want to look elsewhere to get your massage treatment. You want to work with a massage expert that will listen to your needs and integrate a variety of modalities that fulfills that outcome.

4. How to effectively communicate with your massage therapist. As you recall from the first step you are always right and you should always get what you expect from your massage treatment. Before, during and after your massage treatment you should have an open communication line with your massage therapist. If at any time during the session you would like more or less pressure you should only have to say a little less pressure and your therapist should immediately respond to your requests.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable during the session you should be able to state it and have the therapist validate your feelings by making the necessary changes. So, it’s as easy as just speaking up. Unfortunately, I have heard from too many massage consumers who have received a massage that they were uncomfortable, but they did not speak up because they did not want to upset the therapist.

Here’s the deal, if your therapist responds in a defensive manner to your feedback, you can end the session right at that moment. You should not have to pay for the treatment. When you work with a massage expert they will be able to sense what you are feeling and address your concern before you have a chance to express them. I have trained our therapists to watch body language and listen for any cues to change the direction of treatments with clients. If you do not experience this, I urge you to politely end the massage session and seek out an expert to help you with your massage needs.

5. You may be able to get massage for Free (that’s right, I said it, for free)

I know I don’t mind paying for something when I get exactly what I ask for. I usually buy things based on a problem I would like to solve (a pain I would like to avoid). Massage therapy is exactly the same.

If you are stressed and your stress is relieved, your head is clearer, and you are able to enjoy a more relaxed life, then you are happy to pay for the service. How about if you could get the service that relieves your pain or stress and get it for free? Sound too good to be true? Well, some massage establishments have referral incentive programs where they will give you a massage or money towards a massage when you refer a friend, family or colleague. At the clinics I own we offer $35 for every referral that our wonderful clients honor us with. We have some clients that get a couple of free massages a month because they enjoy the service and they encourage their friends, family and colleagues to come in to our clinic and get a massage. The end result is that you end up getting massage for free.

Medicare Explained

The Basics

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). If you or your spouse have worked full time for 10 or more years over a lifetime, you are probably eligible to receive Medicare Part A for free.

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. What Medicare covers is based upon, Federal and state laws, National coverage decisions made by Medicare about whether something is covered, local coverage decisions made by companies in each state that process claims for Medicare. These companies decide whether something is medically necessary and should be covered in their area.

Medicare Part B is available at a monthly rate set annually by Congress ($121.80 in 2016 for incomes $85000.00 or less for an individual). Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Some seniors are eligible to receive the medical insurance portion (Part B) free as well, depending on their income and asset levels. For more information, inquire about the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualifying Individual programs through your county social services office. Remember, in most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Also, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31) to enroll in Part B, and coverage will start July 1 of that year. Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part B during a Special Enrollment Period.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO’s), Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS’s), Special Needs Plans (SNP’s), and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA’s). If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and are not paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans have prescription drug coverage included.

Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. Keep in mind, you may owe a late enrollment penalty if you go without a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), or without a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage, or without creditable prescription drug coverage for any continuous period of 63 days or more after your Initial Enrollment Period is over.

How Medicare Works

Original Medicare is coverage managed by the federal government. Generally, there is a cost for each service. In most cases, you can go to any doctor, other health care provider, hospital, or other facility that is enrolled in Medicare and is accepting new Medicare patients. With a few exceptions, most prescriptions are not covered in Original Medicare. However, you can add drug coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). With Original Medicare you don not need to choose a primary care doctor. In most cases, with Original Medicare, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist, but the specialist must be enrolled in Medicare. You may already have employer or union coverage that may pay costs that Original Medicare does not. If not, you may want to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.

How to sign up for Medicare

If you are receiving Social Security benefits before turning 65, you should automatically receive notification of your enrollment in Medicare shortly before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability. Other individuals must apply by calling or visiting their Social Security office to receive Medicare. If you are not yet receiving Social Security or if you have not received a Medicare enrollment notice, you should contact the nearest Social Security office for information. Applications for Medicare can be made during a seven-month period beginning three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday.

It is best to apply during the three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday. If an application is made during that time, your coverage will begin on the first day of your birth month. Applying later will delay the start of your benefits. You may also apply for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 through March 31 every year after your 65th birthday. Your coverage then starts July 1 of the year you signed up and you will pay a 10 percent surcharge on the Part B premium for each 12 months you were eligible but not enrolled. If you have limited income and resources, your state may help you pay for Part A, and/or Part B. You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage.

If you continue to work after age 65 or your spouse is working and you are covered by an employer group health plan (EGHP), you may want to delay enrollment in Part B of Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare Part B will trigger your open enrollment for Medicare supplement insurance at a time when you do not need supplemental coverage. The penalty for late enrollment in Part B does not apply if you are covered by an EGHP because of your or your spouse’s current employment. If you do work after age 65, you may apply for Medicare Part B at any time prior to retirement, but you must apply no later than eight months (the Special Enrollment Period) after your formal retirement in order to avoid paying a premium penalty. Even if your employer offers a retirement health plan, you will want to sign up for Medicare Part A and probably for Medicare Part B when you retire. Most retirement plans assume you are covered under Medicare and will not pay for services that Medicare would have covered. Veterans may be eligible for special medical programs. However, eligibility and benefits are very restrictive and are subject to change. The Department of Veterans Affairs advises veterans to apply for both Parts A and B of Medicare to ensure adequate medical coverage.

How Medicare Pays

The way Medicare pays is, you generally pay a set amount for your health care (deductible) before Medicare pays its share. Then, Medicare pays its share, and you pay your share (coinsurance / copayment) for covered services and supplies. There is no yearly limit for what you pay out-of-pocket. You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B. You generally don’t need to file Medicare claims. The law requires providers (like doctors, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies) and suppliers to file your claims for the covered services and supplies you get.

Medicare pays for only a portion of your hospital and medical bills. As with many private insurance plans, the government expects beneficiaries to pay a share of their bills. Medicare Parts A and B both have deductibles and coinsurance. The deductibles for 2016 are $1288.00 per Benefit Period, for Part A. A benefit period begins the day you are admitted as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). The benefit period ends when you have not received any inpatient hospital or SNF care for 60 days in a row. Therefore, it is possible to have multiple Part A hospital deductibles in the same year. The Part B deductible is $166.00 per year. Private insurance is available to cover all or part of these out-of-pocket costs. These insurance plans are called Medicare supplements (also called Medigap or Med Sup plans).

Accepting Assignment

Most doctors, providers, and suppliers accept assignment, but you should always check to make sure. Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees (or is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services. Participating providers have signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment, your out-of-pocket costs may be less, they agree to charge you only the Medicare deductible and coinsurance amount and usually wait for Medicare to pay its share before asking you to pay your share, and they have to submit your claim directly to Medicare and cannot charge you for submitting the claim.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier does not accept assignment they are “Non-participating” providers and have not signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services, but they can still choose to accept assignment for individual services.

If your doctor, provider, or supplier does not accept assignment, you may have to pay the entire charge at the time of service. They can also charge you more than the Medicare-approved amount, called “Excess Charges.” Excess Charges have a limit called “the limiting charge.” The provider can only charge you up to 15% over the amount that non-participating providers are paid. Non-participating providers are paid 95% of the fee schedule amount. The limiting charge applies only to certain Medicare-covered services and doesn’t apply to some supplies and durable medical equipment.

Your doctor, provider, or supplier is supposed to submit a claim to Medicare for any Medicare-covered services they provide to you. They cannot charge you for submitting a claim. If they do not submit the Medicare claim once you ask them to, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

In some cases, you might have to submit your own claim to Medicare using Form CMS-1490S to get reimbursed.

For information on Medigap plan N premiums click here.

Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplements are standardized by the Federal Government. They are labeled A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same basic benefits no matter which insurance company sells it. Cost is usually the only difference between Medigap policies with the same letter sold by different insurance companies. Plan A pays the Medicare hospital and physician coinsurance, the first three pints of blood, and 365 days of hospitalization beyond Medicare. Plans B through N provide these benefits and add more benefits such as coverage for Medicare deductibles, excess charges and limited preventive care, and foreign travel. You can only have one Med Sup plan. No one should try to sell you an additional Med Sup plan unless you decide you need to switch policies.

Open Enrollment for Medicare Supplement Insurance is at age 65 for all consumers, including those already receiving Medicare due to disability. The Open Enrollment period is a six-month period. For six months beginning when you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B, companies must sell you any Medicare supplement plan they offer. After this limited open enrollment period, companies can pick and choose whom they will cover and how much they will charge based on your health. If you have an individual or “bank group” insurance policy, becoming Medicare eligible does not require you to cancel it and purchase a Medicare supplement. Doing so may save premium costs but it is important to compare benefits before deciding which will work best.

If you are eligible for employer retirement insurance, review the plan carefully to understand what benefits are available and how it works with Medicare. Be aware that employer plans are not standardized and are not subject to the requirements governing standardized Medicare supplement policies. Also, it is important to remember, if you leave an employer plan you may not be able to go back on it.

When it comes to buying a Medicare Supplement insurance, many agents and Medicare recipients view the Medicare Supplement Plan F as the “Cadillac of Medicare Supplement plans.”

Now before we examine the Medicare Supplement let’s make sure that you understand some basic information about the insurance product. Medicare, a government run health program helps provide health insurance coverage for people 65 and older as well as some who are under 65 and disabled. Medicare by itself does not provide adequate health insurance coverage, there are many gaps in coverage where a recipient would be responsible for payment. A Medicare Supplement is a health insurance plan that helps fill in the gaps where Medicare doesn’t cover, which is why it is also called Medigap Insurance.

The three biggest factors to look at are their financial situation, health history, and their personal opinions on health care.”

Financial Situation:

We first make sure our client is able to afford a Medicare Supplement. Plan F costs usually start at $95 and goes up from there for a standard Plan F. The monthly premium for a Supplement Plans will vary by the area you live in, the insurance company you select, your age, whether or not you smoke, and sometimes by underwriting guidelines. You must also plan on choosing a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (avg. cost around $40-70/month and continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium). The cost of the plan will go up over time. If you are able to afford a Supplement plan you should buy one now, preferably when you first are eligible for Medicare and you no longer have any other creditable health coverage. When you are first eligible for a Medicare S you are not required to go through underwriting, the cost is lower, and your acceptance is guaranteed. The longer you wait the more you risk the chance of not being able to afford a plan or qualify for one. Although higher in price than a Medicare Advantage plan, the health insurance coverage provided by the Medicare Supplement is superior if you get Medicare Supplement Plan F.

Health History:

“A Medicare Supplement is a good fit for people of all health situations or for anyone who has a family history of poor health, or currently has a medical condition that is going to require frequent trips to their doctor, specialist, or hospital.” Why? Well, if you choose a Medicare Advantage plan and you have poor health (and let’s face it we never know what our health will be in the future) your frequent trips to seek Medicare services are going to add up with all the co-pays you must pay. Granted there is usually a maximum out of pocket cost with a Medicare Advantage plan which is typically around $4000-$6,000 per year. Generally speaking, a Supplement is a predictable cost plan.

Your Personal Choice:

Again a Medicare Supplement comes out on top when you look at your freedom to choose. Is it important to you to have the ability to go to any hospital or doctor you want for any procedure, or would it be acceptable to you to pay significantly less on your health care and have a large network to choose your hospital and doctor from?”

A Medicare Supplement, for the most part, gives you the freedom to use any hospital or doctor you wish which is attractive to many recipients. Most Medicare Advantage plans require you to receive services from an in-network provider and may require a referral from your Primary Care Physician before you may see an in-network specialist.

The 5 Key Steps to Receiving a Massage That Will Help You to Feel Better

1. You are always right and should get exactly what you want. Many massage consumers assume that you are going to a professional massage therapist and therefore whatever they say goes. The old adage that the consumer is always right also applies to the massage therapy industry. Of course, you want to work with a “trusted expert”, but that does not mean that if you think you need more focus on a particular area or altered pressure that you should not receive exactly that.

A “trusted expert” will listen to exactly what you want and apply the techniques that are going to help you achieve that goal. When you go out to buy something that you have already decided to purchase you are not going to let a salesperson sell you on something different than what you had in mind (although this happens all too frequently in the marketplace). The same is true for your massage therapy experience. If you are not sure what you need but have a specific complaint, your massage therapist should listen to your chief complaints and provide a solution that helps you achieve your desired outcome (more on this later).

If you sense that the massage therapist you are working with is not listening to your needs, it is perfectly alright for you to end the massage session. This may seem a bit harsh, but wasting your time and money on ineffective treatments is not an acceptable option.

2. What you should expect from your massage therapy treatment. The massage therapy treatment should specifically fulfill your desired result. You should expect that you are going to work with a skilled massage therapist that is going to listen to your issues and help you receive a massage that is very satisfying for you. From the moment you call in to schedule your massage treatment you should have a sense that you are going to work with a therapist that is going to treat you as an individual and respect your individual needs. It is appropriate to ask for the massage therapist’s credentials and experience.

You may also want to speak with an existing client to ensure that they have had a pleasant experience an existing client that they work with that has had a pleasant experience with the practitioner you are about to have a massage with. You can ask to come by and see the facility where you will be receiving your massage. Does it look clean, relaxing, and therapeutic? What does the energy of the facility feel like? Does it align with your energy and feel like a place that you will be comfortable with? It is also appropriate to ask to meet with the therapist who is will potentially be working with you prior to the massage treatment so you can be assured that you will be comfortable with the massage therapist.

When you have set up your massage treatment and arrive for your massage you will be asked to fill out some paperwork. Allow for enough time to fill out the paperwork so it does not interfere with your massage time. After all, if you are seeing a massage expert, chances are they are very busy and they have clients before and after you.

When you arrive at the establishment you should be warmly greeted and offered water while you fill out the paperwork and wait to meet your therapist (if you did not meet them prior). Your therapist should introduce themselves to you and welcome you and direct you back to the massage room. The therapist should then ask you about your specific goals for the session and listen to you before proceeding. You should feel that the therapist cares deeply about your goals for the session and is interested in helping you achieve them. The treatment room should be relaxing and comforting. The massage therapist should explain that you can disrobe to your level of comfort.

Note: For some people their level of comfort may be to keep all of their clothes on. This is perfectly fine. I have worked with clients who started with me working with me fully clothed and as their comfort level increased they began to remove some clothing so I could massage directly to their skin. The fact is that massage therapy feels better when it is applied directly to the skin. The other fact is that a skilled massage therapist can work with you with all your clothes on and still provide a great massage.

You should be covered or draped with sheets properly during your massage. This is not only a law, but is intended for your comfort. This means that only the area of your body that is being massaged will be exposed. The rest of your body will be covered by a sheet and when you are cold a blanket as well.

Note: I have had massage at establishments that have used very little towels to cover my naked body. I am very comfortable with my body, but in one session in particular (at a San Diego establishment) I was very cold during the session and the draft made the massage very uncomfortable. I have come to find out that this particular establishment may not be a legitimate massage practice but a front for prostitution. You would never know this as it is marketed as a day spa, so be wary of where you set up your appointment. I can guarantee that if I would have implemented these 5 steps I would have known that this establishment was not legitimate and I would have saved myself the uncomfortable experience and the waste of my time and money.

The practitioner will leave the room once they explain where you should place your clothes and they will indicate that they will be back in a while to start your massage.

Note: We implemented a “relaxation switch” in our clinics that when pressed by the client turns on a light outside to know you are ready. I have had numerous experiences of opening the door on clients who were not comfortably under the sheets. If the establishment does not have the “relaxation switch” make sure that you are quick to get on the table to avoid any uncomfortable racing to the table scenarios.

Once you are on the table you should not have to wait too long for the therapist to come and start the massage. The therapist should enter the room and ask you how you feel on the table. How is the temperature of the room? How does the table feel? How do the pillows or bolsters feel?

Before therapist begins doing the massage they should tell you that if at any time during the massage you would like more or less pressure to just let them know and they will accommodate you. If you are getting the massage for general relaxation the massage therapist should not talk with you during the session. This is one of the chief complaints I hear from massage consumers across the country when they tell me about their massage experiences. I have heard of therapists who will tell the client about all their personal problems while the client is “held hostage” and is paying good money to council these therapists on their personal issues.

Remember the first step, You are always right and should get exactly what you want, so tell the therapist that you prefer to just listen to the music or zone out during your massage. If your therapist is a massage expert you will find that they will have listened to you describe your goal of relaxation and therefore they would be quiet during your massage session.

NoteIf you are receiving a massage for a goal of reliving pain or a specific injury then your massage therapist will need to discuss your history with you and explain what they are doing. You also may be asked to move around on the table from face down, side lying to on your back.

After the massage your therapists should thank you for the session and discuss their assessment of your muscular health. Your therapist will explain what they recommend for a treatment plan for you to achieve your goal. It may be as simple as you needing to receive massage once a month to keep stress levels low enough to help you to better manage your life; or it may require that you come in as often as 2X a week for 6 weeks to aggressively treat a specific issue you are dealing with.

Whatever the case is, the therapist you work with should give you a plan that will help you achieve your massage goals. It may be that massage therapy will not be the best method for helping decrease your pain. In this instance, your therapist should refer you to the appropriate group or therapy that will help you achieve this.

3. Why massage modalities are a thing of the past and what a massage modality is. If you are new to massage you will peruse the massage menu and wonder what all these treatments are. A massage modality is a massage technique that has a specific purpose for the massage receiver. There are literally hundreds of massage modalities and they can seem daunting to someone who has never received a massage before. There is also misrepresentation of massage modalities by therapists who are not adequately trained in the modality they offer. This is due to the third point I discussed in the potential problems massage consumers can experience when receiving massage.

The fact is that the only people that know what a shiatsu, reiki treatment, deep tissue massage or Swedish massage are massage practitioners. As the massage consumer you care about one thing: that you will receive a massage that will help you achieve your specific goal for that particular session. Whether that is stress management, sports performance, injury prevention, injury rehabilitation, pain relief, or just overall wellness, the modality that is used to achieve these goals is not of importance to you. Most of the time you do not even know what the modality is. So, if you are faced with having to choose between a Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, thai massage or trager, then you know that you may want to look elsewhere to get your massage treatment. You want to work with a massage expert that will listen to your needs and integrate a variety of modalities that fulfills that outcome.

4. How to effectively communicate with your massage therapist. As you recall from the first step you are always right and you should always get what you expect from your massage treatment. Before, during and after your massage treatment you should have an open communication line with your massage therapist. If at any time during the session you would like more or less pressure you should only have to say a little less pressure and your therapist should immediately respond to your requests.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable during the session you should be able to state it and have the therapist validate your feelings by making the necessary changes. So, it’s as easy as just speaking up. Unfortunately, I have heard from too many massage consumers who have received a massage that they were uncomfortable, but they did not speak up because they did not want to upset the therapist.

Here’s the deal, if your therapist responds in a defensive manner to your feedback, you can end the session right at that moment. You should not have to pay for the treatment. When you work with a massage expert they will be able to sense what you are feeling and address your concern before you have a chance to express them. I have trained our therapists to watch body language and listen for any cues to change the direction of treatments with clients. If you do not experience this, I urge you to politely end the massage session and seek out an expert to help you with your massage needs.

5. You may be able to get massage for Free (that’s right, I said it, for free)

I know I don’t mind paying for something when I get exactly what I ask for. I usually buy things based on a problem I would like to solve (a pain I would like to avoid). Massage therapy is exactly the same.

If you are stressed and your stress is relieved, your head is clearer, and you are able to enjoy a more relaxed life, then you are happy to pay for the service. How about if you could get the service that relieves your pain or stress and get it for free? Sound too good to be true? Well, some massage establishments have referral incentive programs where they will give you a massage or money towards a massage when you refer a friend, family or colleague. At the clinics I own we offer $35 for every referral that our wonderful clients honor us with. We have some clients that get a couple of free massages a month because they enjoy the service and they encourage their friends, family and colleagues to come in to our clinic and get a massage. The end result is that you end up getting massage for free.

Of course if the massage establishment you go to does not produce a massage that meets or exceeds your expectations then you would get more massage that is basically worthless. There are options out in the marketplace. Use this reference to help you receive a massage that meets your expectations.

For information of massage in Brighton click here.

Modern Organic Products Are Safer to Use

Modern organic products are making a big splash on the market nowadays. More and more every day people are starting to get good information about the dangerous chemicals that they have been putting on their hair when they take a shower. This has got people trying to find a modern organic product to replace their regular synthetically blended shampoo and body wash.

The rise of organic products on the market have started to make companies who make synthetic products nervous. In a struggle to keep up with the competition a lot of companies have started mixing a few natural ingredients in with their man made products and calling them organic. Many unaware consumers have fell for this ploy and have bought a product that they assumed was organic only to find out that it was the same dangerous product with a couple of natural ingredients included in the make up of the product.

All real modern organic products are made up of only natural organic ingredients. These things come from the earth and nature and are much safer for your hair, scalp, skin, and overall health. It will benefit consumers greatly if they will just take the time to read the label of the products that they are buying before they just choose a product and assume that it is organic.

Some products will state on the label that they are made up of 100% organic products. If a product is not made up of all natural ingredients then they will probably state the percentage of organic products that were used to make up the product. Consumers will want to find a product that is made up entirely of natural products, but if a product uses a very high percentage of natural ingredients it will still be safer than one that uses none.

If you want to find the best on the market you will want to do some good research first. The fastest and easiest way to do any kind of research is online, so we have set up a website that will enable consumers to take a look at a few different organic shampoo products and make a decision on which one will work the best for them. Come check out the best Chemical-Free Products.

Sanyo Massage Chair Reviews

They say if you want the best shiatsu massage chair you should always buy Japanese. Well, Sanyo are Japanese, so do all its chairs give you the best possible shiatsu at a fair cost. The answer is yes, some models give a great massage at a great price but some others fall short and you’d be better off looking at other brands – even non-Japanese at that.

There’s no denying that Sanyo makes some of the best robotic massage chairs on the market and is firmly placed in the top tier of Japanese manufacturers like Fuji, Inada and Fujikura. Its chairs don’t come cheap costing upwards of $3,000 and at this price you really do want value for money. But if you do want a decent shiatsu massage you do have to look at chairs with a minimum price tag of around $1,800. And despite what Japanese manufacturers might tell you, many non-Japanese companies also make chairs that deliver a great shiatsu massage.

The cheapest model is the Sanyo HEC-SR1000K massage chair retailing for around $3,000. It’s been designed to have a sleek, lightweight and contemporary look. It has wooden arms and wood trim on the foot rest. Unlike other chairs it isn’t thick or bulky looking and its black faux leather gives it an understated look of luxury. However, I really don’t like the overall look of this chair. This is manly because of the back legs/stand. Far from looking sleek and stylish, it looks kind of industrial or like an after thought and it isn’t helped by the exposed metal and grey trim.

Like all Sanyo massage chairs it comes with something called Stiffness Detection. Using pulse, perspiration sensors and vibration the chair adjusts the massage output automatically to relax and invigorate stiff joints and muscles. There are 7 massage programs: Neck and Shoulders, Waist, and Leg – the remaining programs comes from a combination of the Leg with the other 3 programs. The chair comes with power recline to an angle of 170 degrees.

The programs and back and shoulder massages are good; however the chair lets itself down in the foot massage area. Basically the foot massager doesn’t do that great a job, and at this price I’d want more. A better option, and a few hundred dollars cheaper, is the Human Touch HT 125 massage chair. It has a better, sleeker and more pleasing design, has comparable massage functions and programs and the foot massager is much better.

The Sanyo HEC-SA5000K massage chair retails for around $4,300 and is a much better option if you have the budget. It comes with everything that the HEC-SR1000K has and much more. There are 4 memory courses, 9 automatic courses and an amazing 83 manual course combinations. There are also 5 massage speed settings. And, this model comes with a decent foot massager for both calves and feet – there are airbags and a multi-point heated shiatsu massage.

For what you get the HEC-SA5000K offers very good value for money and I would recommend it.

The Sanyo HEC-DR7700K massage chair costs over $5,000 and is the most well-appointed of the models. It has everything that the HEC-SA5000K has but it also comes with 2 antigravity positions, an air only massage for a very relaxing massage and an ankle compression massage. However, with its price tag it puts the HEC-DR7700K in direct competition with the Inada ROBO massage chair. The ROBO chair comes with 3D rollers and the very technically advanced feature of voice control; you can actually sit back and control just about every operation of the chair with just your voice.

Which of the two chairs gives a better massage is a subjective opinion. Personally, I like both just as much, so all I will say is that, if you are considering the HEC-DR7700K, it may be worth your while taking a look at the Inada ROBO as well.

Japan massage chairs offer the best massages in my opinion.