That’s a massage chair. You sit in it and it massages you. I never thought one of those would be in a place where I lived. But Carol wanted one, since she has constant back pain from a scoliosis; she scouted it out and we bought it. I find it a personal affront to my work ethic, one that says aches, pains, minor discomforts, toothaches and other irritations are things to be endured and not addressed. I mean unless you have blood pouring out somewhere or a bone sticking out where it shouldn’t be sticking out, you didn’t have anything a swift kick in the butt couldn’t cure.
So when I tried the damn thing out in the showroom at Carol’s request, I felt as if I was slipping over into some vague New Age realm of increased wussiness. But once the machine started—all questions of wussiness aside for the moment—I was impressed by the engineering. I could feel stuff going up and down my back, and while I am sure a live human message therapist would be quick to point out that the thing doesn’t have a very sensitive touch, it does have a whole lot of settings, running from “percussion,” thought “compression” to “kneading” and “rolling” from the lower back up through the neck.
I don’t know if it will offer anything more than temporary relief or possibly the illusion of that. But I do have something wrong with my neck so that if I engage it too much in a “craning” motion a pain starts to spread from the top of my neck into both shoulders and all the way down my right arm. And just the other day, I got this pain that feels as if someone is digging her elbow directly into my neck at the base of the skull. So I will give it a try, and even it doesn’t really work, it might produce the old placebo effect that arises from the feeling that at least you are doing something about it.
We got a micro version of the chair as most suited to our miniaturized living space (otherwise known as a condo). There are really grand ones available up in the low thousands and one more in the upper thousands that is voice activated. You can just lie there and say up or down, or faster, faster, or deeper, deeper, and it will do whatever you say. Also, though it is not much discussed, there is also an x-rated one, with a device built right into the chair for women and a sort of cuff like affair for men designed to agitate the genitals with percussion, compression, kneading, and rolling, as well as deeper deeper and faster faster.
At least that’s what I was told.