Ever since I broke my shoulder falling down a flight of stairs (I swear I wasn’t drunk), I’ve struggled with daily neck pain. I’ve tried everything short of making a deal with the devil to relieve it: chiropractors, professional stretching, special pillows, and so on. This summer, a physical therapist suggested I get Massage Block’s Twin Block Pro to use at home for deep tissue massage. In my decade of neck pain, it’s the only product that makes it better.
It’s a surprisingly uncomplicated device — no batteries, no assembly, just a lumpy block. All you have to do to use it is lie on it, situating the two mounds at the base of your skull with your spine resting in the middle. That’s where the suboccipital muscles are, and when they’re tight, you get neck pain and—surprise!—tension headaches.
The Twin Block Pro is made of a synthetic rubber (it’s surprisingly heavy) that puts just the right amount of pressure on your muscles to work like a deep tissue massage. And like a deep tissue massage, when you first feel that intense pressure, there’s an initial period of “oh my god, why am I doing this,” as the ache intensifies in your neck. This is the moment when you realize that your neck pain is also giving you a headache, as the ache extends up into your temples. It’s kind of uncomfortable at first, but as you continue to lie on it, your muscles start to relax and the pain subsides.
After a few months with the device, I don’t go anywhere without it. I use it every day for 10 minutes and I always get up with way less neck pain and no headache. I’m even getting the added benefit of using those 10 minutes flat on my back for practicing mindfulness. As long as I spend my days hunched over a laptop for work (i.e., probably the rest of my life), I’ll be spending time on the Twin Block Pro daily. The only downside is that now that I’m lying on the floor all the time, I’ve realized how frequently I should be vacuuming.