Welcome to Power Picks, a monthly series on the things that help us navigate our lives, step into our personal power, or simply get us through our day-to-day. Our hope is that by sharing what makes us feel great, we can help you feel great, too.
Like many people who work primarily from a computer, I'm often hit with a surge of determination that this, finally, will be the day I develop better posture. I aspire to one day develop the confident, gazelle-like look of a woman with a straight spine and a raised chin, shoulders thrown back so that I no longer look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame in my photos.
But the moment I become engrossed in just about any activity (writing, reading, watching TV, chatting) my shoulders slump forward again. This habit, coupled with the fact that I'm a stomach sleeper and therefore spend nights with my head turned all the way to the side, mean that I often struggle with neck and back pain.
This pain yields a few results: I can often be found cracking and rolling my tense neck, my browser history is filled with searches like "exercises for neck pain," and, of course, I'm always in the mood for a massage.
But massages, while luxurious, are expensive, and in an economy that has me pinching pennies at the grocery store, I'm less inclined than usual to book myself an appointment at my favorite spa. Plus, when my bones are particularly sore, I ache for immediate relief, so making an appointment and waiting until the staff can squeeze me in feels far less than ideal.
Enter NOUHAUS. While massage chairs have a reputation for looking bulky and decidedly unrefined, the brand's Classic Massage Chair boasts a minimalist, almost egg-like design that makes it easy to transport and even easier to fit into a living space. The last point was particularly important to me, a studio apartment-dweller for whom space is at a premium.
I also loved the ability to customize the chair, which comes in six colorways. Personally, I opted for the caramel color, which matches beautifully with my wooden furniture and the warm accents that otherwise characterize my space.
In terms of the massage chair's technology, the world is truly the user's oyster. The chair's handy remote control includes full-body, kneading, percussive, spot-specific, mixed, and thermo-massage options. Thus, I'm able to target specific parts of my body, align myself from the base of my neck down to my glutes, or simply unwind after a long day. I can also adjust the intensity level of my massage, so I can adjust for both my comfort and mood level. After all, an intense shiatsu massage isn't necessarily my move of choice when I'm trying to type on my laptop or read a book.
Another feature of this chair that I absolutely adore is its Bluetooth functionality. The chair's wing-back features subtle, built-in speakers on both sides so that I can listen to music or to the audio of my favorite show or movie, with surround-sound-like results.
Since I've started using my massage chair as a regular indulgence, I've been feeling calmer and significantly less sore. Gone are the days that I'm constantly in pain or frantically looking up ways to relieve neck aches ASAP. The chair is also supremely comfortable when its massage settings aren't in use, and is perfect for reading, typing, or watching TV.
At the end of a long day or when I'm in a low mood, my chair, like my favorite music, can instantly lift my spirits. I've never been a homebody, but this single piece of furniture has made quiet nights in considerably more pleasurable, comfortable, and luxurious.
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Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, fashion, culture, and politics both at Marie Claire and for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.
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