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The daily grind can be a real pain in the neck. Stress, poor posture and some sleeping positions can all lead to tension in the neck, and it’s a common complaint — research suggests that more than 70% of adults will experience some neck pain at some point.
If you have a desk job, spend too many hours looking at your phone or simply carry your stress and tension in your neck and shoulders, you might want to try this neck and shoulder relaxer that’s marked down 38% on Amazon right now.
The neck and shoulder relaxer from Zamat is regularly priced at $40, but currently on sale for $25. Unlike a massager that takes effort to use when your muscles are sore, the neck and shoulder relaxer takes no effort, as all you do is lie down or lean against it in a chair for 10-20 minutes a day.
The Zamat neck and shoulder relaxer is made for cervical spine problems, neck pain, headaches and even TMJ. Covered with breathable and soft magnetic therapy cloth, it’s designed to promote blood circulation and eliminate neck pain and muscle stress by conforming with the correct form of your cervical spine. It also has six massage granules evenly spaced to be right on neck muscle areas, which provide an acupressure shiatsu massage.
Because it is stretching your neck, it is not meant to be used for more than 20 minutes a day or as a pillow at night. You may also need one to three days to adapt to it, so the first few days may feel slightly uncomfortable as it contours to your neck.
Zamat sent me their neck and shoulder relaxer to test out. I used it for 10 minutes a day for three days in a row when first waking up, then 10 minutes a day for three days in a row after yoga. On day seven, I used it for 20 minutes.
Because I do yoga and try my best to correct myself if I am looking down too much, I don’t really have bad posture. I do, however, often suffer from a stiff neck, mostly from sleeping on non-supportive pillows, but too many hours in one day on the computer or my phone will do it as well. The majority of my stiff necks begin when I wake up, which obviously points to sleep, but I have had some start in the middle of the day. I also suffer from headaches often and a migraine once or twice a month, and my shoulders can be quite tight, sometimes to the point of even being sore if I try to massage them.
First things first: There is no set up or anything you need to do with the relaxer — it simply comes in a box and is ready to go. Because it’s recommended that you use it for 10-20 minutes each time, you’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable. I suggest lying on a yoga mat or folded blankets, but if your mattress is flat and supportive, a bed will work as well.
There was a notable difference in the comfort level when doing it before and after yoga, with it being more relaxing after yoga, when my muscles were already warmed up and not as tight. When using it first thing in the morning, it was actually a bit painful for the first few minutes, but I then eventually relaxed into it before the 10 minutes were up. I also did a 10-minute audio meditation while using the neck stretcher and recommend doing that, or playing relaxing music. You could also use the time to double-up on the self-care by using a skincare mask, as most are also meant to be used for 10 minutes. Whatever you choose to do while using it, I suggest closing your eyes and relaxing as much as possible.
After getting used to the feeling of my neck being supported properly (which took a minute or so each time), I began notice the massage nodes seemed to be pressing into all of my sore areas. Zamat says they are located evenly to provide an acupressure shiatsu massage to the cervical spine, and it did feel like it did just that. I was quite impressed with the “massage” feeling considering I was simply lying still, but the instructions say you can also move your neck around a bit to get even more of a massage.
After the seven days, I found that my neck was far less stiff while doing yoga. I didn’t feel any pulling sensation at all when doing an ear-to-shoulder stretch, though I typically feel it on both sides and worse when bending my neck to the left. I also noticed that looking over my shoulder when doing a seated twist was easier and I again did not feel a pulling sensation and I was able to stretch into the down-dog position a bit easier, as my shoulders were not as tight.
Because I already ended my daily yoga practice with a lying down meditation, I will now be adding the neck stretcher to my routine. Not only does it truly seem to be helping with stiffness and pain, but it’s much better for my neck overall than to lie my head flat on the ground while in savasana.
It’s important to note that while I pretty much have no complaints and the neck and shoulder relaxer has an average rating of 4.3 out of five stars, and more than 4,000 5-star rave reviews on Amazon, a few customers say it did not work for them, so it likely depends on your specific neck and shoulder issue. A handful of others say it has a strong odor as well, but I noticed absolutely no smell. If you do, you may want to let it air out for a few days before using it, or toss the washable cover in your washing machine.
You also need to be aware that the neck stretcher will likely not “cure” a problem you have, and if you don’t improve the things that were causing the issues in the first place, your issues will likely return. You should also seek medical advice if you have severe pain or issues that interfere with your daily life.
Zamat also sent me their Adjustable Cervical Memory Foam Pillow, which is available on Amazon for $56, but you can save 10% by clipping a coupon, which takes the price to $50.40. With my neck issues, trouble sleeping and seeing the pillow has more than 3,000 5-star reviews, I could not wait to put it to use.
The pillow took more getting used to than the neck stretcher, as I was using it for hours at a time instead of minutes, but it was incredibly comfortable and soft. My favorite feature is the arm support area, as I have a habit of putting my arms under my pillow in an attempt to get comfortable, so having a place for my arm that was the same height as the pillow is a great design.
I was concerned about a headache, as I get one every time I use a different pillow, but because it cradled my neck with its butterfly design and was low (ie: I didn’t feel like I was straining my neck to use it), I have not woken up with a headache since using it.
The only downside is that it makes moving around a bit difficult because your head goes in a specific part of the pillow, so if you switch sides throughout the night or toss and turn, it’s a bit tricky. I did notice, however, that I didn’t move around as much as I usually do, which I think is simply because my neck was more comfortable and supportive.
I have only been using the memory foam pillow for five nights, while I’ve been using the neck stretcher for seven days, so while I noticed quite a bit of improvement just from the neck stretcher, I noticed even more when combining it with the pillow. My neck has felt better than I can remember it being in a very long time.
While not available on Amazon, there is also an updated version of the neck and shoulder relaxer called NekGenic on Zamat’s website. Priced at $60, Zamat says the upgrades are based on Amazon user feedback and professional medical advice. The upgraded pillow includes a material upgrade that has stronger neck support, a curve that has a better lifting effect, a wider shiatsu area with increased massage points and an upgrade to the magnetic therapy cloth to improve blood circulation.
You’ll also find a few other cervical pillows on Amazon, like this one from the brand Elviros or this one from Homca, which has more than 3,000 5-star reviews. Other neck and shoulder relaxers included this heated version from Cozyhealth and this one from Restcloud.
Could you benefit from a neck and shoulder relaxer or a cervical neck pillow for sleeping?