Every year in the middle of July my family and I start out on a six-hour trek up north to spend a week at the cottage. While we love our time there I can’t say that I love the ride up there – quite simply, it’s extremely hard on the back. While I was looking into the idea of purchasing a massage chair my wife came up with the suggestion to take a closer look at massage cushions that we could take with us in the car on that long drive. The first thought that popped in my head when she said that was, why on earth hadn’t we thought of this before!
While I haven’t given up on the idea of a new feature-packed massage chair for the home, I’m now on a mission to find a great massage cushion as well. One portable massage cushion that caught my attention was the Belmint Portable Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager – it seems to have a lot of the features I’m looking for at a price that I can definitely live with. In fact, this particular cushion normally retails for well under $200.
A Little Focus on the Neck
For many of us the neck can be a bit of a problem area – whenever we take a knock or simply turn the wrong way, the neck is there to take the brunt of it. If you’re the type of person that’s constantly rubbing your neck because of the type of daily activity you perform, you’ll be pleased to know that this massage chair comes equipped with four different Shiatsu nodes in the neck area to address this common problem area.
Time for Some Kneading and Rolling
The best massages are ones where the masseuse works their fingers into those unpleasant knots in your back and calves – if you’ve ever had a real massage you’ll know exactly what I mean. This massage cushion may not be able to entirely reproduce that sort of deep tissue massage, but it does a pretty good job of kneading and rolling your skin in order to relax you, although it may be a little too strong.
Just the Right Size
An issue that concerns me with a product like this is how you know it’s going to hit the right areas on your particular body. In order to address this concern the manufacturers of this Belmint chair have included the ability to adjust your position based on your height and the width of your back. There are still a few customers that have complained about the effectiveness of this feature, especially the unusually short or unusually tall, but most people that fall into the average height range should be able to adjust this cushion so that it works right for them.
Fully in Control
Another useful feature of this massage cushion is that it comes with a fully functioning remote control that provides you with the ability to control the heating mechanism of the cushion, the length of your massage, the position of the rollers, and the width of the rollers, as well as letting you switch between Shiatsu massage and vibration. What this means is that you can sit back in comfort in your chair with the remote in your hand and quickly change massage settings until you find the one you’re looking for.
Feel the Vibration
Having the convenience of a Shiatsu massage in your own home is great, but I’m still a fan of the vibration massage that’s so common in many chairs. Using a vibration technique to work out the tension in your muscles can be quite effective, and this massage cushion does have a built-in vibration function as well. In fact, it has three different vibration settings to choose from depending on how intense a vibration massage you’re looking for.
Strap in and Enjoy the Ride
Shiatsu massage cushions are certainly potentially useful products, but not if you can’t keep them in place on the chair you’re using. This Belmint Shiatsu massage cushion does have a built-in strap that’s designed to attach to your chair and secure it in place, but there are more than one or two complaints about the usefulness of the strap. Many complain that the strap is a poor fit and doesn’t really do what it’s meant to at all. If this is true I would have serious reservations about buying this product, as a strap that will hold it in place is an essential feature.
The Timer Could Be Longer
Another problem I have with this massage cushion is the length of time that your massage is designed to last. You can choose between a 10 minute, 15 minute, and 20 minute massage session, and while it’s nice to have some choice I just don’t think any of the settings are long enough. In my opinion, 30 minutes is the perfect length of time for a good massage, but that may be just my individual preference.
Of Course It’s Portable
Perhaps what’s most attractive about this massage cushion is its portable nature. You can’t take a full-sized massage chair with you everywhere you go, but you can take a massage cushion like this just about anywhere. It’s great for long trips in the car or a quick massage at home, and you can even take it to the office with you. There’s no arguing that portability isn’t a big plus for this product.
Avoiding the Ouch!
One other concern that seems to creep up now and again with this product is the fact that the rollers are too hard on your body, which can result in a very uncomfortable feeling the next day. The idea of a good massage is that it should relax you and invigorate you, not punish you. When I read the number of complaints about this massage cushion’s overzealous massage technique I was certainly a little concerned.
While I’m not totally dead set against the Belmint Portable Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager, I’m not completely sold on this product either. It has some nice features including built-in heat, adjustability, and Shiatsu and vibration massage settings, but its ineffective strap and the fact that quite a few customers have complained about its built-in massage rollers being too strong was enough to convince me to keep looking.