I’ve not thought to do a product review before, but for my birthday a few weeks ago, my daughter gave me a Conair Relaxation Massage Mat (or ‘matt’ as it says on the Big W website) as one of those ‘I don’t know what to buy Mum but this looks like a fun gimmick even if it’s no good’ type presents and it was such a surprisingly good buy for what it is, I figured I should probably share my thoughts.
I do love a good massage, and when I can find the time and make the effort (yes, I know, it’s a real contradiction that I have to make an effort to get a massage!), I usually go to the incredibly strong and intuitive Lyn Midgley.
But I am atrociously lazy about making appointments, so my daughter figured a massage mat might help me get by between ‘real’ massages. And, surprise, surprise, it is helping more than either of us thought possible!
Now, don’t get me wrong. This mat will not replace a pair of real, live (you’d have to hope), trained hands searching for and kneading away your knitted muscle knots. Nothing beats that. And if you have any chronic health problems, it’s not going to cure them. But as a soothing way to relax for half an hour after dinner, I’m finding it a lot more beneficial than I expected.
The mat comes with a control panel that allows you to choose between three different ‘massage’ strengths, four different programs, four different body zones, and a heat option. I’ve used the heat option once, but the mat is so comfortably warm without it, that I’ve not bothered since.
At first, we tried the mat out on the floor, but it makes quite a percussive sound as it rotates through its program, so while we were entertained by the rhythms for the first few minutes … the novelty soon wore off. We have wooden floorboards and the noise, even on top of a rug, was quite noticeable.
However, the box says that you can use the mat on your recliner, so I moved it to my chair (which, luckily for me, just happens to be a recliner), and the noise was somewhat less noticeable – probably due to some sort of audio-physics-type science thingy happening where the sound gets absorbed in the area under the seat. Well, that’s my theory.
So in my chair of an evening, I turn the mat on while I watch the news, and it rotates through its program for half an hour before switching itself off automatically. (I’m sure it only goes for about 28 minutes, though!) As I like a strong massage, I have it on the strongest setting (there are three power levels) and while it’s nothing like having a real massage, it is soothing and the really weird thing is that since I started using it just a couple of weeks ago, my sciatica is suddenly much less noticeable. And this is sciatica that I’ve lived with for more than 20 years, so any improvement is welcome.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that I can sit without putting the massage cycle or the heat setting on, and about an hour later I’m quite toasty warm. If I were sitting in the chair without the mat underneath me, I would have a great deal of trouble achieving the same level of comfort as I am totally unable to generate my own heat. So as a nice winter warmer that doesn’t even need power, this is an added bonus!
Like I said, the Conair Relaxation Massage Mat (available in any colour you like, so long as it’s pink!) is not going to compensate for having a proper massage, and it’s not going to cure all your ills, but as a gentle way to warm and soothe you, especially on a winter’s evening after a hard day’s work, it’s certainly worth the few dollars they charge for it at Big W.
(This is an unsolicited review, and I have not been paid for it. I received the mat as a gift and am surprisingly happy with it.)