What are the Benefits of Chi Machine (According to Science)

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Inside: Have you heard about the benefits of Chi Machine and want to know a little more? Read on to discover why this machine may help you alleviate your chronic illness symptoms.

Disclaimer: This article expresses opinions made by Disability Dame and has not been medically reviewed. Please always consult your doctor before beginning any health treatment.

Are you looking for natural alternatives to help your chronic pain?

Are you intrigued by what you heard about the benefits of Chi Machine and want to know more?

So, was I. I first found out about the Chi Machine when I was scrolling through your Instagram one day and saw a man who had motor neuron disease using it. He said it was part of his daily routine and that he felt like he was benefiting from it.

I’m trying to do anything I can to prevent ALS from spreading to other parts of my body. So, I decided to check out this form of alternative therapy.

Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. However, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission if you purchase from one of the links below.

What is the Chi Machine?

The Chi Machine was invented in the late 1980s by Japanese engineer, Keiichi Ohashi. It was designed for passive aerobic exercise, which involves applying constant movement and pressure to parts of the body through an outside force.

Passive aerobic exercise is basically a fancy way of saying that something is making your body move without any effort on your part.

The Chi machine is about the size of a large briefcase and has padded ankle supports that oscillate back and forth. To use it, just lie on your back with your ankles propped on the machine supports. I put a pillow under my lower back and use one to support my head to make it more comfortable. Then the machine sways your legs back and forth for 15 minutes, mimicking the Japanese martial arts move known as “the goldfish”.

Check out this random video I found on YouTube for an example.

What are the Benefits of Chi Machine?

Apart from being a low-cost therapy that you can do multiple times a day from home, the Sun Ancon Chi Machine claims that it oxygenates the body, stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, helps relieve lower back tension and helps fight chronic inflammation.

What are the Benefits of Chi Machine (According to Science)?

Despite these claims from the manufacturer, I could only find one documented benefit from a credible clinical study. It’s important to note that there are different types of Chi Machines, so the study below only tested for the Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser.

Enhanced Lymphatic Function

A significant proportion of patients who survive lower torso cancer treatments will go on to develop leg lymphedema. The lymphatic system cleanses the body of toxins and other waste materials by circulating a fluid called lymph, which contains white blood cells, around the body.

After a three-week treatment period, in which patients used the Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser, there were statistically significant reductions in total leg volume and fluids, whole body extracellular fluid, weight and subjective leg symptoms. A Lymphoscintigraphy in a sub-group of patients suggested an increase in lymphatic transport, and, although some of the fluid and symptoms had returned at the 1-month follow-up, none returned to pre-treatment levels.

Does the Chi Machine help with weight loss?

I couldn’t find any credible data that showed the Chi Machine promoting weight loss. Another manufacturer claims, “that exercising with this machine can allow you to burn as many calories as you would while walking, and this is especially beneficial for individuals with limited mobility.”

Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Chi Machine (According to Science)

I’ll admit the the marketing and manufacturer’s websites look sketchy as hell.

Despite limited credible information proving the benefits of Chi Machine, I still bought one. The machine I bought had great reviews on Amazon, and I figured it was worth a shot.

I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks now, and I love it! I use it three times a day for 15 minutes at a time. It’s relaxing and, at the end of the 15 minutes, you can feel a buzz vibrating down your body. They call it the “Chi Buzz.”

You can check out some product reviews and specifications at this website, to find which one works best for you. My opinion is if you have the extra cash and an open mind, why not give it a shot? It’s definitely a relaxing way to spend 15 minutes of your day.

Have you used a Chi Machine? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below!
Allie Schmidt
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Allie Schmidt is a rare disease advocate and disabled mom living with motor neuron disease. She founded Disability Dame in 2020 to provide tips to other moms living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

In her spare time, you can find her traveling with her husband (she's been to 38 states and 16 countries!), watching reruns of Survivor, or tending to her near-constant sunburn from spending too much time outside. You can follow her adventures here.

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9 thoughts on “What are the Benefits of Chi Machine (According to Science)”

  1. I’m an occupational therapist, and I have been using the Chi Machine for about four years. I have osteoarthritis in my left hip. I feel relief from discomfort after using the Chi machine. I do agree that the oscillating movements increase circulation, and that is helpful to an arthritic hip joint. I also strengthen and stretch to reinforce my hip joint. It also provides relaxation from a stressful day. The bottom line is everyone’s experience is different, and when something works for a lot of people, some entity or organization will come along to discredit it. It never fails. I’ve researched various sources, and I am just as skeptical of reviews that call things a “scam” as I am of reviews that call things “a miracle.” I look at how it works and assess what it does to the body, then decide. The oscillating movements, its effects on muscles, joints, circulation, and lymph drainage were what prompted me to buy a machine. I am happy I did. I work with some bedridden patients. I would like to put them all on a Chi machine every day!

  2. I ordered a refurbished machine and it looks and runs like a new one for much less than a new one. These machines are heavy duty and are made to be used commercially.
    I first saw one at a hotel spa and did not know what it was. I tried it out and was amazed at the relaxation effect.
    Now, years later, having diagnosed with a stiff spine, and having trouble flexing when getting up in the morning, I remembered the machine from years ago. I decided to bit the bullet and spend the money for a good one – not the cheap and loud models for $ 100 on the market.
    After two weeks of using it, 15 minutes before bedtime, and can very much feel a difference in my flexibility. I also feel much less back pain and stiffness. My routine, every evening: I drink a glass of water, turn on some relaxing meditation music and run the machine for 15 minutes at a speed of about 105. Hopefully, this will also help to lower my blood pressure, in the long run.

  3. I just started using mine. I have Milroys which makes my feet and one of my ankle swell. Thank god I don’t have a bad case. It’s genetic and can be very disfiguring. Anyway, I am using it before I exercise. Afterwards I put my legs up the wall. It really seems to help!!!!

  4. I was introduced to the Sun Ancon Chi machine about 17 years ago. I had Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue from Lyme disease and 2 other tick bourne illnesses. I could barely walk to my car so exercise was out. I lie down on the chi machine and set the timer for ten minutes. At the end of the session one lies there to enjoy the tingling feeling from head to toe while sipping on a glass of purified water. I do believe it helped circulation and gave me an increased feeling of well being. It was relaxing.

    When I bought my machine I paid close to $500 for a new one. I see there are the same brand, for sale on eBay for $200 or less. There are also some cheaper knock offs which I would skip. It’s a solid, heavy duty piece of medical equipment. Well worth the investment. If it doesn’t work for you it appears you can sell it for a similar price.

  5. Using it as I’m typing this! Got the one you got in your post. Email me if you come across any good modifications I can make to my body while laying down. Anything to improve the use of the machine. Thanks dude!


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