For the Ultimate In-Home Spa Experience

Thanks to technology, it is no longer necessary to spend hundreds of dollars a month on pricey visits to your local spa for a relaxing massage. Though hands and fingers are sublime for attacking knotted muscles and sensitive pressure points, today’s inventions have evolved in such a way that one can target the kind of massage experience he/she wants. It may seem like a simple task to select any one of the dozens of products on the market these days. But the variations are seemingly endless whether you want to do this on your own or a machine. I happen to have tried out several different electronic massaging products. So here’s a little guide to selecting the best one for your home or office.

Good Vibes
It’s important to understand that there are different kinds of massaging techniques available on the market. The earliest massaging devices provided vibration only. Health studies have shown that vibration helps to increase blood circulation, anxiety control, and even some relief of pain. The good news about these types of products is that they typically cost much less than the newer shiatsu models.
I purchased one of HoMedics earliest versions, a full length massaging mat. The mat comes with a hand-held remote which features massage programs such as pulsating or complete vibration. The control also allows the user to select which general areas to focus on. What I liked about the mat, was that the complete vibration is extremely relaxing. However, on these older mats, the overall pressure and vibration intensity is rather mild. It was also difficult for me to benefit fully from the neck and leg massage(s).

If you’re looking for a top of the line vibrating massage product, you probably won’t go wrong with the Relaxzen 10 Motor Massage. This newer version product is actually a reclining chair with ottoman, both made of simulated leather. Both parts contain vibrating pulse points. This chairs is pretty affordable, and is quite comfortable. But for the price, you would do well to spend your money on a HoMedics Full Body Massaging Mat w/ SQUSH. For a fraction of Relaxzen’s price, this machine costs almost like peanuts; and you will achieve the same effect, but with micropedic bead cushioning that provide additional frame support.

Localized Massage
Once I realized that my massaging mat wasn’t going to do the trick, I came across one of the first shiatsu kneading products. Seeking something specifically for a stiff neck, I also purchased the HoMedics TherapistSelect Kneading Shiatsu Massager. This mechanism was designed specifically for neck relief, and is very mobile. I really thought this was a good deal until I got the machine home and realized that finding a comfortable position for my neck between the kneading rollers was a tad difficult. As a result, I found that the device caused more discomfort than relief. Ultimately, I returned the device for a full refund. I wouldn’t completely rule out these types of localized massagers. But if at all possible, try out one of the demos in the store first.

For a few more dollars, you can purchase a localized massager from The Sharper Image. The Ergonomic Massager is another type of shiatsu device that focuses primarily on the wrist and forearm. Because of its design, it is easy to assume a comfortable position for your arm between the kneading mechanism. A minor manual adjustment to the machine will also for its use as a foot massager. However, if you don’t mind paying more for a piece of localized massaging equipment, a good buy would be the Human Touch Ottoman 3.5 Calf & Foot Massager. This machine features a pair of wells for the legs and feet, and provides simultaneous kneading action for the feet and calves. Additionally, it can be used as a “normal” ottoman.

The Total Spa Experience
The beauty of being able to receive a thoroughly relaxing massage at home is indescribable. But what makes the experience even more superb is when it closely parallels the sensations of a spa-hired fingers. At any rate, electronic gadget enthusiasts (with more than a few dollars to spare) will want to pay particular attention to this section.

Once, during a visit to Cumberland Mall, I stopped in at the Center Court and took advantage of one of the vending shiatsu massage chairs. For a mere dollar, I had the most luxurious three-minute shiatsu massage I had ever had without the benefit of human hands. The chair which looks exactly like a typical black leather recliner, contained 4 massage rollers which expertly rolled up and down my spine. Furthermore, the chair featured varying massage techniques such as kneading (my favorite) and tapping. Since the invention of shiatsu massaging technology, electronic massagers for the home have been enhanced a few times over, each time with more and more bells and whistles. And for the price of about 40+ spa visits (or 4000+ visits to the vending massage chair), you can have the ultimate in relaxation and luxury.

The Sharper Image Ultimate Human TouchRobotic Massage Chair, which sells for a premium, is just that machine. What makes this chair so special obviously, is the Human Touch technology, which is capable of simulating massage associated with pain relief, neck/ shoulder pain, and even general stretching. These features are pre-programmed into eight differing “sessions”; the massaging chair can even create a personalized massage based on its Acupoint Detection System. In essence, the many manual and automatic features of this piece of equipment ensures that no part of the body will go untouched. Of course there are less expensive versions of this chair. Sharper Image also sells a more economical version that offers a “full-body stretch” mechanism. The HW569 Human TouchRobotic Massage Recliner has a footrest that holds calves in place while the power seat slowly reclines, thus arching the back into a relaxing stretch. There are fewer fancy features than the “Ultimate” chair. However, a spa experience is still guaranteed.