Read This Before You Buy a Massager

December 31, 2013

Read This Before You Buy a Massager

Raise your hand if either of the following apply to you:

A. You have money to spend on getting a professional massage regularly.

B. You have a significant other with the magic touch (and willingness to apply said magic touch on demand).

C. None of the above.

If you answered “C,” then investing in a massager may be worthwhile. How do you narrow down 150 options and find the perfect one for you? These tips should make your search and seizure easier.

1. Go through the motions

Ironically, self-administering a massage using a hand-held tool can be hard work. Practice reaching the area on your body that requires attention. Do you need to bend or contort in an awkward way that causes pain? That’s counterproductive–you may not want to go the hand-held route. Make sure to choose a model that lets you comfortably access your pain points in a relaxing position.

2. Don’t hate on manual

The downside to using a manual massager is that it requires elbow grease to get the job done. But there’s an upside. The absence of cords and batteries means you can administer sweet stress-relief while soaking in a tub full of bubbles. Many manual massagers also double as scratchers or scrub brushes. So you can nix the itch and exfoliate, as you work out the kinks.

3. Turn up the heat

Adding heat therapy to your massage will create a deeper, more soothing sense of relief, compared to if you don’t use heat. Choose an electric model with a heat feature or administer your massage under warm conditions manually, such as in the shower at home or sauna at the gym.

4. Think about portability

Clearly, you can’t easily tote a full-sized massage chair. And perhaps that’s a non-issue for those who want to get their fix at home. Others who travel frequently may want a compact, versatile device that easily stows away in a purse or carry-on bag.

5. Consult with your doctor

Your physician should always be aware of any steps you take to relieve pain. Make sure to check in with your MD, if you’re pregnant, have a pace maker, diabetes, thrombosis or phlebitis, are at risk for blood clots, or have pins and/or screws in your shoulders, knees, neck or back. He or she may give you the green light on using a massager and suggest other products, such as compression garments.

Megan Mostyn-Brown

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