Doctors often recommend massage to relieve stress and anxiety. But federal regulators are warning the public that the massages delivered by the ShoulderFlex Massager device could be fatal.
The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Friday saying one death and one near-strangulation have been reported after a necklace and piece of clothing became caught in a rotating component of the device. In other cases, the FDA says people’s hair became caught in the ShoulderFlex.
The agency urges people who own the device to “dispose of the device components separately so that the massager cannot be reassembled and used.”
Manufacturer King International has distributed nearly 12,000 of the devices since October 2003 through retail stores and websites in the U.S. The company plans to recall the device, according to the FDA. The agency said it could take additional action against the company
The device was still available online Friday afternoon on Amazon.com and other websites, where it sold for about $140.
Calls placed to King’s offices in Beaverton, Ore., were not immediately returned Friday.
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