I've always wanted to get my dear old mom one of those massaging recliner chairs you've undoubtedly tried at a shopping mall gadget store. But those chairs cost upwards of $5000, and cheaper add-on models have always unimpressed me, feeling less like a massage and more like a weak-pressure suggestion of the relaxing therapy. So I was pleasantly surprised this past weekend when I gave the Homedics Therapist Select Quad-Roller Massaging Cushion with Heat a try and was convinced my mom was going to enjoy this year's birthday gift.
What was most impressive about this unit was that it felt almost as good as a full sized recliner massager, despite its smaller form factor. The unit looks sort of like an ergonomic auto seat, with velcro straps that attach onto almost any chair with a high back. The back cushion is supported with a hard back housing, with four independent rollers inside that can be programmed to provide either a shiatsu (a circular, deep kneading action) or rolling massage (like a warm rolling pin working your back muscles), customizable to different back widths. A corded remote provides six massage programs and the option to zone in onto a specific region of the back. The rollers also can provide heat with the touch of a button (mom definitely liked this). The unit automatically shuts off after 15 minutes, which is a good safety feature, but disappointed my mom a bit ("...couldn't they given us just 5 more minutes? Fifteen minutes goes by so quickly!"). As someone who once had chronic back problems, I know a professional massage is the best way to go. But they're expensive (but oh so worth it, you've convinced me, Burke Williams), so the Therapist Select might be a good way to get your massage fix without breaking the bank. *an additional tip: print out one of these 20% coupons and you can knock off an additional $30 at Linen N Things regular $150 price (online coupon code: 223823997733).