Once you're in the chair, you're fucking in the chair -- it kicks back and tells you to buckle your ass up for some serious goddamn relaxation. I had to wait half an hour for other people to finish, and while I thought they were abusing their free sample privileges, the horrible truth is that if you want to use the Magnesphere, you better be ready to commit.
Hour three of seven.
Getting massaged by the Magnesphere is like getting attacked by a lazy octopus. Your neck, back, arms, and legs are inconsistently prodded, while your limbs get repeatedly trapped and released, like the chair is taunting you.
If a machine's going to take my arm from me, it better be at least as cool as a Terminator.
But it's not as random as it seems -- the chair calculates and then acts on your Shiatsu points. Shiatsu is Japanese for "some bullshit about unblocking your energy flow that hasn't been proven to do anything but sounds sufficiently mystical, so we can charge twice as much as the white massage therapists down the street."
By the time I looked that up, my massage still wasn't over, and an impatient crowd was forming. Panicking, I went for the emergency stop button -- which, come to think of it, was an unnerving thing for a massage chair to have.
But how will I press it once my arms have been ripped off?
That didn't actually lower the legs, forcing me to awkwardly flop out of the chair. When I landed on the floor, I noticed a tiny label on the back.
Tesla's name hasn't been misused this badly since The Big Bang Theory referenced him.
That's an interesting disclaimer for a product whose website claims it can "lead to improvement in many areas of health and wellness, such as tension, stiffness, pain, sleep, digestion, and energy levels." Oh sorry, "may lead to improvement." Well shit, that vague promise is certainly worth $7,000. But they were letting it go for a mere 6,000 at the show! What a deal!
The sales rep was somehow even vaguer on the benefits, offering nothing but a constant comparison to an MRI machine. Buddy, MRIs work because trained medical professionals analyze the results. They aren't the magical healing pods from Elysium. The Magnesphere is like an MRI in the same sense that a pile of ground beef in a trash can is like a steakhouse's best cut.
The Magnesphere technically promises nothing, but alludes to promises of everything with a wall of words more obtuse than a philosophy student's doctorate thesis. It might improve every aspect of your health, or it might just help you briefly ignore the panic you're feeling over dipping into your child's college fund to pay for a magic space chair. And it's part of an industry that's built around the hope that people are stupid enough to think that sounds like a good gamble. I won't say that's definitely evil, but I'm pretty damn sure it is.
Special thanks to Cracked writer Evan Symon for his photography and assistance. You can read more from Mark at his website, which may improve your physical and mental well-being by stimulating your chakras.
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