When I worked at a school in Japan a little over a year ago, I adored stealing this shoulder massage tool from a fellow teacher when she wasn't using it. I thought they were fairly common in Japan, and assumed I'd be able to find one somewhere in Canada when I came home (or, failing that, order one from the net). Problem is, I can't *for the life of me* remember what they're called.
The ones that I'm talking about are shaped sort of like a question mark, except that the dot from the question mark is a rubber ball attached to the top. Does that make sense? Kind of a hook shaped thing with a rubber ball on it. You hold onto the handle, which is on the straight part, put the hook part over your shoulder, dig the ball into your sore neck/shoulder muscles and then just pull on it until it massages away all the tight muscle bits.
If anyone knows what they're called, or can ask someone they know, I'd be forever grateful. As you can imagine, searching for things like "Japanese back massage tool" or "Japanese ball massage tool" don't exactly help out. I'm getting a lot of Shiatsu massage sites, or links to pr0n about Japanese massage artists. *groan*
If you're in Toronto, try "Backs, etc", a store for ergonomic chairs that also carries this kind of Thera Cane (Eglinton West near Avenue Road). It has a hard knob on the end, not a rubber ball, though. It is shaped like a question mark. If not in toronto, try e-bay. We bought one there.