Monday, November 29, 2010

My #1 gift pick for Autoimmunies and chronic pain patients

Black Friday shopping is always a challenge. There are so many awesome deals out there to be had, if one can only get up early enough, get to the stores and wade through the waves of anxious shoppers to find their treasures.

I don't often brave the crowds of Black Friday, but this year I did. I found some awesome deals I will talk about in later posts, but I wanted to be sure and start the season off by presenting my favorite Black Friday find:

The Soothing Squooshy Conair hand held massager in ice blue

Introducing, Conair's Soothing Squooshy hand held massager!

The super-soft microfiber plushy unit is slightly larger than my medium sized hand and comes with a unique elastic band that allows you to 'wear' it when needed. The bottom of the unit sports an easy to press button to turn the unit on, and a zippered access to the massager unit and batteries. The massager itself is powered by 2 AA batteries that are included in the unit at purchase. I purchased my two massagers at Menards for $4.99 which I believe is their regular price. Color choices included animal prints, ice blue and a pale lavender.

The things that make this unit special is its size, price, and that elastic band in combination with a softish massaging vibration that did not set off my Raynaud's, even after a couple hours continual use.

When I got my massagers home I climbed in bed and took my shoes off. I put the units on my very painful feet and clicked the on button. To my delight, the vibration was not too harsh. For me, vibrations or the sensation of shaking can set my legs into serious dystonic spasms, as well as trigger an episode of vessel constriction due to my autoimmune related Raynaud's syndrome. I did not have either problem with these units. Even the noise (perhaps muffled by the plushy stuffing?) was minimal.

For my first use, I left them on my feet about a half an hour. Although I didn't feel tremendous relief at the beginning of my experiment, but the time I took the units off, the relief was marked. The second time I used them, I put them on the soles of my feet and a heating pad on the tops of my feet. I centered the Squooshy's first under the ball of my feet and let 'er rip. Eventually my heel and instep were more painful than the ball of my foot, so I easily adjusted them. I also spent some time with the units on the tops of my feet. No matter where I put them, after a few minutes I felt relief. I did not have to twist my foot or keep them at otherwise unnatural positions, because I had two units and I was strapped in for the duration.

That first night I strapped my new best friends to my feet and tried as usual to go to sleep. Normally my feet are so horribly painful at night that I sleep very fitfully. This night I accidentally fell asleep with the units buzzing away and only awakened when the cheap batteries they contained at purchase, died. I was able to sleep the rest of the night in much less pain. My hubs didn't even wake up to tell me to shut them off - they were very quiet (especially under the covers) and the vibrations weren't strong enough to conduct themselves through the springs of the bed we slept on.

Last night, I went to bed with my Squooshy's on, and hubs woke me up (as I'd asked him to do) to remind me to shut them off. When I woke up in the morning, I immediately put them on and turned them on to see if they would ease my severe morning pain before I had to actually stand on them to walk to the bathroom for morning meds. I am pleased to announce that it did help me.

For kicks and giggles I've put the Squooshy's on my hands, wrists, elbows and even a shoulder. They've seen action on my feet, ankles and knees too. I even laid on one in the small of my back to see if it would ease my back pain without making me uncomfortable as most other units I own do.

This was the best $4.99 X 2 I've spent in a long, long time.

I want to add that the tag on my Squooshy's do give a warning, and each patient must speak to their doctor and make up their own minds how or if they want to use them. I am just a patient wanting to spread the word about a good product I've discovered that helps me. It's up to each individual to seek counseling from their own doctors who knows their health history before deciding to purchase or use one.

The warning says:

CAUTIONS This massager should not be used in the following cases: Tuberculosis, benign and malignant tumors, hemorrhages, inflammations of the skin, phlebitis and thrombosis, open and fresh wounds, bruises, broken skin or varicose veins, undetermined calf pain, or joint pain.

I do have varicose veins in my legs, so I did not use them where those veins are an issue. I was using them for joint pain, but both my chiropractor and my osteopath suggested a massager for some of my joint pain issues. Because of my Raynaud's (not mentioned on the tag) I will always have to be very careful about how I use them, but for now they are giving me a great deal of relief when used in concert with my anti-inflammatories and some common sense.

Comment by JennyPettit on November 29, 2010 at 11:57pm
Can't wait to see more of the cool products you've found. Particularly interested in any with heat applications:) Thanks for sharing and such a thorough review!
Comment by Amy K on November 30, 2010 at 12:03am
Thanks for sharing Ellen! I was waiting for pics and info on these!

Dear Santa...
Comment by Ellen S on December 1, 2010 at 12:04pm
Thanks so much for the comments! I asked my autoimmunie FB pals what they would recommend giving an autoimmune patient and I got a really wide variety of answers. As soon as I think the conversation has ended, I'll be sure to post the results here!
Comment by jayepea on January 8, 2011 at 2:40am
I just read about your find!  Thanks so much for sharing and I'm going to find these no matter what!  I need these for my feet and hands! I really, really, really appreciate the info. so thanks again!!!
Comment by Ellen S on January 9, 2011 at 10:10pm
Thanks jayepea.  I really do love mine.  The biggest trouble I have with them is falling asleep with them on my feet.  They do make me feel so much better and a night's sleep with them is much longer than I've had in quite some time, but unfortunately, the little batteries have a short life.  If I fall asleep, the pair of batteries give out around 4:30 in the morning.  This however, is the ONLY negative thing I've found with them so far.  And mine have already lived a fairly hard life.  :)

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