If you’ve been sitting on the fence while trying to decide if you want to take the plunge and purchase a massage chair, you might be pleased to know that there are other options. A much more affordable solution is a portable massage cushion and it can also be a lot more practical as well. A massage cushion is by its very nature portable, which means you can use it on any chair and anywhere you like. Perhaps the best part about a massage cushion is that it isn’t likely to cost you more than a couple hundred dollars as opposed to the several thousand dollars you might spend on a massage chair.
There are actually quite a few decent massage cushions on the market and one of them is the Zyllion ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu Neck & Back Massager Cushion. This simple cushion offers you a lot of the features you’ll find in a much more expensive massage chair at a fraction of the cost. While prices may vary for a product like this, in general you can expect to pay under $200.
Adjustable Massage Nodes
The ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu massage cushion is unique because of its adjustable moving nodes. While there have been some customer complaints about this cushion not doing a good job of reaching areas such as the neck and shoulders, this seems a little bit of a strange criticism when you consider that the nodes are adjustable depending upon your height. I suspect customers that have criticized the ability of this cushion to reach those areas might not have realized it was adjustable. With this feature built right into the cushion it shouldn’t really matter what height you are, for the most part.
I freely admit I’m the type of person that loves applying heat to sore muscles and I would argue that the benefits of such therapeutic activities are quite noticeable. That’s why I was pleased to find out that this chair has a built-in function for soothing sore and aching muscles. Surprisingly, this feature is not as common as you might think, but, in my opinion, any massage cushion that doesn’t include this as a feature is questionable at best.
The Four Stages of Shiatsu
This massage cushion also features a unique four-stage Shiatsu massage function that is capable of working out the knots in those hard to reach areas. It actually has rollers much like a real massage chair so that you can get that proper rolling action, deep kneading action, the relaxing heat-based massage mentioned above, as well as soothing vibration techniques. There really are a surprising number of options here.
There’s an old UK TV show called All Creatures Great and Small and that title really sums up the individuality of human beings. We’re all very different in our shapes and sizes and that’s why I’m really surprised when companies make a product that’s not adjustable in any way, shape, or form. Fortunately, the ZMA-14-BK is fully adjustable in both height and width, in recognition of our different physical makeups.
Vibrating the Stress Away
Vibrating massage chairs and cushions are not unique by any means, but what does make this cushion unique is that it has three different levels of vibration to choose from. If you’re looking for a gentle vibration massage you can have that, but if you prefer a more vigorous and fast-paced massage, that’s available to you as well. Let’s face it, we’re not always in the mood for a fast and vigorous massage; sometimes we like that gentle treatment. But it’s nice to have the option to make that decision yourself.
A few years ago I had a chance to try out a friend’s massage cushion myself and I have to say I came away feeling a little frustrated. It’s not that the thing didn’t work okay – it did. It’s just that it seemed to be constantly slipping out from underneath me as it didn’t have any straps to hold it in place. Let’s just say it wasn’t the experience I’d had in mind. The manufacturers of this cushion deal with that potential problem by including a couple of firm straps that hold it in place securely; by all accounts they work just fine.
Sometimes when you’re having a great massage there’s a tendency to relax so much that you start to fall asleep. That’s not a major issue when you’re at an actual massage studio with a massage therapist working on your aching muscles, but it can be an issue if you happen to fall asleep in your chair with the massage cushion going. You don’t want the product to overheat and cause a potential hazard; that’s why the manufacturers of the ZMA-14-BK Shiatsu massage chair have included a built-in auto shutoff mechanism that will shut the chair off after 15 minutes. I would’ve preferred if the auto shut off activated after about 30 minutes, but it’s a simple enough process to simply turn it back on for an extra 15 minutes, so this isn’t a major issue.
As we briefly touched on above, there are some customers that didn’t like this product since they felt it wasn’t a good fit for them because of their height. While the cushion is adjustable it won’t adjust for all heights, so there are bound to be some people that would be disappointed with this product. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t something you’ll be able to figure out for sure until you purchase the product. My suggestion would be to try to find someone you know that happens to own one and try it out first. But if that’s not an option you may just have to take a chance and return it if does turn out to be a problem.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
One criticism that I think is probably a little bit more legitimate is that some customers found the massage actually worked a little too well. For some customers the rollers had a tendency to dig right in to those aching muscles to the point of actually bruising their skin. I think it’s safe to say that if you know you have sensitive skin and bruise easy this may be a product you want to avoid.
Compromise Is Good
Remember, this is an affordable massage cushion, not a massage chair, so it’s bound to have some limitations. Having said that, it does seem to do a pretty good job for the price. It has different vibration levels, you can adjust the height and width, it has built-in heat, and you can adjust the vibration settings. All in all it seems like a great compromise between features and price.