HoMedics Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager With Heat$35.95
- Shiatsu Massage Feels Great
- Heat Comfortably & Effectively Applied
- Might Be Able to Get Creative Beyond the Neck
- Device Shape Limits Usage
- Vibration Massage is Just OK
- Powered by Wall Plugin - Not Mobile
- Kinda Noisy - Especially Vibration
OK. Full confession.
I got the HoMedics Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager I own at a garage sale for $10.
I am a sucker for this type of electronics because I love receiving massages and I use massage as a form of personal health and maintenance.
So even those massage devices that are found in Bed Bath and Beyond and Sharper Image interest me, even if it is not as good at the real thing.
And this is one of them.
And I have to say this massager was well worth the $10.
Despite having a job that is all about relaxation, I find that I hold my own tension in my shoulders and spending time on the computer doesn’t help.
I have a number of techniques I have learned through the years to work on my own neck and shoulder tension, but sometimes I don’t have the time for that or I just want to do something that will be a no-brainer.
When that is the case, I place this HoMedics massager on my shoulders and neck and allow it to run for about 10-15 minutes.
It is not as good as getting a massage from a human, obviously, but it is pretty good for minimal time and cost, and I do find myself using it frequently, so it must be working.
Before I get into the review I feel I should note that this is more about self-maintenance for massage therapists and clients alike. I do not use this device in my massage practice with clients.
Shiatsu Massage Feels Great
When I got the HoMedics Shiatsu Massager home, of course, the first thing I did was plug it in and push all of the buttons.
There are three buttons on the device; one for vibrational massage, one for a deeper and more focused “shiatsu” massage (that’s not what real shiatsu feels like, by the way, but we will use their verbiage to maintain clarity) and the third button is to turn on the heat.
Upon placing the device on my shoulders, the most noticeable sensation was the shiatsu massage.
It was deep in just the right places. I have a lot of tension that is in my upper shoulders and neck (trapezius, rhomboids, and levator scapula) and that is the area this device focuses on.
And the device does a great job for that area.
But only that area… More on that later.
Heat Comfortably & Effectively Applied
After about 5 minutes I could start to feel the heat radiating from the device on my back. It really was the perfect temperature; not too hot and not too cold.
There was a moment when I thought it was just the vigorous vibration and shiatsu bringing blood flow to the area, but I think that the heat radiating from the device was also helping to heat up the area.
If you don’t know, bringing blood flow to a tight area can be helpful to loosen it up. Ice may be better if it started less than 24 hours, so if that is the case with a tension sensation you have, you may want to try a cool compress for the first 24 hours before applying heat.
Might Be Able to Get Creative Beyond the Neck
OK. Here is where this device gets really fun.
After 15 minutes on my neck and shoulders, I had had enough.
I felt like that area of my body had been vigorously massaged and loosened up.
I mean, it won’t do trigger point work or anything, and I didn’t expect it to.
It was more of a case when I had carried a bag on my shoulders that was too heavy and my shoulders and neck felt tight from that.
The HoMedics Shiatsu Massager helped with that.
But then what else could I do with it?
The curve shape of the device offered some ideas to use the massager in a few different ways.
I first held the device right-side-up on the front of my thighs and allowed the shiatsu massagers to work from my knee up to my hip and also along my IT band (the side of the thigh).
Then I flipped it over and held the device by the handles and worked on the back of my legs.
It is important to note that if you do this you should avoid the area behind the knee. This is a very sensitive area and the shiatsu massagers will go too deep.
Then I did the same thing on the arms and shoulders, wrapping the device around my limb and using the shiatsu massagers up and down my arm and shoulder (deltoid).
Aside from having to position my body awkwardly, I feel that this is really where the HoMedics Shiatsu Massager shines.
I often work on the back of my thighs/hamstrings and on my forearms and the HoMedics device offered a very similar sensation.
I could see myself using this massager to recover from skiing.
And the heat was more palpable in my limbs than on my neck and upper back.
Device Shape Limits Usage
The one downside about the curved shape of the HoMedics Shiatsu Vibrational Heat Massager is that it can’t get most of the torso, including the mid or lower back.
It is pretty obvious that that’s not what the device was meant to do, but it does leave the massage feeling a bit lacking because muscles like trapezius and scapular stabilizers are very important to the comfort of the upper back and shoulders… The area that this device is supposed to treat, but it feels incomplete to work the upper trapezius but not allow for the massage to extend down to the mid-back, T12 so that trapezius and rhomboids can fully relax.
I think the guy that sold the HoMedics Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager missed out.
He probably looked at it and thought to himself that the device is very limited in what it can do.
But I think he would have felt differently if he had gotten creative with it and tried it on other areas of his body like his arms and legs.
As a back massager, this device is just ok. It hits the spots with the shiatsu pressure fine if that’s where you need to be worked on.
But if your neck and shoulder tension are not being held in the areas or originating from the area that the shiatsu massage can reach, relief will not be achieved, although possibly just applying heat with this massager might do some good to release tension from the area.
And for that reason I was only going to rate the HoMedics Shiatsu Vibration Neck and Shoulder Massager three stars but once I started working on other areas of my body it definitely jumped to a 4-star rating.
The nice thing is that the price does not reflect the use of this device on the limbs.
This is an ALMOST full body massager for a neck and shoulder massager price, and that’s nice.
It is still not as good as getting a real massage from a professional massage therapist, but this is a good device to have on hand if you are needing to some work on the neck, shoulders, upper back or limbs and you can’t get to your massage therapist.