Best Neck and Shoulder Massager: Top Models & Reviews [2017]

When it comes to health and wellness, we all know the things we should do. It’s rare that you aren’t told the keys to living the longest, healthiest life possible come from eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of restorative sleep.

Over the past decade plus, however, the evidence has mounted around adding a few things to that list, the top recommendation being massage.

The benefits of massage therapy are many, and we have it on authority that it decreases stress, increases circulation, and promotes, among other things, cardiovascular and immune health. With the technologically advanced society we now live in, it’s easier than ever to ensure you get that dose of massage therapy daily with little to no hassle and at a very affordable price.

And you don’t have to see a doctor or a physical or massage therapist to get it.

There are excellent, high quality home massagers available today that deliver professional-grade relaxation massage at home or on the go. Here are a few of the most highly rated and recommended models.

Top Rated Neck and Shoulder Massager

Brookstone Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager

brookstoneIf you have tension in your neck or shoulders and you don’t like using a handheld home massager, this is a superb choice for you. This is one of the best neck massagers out there, and the ease of use is hard to match.

We like the design a lot, as you just place it around your neck—it’s like an airplane pillow, but longer, so it extends down the front of your shoulders—and turn it on.

It’s easy to use whether you’re sitting or standing, so it’s an excellent way to get a penetrating Shiatsu massage while you’re at home watching television, or working at your desk.

It’s small enough to pack in your suitcase, so it travels well too. It has a built-in speed and intensity control, so you set your desired levels. It shuts itself off automatically after twenty minutes, so there’s no safety risk if you fall asleep with it on.

This is the best neck massager machine that provides almost instant relief from sore or tight muscles. If relaxation tops your list of must-haves, you should check this one out.

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Nekteck Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massager with Heat

NekteckIf you are looking for a nice mix of features that you would get if you combined a massage chair with and a handheld massager, you will like the Shiatsu Deep Kneading Massage Pillow.

Like the Brookstone, this one also has a very low barrier to use. It’s easy to throw on, whether you’re sitting or standing, and it’s highly versatile. It’s great for home as well as the office, and it travels easily.

You can even use it in the car, which, if you have a long commute, is a huge bonus. It utilizes eight massage heads that deliver a deep Shiatsu massage.

It has built in heat, which you can turn on or off, which aids greatly in reducing tension in tight muscles and improving circulation. A standout feature for this class of massager is the direction and speed controls.

Many massagers in this category allow you to select the speed or intensity level you desire, but the added ability to adjust the direction, is something that more often comes with a chair.

We also like the flexibility. You can wear the massager not only around your neck and shoulders, but anywhere you have muscle soreness or tension—like your calves, legs, or back. It’s hard to find a back massage pillow that you can use so easily and effectively on so many different parts of your body.

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Trumedic Instashiatsu Plus Neck and Shoulder Massager

trumedicLike the Nekteck, the Trumedic massager has a heat setting that you can turn on or off, so this is a good choice if you have circulation problems.

We also like the design of the straps because at the bottom of each side there are loops for your wrists, so your arms can fully relax in a hanging position, taking the weight off your shoulder joints and tendons.

The massager targets your neck and shoulders, delivering deep tissue Shiatsu massage via layers of rotating heads. You can also change the direction of the rotation.

A big plus is that you can use the massager on other parts of your body, so it makes for an excellent back massager if you have pain, tightness, or stress in your lower back.

Yet another reason the heating feature comes in handy on this model. It comes with a rechargeable battery, so it’s easy to take with you, and you never have to wait long for your next massage.

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Naturalico Shiatsu Neck Massager

Two words: foot massage.

Neck and shoulder massagers are great, and when you can use them on other areas of your body to target muscle or joint pain, like the low back, we like them even more. But the Naturalico Shiatsu Massager gets high marks for its ability to target foot pain.

It’s hard to beat the benefits a foot massager delivers when it comes to overall health and wellness.

There are more than 7,000 nerve endings in our feet, and the benefits of foot massage, or reflexology, are many.

You can adjust the intensity and add heat as needed or preferred to the deep tissue Shiatsu massage delivered via four rotating heads. The Naturalico is preferred for relieving tension and pain in tight muscles. The massage is applied in two different directions, which most closely resembles massage from a therapist.

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New Five Star FS8801 Shiatsu Neck And Back Massager

Five Star FS8801If you’re on a budget, and you want the best of both worlds between the Naturalico and the Trumedic, you’re going to want to take a long hard look at the New Five Star.

You can also use this massager on your feet (as well as neck, shoulders, arms, and back), and you also get the convenient wrist loops to take pressure off your shoulder joints.

The massage is delivered through eight rollers, and the style is kneading. It too is multi-directional, which you can easily change in the click of a button, and there’s an optional heat component you can turn on or off.

It travels well, you can use it in the car, and it shuts itself off after 15 minutes. This Five Star packs a lot of punch for the low price. You can purchase one on Amazon for just under 50 dollars.

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Thera Cane Massager

TheracaneIf you want a manual option that delivers a highly effective therapeutic massage, you should put the Thera Cane on your list.

Nothing to plug in and no batteries to contend with, this device enables you to massage your entire body as deeply as you want.

The design is ergonomic and the placement of the massage balls makes it easy to target muscles and relieve tension and knots via trigger point massage, quickly and easily.

Check out this physical therapist’s explanation and demonstration of the benefits of myofascial release and self-massage that you can get on your own with the Thera Cane.

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Whether you want to go high or low tech, spend a fair bit of money or stick to a budget, there’s a massager that’s just right for you.

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The beauty of the technology and advancements in massage delivery and design available today make it easy to select one that will give you the exact features you need to relieve stress and pain.

So, if you don’t have the time or money to spend on a dedicated trip to a masseuse every week, or you just want the benefits of a massage while you’re sitting in traffic or working late at the office, best neck massager and a portable head should be just what the doctor ordered.

Read Full Article Here: Best Neck and Shoulder Massager: Top Models & Reviews [2017]

Best Electric Handheld Massager For Your Back [ September 2017]

It might not be time to say good-bye to the calendar year just yet, but you can say good-bye to muscle, tendon, and joint pain. And not just for the rest of the year.

There’s no reason to head into 2018—or spend another day for that matter—in pain.

Whether you are an athlete, spend a lot of time on your feet, suffer from headaches or body pain, or just want to relax and rejuvenate more often, massage is a key component to better health and wellbeing.

[su_note note_color=”#f4fa91″ radius=”0″]The Mayo Clinic recommends massage therapy in conjunction with treatments for not only acute or chronic pain that accompanies many diseases like cancer and fibromyalgia, but for common and less serious conditions as well.[/su_note]

They’ve done studies that show massage helps patients heal more quickly and stay emotionally healthier and more positive after most procedures.

But you don’t have to see a doctor or physical therapist to get the benefits of massage. A back handheld massager is one of the best and most accessible ways to relieve pain, tension, and muscle knots quickly and effectively, wherever and whenever you need it.

If you ever thought the only massager for knots was the one at the sports medicine clinic, or the only thing standing between you and the best handheld massager was a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to your favorite day spa, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out neither of these is true.

All you need is a portable massager.

There are a lot of choices out there, and we know no one has the time to scour that last year’s issues of Consumer Reports. So, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up the pros and cons of each. One of the best models available, and our pick for the number one slot is the Pure Wave CM7 by Pado.

But there are several others that are worth considering.

Best Rated Hand Held Massagers

Pado PureWave CM7

Pure Wave CM7There’s no point in us burying the lead. There’s a lot to love about the CM7. This lightweight work horse is our top pick for the best all around, and, the best deep tissue massager machine you can buy.

Research has shown the benefits of vibration massage therapy, and for serious microvibration horsepower, you can’t beat the PureWave CM7.

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It delivers 3,700 RPMs. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, check out this review by physical therapists Brad Heinech and Bob Schrupp. They agree.

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PROS & CONS

The CM7 delivers both vibration and percussion massage therapy. It’s cordless, lightweight, and compact. It weighs a mere pound and three-quarters, and it’s only sixteen and a half inches long.

We love how easy it is to throw into your gym bag, leave in an office drawer, or fit right into your carry-on. The best thing about this model, though? It’s actually two in one. It’s a full percussion massager that comes with 6 stick attachments for your body, and it’s also a vibration head and face device.

The face and scalp sticks enable you to deeply massage your temples, scalp, face, and jaw. A professional head massage relieves headaches, neck pain, and the discomfort and extreme pain that can be associated with jaw conditions, such as TMJ.

And you get all of that from it that can also work out the knots in your back, shoulders, neck, arms, and legs with the intensity level you select. The CM7 is also our choice for the best massager for athletes, as you can’t find a better massage for deep tissue massage. It is also great as a massager for hands.

It also comes with a body massage oil stick, enabling you to incorporate therapeutic oils into your massage. The point, air-cushion, and six-head sticks round out the perfect set of attachments to not only hit any area that needs it—whether muscle, joint, or tendon—but to also apply exactly the type of pressure and depth required for relief.

Coming in at just under 125 dollars, we were hard pressed to find a con for this all-around winner. If you want to dig deep, you could say you would prefer a longer time between charges, but it’s a hard argument to make.

The battery is fully charged in an hour, and you get about three hours per charge, or roughly a week if you use it between 20 and 30 minutes a day. Not too shabby in our opinion.

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Homedics HHP-350

Homedics HHP-350If don’t need or want everything the CM7 delivers, or you just prefer choices, you cannot go wrong with the Percussion Pro Handheld Massager with Heat by Homedics.

This machine is about medium-high on the scale of intensity, so it’s kind of hits the sweet spot when it comes to home massagers. Its well designed ergonomic handle makes it extremely easy to hold and use.

The massage is delivered via two pivoting heads, and there are two additional customized sets included, so you can choose from a heated, gentle, or firm massage.

PROS & CONS

We like the heat option in this model. Many studies have shown that incorporating heat into massage is beneficial for relieving muscle and many other types of pain.

We also found it a plus that you can customize the type of massage you want.

However, it’s less than ideal that you must physically swap out the heads to move between the modalities.

There is a variable speed controller, so the ability to choose how fast or slow you want the heads to pivot goes into the “pro” column. In general, this is a good entry-level or basic handheld massager for home use.

It’s not rich with features, but what it does—providing three solid types of percussion massage—it does very well.

It’s two and-a-half pounds, so it’s a bit heavier than the PureWave CM7, but the price point might be the only plus you need: you can pick one up on Amazon for just under 35 dollars.

You would be hard pressed to find a comparable model that is this reliable and well made.

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Thumper E501 Percussive

Thumper E501 Percussive MassagerLike the Homedics HHP-350 in appearance and functionality, the Thumper E501 delivers percussion massage by way of two rotating, interchangeable heads.

It’s designed to penetrate muscles deeply, so it’s advised that rather than moving it around or sliding it across large muscles on your body, you hold it in place for about 20 or 30 seconds per spot.

This is quite effective on large muscle groups, especially for those who are very athletic, and it greatly improves circulation. You can control the speed of the massage, from 20 to 40 pulses delivered per second.

PROS & CONS

The Thumper E501 is one of the heavier home models out there (it weighs 3 pounds), so it’s not quite as versatile as some of the others we like a little more.

The quality of massage and ability to soothe muscles and work out the severest of knots is excellent, however. This model is highly recommended for athletes, as it delivers a very deep massage.

The handle is long, so it’s easy to reach all the spots on your back, shoulders, and legs. And if you find yourself with a leg cramp in the middle of the night, this is the  one you want. It breaks up knots quickly and instantly soothes the muscles around the area and releases associated tension.

You’ll spend a bit more on the Thumper than you would on the Homedics Handhelm Massager it runs a little over 150 dollars—but it’s still a very cost effective option for the features, quality of massage, and solid craftsmanship.

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Zyllion Handheld Therapeutic Percussion With Heat

Zyllion ZMA-16The Zyllion ZMA-16 is a nice midpoint between the Homedics HHP-350 and the Thumper E501. The price point is squarely between the two, costing 70 dollars. Like the HHP-350, you get the heat option, which is a major advantage to a handheld.

It’s also a percussion model, but it utilizes a single head as opposed to dual rotating heads like the Homedics and Thumper. The intensity level is set via a dial, so you can control how vigorous or minimal you want or need the massage to be.

PROS & CONS

The price is squarely in the pro column, and we also like that it comes with three interchangeable heads, designed to target different spots and depths. This is effective for targeting surface areas versus deep tissue and larger muscle groups.

The heat is excellent for relaxation and circulation, and the ergonomic and modern styling is a plus, if you’re after a device that is more streamlined.

Like the Thumper, it’s a bit heavier than some of its competitors, so we put the three pounds in the con column. All told, we like the price, look, and heat delivered by the ZMA-16, but it falls a bit short on features and portability.

Many home users also prefer two heads to one for percussion massage in order to hit larger areas in a shorter amount of time.

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Naipo Handheld Percussion Massager With Heating

naipoLike the Zyllion, the Naipo handheld massager with heat has a single rather than set of two rotating heads.

It offers deep penetrating percussion massage, however, and comes with three different attachment heads. You can target various sets of muscles, tendons, and joints easily, and choose between levels of intensity and depth. The Naipo heating is excellent for improving circulation.

PROS & CONS

A definite pro of the Naipo is its sleek modern design. If looks matter, and you don’t want one that tends towards the bulky, you’ll like the Naipo. And if price is important, you can stop reading now.

You purchase one on Amazon for less than 35 dollars. It doesn’t pack the features that the other contenders do, however. And the handle, while looking good, is not as ergonomically effective. This is a well priced, good looking, average massager that few would be sorry to own.

You can relieve muscle knots, aches, pains, and recover from exercise quickly with this massager, and it will provide tension relief and relaxation very well.

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An upside to wanting professional grade massage at home is that there are so many excellent handheld model. And while the PureWave CM7 is our top pick, there are many excellent choices out there that will serve you well for years to come.

Other brands you may consider, but we think less superior are: Oster, Brookstone Active Sport.

The physical and psychological benefits of massage are well documented, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to pick the one that’s right for you, and get to relieving that tension and increasing relaxation as soon as possible.

See More Here: Best Electric Handheld Massager For Your Back [ September 2017]

Best Vitamin D Drops For Babies And Infants [TESTED September 2017]

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns, until a year old, receive a daily vitamin D supplement. In 2003, the recommended dosage was 200 International Units (IU) per day. In 2008, that amount doubled to 400 IU a day.

This increase was based on a study published in “Pediatrics” showing infants being breast fed, fed a combination of breast milk and formula, or consuming a diet of one hundred percent formula, were not receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D.

This vitamin is necessary for proper and adequate absorption of phosphorus and calcium, both of which are needed for building strong bones. Without the proper amount of absorbed calcium, babies run the risk of acquiring rickets, which weakens and softens bones.

As with most things in life, when it comes to supplements, there are more options than there are hours in the day to do the research. And when it comes to choosing the best for your baby, it can be more than stressful. So, here are a few recommendations and information about how to choose the best brand.

Once you’ve selected the one that’s right for you, no matter what your own preferred requirements, there is one important factor to consider, which is the FDA warning regarding the dangers of overdose.

Make sure you administer no more than the recommended 400 IU a day. It’s also a good idea to use only the dropper that comes with the supplement, and keep the packaging materials. That way, anyone caring for your baby has all the information they need.

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Top Rated Vitamin D Drops

Organic Options

Mommy’s Bliss Organic Drops

Mommy's Bliss Vitamin DIf you are looking for the best organic vitamin D drops for infants, Mommy’s Bliss are an excellent choice.

They are one hundred percent USDA certified organic, and a single drop delivers the daily recommended dosage, so there’s little danger of overdose.

There are no artificial colors or flavors, they’re gluten and soy free, and they contain no chemicals or additives.

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ChildLife Organic Vitamin D3 Drops

ChildLifeOur second runner-up in the organic category is ChildLife Organic Vitamin D3 Drops. However, one caveat on this recommendation is the fact that they are only 95% organic.

One drop contains the full day’s recommended dosage, so they’re also easy to administer. But if for you, it’s 100% certified organic or nothing, we recommend going with Mommy’s Bliss.

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All natural Options

If you do not insist on going strictly organic, but still want the best natural drops available, you’re in luck.

There are several trustworthy brands available, many of which are approved and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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Carlson Labs Baby Natural

carlson d3 dropsCarlson Labs Baby Natural Vitamin D Drops have no preservatives or artificial colors, and they contain no gluten, milk, or wheat. They also provide the full recommended dosage per day via a single drop.

A common reason many love this brand is the fact that they are tasteless and colorless.

Most nursing mothers find it easiest to just administer a drop while breastfeeding, but those who feed their babies either a partial or all formula diet, particularly like this option for how easy it is to mix into formula.

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Zoomavit

ZoomavitZoomavit is another consistently highly rated brand. They are approved by the AAP, and users report preferring these not only for infants, but for their toddlers and teens as well.

Mothers who are taking high doses for themselves in order to pass the vitamin onto their babies through breastfeeding enjoy the mild citrus taste.

Others find it completely tasteless, and therefore like this brand as opposed to others that have strong flavors.

These drops also mix easily and instantly into any drink.

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Baby Ddrops

Baby DdropsBaby Ddrops is one of the most popular brands available, and you’ll find them mentioned and recommended among most mother’s groups, forums, and organizations.

What makes them so highly preferred, more so than others, is the short ingredients list: vitamin D and coconut oil. That’s it. They contain no chemicals or artificial flavors or colors.

They don’t have any of the additives that are so often the cause of allergies, which is a big relief since the only way mothers discover allergies is by going through the unknown minefield of the first few years.

Baby D drops reviews consistently echo the positive experience with the brand, and most reviewers are repeat customers.

Mothers who love Baby Ddrops insist on them solely for their lack of unnecessary fillers and chemicals.

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VitaDaily

vitadaily d3VitaDaily D3 Drops for Babies also come highly recommended, especially by nursing mothers.

Like many of the others, they’re also tasteless and can be mixed easily into any liquid you like. There are no additives or preservatives, they’re GMO-free, and they contain one hundred percent organic safflower oil.

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Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative to giving your infant drops, there are a couple of options.

There are several reasons that some mothers, especially those who are breastfeeding only, prefer not to give their babies drops of any sort, regardless of vitamin or supplemental requirements or recommendations.

These moms typically report that they want their newborns to ingest only natural breast milk and nothing else.

So instead of giving their infants a supplement, they choose other ways of increasing the amount of the vitamin their babies receive naturally.

Some methods include increasing the time they and their newborn spend in the sun, and taking higher doses of the vitamin themselves (whether through diet, over-the-counter supplements, or a combination of both).

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The Centers for Disease Control recommends against this approach, mainly due to the dangers of skin cancer associated with over exposure to the sun.

Additionally, most mothers are unable to take high enough doses consistently to ensure their babies are getting the required amount.

If you are going this route, however, it is advised that you take at least ten times the recommended daily dose.

This can mean up to 6,000 IU per day. You should also eat a diet high in vitamin D.

This means a lot of fish (including canned fish like sardines and herring), oysters and shrimp, orange juice, milk (soy or cow), oatmeal and fortified cereals, mushrooms, and eggs (the yolks in particular).

Post Source Here: Best Vitamin D Drops For Babies And Infants [TESTED September 2017]

Purewave Massager Reviews: Best Rated Pure Wave by Pado USA

If you have gotten this far, you’re exploring purchasing a portable massager.

Congratulations. If you have already read a few Pure Wave by Pado reviews you probably already impressed but lets find out if it will live up to your expectations.

Taking this first step to better health and happiness is a decision you won’t ever regret.

Using a handheld massager has untold physical, physiological, and psychological health benefits. Among the many benefits of the Pado PureWave massager is its versatility and breadth in terms of the types of massage it delivers.

Beyond the many health and wellbeing benefits from massage in general, the PureWave massager provides microvibration as well as percussion therapy. These have been proven to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness.

[su_note note_color=”#f4fa91″ radius=”0″]Vibrational massage has been shown to improve not only muscle soreness—delayed onset or otherwise—but flexibility, circulation, balance, muscle strength, movement, and relaxation.[/su_note]

percussionA quick read through most PureWave massager reviews will show that athletes have been using vibrational and percussion style massage for decades, and swear by these techniques for their ability to promote muscle strength and improvement in all levels of performance.

And it’s not just pro athletes or physical performers who rely on and benefit from this type of massage. You receive it every time you head to the spa or your favorite massage therapist too.

You probably just haven’t realized it before.

You know those last few minutes of the massage, when the therapist switches from a traditional Swedish or Shiatsu massage, which is predominantly long stokes along the lengths of your muscles, to a more vibrational, knocking, or pounding type of movement, otherwise known as tapotement?

This part of the massage is crucial for successfully sending you on your way completely rejuvenated, muscles fully relaxed, and joints soothed. This is vibrational massage, and if you’re like most people, you both love and hate this part.

The love comes when you instantly feel a wave of warmth, total muscle relaxation, and utter lack of any remaining physical or mental discomfort.

The hate part kicks in when your brain sends that signal to your awareness that at that point, your massage is almost over.

Echoing the refrain of other Pado massager reviews is worth doing. There is a reason doctors, physical therapists, and athletes rave about these products.

You can now get all the benefits of microvibrational and percussion massage therapy. They’re lightweight, portable, multifunctional, and easy to use in or outside the home.

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Features

CM3

Pado offers three models to choose from: the PureWave CM3, CM5, and CM7. They’re all cordless and come with a battery charger. The CM3 is specifically a sports massager, utilizing a single high speed of 3,500 RPMs. It delivers targeted percussion style massage directly to the areas that need it most.

It weighs a menial pound and a half and is small enough to toss into your gym bag or roll up into your yoga mat. The percussion head comes with two attachments, which you can easily swap out, depending on the area and depth you are targeting.

slip on attachments

There’s a point and a six-head stick. The point is just what it sounds like—a slim, singular bar-shaped point that allows you to go deep into muscle tissue.

thread onThe six-head attachment is round with six nodules that allow you to target a broader area and cover more breadth than depth.

 

 

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CM5 vs CM7

The CM5 and CM7 are similar in feature set, but there are definitely a few key differences and added benefits to the CM7.

They both have adjustable levels of intensity and are ideal for massaging muscles, tendons, and joints. They both up your percussion head RPMs from the 3,500 you get with the CM3, to 3,700.

They both have an intensity dial, so you can turn up or down the level that best addresses your joint or tendon distress. The charging time for each is only one hour, and they will both run for roughly a week if you use it 20 to 30 minutes per day, or continuously, about three hours.

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Qucik video for a Cordless Model:

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Both are percussion massagers. In addition to the point and six-head stick attachments, with the CM5, you also get the air cushion stick.

This attachment is ideal for breaking up and releasing tight muscular knots.

What sets the CM7 apart from the CM5 is that it’s also a body and facial massager.

facial stick

So, in addition to the percussion massage body and the stick attachments that come with the CM5, the CM7 also includes scalp, facial, and body massage oil sticks.

With its dual mode capabilities, in the CM7 you get two complete massagers in one compact, lightweight unit.

The facial attachment is especially beneficial if you suffer from any type of jaw pain or are prone to stress headaches.

features

[su_button url=”https://www.wellnessgeeky.com/go/pure-wave-massager” target=”blank” background=”#e3af23″ size=”7″ wide=”no” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: arrow-circle-right” rel=”nofollow”]Check Price on Amazon[/su_button]

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Warranty

Many of the Padousa reviews will also show that consistently high praise is given for their shipping, returns, satisfaction, and warranty policies. When you order any of their massagers, they offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

If you aren’t pleased or satisfied within that time period, you can send it back to them, and they will issue you a full refund minus the shipping costs.

Make sure you save all the original packaging and parts, as they require the unit be in the same condition it was when you received it.

After the 30 days is up, the warranty kicks in and is good for a year.

If anything covered under the warranty breaks or goes wrong, send it back to them, and they’ll ship you a new one.

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Where to buy Pure Wave CM7

You can buy all the Pure Wave massagers directly from Pado on their website. If you’re in the United States or Canada, they’ll ship it ground for free, and if you’re in Canada, there are no extra taxes due upon receipt. They’re also available from Walmart, and of course, Amazon.

In short, our Pure Wave massager review is nothing but positive.

These little hand-helds are wonders for soothing sore muscles and relieving tendon and joint pain. They are ideal for shoulders, neck, back, feet, legs, arms, the list goes on.

Let’s just call it fantastic for whole body coverage. We especially like the CM7 with its rich set of features, added face and head massage capabilities, and the ability to incorporat therapeutic oils. Pado is putting out a high quality line of Pure Wave massagers at incredibly reasonable prices. This is an investment well worth making.

[su_button url=”https://www.wellnessgeeky.com/go/pure-wave-massager” target=”blank” background=”#e3af23″ size=”7″ wide=”no” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: arrow-circle-right” rel=”nofollow”]Check Price on Amazon[/su_button]

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Source Here: Purewave Massager Reviews: Best Rated Pure Wave by Pado USA

Why is Sleep so Important for Athletic Performance and General Health

Could your performance get better just by improving your sleep?

Sleep has, for a not insignificant amount of time, been associated with sports performance. In short the theory has been that good sleep leads to improved performance and poor sleep will impair performance.
Generally the association with a good or bad sleep has been premised upon the duration of the sleep, but is that really an accurate measure of sleep quality? This article will explore some of the finer points relating to sleep quality as well as provide some scientific background on the purpose of sleep as a human process.

Russell Foster is a British Circadian neuroscientist: His wonderful Ted Talk on “Why do We Sleep”

What is sleep and how does it work?

Sleep has such a profound effect upon performance and health because of the wide number of vital processes that are dependent upon it. When we sleep the body in effect carries out housekeeping duties; processes that help you deal with physical and mental stress, information processing and memory formation, repair and restoration of tissues

Cues such as falling temperature and light levels are picked up by the sensory nervous system and relayed to the brain which kicks off the production of a hormone melatonin, the trigger for sleep and everything that goes with it, and as such a very important player in your health.

Once sleep has been initiated the brain goes through a series of cycles which appear to be the crux of issue, indeed it has been suggested that it is not duration that counts, but rather the number and completeness of cycles you go through.
This cycle is repeated, usually from about 4-6 times in an 8 hour sleep period. So sleep quality is defined by the cycle but how many is enough?

Training and recovery, the impact of sleep

Sleep triggers the rage of a production of hormones, this hormonal milieu includes hormones like growth hormone and testosterone that are responsible for the repair and regeneration of tissues intrinsically involved in physical performance, and research shows that lack of sleep quickly impacts upon all sorts of physical tasks, with research covering weighlifters, cyclists, runners and so on.

The impact is two-fold, over the short term sleep issues have a massive negative effect upon the nervous system reducing strength endurance, concentration and co-ordination – all vital for sports and training.

Over the longer term disruptions in hormone output will effect the body’s ability to recover the tissues such as muscle as well as impairing carbohydrate storage efficiency and reducing immune competence.

In short: a bad night’s sleep with leave you weak and uncoordinated and over A long time you’ll be tired, fat and ill. Getting enough, quality sleep is important.

How much is ‘enough’?

For most of people getting less that 7 hours really starts to effect performance and health and many sleep coaches agree that aim should be on 8 hours. Studying historic texts and populations where there’s no electric light or TV’s actually shows significantly longer sleep durations for example 9-10 hours. My advice: Aim for 9, you’re bound to fall short but still will be OK.

Also remember that stress from high pressure work situations or from lots of physical training can also increase needs significantly, and although the right amount of stress can make for deeper sleep for example a well designed training program, other things, like too much training will disturb it.

Getting Quantity and Quality right

Duration is important but so is quality and sleep ‘hacks’, habits and little tricks that improve the environment and so can set you up for that deep, restful night’s sleep.

The Sleep Hacks

The environment must be comfortable, cool and dark:

The Bed

•    Frame
When your sleeping partner stirs of fidgets then usually so will you so get as big a bed as possible.
•    If you get hot easily standard open frame bed with space for the air to circulate underneath will make you more comfortable, especially in summer.
•    Mattress
A decent mattress will be some of the best ‘health & fitness dollar’ you ever spend. Memory foam mattresses are great but again if you get hot easily closed and open spring mattresses will allow more airflow.
•    Pillow
These loose both their shape and hygiene levels and should be replaced at least every few years. If you sleep on your side explore the range of orthopaedic pillows

The Room:

•    Reduce the Temperature
a few degrees cooler than your lounge
•    Block out the Light
Light means it is time to wake up so make sure your curtains are light proof, or try the ‘blackout kits’ available in stores like Amazon.
•    Cut the Noise
Environmental stimuli will disturb sleep so take a good look at this, maybe look at white noise generating sleep aids.
•    Remove the electronics
TV’s, computers of all types as well as smart phone produce a lot of blue light that inhibit melatonin production. Research shows this link and also shows that couples who removed the TV from the bedroom had sex more often … you might want to leave the TV in the lounge.

Hacking your Sleep Behaviour

What you do before bed effects sleep onset, duration and quality

Several Hours Before Bed:
•    Do a Brain Dump
Make sure you get your tasks down in writing and relax.
•    Avoid caffeine
The ‘half life’ of caffeine is about 5. I usually advise people to cut it a minimum of 5-6 hours before bed.
•    Train earlier
Working out will help sleep quality but try not to train too close to bedtime. Yoga or meditation may help at the end of a session.

1 Hour Before Bed:
•    Reduce fluid intake
Reduces nocturnal toilet trips.
•    Get a ‘Pre Bed Routine’:
These cue the subconscious that sleep is imminent, should be boring and easy: fold clothes or pack food for the next day.
•    Schedule sleep
An important aspect of ‘sleep hygiene’ is going to bed at the same or at least a very similar time every night..
•    Cool the rooms
Cooling signals sleep, so cool the room by about 2 degrees
•    Dim room lights, turn off your TV, computer and smartphone
Avoids stressful emails and look after your melatonin production.
•    Food – Avoid liquid and/or salt as they may mean night time trips to the bathroom. Large amounts of fibrous carbs or fatty foods like cheese may sit on the stomach and disturb sleep as can spicy foods.

After Lights Out:

•    Nocturnal manoeuvers in the dark
If you do need to get up in the night for any reason then don’t turn on the light unless you really have to.
In fact whatever you get up to after lights out, do it with the lights off.
•    Awake with ideas:
If you get the spark of inspiration jot it down in the dark and go back to sleep – it helps to have a clear bed side table, a big piece of paper to aim at and a pencil sharpened at both ends.

Take away messages

•    Sleep onset is cued by your environment
•    Stress, both physical and mental will inhibit onset of sleep and may reduce quality
•    Staying asleep depends largely upon your environment
•    A few changes in environment and pre sleep behaviour can work wonders
•    Sleep triggered internally rather than by medication is, by far, the best sleep

These practical tips will help you sleep like a baby, that deep restful sleep that we all crave is only a few little habit changes away, but you have to try them for them to work

Originally Published Here: Why is Sleep so Important for Athletic Performance and General Health

How to Warm up Before Running: Best Exercises

A bad warm up can injure you, No warm up will hinder you but a good warm up will have you firing on all cylinders

Take an F1 car with it’s thousands of complex components and interlinking systems, honed to provide pure speed and allow the driver to get around the circuit at breakneck speeds.  From ‘cold’, this car will not move anywhere near as quickly as it is capable of because for peak performance it needs warming up.  

The same can be said of the human body, only the components and systems are about as hi-tech as you can get. Amongst the many systems that each body carries, it is the respiratory, circulatory, muscular & nervous systems which all combine to carry out the movements that our brain tells the body to perform. 

If all of these systems are ‘cold’, the outcome of the movements that are produced can also be sub optimal.  

Running Specific Warmups

Sport specific warm ups are essential in getting your body ready for the specific demands you are about to put it through

For sports specific warmups, we look to breakdown techniques used in a particular sport. 

By practising a specific part of a technique, we can develop and improve it for enhanced performance when reintroduced into the full technique needed in the sport.  
By now you should have finished your general warm updynamic stretching and your plyometrics before we move onto this section.
 
A running specific warmup will focus on 2 key parts/elements of stronger, more powerful and efficient run: the arm drive and leg cycle. Thinking of the body as a chain of body parts all linked together that all combine and work together to help you run. 

If there is a weakness somewhere, then the rest of the chain has to compensate (which can lead to injury) to continue your run. So if we address the weaknesses then the chain should perform much better as a whole.

 Arm
 Swings

Keeping the body upright, elbows bent 90 degrees drive the elbows back so that the hands pass the hip bones, whilst the other arm drives forwards (not across the body) bringing the hand up to shoulder height. Here we are focusing on power generated from a correct arm drive phase.  1min 

 Travelling
 Heelkicks

Gently jogging along, we concentrate on the heel lift which allows the runner to prepare the leg for the follow through to knee lift and a smoother overall leg cycle.  1min

 Travelling
 Single
 Knee
 Lifts

Here we concentrate on powering the knee through to the front to encourage the last phase of the foot coming through to land as close to underneath the runner’s centre of gravity as possible.  1min

 Travelling
 High
 Knees

Another drill to warm up the legs and neural paths; the runner lifts their knees when their thighs have come through to the front of their body alternately.  1min

Once you have completed your warm up you will be well and truly ready for your run. You will have prepared your body so that those first few miles are no more difficult than they need to be and should help you secure a great time.

Warming up prepares our body (or components in the case of the car) for what is to come.  It prepares all of the systems for the greater stresses that we’re going to place upon them when we proceed to the main event.

A warm up will help prepare our respiratory system for the increased demands we will place on it in terms of delivering oxygen into our bloodstream and expelling the waste product, carbon dioxide (CO2), with every breath.

It will prepare our circulatory system for the increased heart rate we require to deliver the oxygenated blood to the muscles that need it most.

A warm up will also get the electric signals firing across our bodies, telling all the different muscles and organs of our body exactly what to do.  

We will, ideally, warm up by practising the movements that we’re going to demand of during the main activity so that when it comes to the main exercise our bodies’ systems are all ready to work together and deliver the output we’re asking of it.

Basics of Movement

When bodily movement occurs, there are 2 types of stress/pressure being placed against our joints:  that of gravity and friction.  The greater these two are applied, the harder it will be to move the joint.

Our bodies are already pretty heavy due to dense muscles, bones and anything extra that we may be carrying; this means that there is already significant weight for us to move before we even consider adding any weight/impacts to it in the form of dumbbells or running etc. 

Human Anatomy

If we look at the 2 main systems which provide movement, we see that our skeleton is typically made up of 206 bones and the muscular system over 600 muscles. 

For the purposes of this article, we’ll concentrate mainly on the muscles and bones that are active around the freely-movable joints of our bodies; called the synovial joints.  These are called synovial since they are found in a cavity between bones.

The synovial membrane is filled with synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant & shock absorber for the joint. This is why our bones don’t grind away to nothing when we move them.

When the joint is cold, this synovial fluid is thick and viscous which means the joint won’t move quite as freely due to the fluid’s sticky nature. As the temperature around the joint rises during a warm-up however, this fluid becomes much runnier and thinner and is able to better lubricate and protect the joints.

The muscles also work much better when warm, being able to contract and relax much quicker than when cold (think of a cold squash ball or elastic band).  As a result, we get more efficient movements of the body and a better performance overall. 

Increased Risk of Injury

So if we consider the scenario that we’re going to ask our body to run 5k, the warm will be the difference between:

a)    your body and the joints involved warm and ready to shift all of the intrinsic weight that it already carries, better protecting your body against the impact and friction that is about to be placed on it; or no warm up leading to

b)    a large increased risk of injury running the 5k from a cold start, muscles and joints not prepared for the stress you’re about to place on it.

A great way to imagine the stress on your body is to view muscles like toffee, exercising is similar to trying to bend and twist the toffee like muscle. When cold it is more likely to tear and crack whereas when warm there is much greater pliability.

That’s not to say that the benefits of a warm up are all physical. 

Beyond the Physical

It will also help us mentally prepare for the task in hand, both in terms of your body being accustomed to what you’re asking it to do.  

Now that we know why we should warm up, we can now better understand how to warm up.  Specifically, we understand that we want to warm up and give the body a ‘practice’ of the exercise we’re going to perform, so that the joints can warm up to better perform and protect us from injury. 

It is worth noting that the warm up routines you had to do at school before gym or P.E. may be of very little use to you now. Often warm ups at school consisted of static stretches, normally flailing an arm behind your back or trying to touch your toes.

Avoid these warm up routines as if they were the plague and instead follow the guidelines below for an effective warm up that will set you up for maximum performance.

How to Warm Up Effectively

We can categorise warm ups in 4 types or stages that can be used progressively in preparation for exercise and take around 30minutes to complete:

1.    General
2.    Dynamic Stretching
3.    Plyometric
4.    Sports Specific – Running

General

It is vital that we warm up progressively to avoid risk of injury.

A General warm up is the first stage of any warm up that involves gentle movements to begin raising body temperature. The aim is to get some heat into the joints and muscles through light jogging, arm swinging and generally any movement that will get your heart rate up without stressing the body.

The general warm up techniques are generic movements that will gently raise body temperature without putting much strain on the body. Below is an example programme that you can use for your warm up:

 Walk  5 mins
 Jog  5 mins
 Stationary Jog  5 mins
 Total Time  5 mins

The next development includes gently moving other body parts in progressive stages such as below

 Head Rolls  30 secs
 Arm Circles  30 secs
 Shoulder Shrugs  30 secs
 Hip Rotations  30 secs
 Squats  30 secs
 Lunges  30 secs
 Total Time  3 mins

All in all your general warm up should take around 8 minutes to complete and your body will have gone from ‘cold’ to warmer and looser, it is time now to move onto some dynamic stretching before we are almost ready for our event.

 

Dynamic Stretching

For years we have been told that static stretching is essential in warming up but dynamic stretching is the new gold standard for warm up techniques.

By now you should have completed your general warm up techniques and are now already loose and ready to stretch. The core temperature should have been raised and muscles warmed up, now we move onto a more dynamic stretching routine moving joints through their range of movement.

Attempting to stretch (think back to PE or gym lessons of old) cold muscles isn’t recommended. Studies have shown that static stretching can increase the risk of injury and that it is more productive to your workout & performance if you use dynamic stretching before a session of exercise.

  Static stretches after a session, when the focus is on lengthening the muscles that will have shortened through multiple contractions, can be a very effective method of stretching but for the warm up, dynamic stretching, which focuses more on range of movements required for the exercise, is the way to go.

Begin the dynamic stretching session with some more CV work;

 Progressive Shuttles x5  
 Increase speed each shuttle finishing at 70% sprint intensity    25m 

Next we introduce some functional movements to begin extending our muscles range of motion as they become more supple.

 Leg Swings  1 min
 Side Steps  1 min
 Crossovers  1 min
 Torso Twists  1 min

Now we are getting significantly warmer we can begin to push the body harder.

 Progressive Shuttles x5  
 Increase speed each shuttle finishing at 80% sprint intensity     25m  

We can introduce some more explosive movements now as we gear up for the event

 Walking Knee Hugs  1 min
 Alternating Lunge Twists  1 min
 Jogging Heel Flicks  1 min

Finish off with some harder running.

 Progressive Shuttles x5  
 Increase speed each shuttle finishing at 80% sprint intensity     25m  

Plyometrics

Plyometric Exercises are a type of exercise designed to produce fast, powerful movements that athletes make maximum use out of in training and in warming up

Having put your body through a general & dynamic stretching routine you’re ready to progress to plyometrics. These drills require more power generation & faster contractions from your muscles to prime your body for more explosive workouts.

Plyometric movements are to be undertaken when we are sure that there is heat in the joints and muscles, we can then progress safely to movements that require a little more power generation from the limbs to get the body ready to work against gravity, friction and external weight. This is where we are ready for bounding, running, heel flicks, high knees and other higher intensity movements.

We should begin this phase of the warm up with some high intensity running;

 5x Sprints @ 70%   25m

Follow it with some explosive movements

Star Jumps  30 Jumps
Squat Jumps  15 Jumps

Another Running Interval to finish

5x Sprints @ 80%         25m

So far we have been warming up for nearly 30 minutes and our bodies are physically ready for action, the final phase of the warm up is to introduce some sport specific work to ensure we perform at our very best.

Warm up exercises before running video:

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The final thought on warm ups is that if we consider track and field athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Usain Bolt; we saw them perform to the best of their abilities at the Olympics. They performed to the absolute best that they had trained their bodies to produce.  What we didn’t see was the warm ups they performed beforehand. 

None of these athletes would have performed as well without a proper warm up and none of them would have dreamed of not warming up at all.  Although you may not be an elite athlete the same rules applies to you; warm up before your next race or exercise session to get the most out of your body.

Originally Published Here: How to Warm up Before Running: Best Exercises

Best Electric Handheld Massager For Your Back [ September 2017]

It might not be time to say good-bye to the calendar year just yet, but you can say good-bye to muscle, tendon, and joint pain. And not just for the rest of the year.

There’s no reason to head into 2018—or spend another day for that matter—in pain.

Whether you are an athlete, spend a lot of time on your feet, suffer from headaches or body pain, or just want to relax and rejuvenate more often, massage is a key component to better health and wellbeing.

[su_note note_color=”#f4fa91″ radius=”0″]The Mayo Clinic recommends massage therapy in conjunction with treatments for not only acute or chronic pain that accompanies many diseases like cancer and fibromyalgia, but for common and less serious conditions as well.[/su_note]

They’ve done studies that show massage helps patients heal more quickly and stay emotionally healthier and more positive after most procedures.

But you don’t have to see a doctor or physical therapist to get the benefits of massage. A back handheld massager is one of the best and most accessible ways to relieve pain, tension, and muscle knots quickly and effectively, wherever and whenever you need it.

If you ever thought the only massager for knots was the one at the sports medicine clinic, or the only thing standing between you and the best handheld massager was a couple of hundred dollars and a trip to your favorite day spa, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out neither of these is true.

All you need is a portable massager.

There are a lot of choices out there, and we know no one has the time to scour that last year’s issues of Consumer Reports. So, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up the pros and cons of each. One of the best models available, and our pick for the number one slot is the Pure Wave CM7 by Pado.

But there are several others that are worth considering.

Best Rated Hand Held Massagers

Pado PureWave CM7

Pure Wave CM7There’s no point in us burying the lead. There’s a lot to love about the CM7. This lightweight work horse is our top pick for the best all around, and, the best deep tissue massager machine you can buy.

Research has shown the benefits of vibration massage therapy, and for serious microvibration horsepower, you can’t beat the PureWave CM7.

description

It delivers 3,700 RPMs. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, check out this review by physical therapists Brad Heinech and Bob Schrupp. They agree.

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PROS & CONS

The CM7 delivers both vibration and percussion massage therapy. It’s cordless, lightweight, and compact. It weighs a mere pound and three-quarters, and it’s only sixteen and a half inches long.

We love how easy it is to throw into your gym bag, leave in an office drawer, or fit right into your carry-on. The best thing about this model, though? It’s actually two in one. It’s a full percussion massager that comes with 6 stick attachments for your body, and it’s also a vibration head and face device.

The face and scalp sticks enable you to deeply massage your temples, scalp, face, and jaw. A professional head massage relieves headaches, neck pain, and the discomfort and extreme pain that can be associated with jaw conditions, such as TMJ.

And you get all of that from it that can also work out the knots in your back, shoulders, neck, arms, and legs with the intensity level you select. The CM7 is also our choice for the best massager for athletes, as you can’t find a better massage for deep tissue massage. It is also great as a massager for hands.

It also comes with a body massage oil stick, enabling you to incorporate therapeutic oils into your massage. The point, air-cushion, and six-head sticks round out the perfect set of attachments to not only hit any area that needs it—whether muscle, joint, or tendon—but to also apply exactly the type of pressure and depth required for relief.

Coming in at just under 125 dollars, we were hard pressed to find a con for this all-around winner. If you want to dig deep, you could say you would prefer a longer time between charges, but it’s a hard argument to make.

The battery is fully charged in an hour, and you get about three hours per charge, or roughly a week if you use it between 20 and 30 minutes a day. Not too shabby in our opinion.

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Homedics HHP-350

Homedics HHP-350If don’t need or want everything the CM7 delivers, or you just prefer choices, you cannot go wrong with the Percussion Pro Handheld Massager with Heat by Homedics.

This machine is about medium-high on the scale of intensity, so it’s kind of hits the sweet spot when it comes to home massagers. Its well designed ergonomic handle makes it extremely easy to hold and use.

The massage is delivered via two pivoting heads, and there are two additional customized sets included, so you can choose from a heated, gentle, or firm massage.

PROS & CONS

We like the heat option in this model. Many studies have shown that incorporating heat into massage is beneficial for relieving muscle and many other types of pain.

We also found it a plus that you can customize the type of massage you want.

However, it’s less than ideal that you must physically swap out the heads to move between the modalities.

There is a variable speed controller, so the ability to choose how fast or slow you want the heads to pivot goes into the “pro” column. In general, this is a good entry-level or basic handheld massager for home use.

It’s not rich with features, but what it does—providing three solid types of percussion massage—it does very well.

It’s two and-a-half pounds, so it’s a bit heavier than the PureWave CM7, but the price point might be the only plus you need: you can pick one up on Amazon for just under 35 dollars.

You would be hard pressed to find a comparable model that is this reliable and well made.

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Thumper E501 Percussive

Thumper E501 Percussive MassagerLike the Homedics HHP-350 in appearance and functionality, the Thumper E501 delivers percussion massage by way of two rotating, interchangeable heads.

It’s designed to penetrate muscles deeply, so it’s advised that rather than moving it around or sliding it across large muscles on your body, you hold it in place for about 20 or 30 seconds per spot.

This is quite effective on large muscle groups, especially for those who are very athletic, and it greatly improves circulation. You can control the speed of the massage, from 20 to 40 pulses delivered per second.

PROS & CONS

The Thumper E501 is one of the heavier home models out there (it weighs 3 pounds), so it’s not quite as versatile as some of the others we like a little more.

The quality of massage and ability to soothe muscles and work out the severest of knots is excellent, however. This model is highly recommended for athletes, as it delivers a very deep massage.

The handle is long, so it’s easy to reach all the spots on your back, shoulders, and legs. And if you find yourself with a leg cramp in the middle of the night, this is the  one you want. It breaks up knots quickly and instantly soothes the muscles around the area and releases associated tension.

You’ll spend a bit more on the Thumper than you would on the Homedics Handhelm Massager it runs a little over 150 dollars—but it’s still a very cost effective option for the features, quality of massage, and solid craftsmanship.

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Zyllion Handheld Therapeutic Percussion With Heat

Zyllion ZMA-16The Zyllion ZMA-16 is a nice midpoint between the Homedics HHP-350 and the Thumper E501. The price point is squarely between the two, costing 70 dollars. Like the HHP-350, you get the heat option, which is a major advantage to a handheld.

It’s also a percussion model, but it utilizes a single head as opposed to dual rotating heads like the Homedics and Thumper. The intensity level is set via a dial, so you can control how vigorous or minimal you want or need the massage to be.

PROS & CONS

The price is squarely in the pro column, and we also like that it comes with three interchangeable heads, designed to target different spots and depths. This is effective for targeting surface areas versus deep tissue and larger muscle groups.

The heat is excellent for relaxation and circulation, and the ergonomic and modern styling is a plus, if you’re after a device that is more streamlined.

Like the Thumper, it’s a bit heavier than some of its competitors, so we put the three pounds in the con column. All told, we like the price, look, and heat delivered by the ZMA-16, but it falls a bit short on features and portability.

Many home users also prefer two heads to one for percussion massage in order to hit larger areas in a shorter amount of time.

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Naipo Handheld Percussion Massager With Heating

naipoLike the Zyllion, the Naipo handheld massager with heat has a single rather than set of two rotating heads.

It offers deep penetrating percussion massage, however, and comes with three different attachment heads. You can target various sets of muscles, tendons, and joints easily, and choose between levels of intensity and depth. The Naipo heating is excellent for improving circulation.

PROS & CONS

A definite pro of the Naipo is its sleek modern design. If looks matter, and you don’t want one that tends towards the bulky, you’ll like the Naipo. And if price is important, you can stop reading now.

You purchase one on Amazon for less than 35 dollars. It doesn’t pack the features that the other contenders do, however. And the handle, while looking good, is not as ergonomically effective. This is a well priced, good looking, average massager that few would be sorry to own.

You can relieve muscle knots, aches, pains, and recover from exercise quickly with this massager, and it will provide tension relief and relaxation very well.

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An upside to wanting professional grade massage at home is that there are so many excellent handheld model. And while the PureWave CM7 is our top pick, there are many excellent choices out there that will serve you well for years to come.

Other brands you may consider, but we think less superior are: Oster, Brookstone Active Sport.

The physical and psychological benefits of massage are well documented, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to pick the one that’s right for you, and get to relieving that tension and increasing relaxation as soon as possible.

Artilce Source Here: Best Electric Handheld Massager For Your Back [ September 2017]