When was the last time you got a massage? Too long ago, probably. But did you know that businesses all around the world are building wacky body massagers with all sorts of weird and wonderful features?
It turns out that the range of body massagers on the market is far more varied and far more interesting than many people expect. They come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and are designed to appeal to virtually everybody.
There’s just one problem: you never see them.
Despite all the incredible proven benefits of massage, body massagers haven’t yet made it into the public consciousness. This needs to change.
Today we’re going to look at the weirdest body massagers you never see. Let’s take a look.
1. Hang Ups Inversion Table
When Teeter Hang Ups designed their inversion table, it was clear that they had one thing in mind: to get rid of back pain forever. But what they didn’t bank on was how strange their product might look to anybody watching somebody else using it.
The user has to lie on what is effectively a gurney and then tilt back until they are upside down. The idea to lengthen the spine and alleviate the pain caused by compression of the discs while doing various posture moves and stretches.
But the overall effect is to make the user look very odd indeed. This is certainly one product you’ll want to use with the curtains closed!
2. Chronic Pain Reliever
NeuroMetric developed their chronic pain reliever, dubbed “Quell” to relieve the pain below the knee. The device wraps around the leg, delivering periodic stimulation to the surrounding nerves through a set of electrodes.
The makers of the device advertise the fact that it is a drug-free way to achieve pain relief from aching joints, but they also say that it has a similar effect to “opioids,” like morphine.
In other words, the device tricks the brain into using its pain response mechanism, releasing feel-good hormones and getting rid of pain the natural way. Interesting, huh?
3. OSIM - uGogo
When OSIM developed the uGogo, their aim was to eliminate the need for professional masseurs entirely. But as it turned out, they went well beyond that.
The uGogo not only attaches to practically any part of the body, including the neck and shoulder area, the lower back and the calves and thighs, but it also offers a combination of body sculpting and pain relief.
This is a product designed to “help Mom tone up her muscles” by administering electric shocks to different regions of the body. Like so many other devices we’ve discussed, it’s passive too, meaning that you can just sit back and relax and let the uGogo do its job.
The device comes with many different programs already installed: all you have to do is select one, and off you go.
4. Philips Drug-Free Pain Reliever
Like OSIM, Philips - one of the biggest makers of electronics in the world - is jumping on the drug-free pain relief bandwagon with a product it calls Pulse Relief.
Pulse Relief adheres to any part of the body where there is muscle pain and then uses transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation to relieve pain without the use of medication.
The great thing about this device is that it connects to your iPhone, giving you an unparalleled level of control over its operation. Why haven’t we heard more about this product?
5. Smart Posture-Correcting Shirts
Many experts believe that bad posture lies at the root of the vast majority of back pain. So now a company has developed something which it claims offers a solution: the TruPosture shirt.
The shirt itself is a marvel of technology: it’s studded with dozens of sensors which can detect the movements of the wearer. The shirt works by alerting the user with vibrations whenever they move in a way that is bad for the back and spine.
The shirt, funded by Indiegogo, also connects to a mobile app, allowing you to crunch data and track your progress. The hope is that wearers will ultimately learn to stand and sit correctly, without the need for the shirt. Could you wear one of these under your regular clothes all day?
6. Stretcher Extender Posture Massager
Stretcher Extender posture massagers are simple devices which help you to stretch out your back. The idea is to put the stretcher under your lower back and then use it to support your spine as you hyperextend.
Although they are low-tech, they are highly practical and easy to transport - ideal if you want a back stretch on the move. All you have to do is put the stretcher extender posture massager on the floor, lay on top of it, and get immediate relief.
7. OSIM - uCrown 3
One of the weirdest massage products out there right now is the OSIM uCrown 3.
The basic idea behind the product is to provide massage to relieve and soothe the head area.
It sounds like a perfectly reasonable concept - after all the head can often be a source of pain and tension.
8. Lumbar Support Brace Belt
Does your child slouch too much? Well, now there might be a solution: the lumbar support brace belt. The belt works by wrapping around the child’s waist and then crisscrossing over their back and around their shoulders.
The idea is to pull the shoulder back and prevent the body from slouching forward - something which is common among today’s teens constantly using their phones and other devices. What’s more, it’s incredibly cheap, but would you want your child wearing one of these strange contraptions?
9. Personal Posture Coach
Smart technology is coming on leaps and bounds. It won’t be long until we all have a personal coach shouting instructions at us in our ears all day. In fact, that time may have already arrived.
ALEX is a Kickstarter-funded device which is designed to help users remedy their neck and back pain. Hunching over laptops and mobile phones is bad for your posture, and so ALEX aims to help you sort the problem out by sitting on the nape of your neck, vibrating in disapproval whenever you step out of line - quite literally.
All the data the device collects is then sent to a companion app on your phone, allowing you to track your progress over time. Would you be willing to walk around with a device hanging off the back of your neck if it got rid of your back pain?
10. Cylindrical Yoga Props
Yoga relaxes the body and relieves tension. But for some of us, the poses can be a challenge. That’s where cylindrical yoga props come in. They’re designed to make sure that the back is supported during back opening yoga poses.
The user lies on top of the prop, arching their back and curving their spine, bringing it into proper alignment. It’s certainly a useful low-tech accessory for relieving tightness and injury, but it also looks rather strange while in use.
The idea of the Acu-Pen is to give patients a pain relief device they can hold quite literally in the palm of their hand.
The Acu-Pen is what the name implies: a pen that administers acupuncture to any site in the body, providing pain relief without having to pay big fees to visit the acupuncturist.
According to the makers of the device, the Acu-Pen is perfect for relieving arthritis pain and reducing carpal tunnel symptoms. If you’re squeamish though, you might want to give the Acu-Pen a miss.
12. Stone Massager
If the idea of dragging a big rock across your back for the purposes of massage sounds a little strange, then you’d be right. But that hasn’t stopped the makers of the Heat-Wave Stone Massager from developing their unusual product.
It’s essentially a big long, ergonomically-designed stone which masseuses can run over people’s back to provide pain relief. The stone is contoured and shaped like a wave and can be warmed in the microwave for added effect.
Rarely, however, do we see stone massagers in action. Why not? The idea is so simple.
13. Massaging Foam Rollers
We all know that working out at the gym can put a real strain on your muscles. Sometimes, workouts are so intense that the muscles go into spasm, causing painful contractions which can last well after your workout ends.
For years, bodybuilders have been using foam rollers to eliminate pain and relax their muscles, yet the rest of the public has barely heard of them.
Massaging foam rollers are super simple devices. The ribbed surface of the roller is rolled over affected muscles and quickly reduces tension after a workout.
Rollers administer a deep tissue massage - perfect if you’re looking to recover from a grueling gym session.
14. Travel Pillow Massager
Travelling can take its toll on your body, from the junk food to the lack of exercise to the jet lag. But now a company has come up with a way of dealing with at least one of these problems: the travel pillow massager.
If you think that a massage pillow sounds a little weird, then you’d be right. But as it turns out, it’s actually very practical for today’s travelers.
The problem is this: if you want to fall asleep on a plane or a coach, you have to rest your head on the side. This is uncomfortable and leads to broken sleep. However, with a travel pillow massager, you can rest your head in the forward position, just like you would if you lie on your front at home.
The travel pillow also has helpful ergonomic cut outs for your hands, so why haven't we seen more of these on airplanes?
15. OSIM uHip Massager
When it comes to weird massager products, OSIM are the experts. And their uHip Massager is no exception. It’s a device that looks like a pair of jeans which curves around the body, providing acupressure relief to the buttocks, thighs, and stomach.
16. Foot Reflexology Shoes
You might think that the main reason for wearing sandals is to avoid stepping on stones with your bare feet. But now Foot Reflexology has come up with a sandal with stones built into the soles.
It sounds a little weird, so why have they done it?
The main reason is to provide wearers with underfoot massage as they walk. The company hopes that the shoes will help improve circulation for its customers, providing a gentle massage to stimulate the blood vessels in the foot.
Others, however, might argue that wearing a sandal with stones in the heel is kind of self-defeating.
17. Robotic Massager
Ever since the 1960s, humanity has dreamed about robots helping around the house and making life better. Well, thanks to the robotic massager, that might soon be a reality.
The robotic massager is essentially a disembodied robot arm that uses a pressure-sensitive massage tip to rub various parts of the body.
The device developed by Albert Zhang of the Nanyang Technological University combines the latest in robot technology to provide pain relief and assist therapists.
It’s pretty expensive, though, so don't expect to have one of these in your home anytime soon!
18. Back Nodger
Our 20th and final body massager you never see is the Back Nodger - a device designed to relieve back tension quickly and efficiently.
It’s a long, handheld pole-like tool which hooks around from the front of the body to the back and provides massage relief.
The tip of the Back Nodger mimics the shape of the thumb of a masseuse. It’s ideal for attacking stubborn knots in your muscles, but will the device catch on?
19. Eye Massager
The OSIM eye massager is one of the latest devices on the market today. It looks a little bit like a VR headset, sitting over the eyes while it administers treatment.
But this isn’t about playing video games - it’s about delivering massage to acupressure points around the eyes and temples to relieve headaches, get rid of insomnia and eliminate eye bags.
What’s more, the eye massager comes with a range of additional features, like inbuilt speakers that provide the wearer with soft, relaxing music and mood lighting.
Didn’t think you could get an “eye massager?” Think again.