As anyone with a desk job or daily grind of any kind can attest, muscles tend to get sore. Although most muscle soreness can be relieved by a few simple stretches, some tend to persist for far longer, and turn into thick, uncomfortable knots. Enter: Hitachi.
The Magic Wand By Hitachi
Hailed as the “first personal massager,” this particular massage tool has been around for over 30 years. Due to its
- long cord
- ergonomic design
- and easy accessibility,
the Hitachi Wand has consistently received rave reviews and awards, suggesting it is among the most popular personal brands in existence.
What is so special about Hitachi? Each Magic Wand is equipped with a vibrating head with a circumference of 2 1/4 inches, making it an ideal massager for both larger areas and smaller, hard-to-reach areas. In addition, it possesses a cord of 6 feet, and comes, automatically, with a 1-year warranty.
Aside from these specs, the Hitachi is set apart by its reputation. Although there are countless personal massagers on the market—ranging from handheld, plastic massage aids to larger, more powerful back massagers—the Magic Wand is the only personal massager that consistently receives high praise from consumers, and both medical and product-specific awards. Born and quality-controlled in Japan, the Hitachi is sure to meet the needs of anyone seeking a personal massage tool.
Use: the Magic Wand
The Hitachi comes in a sleek packaging, both well-delivered and well-designed. Upon opening the product, you will find a 6-foot cord and the unit itself, equipped with two speeds. The first, lower speed is best for a light massage, similar to what you might request for somewhat-tight muscles or feet that have been in uncomfortable shoes. The second speed is great for aching feet, extremely sore muscles, and knots.
The massager can be used alone, due to the size and cord length, but can also be used by someone else, for places that are harder to reach, such as between the shoulder blades, or along the lower back. Although the company, itself, does not produce any attachments, there are some attachments made by outside companies, designed to make the lower setting even lower, an the high setting more manageable, if you require a middle-of-the-road massage speed.
The Hitachi Wand is an excellent massage tool for aching feet—particularly feet that have been ensconced in uncomfortable shoes for an 8-12 hour work shift. When massaging, I have found it is best to begin with the lower setting (particularly if you are prone to ticklish soles), and gradually work up in to the higher setting. A good 10-15 minutes on each foot should do the trick to ease sore, aching feet.
Similarly, the device is best used on the back at varying speeds. Starting with the slow speed and gradually working up to the high speed works well on stubborn knots and aches—though a particularly painful knot usually warrants several successions of this process. An all-over back massage might be too difficult to obtain daily, due to the small stature of this device, but regular use on stubborn knots seems to cut down on the need for additional massages, anyway.
Are There Any Tips or Tricks?
The Hitachi is not designed for large-scale use; instead, it is best used on a concentrated area for a time, before moving on to another destination. As you use this device, concentrate on one area—a stubborn knot along the spine, perhaps—and resolve the tension and tightness there before moving on. Simply running the Magic Wand over your back will not deliver results as powerful as using it in a smaller area.
If you have animals or young children, consider turning the device on in their presence, in a neutral setting, before use. Because it is a powerful massager, it does tend to be quite loud during use; although the sound is what you’d expect—a mechanical buzz—it might alarm animals or children without warning.
Prepare to feel some of the vibrating sensation in your hand as you massage. Because the device is a foot long and possesses a powerful motor, the device itself vibrates alongside the head. Although this is not usually problematic, extended use can cause a numbing effect on the hand in use. If you need to use the device for an extended period (for injury-related massage, for instance), it is best transferred between hands after 10-15 minutes, to make sure no numbness is felt.
If prolonged massage is needed, this might not be the product for you. Because it contains a powerful motor, the Hitachi Wand is only recommended for continuous use for 25 minutes, followed by a 30-minute cool-down period. Although this is not an issue for many, men and women seeking a long-term rehabilitation tool may find this time limit too restrictive.
Magic Wand Alternatives
Although the Hitachi Wand is an excellent massager, its power and price may be too much for some men and women. For that reason, we have identified two potential competitors.
First Up: Panasonic Easy Reach
The Panasonic Easy Reach is, in some ways, superior to Hitachi, in that it has three vibration speeds, three heads, and a curved head, making it easier to reach difficult areas such as the shoulder blades and mid-back. Unlike the Hitachi, however, the Panasonic is quite large, standing at 18 inches tall, and is not, therefore, as easy to travel with.
That being said, the Panasonic does offer more variety, and may prove more useful to men and women with serious rehabilitation needs or severe muscle soreness, as there are more vibration levels, and more pressure points. The Panasonic is only $10-$20 cheaper, making it an unlikely choice for those seeking a more budget-friendly massage option.
Next: HoMedics Percussion Action
The HoMedics Percussion Action massager is, arguably, the most powerful tool identified here. Although it may not boast the same vibration speeds, this massager has two pivoting heads, three attachments (including a heated attachment), and an easy-grip handle that makes difficult-to-reach massage a breeze. Although it comes in at around the same price point as a Wand, it provides a greater breadth of use, and is intended for use on larger areas, versus the small surface area of Hitachi.
The Magic Wand has long been hailed for its use as a personal massage instrument. Boasting two powerful speeds and a small head, this particular massager is an excellent one for reaching (and obliterating) stubborn knots and muscle soreness. Although it is a worthy investment for most people, it does have some limitations—namely, its surface size. For that reason, men and women seeking an intensive massage option would do well to purchase the Wand, while individuals seeking a larger massage area should look elsewhere.