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Massage devices

by Sarah Horrocks Published on 22 February 2008

If you can't afford the luxury of a professional massage, there is a wide range of massage devices out there that give you a relaxing massage without shelling out money every time. Big or small, manual or electric, portable or fixed, wooden, plastic, foam...Here's a (non-exhaustive!) guide to massage devices available on the increasingly big market.

If you can't afford the luxury of a professional massage, there is a wide range of massage devices out there that give you a relaxing massage without shelling out money every time. Big or small, manual or electric, portable or fixed, wooden, plastic, foam...Here's a (non-exhaustive!) guide to massage devices available on the increasingly big market.

For the feet
- Inspired by a Japanese tradition, manual wooden foot massagers are covered with small moving balls. Rubbing vigorously on the soles of the feet revives circulation, relieves heavy legs and eases pain. This is the principle of reflexology.
- Following its success in spas, electric spa foot massagers now offer the benefits of a hydromassage foot bath at home. These are hot water containers equipped with a massage mat, rolls, little beads and small jets designed to relax the feet and stimulate reflex points. The programme includes a whirlpool, bubbles and stimulation of the arch of the foot.

For the head

With its octopus or spider shape, the manual head massager reproduces Indian head massage. It has flexible copper branches of different lengths which massage 14 different points simultaneously, applying light pressure in circular movements to the scalp and the tops of the shoulders.

For the back
- Electric massage chairs or devices you place on chairs conceal a vibration device that is designed to relieve back tension. They’re easy to transport and install, and great for a relaxing break wherever you are - even at work.
- Lumbar belts are discreet, worn under clothes, can be used at home, at work or even on the road! Based on transcutaneous neuromuscular stimulation, they are designed to alleviate pain by stopping pain signals at the heart of the nervous system.
- There are also manual devices with little wooden wheels or balls designed to loosen knots that build up along the back bone.

For the whole body

- Inspired by Shiatsu massage, electric massage pillows or cushions emit vibrations that stimulate different parts of the body (neck, feet, arms and legs). The device has a removable head and long handles that allow you to reach parts of the body easily. It has different programmes of intensity and various massage techniques that you can adjust depending on where you use it.
- Bead massagers are versatile, easy to use and carry, and provide a great feeling of relaxation using simple circular movements. Despite being lightweight, these are efffective massage devices that use multi-directional rotation and have smooth contact with the skin. Sometimes they have little bristles for extra stimulation of the reflex points.
- Electric massage chairs are the best thing for an all-over relaxaing massage. You just lie back and choose the programme using the remote control for a top-to-toe massage. The only disadvantages: its size and cost!

And to make your body firmer

Some massage devices not only give you deep relaxation; they also help strengthen your body by improving blood circulation and stimulating deep tissue. Some can even help to get rid of cellulite. Examples include the slimming massage belt (electric), glove (manual) and devices that reproduce the technique of a massage roller (electric).

by Sarah Horrocks

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