Regardless of your job, the amount of stress in your life, whether you exercise or how much you sit, we all have one thing in common: we could benefit from a massage.
But if you find the cost of multiple massages to be too much, you may want to look into purchasing a massage cushion, like the HoMedics Total Recline Massage Cushion.
The HoMedics massage cushion works while sitting up or lying down, so it can be used on a chair, couch, the floor or your bed. With two speeds of shiatsu massage, the cushion has deep-kneading nodes that travel up and down your entire back. The seat portion also has three speeds of vibration to loosen stiff glute muscles.
The cushion includes SmartScan technology, which detects your height (up to 6 feet, 7 inches) for a custom neck and shoulder massage, heat for deeper relaxation and Air Flex technology, which means you can inflate the cushion to support and stretch your lower back to release tension.
Priced at $320, the cost may seem a bit expensive at first, but if you do get professional massages, you know how quickly those can add up. If the massage cushion can replace spa trips for your specific issues, it will end up saving you money.
HoMedics sent me their Total Recline Massage Cushion to test out, so I gave it a spin several times — while not having any pain, once with an approaching migraine and twice with some lower back pain.
The first thing you’ll notice when you remove the massage cushion from the box is that is a bit heavy. At 19.15 pounds, it was awkward to move around. I was able to carry it up and down my stairs on my own, so it’s definitely moveable, but it’s not lightweight enough to just fling over your shoulder. There is also a note in the box suggesting you allow it to air out for 24 hours if you notice an odor, but I did not, so I began to use it right away.
It’s easy to set up: You simply sit it in a chair ,or lie it on the bed or floor, then plug it in. I suggest reading the small booklet that came with it, as it tells you what each button on the remote is for, which helps you get the exact area you’re wanting to work on if you’re not wanting a full body massage. I started with my neck, moving to upper/middle back, then low, followed by all areas turned on at the same time.
Even on the high setting, the massager is quiet. The loudest part is the seat vibration, but even that was quiet enough to hear the television and when closing my eyes and just relaxing, it was a bit of a soothing-type of sound. The vibration itself isn’t strong and is not really a “massage” — just enough of a vibration to be soothing.
After having used it several times over the course of a few days, I can say it definitely feels better to use it when you’re not already in pain. When everything was feeling OK on my body, it felt incredible and somehow managed to find spots that were sore but just didn’t feel like it until it massaged the area. When using it on a problem area — in my case, a tight lower back — it hurt a bit in certain areas, not to the point where I needed to stop it, but it didn’t feel relaxing. That’s actually a good thing, as it means it was getting into the muscle that was causing an issue … but it might not feel so great at the time.
After pushing through and allowing it to work on the area, my back began feeling better a few hours later and was fine by the following morning. I knew what was causing my lower back pain, however, so if you don’t know or have serious issues, you may want to seek the guidance of a medical professional before attempting to massage the pain away.
The only negative I have found so far is that I did have a bit of a problem with adjusting it to massage the right spots. The massager didn’t really seem to adjust to my height (I am 5 feet, 6 inches tall) on its own like it said it would, though I did hear and feel it move around when I plugged it in, so it was doing some sort of adjusting. It adjusted better for my 6-foot-1-inch husband, so it may simply work better the taller you are. It’s not a huge issue, however, as you can adjust everything yourself, which works better, anyway, because only you know the areas you want massaged.
When I first turned it on, the neck nodes were up way too high, and it ended up massaging the base of my skull — which, as you can guess, did not feel great. I held the down arrow on the remote, and the nodes moved down my neck and even all the way down to give me more of a shoulder massage. I found that sitting on a pillow to raise my body up even more was also helpful, as it allowed the neck portion of the massage cushion to get deeper into my shoulders. If you are not wanting a shoulder massage, the nodes are perfectly spaced to penetrate both sides of your neck, and the height worked well. If you want to get more into your shoulders, make sure you hold the down arrow until they stop moving, and if you’re a bit on the short side, or simply want a deeper massage, I suggest sitting on something to raise you up a bit.
Another thing to point out is that it obviously feels more like a powered massage than one done with a person’s hands, so if you prefer a gentle massage, be aware that it’s pretty strong. Even on low, while lying on it, it was almost too strong for me. Sitting up felt great, but when I laid it on my bed and then my yoga mat, it moved my entire body up, to the point where I felt like I was levitating. While that may be great for some people, I’m a bit bony, so it wasn’t that comfortable on my low back. (That did not happen when sitting up.)
I will say, however, that once I turned off the back area, the neck massage felt better while lying down than it did while sitting up. I had quite a headache that was turning into a migraine when I first used it, and it actually made my headache better and it ended up not turning into migraine. The neck nodes are not comfortable to just lie on if they’re not moving, though, so if you want to lie on it and just use the back massage, you may want to put a pillow under your head.
Amazon has dozens of other massage cushions as well, like this Comfier Neck and Back Massager with Heat priced at $237 and this Snailax Shiatsu Massage Cushion, which has more than 10,000 5-star reviews.
If you want a gentler massage that feels more like it’s from a masseur, however, I also tested this hands-free Vertiroller, which is much gentler and worked on all my problem areas.
The Vertiroller massager mounts to a wall (or another flat surface) so you can treat yourself to muscle relaxation without having to use your hands. Priced at $70 on Amazon, it is made with two massage ball rollers that are textured to mimic the hands of a masseuse.
Have you ever owned a massage cushion?