I have been without a masseuse for months now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in its place, I have been using a mix of robotic massage tools, from my massage chair, percussion massager, and my compression sleeves.
So do these tools work better than a real massage therapist?
The first tool I got was the percussion massager. I looked at various models online, and realized I could make a DIY massager with a good quality jigsaw combined with a massage tip. It worked out splendidly well, as it is really powerful, with adjustable speed. It is a bit louder than the commercial models, but I only paid $100 compared to $450, so the extra noise is a good trade off with the better battery life, speed, and power.
So my DIY massager works really well. I can really get to sore spots on my legs and arms with ease. However, getting my back is very tricky. I have ways, but it really does not work well alone. With a friend, then it works as well as they are motivated to be thorough, lol.
That’s when having the Cozzia EC-618 Massage Chair kicks in. This contraption is really something else. It does a robotic massage that is legitimately good. It does your feet, calfs, hips, back, shoulders, and hands, and generates a surprising amount of pressure.
It has a variety of built-in massages, and you can custom make your own massage as well. It is also more efficient, as you are getting your legs, back, and hands massaged all at the same time. So a 15 minute robot massage is like a 30 minute human massage.
Plus, it having the massage in a zero-g position is awesome. It is quite easy to fall asleep after a good massage on this machine, and have done it several times. The only con is that it doesn’t get your thighs, arms, and traps and neck.
The most recent acquisition in my robot army is the Normatec Pulse 2 compression sleeves. I got the full body kit, which is two legs, two arms, and the hip sleeve. The device is quite simple to use, just plug it in and lay back and relax. As I posted the other day, this thing really compresses the hell out of your limbs. With the hip sleeve set on maximum (level 7), it felt like my hips were getting squeezed by a 30ft anaconda. You can definitely feel the effect of increased blood flow (started sweating shortly after because of the heat generated).
For one, I don’t want the human race to be overrun by robots, even if they have great massage skills, lol.
As it stands now, a well trained human does a better job of delivering a massage than a robot – at least at the moment. A person can adjust based on what you tell them, and generally have a wider range of technique and pressure they can use.
It is possible, and likely, that over time robots will be become better. However, I believe even if that day comes, there is something about human contact that we all desire quite frankly need. I’m not talking about anything sexual here either. That’s not something a robot can provide, and I would be very concerned if they were able to.
For starters, my DIY percussion massager was only $100. A massage can range anywhere from $100-$250 (for an hour). For $100, I can use that massager whenever I want. While it’s not automated, it does provide a great value and works well for localized areas – just not your back.
The Cozzia EC-618 is about $5000. Or if you think of it in terms of massages, 50 massages (on the cheap end, 20 on the high end). I have been getting an average of about 1 massage a week. In a year that is 52 massages, and I pay around more than $100 each. So this chair has already paid for itself in the past few months alone. My girlfriend also uses it frequently, making it very cost effective.
Finally, the Normatec ranges anywhere from $1800-$2500. I got a great deal and snagged it for $1400. Normatec is the top priced product in the compression sleeve market, but in massages it is only 18 massages.
So as you can see, all of these options are much more affordable than going to a masseuse regularly. Plus, you can do them from the comfort of your own home. And, you can use them whenever you want.
That doesn’t mean you should be doing massages 4 hours a day every day lol. Keep in mind that there is a limit to how much massage is useful. Too much is counter productive and can do harm. Normal massage is usually reserved for once every 3 days at a high frequency (90-120 minute sessions).
For robotic massages, I do them more frequently. Compression sleeves are good for pre and post workout, as are the percussion massagers. The massage chair I use like a normal massage, once every few days.
Still, you can rack up a lot more massages at a much more affordable price through the robotic massagers. Anyone serious about recovery and performance would be amiss to not have at least one of these tools in their arsenal.
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