If you’d ever had to do 120 articles on losing belly fat fast (as I did), it doesn’t take long for you to start running out of obvious material LOL.
Enter “The Gadgets”–those lovely “as seen on TV” devices that promise to turn you into a “hard body” in 60 days, only 5 minutes a day, etc. Everything from vibrating belts to sauna suits, Ab “rockers”, sleds, swings, and more. While 90% of them are just gadgets, and don’t really work as advertised, you do occasionally run into working ideas.
Along the way, I of course did more than one article about the gadgets and machines “The Stars” use to stay in shape, including private trainers, 69,190.00 Swarovski crystal studded, vibration machines (I’m not kidding, folks), and other devices. And in covering what works and what doesn’t, whole body vibration, surprisingly enough, landed in the category of weight loss fads that had basis in science.
Whole Body Vibration?
Yep. A machine that rocks a platform back and forth, very fast, while you either stand, or do various exercises. According to the many studies out and about, whole body vibration does have benefits–though the weight loss is a side issue. Vibration and massage, as well as “ultrasound”, have long been staples of physical therapy, and WBV has been shown to increase bone density, circulation, aid in reducing fluid retention, and decrease pain and inflammation.
The Costco Enlightenment
So there I was at Costco, the other day, feeling my typical 4+ pain level and trying to shop, and I saw the road show for the Zaaz 20K WBV machine. I had actually done several write ups on this machine’s earlier model, the 15K, for various websites, but I had never had the chance to try one in person. So I hopped on.
The sensation is rather indescribable–not unpleasant, but slightly unsettling in some ways. I spent 6 minutes standing and stretching in different ways, noting how shifting my balance and position could concentrate the vibration in specific areas. My skin was tingling from head to toe, not unlike the tingly/almost itchy feeling you get in your legs from hard running.
After 6 minutes of standing, I enjoyed 6 minutes of siting in the specially designed chair placed on the platform. When it was over, I got up, walked about 20 feet, and promptly freaked out (in a good way). Before I used the Zaaz, I had been having back spasms, my knees were sore (as always), and I had the beginning of a migraine headache and the typical elbow, wrist, and neck pain.
All of that pain had been drastically reduced, and my headache was effectively gone. I had gone from my typical 4-5 on the pain scale to about a 2, in 12 minutes.
I immediately called my other half, who was on his annual fishing vacation in Mexico with his brother, and told him about it. HE knew I had a doctor’s appointment, so he suggested I ask my “Doc Squad” what they thought, and if they approved, buy it. Granted, this is NOT an inexpensive bargain store model–there are many WBV machines as low as 150.00. This one runs at non-Costco prices in the 4,000.00 range.
I spoke to my GP, who called the rest of my Doc Squad, and they all said essentially the same thing–the science is sound for people like me that experience restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondilitis, arthritis, and the resulting pain. So last night, when he returned home, we went and bought it.
And Here It Is!
It weighs about 86 pounds, and when disassembled, fit in the trunk and back seat of a Kia Sephia. It came with 3 different pads for the base, a “hard” pad and two different softer rubber pads, and the chair will be arriving by mail in 5-7 business days. It also comes with a DVD and a large poster of different exercise poses and stretches, and a set of resistance cords with handles and foot loops for doing resistance stretches.
I used it as soon as it was set up, and not only did I not have the typical restless legs before I went to bed, I was able to sleep without taking my restless leg medication at all. This morning, I woke up feeling rested–more so than usual–and after doing a 12 minute stretching session on the Zaaz, I am essentially at a 2 on my personal pain scale.
For the time being I intend on using this twice a day, morening and night, increasing to three times daily next week. But considering how much better I feel today than I usually do, and this is only “day 1” technically speaking, it was well worth the final 2300.00 cost in my estimation.
The Zaaz And Insurance
I self pay my medical care, but the representative for the company said that pain management doctors and rheumatologists frequently prescribe this machine for patients, and that people on Medicare and Medicaid have been reimbursed up to 65% of the out of pocket costs, and in many cases insurance covers up to 90% of the associated costs.
I will be documenting my progress with this machine weekly, here on the blog. As of this morning, I weigh a flat 200 pounds, so we’ll see if the weight loss angle has any merit. But if the pain management benefit continues as it has today and the other day in Costco, then I’ll be able to get more physically active anyway LOL.
If you have a Costco membership and you see this in your local store on a road show, I would highly recommend you take the time to try it out. I was told by the representative that had a I chosen to buy it later, by giving the company the store information and sales person’s name, I would still get the Costco discount if I ordered after the road show had left as well.