About ten years ago, an 18-wheeler plowed into my Honda Accord with me in the driver's seat. Thanks to my Honda, parts of which may be in your car now, my own parts are all still as originally assembled. But I've never been without painful reminders of that day. (At least... maybe, I hope, fingers and toes crossed, and all my Hail Mary's said... until now.)
Let me tell you, if you can pronounce it, spell it, or mime it, I've tried it... but nothing I did was able to relieve my lower back pain when it decided to plop itself right down in the middle of my plans whenever it felt like it. Nothing except rocking.
Yes, that's right, rocking. First demonstrated to me by a massage therapist during an acute pain treatment, I found that if someone else rocked my hips from side to side while I laid dead-weight on my back or stomach, the pain in my sacral joints would subside. Unable to find anyone to do this on a continuous basis, I vowed to design and build my own rocking machine. But, as often happens (thank goodness!), a friend called my attention to something already on the market... the Chi (Chinese word for 'life flow' or 'life energy,' pronounced ‘tchee') Machine.Sun Ancon Chi Machine
A Chi Machine is a contraption that moves your ankles from side to side while you lie prone on your back. But it moves so fast (about 144 rotations per minute) that what you feel is a rocking motion in your whole body right through to the top of your skull; heck, you even feel it in your cells! This machine is no baby cradle; let me tell you... it's a workout! It's passive, in that you just lie there, but your body MOVES!
Upon investigating this machine further, I learned that its Japanese inventor, Dr. Shizuo Inoue, designed the machine after studying the way fish swim, their flexible spines sinuously undulating through the water. It was this constant movement of the spine, Dr. Inoue discovered, that keeps fish oxygenated, healthy, and toned. His Chi Machine was designed to do those same healthy things for humans, whose spines do not benefit from this range of motion.
In fact, human spines suffer all kinds of stresses as a result of physical and emotional conditions. And, as we know, we need a strong spine to hold us upright and to protect the nerves communicating from our brain to our organs, muscles, and joints in our spinal columns. Most exercise puts stress on the spine as well as other bones and muscles in our body. So, it makes sense that if we free these structures from stress, we free blood (oxygen) flow to and from all parts of our bodies.
After trying my friend's machine (she uses it for diabetes symptoms), I purchased a Chi Machine for myself. I started out very slowly, only 3 minutes twice a day (recommended for those with back pain), and two months later I'm up to 15 minutes twice a day with a goal of 20 minutes twice per day. I have not had any back pain. Additionally, I feel tremendous energy, sleep better, and my legs and abs are looking pretty solid! I have more stamina and have been able to lengthen my regular workouts in the gym. I feel more centered, more "even" on both sides of my body.
If you are disabled in such a way that you can't lie on your back, there are other ways to benefit from the machine shown in this video. There are various models of the original chi machine and many copies of the original Sun Ancon machine. Though I can't comment on them all, I will provide a list of informational and sales resources below. Look into them. Some are available with adjustable speeds, which would be an advantage to those with disabling conditions.
When you consider that 80 percent of chronic disease, including diabetes, asthma, allergies, headaches, arthritis, heart, lung, and digestive problems are linked to the spine, you or someone you know is likely to benefit from a machine that provides balance and increased circulation to the spine in ways that can't otherwise be obtained - whether it 's for prevention of disease or alleviation of current symptoms of disease.
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ResourcesAllAbout Massagers.comAnatomy and Function of the Spine Amazon.com Chi Machines Chi Machine International Chronic Conditions Linked to the Spine