I went home last weekend, lugging with me the Osim uMama Warm back massager. It’d just been dropped off for me to take for a spin and since it did say uMama I wanted to see what my Mom thought of it.
The Osim uMama Warm back massager is a mechanical massager for your neck, shoulder and lower back. Mom always complains about the tight muscles in her shoulder and since I don’t see her very often nor could I arrange for regular massages etc, I thought “Hey, if a machine can help relax her, why not?” Also, I can’t afford a massage chair which would be a nice luxury 😛
Mom didn’t get to it first though. It was Dad! haha… Minutes after I got home, he was peering into the box, wondering what it was and how to work it, so I put it on him for him to try. You have to wear the machine over your head so it rests on your shoulders. The piece at the back must sit on your lower back (just above your seating bone) so the straps are there for you to hold onto so you can adjust the height accordingly.
I have me and bro modelling it for you and we both agreed that it was like wearing a jet-pack. Not that we know what wearing a jet-pack is like 😛 It was as if we could hit a button and zoom up into the air – wouldn’t that be fun 😛
You are supposed to use it sitting down, and a couch or comfortable armchair is recommended. Once you sit down, you don’t have to hold onto the straps anymore. And once you sit down, it feels like you are in a roller coaster. You know how roller coaster safety straps hold you in your seat? It feels a little like that 😀
There are 7 rhythmic massage functions you can choose, and there are options to massage just the shoulder, back or both as well as the intensity – Lo, Mid, High. For myself, the Mid function is just nice. Being a portable device, the “massage” function isn’t done by way of kneading, but by way of pounding. After testing out the various intensities, I don’t quite recommend the high setting because it can be painful and I don’t think it too good. The low function is very comfortable but if you enjoy a firm touch, you will hardly feel anything.
Dad enjoyed it though. He actually dozed off partway through the 15 minutes that one cycle runs for. Mom was equally impressed with it because the massager hit all the right spots for her for her stiff shoulder area. Its a bit like having someone pound on your shoulders. Too hard and its uncomfortable, but done just right its relaxing.
For me, I found I had to adjust the machine higher on my shoulders, because if left to hang freely, it hangs a bit too low so it hit on my shoulder blade. Once I get the position right, it feels much more comfortable. On the lower back, the padding is much thicker, so you don’t feel too uncomfortable, and when positioned right, it is really very relaxing. Very good for those of us who are office bound – you know those stiff-as-a-board shoulders and tired back you get after using the computer at a desk for long hours? This helps alleviate that. Good for bloggers who have to face the computer a lot too haha! 😀
There are a couple of things I should mention:-
- This machine is quite heavy. You have to wear it while standing up so you can adjust the piece for your lower back, and the weight will surprise you if you aren’t careful. However, once you sit down, the weight isn’t noticeable.
- Location of use is restricted by power supply. As it runs on electricity and is connected by a wire, you must have a power supply near your chair. The cord is about 1m long so it shouldn’t be a problem for most of us.
- You must remember to unplug the cord after use. After 15 minutes use, its easy to remove it, leave the machine on the chair and go off and do your thing. Unfortunately if you aren’t careful, someone might trip over the wire and damage it as well as hurt themselves. So it would be worth noting that you should unplug it immediately after use.
- The head opening isn’t very large. If you wear spectacles, I’d advise you to remove your specs before placing this over your head. I let 3 people with specs try this, and they all ended up with their specs askew which would have been amusing except that can be costly if its spoilt.
- Controls might pose problems for those who are not tech savvy. There are 7 massage settings with different rhythms but you can’t see which setting is presently running and if it is not explained to you or you do not read the manual you may not realize that there are that many settings available.
- You should lean back to fully enjoy the back massage. I found the padding for the lower back area quite thick so even on medium setting, the intensity was not as strong as that on the shoulder. So to fully appreciate it, you should lean back and press your back against it so you get the full benefit. But if its not something you enjoy then just sitting normally will give a gentle rhythmic beat thats quite relaxing.
So what’s the “Warm” function then? That’s the heating pad on the front of the machine. After a few minutes, if you activate this function, you feel a very slight warming sensation on your tummy area where it rests. None of us quite enjoyed it but if I were having period cramps, I think it would be an excellent choice because this machine could take care of lower back pains and the warming pad could take care of soothing the tummy! 😀 Didn’t manage to test that though.
Pros: If you adjust it right it is comfortable, Helps relax tired shoulders and lower back, Varying intensities and styles for different people and preferences
Cons: Heavy, Restricted by access to power supply, Head opening isn’t very large, Controls whilst simple do not contain enough information for those who aren’t tech-savvy
In terms of massage machines I think at RM699 its a relatively reasonable price. Compared to a massage chair anyway. It isn’t a substitute for a human touch, but its a decent enough alternative since you can use it everyday if you like, and everyone in the family can use it (I personally don’t recommend that young kids use it because it might be too hard for them, even on a low setting and for older folk, the low setting is better for them).
At the end of the day, I guess my Mom’s reaction said it all. The day I was leaving back for KL, she asked if I was taking back the uMama Warm for more photos. I told her she could keep it and use it in the evenings before bed. Her grin was priceless 😀
I now have to get myself another. 😛 Have you tried one of these portable massage things? This was my first time trying it for a prolonged period and I must say I can see the inducement to own one of these because it does help me relax at the end of a long day. I guess my next target is the massage chair! 😛
For Mother’s Day, Osim has a couple of promotions on-going. You can get the uMama Warm free with purchase of the Osim uDivine massage chair or purchase a set of uMama Warm and uVision Eye massager at RM888 online. There is also a special discount code on the Facebook page for online purchases. There may be promotions or discount codes available from time to time on the Facebook Page so check there for deals and promotions online aren’t applicable in store and oft times, the online promotions are better.