Using a portable massager
It offers a warm, soothing massage for your neck and shoulders, back, thighs, and calves at the touch of a button. Some come with an automatic power-off function that turns it off at the end of a cycle, usually lasting 20 minutes. But unlike massage chairs, there are no programme options.

To use, prop it against your back or shoulders on a reclining chair or in bed. To massage your thighs and calves, place the device under them while lying down. 

$199, from Ogawa

THE MASSAGE Moderately intense, comfortable and effective. Shaped like door knobs with a slightly flattened front, the massage heads did not dig deep into my muscles, but they still managed to give my back a good rub-down as they rotated in alternating clockwise and anticlockwise directions throughout the session. It worked best on my calves and thighs, and totally eased my sore muscles.

THE HEAT The machine warmed up quickly but felt too hot towards the end of the 20- minute cycle, so I switched it off the heat function. 

VERDICT It provided a well-balanced massage that left me thoroughly relaxed.

SCORE 8/10

$138, from Osim

THE MASSAGE The 20-minute cycle provided the deepest massage of the three machines. It was a little painful on my back at first, but felt soothing after my muscles quickly loosened up. The four orbs switched between clockwise and anticlockwise rotations periodically, and easily reached the sore spots on my neck and back.

THE HEAT This massager took the longest to heat up and was barely warm at the start, but the temperature at the end of the session was comfortably toasty.

VERDICT Powerful and intense, this hit the right spots.

SCORE 7.5/10

$149, from and Takashimaya D.S

THE MASSAGE This gave the mildest massage as the orbs were smaller – they did not knead as deeply as the other two, nor change directions for a more well-rounded massage. After 15 minutes – I had to watch the clock since it lacked an automatic switch-off function – my back was relaxed from the warmth and soft kneading. However, its pillow-like shape was a little awkward for the neck and shoulders, and I couldn’t get it to work out all the kinks. It also wasn’t conducive for my thighs, but did a great job on my calves.

THE HEAT It heated up the fastest but the heat function could not be switched off during the massage. It was hot towards the end of the 15 minutes, but fortunately had a fluffy cover that provided some buffer.

VERDICT I enjoyed the mild, soothing massage, and it worked especially well on the calves.

SCORE 7/10

This article was originally published in Simply Her March 2015.