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Unlike Indiana Jones in his quest for the Holy Grail, in my continued search for relief for my lower back pain, I cannot swing through the trees nor cling to the underside for a fast moving truck. No, I simply clambered into my beloved Berlingo Multispace (stop laughing - it's practical!) and headed out from the jungle that is Llanbradach (try saying that when you are drunk).
If I was a car, I'd fail the MOT and be trading myself in for a newer model. Also having a sit down job and spending far too much time on Dooyoo, I'd be able to pass for an extra with the part ape/human, standing next to the monolith in 2001 - A Space Odyssey. Alas though, I continue to trawl through the various miracle offerings claiming relief for back pain, and this time, do you know what guys and gals, I've found the Holy Grail of back pain relief!!
Unpack the box, and your first thought is, "Is that it?" as it resembles little more than a child's car booster seat without the arms. Don't be fooled. The massager is folded in half and you open it up to find it has a luxurious black leather covering with the middle of the seat having a soft almost string-like interwoven pattern in thousands of tiny squares, as is the main back part of the massager see photo above). The seat part
is little more than a padded cushion around two inches in depth.
The back part is approximately 63cm in height. Hidden away in this piece are the magic balls (no sniggering please) that are operated via the control pad. A word of warning. Before you rush to use the massager, you must first remove the small screw at the back that holds the mechanism in place during transit. An allen key is provided to facilitate removal.
A wire runs from the massager that has a connector on the end that you push into another lead, which then connects to the mains via a combined 3 pin plug / transformer. You have around 8 feet of cable to play with. The back part is fairly rigid rather than flexible due to the mechanism and balls contained within it but it can be easily attached to most chairs via an elasticated velcro fastening. There's a more rigid smaller strap, (no velcro) at the top that quite frankly doesn't seem to serve any purpose.
The control pad is wired to the chair and is long enough to hold comfortably in front of your body. It fits away nicely in a little pocket attached to the side of the seat pad. The pad has a power on/off button plus a demo mode. A heat function is optional, and is very pleasant though not hot as such against your body. The balls glow red when the 'heat' button is pressed and can be viewed in the demo mode. The Shiatsu massager element can target your upper, lower or full back and has an auto cut off after 15 minutes. All buttons have an LED light when activated.
When you decide you've had enough, you press the power off button and the unit then 'parks' itself back to the bottom of the back part. You only need to exert minimum pressure against the unit as it is quite powerful and you don't want to cause further injury. If you feel it a bit much, put a towel behind you to lessen the impact.
When I first used this, my wife was concerned as there were lots of ohhs and ahhs and I'm sure she thought there was another woman upstairs with me. NO I'M NOT LIKE THAT. The feeling was like having a professional massage as you can feel the balls (one either side of your spine) revolve and move up / down. It feels like someone is pressing thumbs into you but not in an unpleasant way. I don't exactly know how it works but it sure does feel good and my back feels so much better afterwards.
There are some no-no's. It must be used on a chair and should never be operated under a blanket or pillow. People with pacemakers or pregnant women should check with their doctor first before using. It cannot be used on children, an invalid or a sleeping or unconscious person. Nor should anyone with sensitive skin or poor blood circulation use it. Quite sensibly never use it directly on swollen or inflamed areas or skin eruptions.
I feel so much better after using this that I'm surprised that the book suggests not using before bed as it has a stimulating effect that can delay sleep. Perhaps I'm just odd. This is honestly the best product by far that I have tried and I'm over the moon with it, I really am. Those of you who suffer from back pain will understand my relief.
There's a huge instruction manual but don't be put off. The English is only on the first seven pages followed by a pile of the same instructions in different languages. It really is a doddle to set up and operate.
It is made by Homedics and there's currently an advertisement campaign on TV. You may have seen it. If not you can check out their website at www.homedics.co.uk. The service centre for the UK is based in Tonbridge , Kent and the unit comes with a full two year guarantee - not bad.
It was on offer in Makro recently for £69.99 + VAT and retails in Argos for £99.99. There are other versions available with 3 vibration functions and width adjustment along with a rolling massage for around £130.00 but if you check around te price can vary greatly.