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Homedics Shiatsu Back & Shoulders Massaging Cushion

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Updated October 05, 2009

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, the Homedics Shiatsu Back & Shoulder Massaging Cushion is a great product for people with a lot of stiffness or pain in their back, shoulder and neck muscles because of how many options it has.

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Pros

  • Helps relax back, shoulder & neck muscles.
  • Easy to move to wherever you want to use it.
  • Great options like "spot" massage, width adjustment & heat.
  • Gets the shoulders and neck better than similar products.

Cons

  • "Dead spot" between back section & shoulder section.
  • Coarse fabric covering.
  • Over use leaves muscles tender.
  • Price -- it's fairly spendy.

Description

  • Black & gray cushion that sits in a chair or couch.
  • Straps on the back can be used to secure it to a chair.
  • Massagers light up red when the heat is turned on.

Guide Review - Homedics Shiatsu Back & Shoulders Massaging Cushion

As someone who's had chronic back and neck pain for nearly 3 decades, I've tried a lot of different massage chairs and chair cushions. My biggest complaint has always been that they don't work well enough on the neck and shoulders. It was also annoying that you couldn't set them to massage one particular spot -- instead, it had to go all the way up and down, only hitting the most painful spots for a few seconds per cycle.

When I saw the Homedics Shiatsu Back & Shoulders Massage Cushion I was excited: it has the shoulder section at the top that stays in one spot and also allows you to move it up and down; the main back section also has a "spot" button so you can get the massage exactly where you need it most; both areas offer heat; and the main section gives you the option of shiatsu (small circles) or rolling up and down. On rolling mode, the width is adjustable.

Because of all these options, I much prefer this massage cushion to other cushions or massage chairs that I've tried.

The one real drawback is that it has a "dead spot" in between the shoulder area and the back area. By using mine in a recliner and sitting on a pillow or two, I'm able to get everything massaged to my liking.

When it comes to muscle and joint pain, in my opinion this cushion is great. However, it can be irritating when it comes to certain types of fibromyalgia pain, especially tactile or mechanical allodynia (pain from light touch or rubbing) or nerve pain. It's also important to have soft fabric between your skin and the cushion, because the covering is fairly coarse.

It's important not to over-use the massage cushion, too. It automatically shuts off after a certain period of time -- and for good reason. I've made the mistake of doing multiple cycles on one area of my back, and it made my muscles really tender. Also, the manufacturer warns against leaving the "spot" massager in one spot for too long when you have the heat on, and when I've forgotten to move it in time it has started to get that spot uncomfortably hot.

None of the drawbacks, however, have kept me from using this massage cushion just about every day. I frequently get on it to help work out my morning kinks and again to relax my back muscles before bed.

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