Once upon a time, getting a regular massage was a self-care staple for me. It wasn’t exactly luxurious and I certainly wasn’t a spa regular, but hitting up a small hole-in-the-wall parlor for a $ 40 massage was a doable monthly treat. At some point, a few things in my life changed and I was left scrambling to find a more affordable way to deal with the ever-present muscle tension in my shoulders (thanks, desk job). So I turned to Amazon, as one does.
After poking around and reading reviews, I settled on this Nektek Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager. I was skeptical that I could get a deep, satisfying at-home massage from anything short of one of those fancy massage chairs, but between the price point and the positive reviews, I took a chance. I can confirm: This thing kneads me like a slab of dough. To be perfectly honest, as I sit here writing this review at work and reflecting on how to describe this little miracle worker, I’m getting kind of cranky that I’m not at home enjoying it right now. (Hey, coworkers, why do you think I work from home so often?) (Just kidding.) (Kind of???)
The magic is in the massager’s shape, particularly the handle straps. With the massager resting on your shoulders and your hands or forearms looped through straps, you can hold it in place, maneuver it to the perfect spot, and adjust the pressure by pulling it against your body. As for the actual massaging, it’s done with eight kneading massage nodes and the intensity is adjustable between three speed levels. Plus, there’s a really soothing heat function (and an auto-shutoff feature for safety).
While it’s obviously billed as a neck and shoulder massager, its shape and flexibility make it multipurpose. I’ve used it on my thighs, calves, lower back, and feet, usually with the help of the handle straps to get it into the right position or to really dig in.
Using this bad boy is part of my nighttime routine several times a week, and it never fails to loosen me up and chill me out. I know that self-care can’t all be indulgence and pampering, but sometimes it’s so necessary to show your body some love and do something just because it feels so good. This massager does that all and more.