Are you on your feet all day? Do your high heels look better than they make you feel at the end of the day. If you answered "yes" and "yes", you may be ripe for a leg massage. Make that an Air-O-Sage.
You've seen it on TV. The Igia Air-O-Sage is supposed to stimulate, even exercise your tired legs, while you sit back and relax. Question is, "Does It Work?"
Paula is 21 weeks pregnant. The idea of a leg massage was very attractive. She volunteered to help us test the Air-O-Sage. It comes with two massaging boots, two thigh massagers, the controller-- kind of like a mini air compressor, and all the necessary tubing to link it together.
Paula started by slipping on the thigh pads which secure with Velcro. The boots slide on and zip up. The tough part was hooking up all the tubes, but we figured it out. The Air-O-Sage runs on batteries or you can plug it in.
It's a quiet little gadget. Sounds kind of like a pager set to vibrate. After a while it started filling the pockets inside the boots and cuffs with air.
It took us few minutes though to figure out how this thing performs a "massage". It would fill with air, getting very tight... then the air would release and fill again. Turns out, it was working just as it was designed to, but it wasn't the kneading, the constant push and release or vibrations you might expect when someone gives you a massage. But that's the Air-O-Sage's idea of a compression massage. "I feel like I have on a blood pressure cuff," says Paula.
She nailed it. That's exactly what this thing is like. The cuff tightens, releases, and you feel your legs throbbing a little as the blood pumps to them. The only thing missing is the little gauge with the numbers on it.
The compressor has up and down controls on it so you can change the time interval between inflation and deflation, but it's pretty tough to tell what setting you're on, since there's no display. But Paula doesn't need one to figure out this thing is applying some serious pressure.
"This is very, very uncomfortable." Paula's foot had become wedged sideways, twisted between two of the air bladders. "And my knees are turning purple due to lack of blood circulation." It was time to pull 'em off.
The boots left several marks on her skin. Temporary... but testament to the pressure they applied. Same story with the thigh pads.
Was it relaxing, soothing, calming? Did she feel like she was getting exercise? "No, no, no and no," said Paula.
"Does It Work?" We give it a "no". The Air-O-Sage is available online for between 37 and 47 dollars.