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I received this massager for Christmas last year and it has been of great help to me. I suffer from back pain caused by two herniated discs on the lumbars and a severe scoliosis on the upper spine. The result is constant tension in my shoulders and back muscles and nerves which, if I sit for long periods at a time or don't do yoga or the physiotherapy exercises daily, can result in constant pain, inflammation, nausea and migraines.
LOOK AND FEATURES
The cushion is a fake leather smooth-edged rectangle and indeed, resembles a cushion. There are two rollers sticking out slightly from the upper part covered in a mesh-like tissue that has a spongy lining underneath. It comes in a single colour combination, orange and beige plus the grey mesh. It comes complete with a remote control, an adapter plug and a 2m lead.
The design is definitely modern and minimalistic, simply assembled but made to last. It looks as new when it was bought, the cushion isn't removable but you can wipe any grime off with a damp cloth. The massager isn't the ligthest out there, it weighs about 2.5kgs or 5 - 7 lbs so is as heavy as an average full-size laptop. It has its own handle and came with its own little (flimsy) grey bag to carry it in so you can take it to work or away for the weekend.
The remote is attached to the cushion by a short lead and it's one of the most convenient and clever things I really like about it. I owned a Babyliss massager before and it was pants to use it with the buttons directly on the side of the massager. I got cramps and backaches by trying to reach them!
The iComfort's remote is extremely easy to use, the few settings like ON / OFF, rotation and intensity are displayed on the small led screen one at a time. The massager stops automatically after 15 minutes as this is the recommended usage for any one time because of the engine output. I usually do 1 - 3 15 minutes sessions in different settings or focus on different body parts and take small breaks between.
Neck, shoulders and upper back
I've been mainly using the cushion to ease the pain in my shoulders caused primarily by the presence of scoliosis. The rollers are turning in a circular fashion clockwise or anticlockwise thus performing the same motion over and over again simulating the effect of finger or rather thumb-massaging the area. It does have a repetitive motion as it only ever goes in circles and never up and down or sideways like other more developed and more expensive massagers do.
I found it helped ease the sometimes really hard and tense knots I have in my shoulders especially in the muscles surrounding the collarbone and shoulder blades. I also found that applying therapeutic muscle relaxant or massage oils beforehand made the massage more successful in relaxing and undoing the knots in the muscles.
At first it took some getting used to the impact from the rollers, I am quite slim so even the first and most gentle setting felt like hammering sometimes. To counter this effect, I put a small, folded towel behind my back or wear a thicker jumper so that the massage is still effective but more relaxing too.
While massaging the neck area, unless you can lie down and just place it under your neck, the massager has to be elevated to neck-height. When I can't lie down because I'm working at the computer and need to be sitting down this takes some 'acrobatics'. My lower back gets easily tired and painful when sitting so I prop it up with an anatomical pillow. It's also rigid enough to hold the weight of the massager which I place on top and off I go!
Mid and lower back
As the rollers are placed at the top of the cushion so when simply placed behind you it will rather massage your mid back so I just turn the cushion around to massage my lower back without the need to prop it up.
Feet and legs
I use this the least often probably because my back takes priority but I have to tell you it's most awesome! Just place the soles of your feet (barefoot or wearing socks) on the cushion and start rolling. You'll need to keep your feet firmly otherwise they'll move about but this is fun. As our feet are one of the most sensitive areas of our body due to the specific nerve wiring there, it's pretty exhilarating when you stimulate those.
It was unbeatable after a hard day's work when I was standing in a lab all day and my feet were aching badly. The best is to combine it with a foot soak to loosen and prepare the muscles for the massage.
This is of less use to me but you can also place the massager under your legs if you want to massage your thighs or calves. When you massage your thighs make sure you do not sit on it as the massager can only hold 30kg pressure and will break otherwise.
To sum up, the main advantages would be:
- Portable, lightweight
- Powerful finger-massage
- Easy to reach remote control
- Three intensity settings
- Great value for money
What I was less happy about using iComfort:
- Single circular motion which can get repetitive
- Needs propping up when used in a sitting position
- Only a few positions available e.g you can't lie on your stomach and massage your back like massagers using straps could do
After almost a year of regular use which means several times a week, I'm pretty satisfied. It's a relatively small but powerful machine and is ideal for people suffering from backaches due to various conditions or simply for healthy people to enable some relaxing me-time. Whenever friends come around, they usually have a go too and love it.
It's also great value for money as we've looked extensively before choosing this model and the massagers available are either cheap but also weak and do not do their job properly or robust but quite expensive meaning in the hundreds of pounds.
I absolutely recommend it and it would surely make an ideal gift for Christmas too.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I've checked on the Oregon Scientific website at http://www.oregonscientific.co.uk /cat-Wellness-sub-i.Comfort-Massagers-prod-i. Comfort-Massage-Cushion.html and it's currently on promotion so instead of the normal price of £79.99 it'snow £69.99 plus free postage.
It's more expensive from Amazon at £96.86 and it was at this price that my partner bought it last year (http://www.amazon.co.uk/ Oregon-Scientific-i-Comfort-Massage-Cushion /dp/B001LWZZBA) so it's worth shopping around.
Thanks for reading.
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