Panasonic EP MA70 Review – Massage Chair Report - Consumer Files

Panasonic EP MA70 Review – Massage Chair Report

In Massage Chairs by Consumer FilesLast Updated: February 1st, 2019

Panasonic EP MA70 Massage Chair

  • Ease of Use
  • Overall Massage Quality
  • Customization Options
  • Value for the Money

Summary

The predecessor of the EP MA73, the Panasonic EP MA70 has all of the same fundamental features like heated 3D massage rollers, location-specific stretch programs, and trapezius massage — but with a smaller price tag. And with one of the most powerful massages available and craftsmanship that’s known to last, the EP MA70 is a compelling buy.

4.5

The Panasonic EP MA70 was, for a long time, Panasonic’s premier, high-end massage chair. It has since seen its top spot taken by its successor, the EP MA73. But does that mean the EP MA70 has lost its value, effectiveness or massage quality? In this Panasonic EP MA70 review, we’re walking you through each feature and explaining the differences between the two models to find out. Let’s go!

About Panasonic

Panasonic was founded in Japan in 1918 by industrialist Konosuke Matsushita. Since the beginning of his business, Matsushita dedicated himself to the creation of high-quality, low-cost products he believed would “enhance the quality of life throughout the world.” In 1929, he outlined Panasonic’s Basic Management Objective that continues to define their business mission: “To devote to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people through their business activities.”

Today, Panasonic produces some of the world’s most advanced electronic technology, systems, and products like digital cameras, televisions, microwaves, and massage chairs.

The first Panasonic massage chair was produced in 1969. Panasonic massage chairs were the first to be endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the largest chiropractic association in the world, as being valid supplements to chiropractic therapy

While Panasonic massage chairs are still designed and engineered in Japan, they manufacture it in China.

Features of the Panasonic MA70 Massage Chair

Body Scan Technology

Before you begin a massage on the Panasonic EP MA70, a body scan activates. For 30 seconds, the rollers move up and down your back detecting your height (shoulder position), shape, and shiatsu points.

Once the scan is complete, the rollers automatically adjust their position to give you a custom-fit massage.

The body scan is a major component for any massage chair because, without it, the massage range is based on a “standard” height and shape, or you have to adjust the position of the rollers manually.

The body scan on the Panasonic EP MA70 most accurately detects heights between 4’5” and 6’1.”

However, if the scan doesn’t detect your correct shoulder height, you can manually adjust the position of the rollers using a set of up and down arrows on the remote.

3D Massage Technology and Heated Rollers

A 3D massage will automatically begin once the scan is complete.

So what is 3D massage?
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The “3” in 3D represents the number of dimensions, and the “D” represents dimensions. Together, the 3D tells us there are three dimensions of movement. On a massage chair, that means the rollers move in three ways.

For 3D massage, the three dimensions are usually up and down (vertical), side to side (horizontal), and inward (protruding). The third movement, inward, gives you control over the intensity of your massage — you choose how deep the rollers go and how intense the massage programs are.

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The rollers are also heated. So rather than using heating pads which treat a particular area, the Panasonic EP MA70 heats the rollers which then heat the entire length of your neck and back. Heated rollers not only feel great and simulate the feeling of hot-stone therapy, but they also have a massage-enhancing benefit.

The heat relaxes the muscles, which allows the rollers to penetrate deeper into the tissues for a more effective massage. Though the heat can’t be adjusted and variables like clothing material, massage program, and body temperature can all affect the level of warmth.

31-Inch S-Track

The rollers move along a 31-inch S-track that extends from the neck to the tailbone. An S-Track is an “S” shaped massage track that’s designed to contour to the natural shape of the spine.

Since your back isn’t perfectly straight, your massage track shouldn’t be either. With the S-Track, the massage rollers keep consistent pressure and contact across curvy areas like your neck and lower back.

Air Massage

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In addition to roller massage, the Panasonic EP MA70 offers shoulder-to-toe air massage.

Airbags are an essential component in massage chairs because they go where rollers can’t like the outside of the shoulders and hips. They also play an important role in holding the body in place for roller massage and stretch programs.

Since airbags are dependent on air, their movements are limited, typically to inflate and deflate, press and release. But that’s not necessarily negative. As the airbags inflate and deflate they perform compression massage which helps to increase circulation in the area they’re treating. The airbags squeeze as it moves stagnant fluids and blood out of the muscles. The airbags release and new blood, oxygen, and nutrients enter the area.

The Panasonic EP MA70 has 33 airbags - a small number compared to other similarly priced massage chairs. However, they’re strategically placed to treat key areas. Let's take a look at these areas:

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    Shoulder Massage. Airbags next to the shoulders inflate to squeeze the upper body and hold it in place against the backrest during roller massage.
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    Calf and Foot Massage. Airbags compress the calves and feet, hold the legs in place during stretch programs, and push the feet onto acupressure nodes in the bottom of the ottoman.
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    Seat & Hip Massage. Airbags behind and next to the hips and under the buttocks inflate and deflate at varying intervals to gently swing and stretch the pelvic area.
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    Arm and Hand Massage. Airbags compress the tops and bottoms of the forearms and hands.
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Pop-Up Self-Adjusting Arm Massagers

Throughout the EP MA70 are features that “disguise” massage components to make it look and act like a luxury recliner when not in use. The arm massagers are one such feature.

Rather than having open and always-visible arm massagers, the arm massagers on the Panasonic EP MA70 are pop-up. This means that they have two positions and two functions: popped up as arm massagers and lowered as armrests.

The armrests are also self-adjusting. So rather than staying in the same position when the chair reclines, the armrests move with the chair, which means your arms and hands are always in the proper position for massage.

If the armrests didn’t move as you reclined backward, your arms and hands would change position in relation to the massager. It means you’d need to be in the upright position to use them correctly.

Rotatable Foot Massager Ottoman

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Another recliner-like feature on the Panasonic EP MA70 is a rotatable ottoman. A lever on the side of the ottoman lets you flip over the foot massage wells to reveal a smooth cushioned surface that can be used as a regular footrest or as a way to hide the massagers when not in use.

Inside the foot massager ottoman are airbags that inflate and squeeze the calves and feet. At the bottom are removable acupressure plates that protrude into the bottoms of the feet. On the plates are nodes that feel like knuckles pressing into your arch and sole and are relatively intense.

However, a pair of thick socks will lessen the intensity. Airbags under the plates press the nodes into your feet while the airbags surrounding your feet press them down onto the plates.

Trapezius Massage

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A standout feature on the Panasonic EP MA70 is its trapezius massage. The trapezius is a kite-shaped muscle that extends from the top of the neck down to the mid back and across the shoulder blade. It’s perhaps one of the most commonly sore and tight areas on the body.

Trapezius massage has been limited on massage chairs since parts of the muscle like the sides of the neck and tops of the shoulders don’t touch the backrest, making it difficult for both airbags and rollers to treat. 

To solve that problem, rather than moving from the back to the neck, the rollers on the Panasonic EP MA70 protrude out and over the tops of the shoulders to treat the trapezius. The rollers knead, tap, and Junetsu (small circular kneading motions, a Panasonic-exclusive technique) to replicate the feeling of thumbs massaging the area.

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Leather-Like Upholstery

On the outside of the EP MA70 is a leather-like upholstery made from polyurethane. Like leather, the material is durable, breathable, and looks great. Unlike leather, the material is highly abrasion and stain-resistant. The material is easy to clean — wipe it down with a water-based cleaner or give it a quick vacuum. The Panasonic EP MA70 comes in two colors: black and ivory.

Voice Guidance

If you’re ever unsure about which program to use or how the functions should be working, the Panasonic EP MA70 features voice guidance that walks you through the programs and functions to help you get well-acquainted with the chair. The voice guidance volume can be adjusted or turned off at any time.

Massage Techniques and Auto Programs on the EP MA70 Panasonic

The Panasonic EP MA70 features six massage techniques. Although not as robust as other similarly-priced massage chairs, it covers the fundamental techniques of shiatsu massage.

Let’s take a closer look at the techniques:

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    Junetsu Ultra Kneading. A Panasonic-exclusive technique, Junetsu Ultra Kneading uses small circular motions to provide “thumb-like” treatment.
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    Shiatsu. Meaning “finger pressure” in Japanese, Shiatsu applies vertical pressure and compression to relieve muscle aches.
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    Knead. Performs wide circular motions that stretch and compress the muscles.
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    Swedish. Performs long, sweeping gentle strokes.
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    Rolling. Uses up and down movements to stretch an area.
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    Tapping. Rapid tapping strokes.

Auto Massage Programs

Using a combination of the techniques and air massage, the Panasonic EP MA70 performs six auto massage programs. The auto programs are fully-automated, so if you like the idea of pressing a button and letting the massage chair take care of the rest, the auto programs are what you want.

Let’s take a closer look at the massage programs:

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    Refresh. A full-body massage that uses light tapping to invigorate and restore the body gently.
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    Deep. A full-body massage that uses kneading to relax the muscles
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    Shiatsu. A full-body massage that uses “finger pressure” shiatsu techniques to treat and relieve muscle tightness.
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    Hip. An air massage that treats the hip and pelvic area.
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    Neck and Shoulder. Uses a combination of roller and air massage to stretch and relax the neck and shoulder muscles.
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    Lower Back. Uses a combination of roller and air massage to relax and stretch the muscles around your middle and lower back.

Stretch Programs

Although the Panasonic EP MA70 doesn’t have a full-body stretch program, three stretch programs focus on specific body areas. Let’s take a closer look at the stretch programs…

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Chest

Shoulder airbags inflate to squeeze and hold the body against the backrest while the rollers stretch and knead the back

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Hip

Airbags in the seat and next to the hips inflate at varying intervals to swing, twist, and stretch the pelvic area while rollers knead the lower back.

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Leg

Airbags inflate to press and hold the thighs, calves, and feet while the ottoman raises and lowers to stretch the leg muscles.

Customization Options and Manual Mode on the Panasonic Massage Chair EP MA70

The Panasonic EP MA70 massage chair does have quite a few customization options, though not as many as you’d expect for the price. Here’s what’s available:

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    Stretch Areas. Choose from three stretch areas, including chest, hips, and legs.
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    Air Massage Location. Choose from four air massage areas: shoulder, hand and arm, lower back, and leg and foot.
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    Roller Massage Location. Choose from five roller massage areas: middle back, lower back, full back, neck, and shoulder.
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    Back Heat. Turn roller heat on or off.
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    Roller Position. A set of up and down arrows lets you control the roller position.
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    Massage Intensity. Control the intensity of the massage programs up to three levels and the intensity of manual mode operations up to five levels.
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    Air Intensity. Control the intensity of air massage up to three levels.
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    Removable Padding. A removable back pad supports the body when using the Panasonic EP MA70 as a​​​​ recliner.
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    Extendable Ottoman. The ottoman is extendable up to additional 7.1 inches to accommodate taller users.
Have achy shoulders?

Let’s illustrate how you could build your own massage program using the manual mode options.

Starting with the roller massage location options, select “Shoulder.” If you want even more coverage and treatment, choose “Shoulder” air massage to add compression massage. Then, adjust the intensity of the rollers and air massage. Next, turn on additional features like heat.

Keep adding additional functions like neck roller massage or chest stretch until you find the right combination. Once you do, you’ll want to remember what you selected for the next time you want to enjoy the massage, which brings us to our next feature...

Memory Programs

Once you’ve dialed-in the manual mode options and massage settings, you can save them using the memory feature. Save up to three manual massage combinations, which is like adding three auto programs to the chair.

LCD Remote with Pedal Stand

All of the chair’s functions and features are easily controlled using the remote. The remote is handheld but has its own pedal stand to keep it close, but not in the way. At the top is a bright LCD screen that shows all of the active programs and functions.

On the sides of the display are buttons for the air massage and manual roller massage locations. Under the screen are the six auto programs. Below that are the intensity adjustments and a circular dial with arrows that allow you to navigate the screen. Overall, the remote is easy to use thanks to its clear labeling.

What’s Missing on the Panasonic MA70 Massage Chair

The Panasonic EP MA70 is considered a high-end massage chair, which is evidenced by its price. So it’s good to know what you are and aren’t getting when you invest in this chair. Let’s take a look at some popular features you won’t find on the EP MA70...

Mechanical Foot Rollers

A popular feature in recent years, many massage chair companies have been upgrading their chairs to include foot rollers, but not the Panasonic EP MA70. If you’re looking for the most comprehensive foot massage available, unfortunately, the foot massage on the EP MA70 isn’t it.

Built-In Speakers

Although they don’t affect the quality of your massage, built-in speakers can enhance the experience. Many massage chairs have introduced sound systems and technology like Bluetooth and MP3-compatibility. It usually allows users to listen to their favorite music while enjoying their massage, though not the EP MA70.

Zero Gravity Recline

Another popular feature you won’t find on the Panasonic EP MA73 is Zero Gravity.  Zero Gravity is a reclined chair position that shifts the body’s weight to the backrest and evenly distributes it to remove vertical pressure from the spine, allowing it to decompress and relax.

The legs are elevated at or slightly above the heart to increase circulation. With the body’s weight held against the backrest, the rollers can penetrate deeper into the back.

Panasonic EP MA70 vs. Panasonic EP MA73

The Panasonic EP MA70 is the predecessor to the Panasonic EP MA73. So with the EP MA73, Panasonic added or upgraded features. Let’s take a look at what’s different.

Features
Differences of EP MA70 vs EP MA73

Arm Design

The EP MA70 has wood-grain armrests, and the MA70 has armrests that upholstered in the same leather-like material as the rest of the chair.

Aesthetic Accent

The MA73 has a metal strip on the side of the chair.

Waist Airbags

The Panasonic EP MA73 has more pronounced airbags on the sides and behind the hips.

Arm Massage

The arm massagers on the EP MA73 are redesigned to feature more compartmentalized airbags that inflate at varying intervals to provide more coverage and targeted treatment.

Stretch Programs

The EP MA73 has two additional stretch programs: a full-body auto program and an additional manual stretch program for the neck.

Foot Acupressure Plates

On the EP MA73, the acupressure nodes are smaller and less intense.

Foot Heat

On the EP MA73, in addition to heated rollers, there are heating pads for the bottoms of the feet.

Larger Ottoman

The EP MA73 has a larger ottoman and bigger airbags.

Bigger Build

The EP MA73 is a larger chair that can comfortably accommodate taller users.

Which Massage Chair is Better?

Although the upgraded EP MA73 gives you a few more features, it costs more — 1,000 dollars more. So the questions are… What’s your budget and are the extra features worth it to you? 

If you can swing the additional cost, you’ll be rewarded with upgraded features. If not, the Panasonic EP MA73 is a solid option that delivers a top-of-the-line massage.

Read more of the Panasonic EP MA73 massage chair full review here.

Panasonic EP MA70 Massage Chair Specifications

Chair dimensions (reclined)

26”H x 37.4”W x 79.6”D

Chair dimensions (upright)

45.3”H x 37.4”W x 48”D

Recommended maximum user weight

264 lbs

Recommended user height

5'0" to 6'4"

Required Recline Clearance

16”

Power Consumption

300W

Chair weight

191 lbs

Panasonic EP MA70 Review Final Thoughts

For the price, the Panasonic EP MA70 delivers one of the most powerful 3D messages available. Add in its trapezius massage, heated rollers, and stretch programs, and the EP MA70 is a compelling buy. And though lacking additional features like Zero Gravity and foot rollers, the peace of mind that comes from purchasing a Panasonic massage chair that’s been known to last for many years might just outweigh the extras. We hope our Panasonic EP MA70 review made your decision process a little easier.

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Panasonic EP MA70 Review – Massage Chair Report was last modified: February 1st, 2019 by Consumer Files