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Health & Fitness

This $50 gift is perfect for every teacher on my list

Skip the coffee mug this year.

Teachers teaching in class and online Credit: Getty Images / Drazen Zigic / MEDITERRANEAN

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Finding a gift for my child’s teacher can be a chore. Trying to work with the little information I know about the teacher’s personal interests often leads me to a gift card and generic mug as a “safe” holiday gift.

Now with COVID-19 precautions in place, I know even less about my daughter’s teachers since I am not allowed to walk her into her class and have no idea whether the teacher is a craft lover or sports fanatic. Basically, I know nothing about the woman who is responsible for my daughter’s education and well-being five days a week.

But I do know that every teacher working in 2020 deserves a medal. They are doing such important work with enormous challenges. And while many find true joy and reward doing what they do, there is no doubt that many are feeling more stress in their day-to-day job than they ever have before. Between managing virtual lessons, monitoring student’s mask-wearing, and having the risk of COVID-19 entering their classroom looming over their heads every day, teachers can use a little stress relief this holiday season.

That is why I am skipping the typical teacher gift and am gifting a Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager instead. Unconventional? Absolutely. But this entire year has been unconventional, and there is no doubt in my mind that no teacher would turn their nose up at an opportunity to work the kinks out in the comfort of their home after a long day at work.

What is the Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager?

Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager
Credit: Homedics

The Homedics massager is convertible, so it works on the ground or strapped to the back of a chair.

Like the name suggests, this massager pulls double duty as a foot massager and massage pillow for your neck, back, and shoulders. It also features a heating element for extra comfort.

From focusing on feet to massaging the upper back, this magic machine can target essentially any muscle that needs some TLC. It also has an integrated strapping system that fits most chairs, so it won't slip or slide away or require repositioning. Plus, the cover is removable and washable, so no worries if you get it a little dirty.

What I like about the Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager

Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager
Credit: Homedics

Any teacher would appreciate the chance to relieve sore muscles from either standing or staring at a screen all day.

Finding an at-home massaging pillow or machine is simple to find—one quick web search will lead to a slew of choices. But finding a good massager is not as easy to do. Many massagers don’t go deep enough or aren’t very versatile because they’re only made for one body part.

This massager gets deep into the muscles and works a spot on your body in a delicious way. The two rotating components underneath the soft cover feel like two very strong, yet tiny, people are kneading your muscles in a soothing direction. If you want to level up your massage, you can turn on the heat feature.

The Homedics massager allows me the flexibility to use it on a number of areas, or to target one muscle and really work it. During long (and often boring) work calls, I position the massager on the back of my chair and angle it against “the spot.” It eases stiffness and makes me feel loose and tension-free. Plus, it’s much more cost-effective, time-effective, and COVID-friendly than visiting a masseuse. And it makes sitting through dull conference calls a bit more bearable.

I also love the price point. For under $50, I get a stress-reliever that I can use over and over again whenever I want it. It also comes in a variety of colors.

What I don’t like about it

There aren’t many things that I don’t love about this massager, but in a perfect world, there are some features that would be nice to change. For starters, I wish that it was battery-operated so I could bring it with me wherever I go. Secondly, I don’t love how the massage feature shuts off after 15 minutes. While I understand it may be for safety reasons, the immediate cessation of my zen is sometimes jarring.

Is it worth it?

All in all, the Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager is the best home massager I could find at this price point. It isn’t an eyesore, it works extremely well, and it helps me melt away tension whenever I feel it creeping in. Since many of us are avoiding spas these days, this mini massager is the next best thing. Pair it with a bottle of wine and it’s the best “thank you” your child’s teacher will hear all year.

Get the Homedics Double Duty Shiatsu Massager for $49.99

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.