Gadgets 105

Published on January 27th, 2006 | by Greg


Soothing Plastic

Personal massagers are becoming almost omnipresent- you can even buy them at some grocery stores now! Often they are simply vibrating motors put inside some packaging, usually cheap plastic, and aimed at use on airplanes or for gift-giving.

Conair's massagers are better- but still don't acheive results anywhere near a "real" massage. They aren't supposed to, despite claims like the "ancient healing theory" of magnets.

We tested the Body Benefits Neck Massager with Magnets and Heat ($40), and found it easy to use. The controls are simple, and it can even run on batteries. However, be warned- only the vibration function works if you try to use batteries, to get the benefits of heat you'll need to plug it in. Also, despite the claims of "ergonomic design", a few of our testers found it pretty uncomfortable- either it didn't fit snugly or (when using the included strap) made it hard to move your neck. Also, you can't comfortably use it lying down, or when seated in any high-backed chair. This model doesn't seem to be available any longer, replaced by models with "Sound Therapy" or a cold option.

We also tried out their Compact Heated Massager ($30), which was acceptable by any standards, not too heavy, reasonably comfortable to hold. As with many massage devices, you are offered either "Hi" or "Lo" speeds (sic), and the option of heat being on/off. It'd be nice to have greater control, but that would probably add to the cost.

The heat on both devices never got to a point that our personal massage therapist would consider truly therapeutic- it was definitely warm, but barely. Bottom line- vibrating massagers are cheap and easy- but certainly don't expect any significant results.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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