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How do I Choose the Best Shiatsu Pillow?

By T. Carrier
Updated May 23, 2024
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Shiatsu pillows combine the comfort of a pillow with the therapeutic benefits of a massage. Several considerations can ensure that individuals make pillow selections suitable to their unique needs. For one, most shiatsu pillows contain massage balls, and these devices often have options like heating or electronic rotation suited to specific consumer preferences. Pricing, size, and pillow firmness are additional details a consumer should research when choosing a suitable shiatsu pillow. Most of this information can be found on the products themselves or in online product reviews and comparisons.

The main feature of most shiatsu pillows is built-in massage balls. Two or four such devices are typically installed in the pillow, and they may or may no be visible on the outside. These balls may rotate when activated electronically, emulating the pressurized muscular relief provided by a massage. An individual may place the pillow along any part of the body for targeted massage. Another convenience offered by some shiatsu products is the placement of the balls on a rotating track, so that they move inside the pillow and thus along different bodily areas.

The aforementioned mechanisms abide by the shiatsu massage therapy model. In this type of ancient Chinese therapy, a massager provides pressure to select areas of the body with his or her palms and fingers. These techniques were believed to unblock energy flow in the body. The balls of a shiatsu pillow similarly kneed and provide localized pressure to body muscles. Some may prefer a larger cushion shiatsu pillow that can be laid or sat upon and that therefore covers a larger area of the body

Several orthopedic and muscular conditions can facilitate pain. The back, shoulders, and neck are particularly vulnerable to uncomfortable cramps and aches due to the stress placed on these areas in day-to-day activity. Individuals may find use for a shiatsu pillow at home or even in an office work setting.

Massage can alleviate some of these discomforts, but many individuals do not have the disposable income for regular visits to a massage parlor. A shiatsu pillow can offer many of the benefits of a massage in a streamlined, convenient self-massage for a fraction of the price. As such, one should compare prices and sizes among competing brands to determine the best value. Consumer reviews — many of which are available online — can provide great aid in this process.

Heat has a scientifically tested value in alleviating many aches and pains as well. A comprehensive shiatsu pillow will thus likely offer a heat setting, in which the individual can press a button and produced heat from one or more of the massage balls. More enhanced types may possess adjustable heat and massage levels. Effective brands will also often have the option of putting both heat and general massage settings on an automatic timer, so that both product and consumer are protected if the owner falls asleep.

The appearance and texture of a shiatsu pillow can be of additional importance to prospective buyers. Many pillow makers design the pillow with peaks and dips so that it better contours to the body. In addition, some varieties have a softer, more plush texture that may prove more beneficial for individuals with sensitive responses. A hardier, firmer texture may meet the preference standards of others.

PillowGuide is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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