Dec 292011
 

Homedics Shiatsu Massager

What is the Best Neck Massager?

What is the best neck massager you can buy for stiff, sore necks, shoulders and back? Had I not discovered the Homedics Shiatsu Massager yesterday, I would not even be thinking about writing this article, much less actually sitting up straight and typing it. I gave myself two treatments with the shiatsu massage pillow this morning. I literally feel as though I went into a professional Shiatsu spa for a professional massage. Shiatsu is a deep kneading form of massage that digs into tight, sore muscles; releases toxins and helps loosen up tension.  I have always been prone to getting stiff cricks in my neck. About 8 years ago, this rather common malady took on a whole new, more serious meaning when I was diagnosed with a ruptured disc in my neck.  After lots of ice, physical therapy and stretching every single day, I was able to avoid surgery and have even greatly reduced the frequency of neck ‘cricks’, as I call them.  On the rare occasion that I do suffer from a crick,  they usually seem to heal faster than they used to thanks for having the knowledge from my therapy, stretching and frequent use of ice.  This most recent neck crick was an exception. After two days, I was still feeling extremely sore, tense, tight and worried that my ruptured disc was acting up again. I was looking for a way to loosen up my tight muscles and kept stumbling upon reviews of these different types of the Homedics Shiatsu massager. Not all of the neck massagers by Homedics are equally praised by users as I’ll explain.

Neck Massage Types and Models

As I looked into vibration and massage solutions for my neck, I discovered there are two different types of Shiatsu Massagers by Homedics that are very popular: Pillow Massagers and Neck Massagers. The advantage to the shiatsu pillow massager is that it is not only for use around the neck. There are some clear advantages and disadvantages to both. One  has to do with cost and the other has to do with flexibility. Here is a brief description of each.

Shiatsu Neck Massager

Shiatsu Neck MessagerThe Homedics NMS-350 is a shiatsu neck massager made exclusively for the neck. The NMS-350 is a horse shoe shaped neck massager device that fits snugly around the neck. Inside the neck massager are a total of four rotating, pulsating, golf-ball sized shaitsu type thumbs which dig into your neck in a circular motion on both sides.  At the press of a button, you can get this NMS-350 unit to disperse some heat to your neck while it performs a shiatsu massage on your neck.  The NMS-350 Shiatsu Neck Massager was rated an average of 4-stars by 64 Amazon users.  Users were happy with the strength of the massage and the way it loosened up sore, stiff muscles in the neck. The major drawback to the NMS-350 is versatility. It will only fit around your neck and therefore is unable to reach your shoulders or other parts of your vertebrae.  There were a few other spurious complaints about longevity and overall quality, but for the most part, the NMS-350 was rated as an effective shiatsu neck massager. For me, a neck massager like theNMS-350, would be a little bit too limited. My disc problem is mostly in the lower part of my neck where it it couldn’t be reached. Also, I would like to be able to use it for a stiff, lower back occasionally.  The Shiatsu Massager seems like a great idea, but I would prefer something shaped like a pillow that can be moved around and used on different parts of the neck, back and spine.  Alas, I found it at my Walgreens store on my way home from work. I also picked up a bottle of  Max-Freeze analgesic cream which I’ll tell you about soon.

Shiatsu Pillow

Homedics Shiatsu Massager Pillow

Shiatsu Pillow Massager

The Homedics shiatsu massager turned out to be a life safer. I took it home, opened the box, sat on the sofa and positioned right behind my neck. I had a difficult time getting the pillow positions properly on my neck until I realized I had it upside down. By turning it the other way, I was able to position so the firm,  rotating shiatsu thumbs were grinding and kneading on my neck exactly where I wanted them. It took a little while figuring out how to get comfortable at first. The massaging pillow needs to be positioned between you and a soft surface, but one that is not too cushy or bloated so that it pushes your neck forward in an uncomfortable way. It is possible to position the pillow between you and other pillows in such a way that you are leaning forward in a comfortable position. You can also place it on a flat surface like the sofa seat or bed so you are lying on your back. After 10 minutes of use, I can guarantee the results will be looser muscles and less pain in the affected area. Before going to bed, I gave myself a thorough shiatsu massage: 10 minutes on the upper neck; 10 minutes on the lower neck and 10 minutes on the lower back. The Shiatsu pillow massager by Homedics seemed like the best of both worlds. The pillow uses the same rotating, mechanical thumbs as the shiatsu neck massager and also disperses heat to the surface. The only difference seems to be the shape and size. The pillow massager can be placed on any portion of the neck, back and shoulders. I was only able to find 7 reviews on this product, but all 7 of them were from 5-star rated, happy users. The $40 price tag at Walgreen seemed a little stiff, but not as stiff as my neck. I needed immediate relief and I was in no shape to spend hours shopping on the internet for a better neck massager. The Shiatsu Massager proved to be the best neck massager for me. My shoulders and back think so too. My only concern with these Homedics shiatsu products is longevity and durability. With those hard balls rotating against the fabric of the pillow how long will they last before the fabric rips or tears or the motor wears out from the pressure and weight resistance of my body? The way I look at it, though, is that for $40, I’ve already gotten 4 very good massages from the Shiatsu pillow – way less than a spa would have charged me for two visits. Also, we were able to get you a new product review article out of the deal before the end of the year. Perhaps, but the pillow massager has already paid for itself and for my money is the best neck massager you can buy.

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