It’s onerous to consider that I first encountered TruMedic’s Instashiatsu+ again and neck massager practically 4 years in the past, as a result of the machine has acquired a everlasting dwelling in my front room. I nonetheless use it with regularity. Few devices—notably novelty ones—occupy such prime actual property and stand such a take a look at of time.
However progress can’t be stopped even on this planet of automated therapeutic massage programs. As such, TruMedic has revamped and upgraded the Instashiatsu+ with a brand new mannequin referred to as the MagicHands TruShiatsu. So, is it well worth the improve?
First, the massager maintains the general design of the Instashiatsu+, with two units of rotating balls that simulate the kneading movement of human arms. These balls are set into a big unit that rests in your shoulders. Two straps dangle down from both facet, into which your arms are positioned. The straps allow you to help gravity by pulling the massager into your neck and shoulders so you will get to deeper ranges of tissue.
If nothing else, the MagicHands system is far more fashionable than its predecessor. The Instashiatsu+ comes solely in an antiseptic grey, accented with a hospital-gown shade of blue. The brand new MagicHands is offered in three vivid colours, with black accent stitching holding all of it collectively.
MagicHands additionally relocates all of the controls from the arm straps to the therapeutic massage unit. You possibly can not see them, however since there are solely three buttons, somewhat trial and error is all it takes to activate or disable warmth, reverse the therapeutic massage route, or energy the unit on or off. The straps at the moment are adjustable, too, so these with outsized (or undersized) torsos can get a greater match.
However whereas the MagicHands machine actually seems a complete lot higher than the unique massager, I’ve to say it doesn’t carry out fairly as properly. The therapeutic massage energy is simply as deep and intense, however the design has been tweaked in order that it’s not as efficient. After hours of evaluating the 2 units, the principle situation is that the older Instashiatsu+ has a small dip on the highest of the massager that cradles your head and helps your neck whereas it’s working. In distinction, the newer MagicHands is designed with a flat shelf throughout the highest. It’s uncomfortable to relaxation your head on, and this will get worse as you utilize it, the unit kicking your head up and down because it kneads your neck meat. This isn’t a priority in the event you’re utilizing the MagicHands on different components of your physique—it’s nice on the decrease again—however for many of us, it’s the neck and shoulders that want the true work, and MagicHands might be fairly jarring right here.
Just like the Instashiatsu+, the MagicHands unit has infrared warmth inbuilt, however I by no means discovered it as warming because the older unit. Certain sufficient, once I measured its temperature after a full 20-minute session (the utmost operating time in a single sitting), it barely topped 88 levels. The older Instashaitsu+ hit 95 levels after the identical period of time, and you’ll really feel the distinction. On the plus facet, total battery life stays fixed at about two hours.
Maybe the largest concern is the shift in worth. Whereas the Instashiatsu+ ran a mere $120 at launch, the MagicHands has a $300 checklist worth—although the road worth extensively sits at $200. That’s a very robust promote when you think about the Instashiatsu+ continues to be obtainable now for as little as $90. That older mannequin stays a product I’d advocate over the MagicHands in each dimension apart from seems. With regards to sore shoulders, I’m keen to forgo the fashionability.