Since Bruce Kaspian opened his Relax the Back franchise in San Luis Obispo four years ago, memory foam has become mainstream and more people are trading in their overstuffed recliners for high-tech zero gravity massage chairs.
Kaspian couldn’t be happier with this spine-conscious trend. Relax the Back offers products including mattresses, chairs, office furniture, and fitness equipment, all ergonomically designed to provide relief for, and even prevent, back and neck pain.
Manufacturers are continuing to find innovative ways to make their back-friendly products more effective. For instance, most people are familiar with zero gravity chairs, which are said to take pressure off the spine.
“They’ve really been refined over time,” said Kaspian. The latest innovation is an adjustable lumbar pillow that supports the curve of the lower back. It’s a standard feature in all of the shop’s recliners.
Massage chairs have also become more sophisticated. Top-of-the-line ones have “stiffness detectors” that seek out tense muscles, then focus more attention on them during the massage.
There are advancements in therapeutic heat. Instead of applying warmth to the surface of the body, far infrared heat penetrates three inches into muscle tissue and joints.
“It’s quicker and more thorough relief that actually stays in the muscle tissue for two hours afterward,” said Kaspian.According to Kaspian, far infrared heat feels soothing and not overly hot. Relax the Back offers far infrared technology in heating pads and in some chairs.
Memory foam has also made some strides. Relax the Back primarily sells Tempur-Pedic memory foam mattresses. The brand’s new Tempur-Cloud series offers the support of memory foam with a softer feel that typically appeals to those accustomed to sleeping on pillow-top beds.
Relax the Back has begun to carry PureFit mattress, an eco-friendly line of memory foam. It’s 50-percent plant-based, manufactured in an emissions-free environment, and is sheathed in soft bamboo fabric that is sustainable and anti-microbial.
Ergonomics continues to become more fashionable as well. While some massage chairs look space-aged, a few look more like traditional recliners.
“They look very much like regular living room furniture, but you press a button and the foot massager comes out,” said Kaspian.
Recliners are now available in a larger selection of materials including top-grain leather.
Still, in this industry, form follows function. Most customers of Relax the Back are more interested in being comfortable than in being chic.
“People are more aware about how important it is that your furniture support your spine in a healthy way,” said Kaspian. “It allows you to be healthier in later years and to be more active and comfortable in everyday life.”
Relax the Back is located at 445 Madonna Road, Suite A in San Luis Obispo, 788-0220.