I’m Dumping My Massage Therapist Over This $80 Shiatsu Device

I’m Dumping My Massage Therapist Over This $80 Shiatsu Device
Contributor: Chantelle Schmidt
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I love a good massage – the kind that somewhat hurts, really – so much so that I regularly see a massage therapist. It’s not a cheap exercise to do this fortnightly, but I love a good pummel, and an hour away from my phone doesn’t hurt either. However, recently I was sent the Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager and I’m done. So done. This shiatsu device is my life now.

I know these types of devices aren’t new – hell, I’ve given my mum some kind of new massage device iteration every Mother’s Day since 2008. Not to mention, massage guns are all the rage right now too. But while I’ll be the first to admit the massage gun from this very same brand is amazing (it’s sold out now, anyway), it does take some manual effort. They don’t call them handheld massagers for no reason.

The reason I like this shiatsu device is because I don’t have to use my hands, and can even multitask. But that’s just one of the reasons. Keep reading to see if this might too be your jam.

It’s basically a whole-body massager

Yes, back and neck massages are generally what we need and crave, but the good thing about the Naipo Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager is that you can plop it anywhere (your lap, your bum?) and it’ll do the lord’s work. Just check this guy out from the Amazon model shots, for example, who just stunningly illustrates the diversity of the tool:

What this also means is that you can sneakily cop a massage at work, which is something my massage therapist could never, and will never, be able to do. Unless it’s a BYO Massage Therapist to work kind of day, which it never is.

Speed, function and nodes

There are four buttons on the arm of the device. These include:

Power: To turn on and off.
Arrows: To change direction of the nodes, from clockwise to counterclockwise and vice versa.
Three red wavy lines: To turn on or off the heat activation.
Three ascending straight lines: To turn up, or down, the speed between low, medium and high.

There’s no way I would consider giving up my regular massage visits unless this device could make me moan. And it does. Once on, there are three massage speed levels (low, medium and high), which you toggle between by pressing the button with three straight lines.

The pressure on all three is relatively the same, it just feels wilder the higher you go. I pop this one on high when I want to finish up feeling a good kind of violated. It gets in there real good, thanks to the eight deep-kneading Shiatsu massaging nodes. It does hit different to a set of two hands, but that’s up to you when it comes to which you prefer. The circular motions of the device are pure bliss to me, personally.

Then there’s a massage direction button (the circulating arrows) that allows you to change from clockwise to counterclockwise and vice versa. However, the nodes transition to the opposite direction after about a minute of massaging regardless, which is a nice mix up and helps you to endure the massage even longer.

The last button, although red, is possibly the best one. The three red-wave labelled button is a heat function going up to 40 degrees Celcius, and I felt noticeably warmer within around 30 seconds. It’s a real added bonus for winter. It automatically shuts down after 20 minutes,.

Naipo Back and Neck Massager Design

The Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager isn’t dainty by any means. In fact, all those nodes mean that it’s quite chunky and appears to the untrained eye as an extra-bulky fanny pack.

It’s comes in a U-shape so you can put your hands through the straps to either side for a firmer massage, or simply just to hold in some situations, like on the top of your shoulders (it’ll fall off otherwise).

naipo neck and back massager naipo massager
My colleague stealing it for a test-run

That being said, you don’t even need the straps for massages on the likes of your lap, lower and mid-back if, like me, you like a massage while you work. I also think the chunkiness has worked really well for my posture. It creates a space between you and your chair when using it on your lower or mid-back areas, meaning you have no choice but to sit upright.

Charging and noise

It’s not loud, but it’s not completely silent either. I’m currently sitting at my desk at work, with music on the office speakers at an acceptable volume, and I had to hold it up to my ear before I could hear a thing. So using it while watching TV? You’re sweet. Using it while presenting a Zoom presentation? Maybe not.

When it comes to charging, it needs to be plugged in to work which is a bit of a drag. The cord’s a decent length but could definitely do with a few more inches, and I wish that didn’t sound like a euphemism but here we are.

It also comes with a car-compatible charger which is a really great feature. Have you ever had to wait half an hour out the front of someone’s house for someone who said they were ready but clear weren’t ready? Same. This is good for that, you’ve just got to remember to bring it along for the ride, literally.

Things to keep in mind

Like getting a crappy massage at a parlour or otherwise, improper use could cause harm. If your back (or other areas) are really problematic, you should consult a doctor. My back felt lighter, looser and more upright after just a few minutes, but that doesn’t mean it’ll do the same for you.

The straps are kind of annoying and weird for certain parts of your body, but also super necessary for other parts of your body. For the parts you do need to hold the straps for, multi-tasking’s out – unless you count watching TV while copping a massage multitasking.

It’s quite bulky and heavy, meaning it’s not really something you’d put in your overnight bag, but, like I said earlier, I think the bulk is also what makes it so effective.

The manual suggests that you rest the product for 30 minutes after using for 20 minutes. To be fair, I’ve never used it that long at once because of how deep it gets, and quick. There’s no build up like there is with my dearly beloved massage therapist.

Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager Price

The Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck massager has an RRP of $89.99, but it’s currently on sale for $79.99 over at Amazon. That’s around the same price as going to a massage parlour for an hour. One big difference though – you don’t have to pay for the massage device every time you and your bits need some love.

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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.