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It's like having a personal masseuse in my living room!
Nov 7, 2007 (Updated Jan 13, 2009)
by Mona Ladyconsumer
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Very deep shiatsu-like massage. Feels great on my neck and shoulders!
Cons:A few design tweaks would really help...
The Bottom Line: I like this product very much, but if I were to buy another one, I'd look for a different model, one with a few more features.
Stiff neck? Pulled muscle? A "crick"? I have no idea what I have. All I know is that I sometimes suffer with stiffness in my neck and shoulder area. The pain just shows up one day, and can sometimes last for months.
Recommend this product?
So, I use the Shiatsu Massaging Pillow from HoMedics, model SP-10H. This pillow has two shiatsu massagers built right in, plus a heater.
The pillow, itself, is a nice size. Approximately 15" wide and 10" tall, it's covered with a very soft, velvet-like beige cover. It uses standard power, and has a 10 foot power cord.
Lean back against the pillow, and you'll feel the two shiatsu massager units, one on each side. Adjust yourself so that the units are directly against your neck or your shoulder or your back - wherever you feel you want the massage. You can't see the massager units as they are inside the pillow, but you can feel them to figure out exactly what they are. Each unit consists of two round balls, next to each other, mounted on a disk. One of the balls is larger than the other. When you turn on the power, the disks slowly rotate - in opposite directions. As each unit is composed of a large ball and a small ball spinning around, you will feel the hard massage of the large ball alternating with the softer massage of the small ball. In this manner, the machine simulates a deep shiatsu massage.
It's easy enough to use. Simply press the power button once for massage, twice for massage plus heat. Pressing it a third time turns it off. There is also an automatic 20 minute shutoff.
You can spot-clean the pillow using a slightly damp sponge. There are no user-serviceable parts. If something goes wrong, you'll have to contact HoMedics. My unit was around $40 and came with a two year limited warranty.
The massage, itself, is great. It's quite deep and definitely works out those knots and kinks. And the heat setting is absolutely wonderful. There's just nothing better than feeling that extra warmth as your muscles are massaged. Does it "cure" your stiff neck? Not necessarily, but it sure doesn't hurt!
But, there are a few things that I would have designed differently:
They put the power button in a really dumb place. It's actually ON the pillow. Facing the pillow, the power button's on the left. So, when you're leaning back against the pillow, depending on how you're angled, the power button could be under your right shoulder. This is very inconvenient placing. If you want to change a setting during your massage you have to awkwardly reach towards your shoulder trying to find the button. Also, lean slightly to the right and you might accidentally press it! What a dumb place for the power button! It should be attached to the cord so you can easily adjust the settings while you're leaning back.
I also don't like that fact that you can't adjust the speed or the depth of massage. In truth, this machine provides a very deep massage, and there are times when I wish it were lighter. HoMedics recommends placing a towel on top of the pillow if you want a lighter massage.
There's only one heat setting. It gets warm, but never hot. I would prefer to have a high/low option so I could raise the heat level.
There's no way to have just heat, without the massage. It seems to me that this would be a desirable feature.
Overall, this is a nice machine that provides a very deep shiatsu-like massage. However, it certainly could use a few tweaks. If I were going to purchase one of these, I'd look for one with variable speeds and heat. It would also be nice if the power button were more conveniently located.
You might also be interested these massagers:
Human Touch Foot And Calf Massager
i-Need Shiatsu Foot Massager
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