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At first glance, the head massage tingler doesn’t inspire much confidence in its promise to deliver bliss. Shaped like a metallic spider that has more than eight legs, it also looks a bit like Dracula’s egg beater. But Wendy Robbins, a self help coach who holds the patents to the device, guarantees that the first time you try the tingler, will definitely not be the last.

Push the tingler down your head and its flexible tentacles spread to lightly clasp your head. Pull it back up and it creates a sensation that can best be described as delightful currents of electricity running from head to spine.

Opinions on how the tingler works vary from the pseudo scientific to the absurd. According to one user review, the metallic tentacles “stimulate your electrical fields.” Spa Magazine on the other hand writes that “the Tingler massages millions of nerve endings in your scalp and produces stress relieving, brain awakening, endorphins.” Research on endorphins has shown that a simple gesture such as a hug can trigger their release, lending some credibility to the claim.

Still, the immediate and intense sensations caused by the tingler have certainly allowed for a number of people to tout its alternative benefits. As one manufacturer puts it, “you’ll feel as happy as Buddha, and there’s no risk of going blind. Fans swear by its stress-relieving abilities, claiming it even cures headaches.” Elle Magazine goes so far as to call it, “the best invention of the 21st century.”

There are no reported side effects to using the tingler. If you are interested, you can order one over the internet for just a few dollars or grab them for less than a hundred rupees from a street side vendor.

– Shayan Shakeel

First published in the Health Advertiser section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 11, 2012.