The acuBall and associated acuProducts were created by Dr. Michael Cohen to provide the world of self-massage, manual therapy, and massage therapy with a series of heatable massage tools that would conquer any physical issue you have.
There was a gap in the market with no massage ball, massage pads, or back rollers that could hold heat like the acuProducts, and so was born the idea for the acuBall.
Most people who have muscular deterioration, a build up of trigger points or adhesions, or posture issues would have a hard time rolling around on a foam roller and balancing on it, much less balancing on a massage ball. In this review I’ll explore the acuBall and associated acuProducts as heatable self-massage devices.
acuBall and acuProducts Review
With the acuBall and other acuProducts, the heatable element allows you to simply sit, lay, and rest on top of the chosen massage device and reap the benefits rather than having to physically massage yourself with rolling or other uncomfortable movements. This alone takes away the hugely daunting task of foam rolling or using massage balls where you need to be coordinated and have initial core strength.
The acuProducts come in 4 different forms. We have the acuBall, the acuBall mini, the acuPads, and the acuBack. They all work similarly, however they’re differently shaped to target different parts of the body. I was lucky enough to test them all out so I’ll give you some guidance on how to use them effectively, which ones I liked the most, what I liked about the products, and what could be improved.
Click Where You Hurt App
In addition to this complete pain relief and therapy system, Dr. Cohen has also designed a “Click Where You Hurt” app that simplifies the entire process. Simply click where you have pain and it gives you exact instructions on ways you can find relief with the acuProducts or other items you might have available like foam rollers or massage balls – the instructions are not specific to the acuProducts although they are the best option. You can get the app on your smartphone so you have it with you all the time and can use it on the go to assist in relieving any pain you might encounter.
This initiative alone tells me that Dr. Cohen’s operative is solely to help his patients, and anyone he can reach to either reduce their pain or give them access to the therapy they need.
The acuBall in my opinion is the one-size-fits-all product option from the acuProducts. If you get just one of the available products, get this one. It’s sized to fit comfortably under almost any body part, and it has the spine-alignment section down the middle of the ball that’s suitable back relief. Put the acuBall under your foot, under any part of your legs, glutes, along the spine, under the shoulder blades, neck and more.
Personally I wish the acuBall was a little bit harder like the acuBall mini, but for those with serious posture and muscular issues I think it’s at a good level of firmness.
The acuBall Mini
The acuBall mini is my favorite of all of the acuProducts. It’s hard, and gives a downright deep massage wherever you need it. I work with my hands on the computer all day, and also work part of the time from a standing desk. The entire time I’ve been working over the last week I’ve had the acuBall either on the floor where I can massage my foot on it, or on the desk where I roll it between my hands and under my arms. Amazing relief, even without heat.
When I heat it up, it’s a bit hardcore but putting it under my butt and doing a rolling massage has provided some of the deepest penetrating relief for the built-up tissue in that area that I’ve experienced.
I would love to have a larger size ball with the same firmness as the acuBall mini, around the size of the regular acuBall. My only con of the acuBall Mini is that the textured bumps are a little bit too slippery for some surfaces. I realize it’s probably hard to manufacture it, but if the acuBall mini had the same material type as the regular acuBall that would be great. Sometimes with the ball between my body and a smooth surface, it will slip it a bit so it’s best used on carpet or a mat. Another great reliever I’ve found is putting the mini in a sock, slinging it over my shoulder and leaning back against a wall with it between my body and the wall. This position does wonders for working knots out of the shoulders and even positioning it around the neck. This tactic works similarly with all acuProducts.
The acuBack Review
The acuBack is one of the more unique products on the list – basically making a foam roller obsolete as with this device all you do is heat it up, put your body pressure on it and let it do all the work. You get significantly more relief than rolling around on a foam roller which can actually do more harm than good in some situations. Especially considering the difficulty of getting down on the ground and foam rolling if you’re already in pain – it just doesn’t happen!
A few other great uses of the acuBack include using it for shin splints and shin pain, the two ridges that run parallel along the center of the roller fit perfectly into the grooves beside the shin for a relief that almost no other device can give.
Alternatively, if you work an office job consider putting the acuBack in between your back and office chair to maintain posture throughout the day. After you come home from your day continue with the acuBack and heat it up, lay on it, and let it do all of the work.
The acuPad Review
The acuPads are a really great product for pain relief for those working in an office setting. Heat the pads up, and place them under various parts of your body for a soothing pain relief that lasts for a long time. When I first used them I was surprised at how hot they felt after not thinking it would be very warm after just taking them out of the microwave. These are a great product for those without a lot of experience using massage devices as they’re pretty hands-off and fool proof. Heat it up, place it under your problem area, and enjoy the relief. I think this product is the best for those with chronic pain looking for relief and a solution to aid them towards feeling better each day.
How to effectively use the acuProducts
The acuProducts has really great instructions, and videos available to get you started up but here are my findings on how I’ve used the products effectively for relief.
- Warm them up for slightly less time than recommended to find a good temperature for you
- Be consistent with use, you need to try to be using these products as least once a day to see continued relief and reversal of muscular issues and postural problems
- For hand, foot, and arm relief – the acuBall Mini is my top choice
- For most of the legs, the acuBall and acuPads can conquer your problems providing mobile relief in the ball or stationary relief in the pads
- For the neck and shoulders, either of the balls work depending on what you want to work. For smaller shoulder knots around the shoulder blades I liked the mini, but for the neck and traps the regular ball size was effective.
- The acuPad, or acuBall are great for chest relief, you can lie on either of them depending on the area you want to target.
- For the back, depending on how large your target area is, the acuPad is effective for most areas. The acuBall or Roller can be used if the target area is lower down the back, but if it’s on the upper back then I’d recommend using one of the pads as it will be more comfortable.
- Another unique feature of the acuProducts is the ‘Spine Align Belt’ – a recessed groove running around the center which allows users to lie directly on their spine opening tight spinal segments from body weight alone in 3 minutes.
Purchasing the whole system is obviously a great option as they all work together and you have several devices for relief to use on the different muscles and areas of the body. For the following types of people I’d recommend the following products if you’re just looking for one product:
- If you’re fairly sedentary, have postural issues, and want relief from regular aches and pains – I would start with the acuPads. The pads can go anywhere on the body and provide relief once heated. Set and relieve basically.
- If you’re an active person, athletic, and involved in regular fitness activity – I would go with the acuBall as it’s quite versatile and useful for deep self-massage with the device heated up, or as is.
- The acuBall Mini is great for those seeking deep relief in the hands, feet, and who have a large amount of knots or trigger points to break down. This is the firmest of all of the acuProducts so in the hands of someone who can balance, and massage the target tissues it’s very effective but requires some experience.
- The acuBack saw a lot of use in relieving backaches, use on the hamstring, and also as a postural aid if sitting down for extended periods of time. I really like the deep penetration and relief the acuBack brings without having to roll around and physically massage myself on it.
acuProducts – The Verdict:
When I received the acuProducts for review I thought the price would have been much higher as they all felt like such high-quality products, but the price is quite reasonable. The acuProducts takes only minutes to heat up, and stays hot for a really long time! I was surprised at how it held the heat and how hot it was after taking it out of the microwave and thinking it hardly got hot!
The acuProducts are great for anyone looking for relief from regular pain, to improve posture, and athletes who are looking for a step up from the standard foam rolling and massage ball routine. I really like the acuProducts, the regular acuBall and acuBall mini see a lot of regular use, and the acuPads see use when I’m relaxing and lounging.
The two big advantages the acuProducts have over other massage therapy products is the ability to hold intense heat for long durations, and the fact that all of these components of the system are designed to work together. When you purchase the whole system you have relief for your entire body, and there’s no mix-matching of different balls, massagers, etc. to find the perfect set for you – it’s already here and ready to work to heal you.