The last thing I expected my passive exercise machine to do was to relieve chronic pain that had been torturing me for the past two years. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect and was at my wit’s end.
As I have said in the past, exercise is an integral part of my chronic pain management program. But that was only after I decreased my overall pain level below the 8-10 range.
NOBODY should ever suggest it, nor should anyone be expected to do it without the ability to reduce pain.
With that said, I have NOT been able to exercise without increased pain or injury since January 2020. It was then that endometriosis once again, after a two-year cease-fire, redeclared war on my body.
Since I was a teen, I have dealt with endo pain, but it didn’t become debilitating until 2003. There have been a few reprieves, read my endo story here, but since the beginning of 2020, the pain I experienced every day was worse than anything I had experienced before.
Throughout the past two years, every doctor and surgeon I saw said that I had already been seen by the best of the best, and if they couldn’t help me, nobody could. I was even sent to pain management. But I was released from the program because, and I quote, “We don’t handle that kind of pain. You need to go to the ER for that”!
The only options were the ER for pain relief, surgery, and exercise. Going to the emergency room would be a waste of time and money because the relief would not last, and I would be a zombie until it wore off. Surgery was off the tables because every surgeon I saw refused to perform what would have been my 9th abdominal surgery. And it was impossible to exercise because doing so was causing my abdominal muscles to rip and adhesions to tear from my organs.
With no other option, I began researching passive exercise machines. And today, I am sharing the one that is changing my chronic life.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
Types Of Passive Exercise Machines for Chronic Pain
If you search Amazon for passive exercise machines, you will see various options. Some of the options I found included:
The problem with the first option was that it required the ability to sit or stand longer than I could. Pedal and step machines were also eliminated from my options because pedaling or stepping while seated dislocated my hips.
That left one option, the leg swingers! Unable to come up with why I shouldn’t try it, I ordered it!
Why I Chose Daiwa Felicity Original Chi Swing Machine
As for why I chose this specific brand, they had great reviews. And at the time, they also had a model that was less expensive than its deluxe versions. Not knowing how my body would react or if it would help, I was hesitant to shell out a lot of money.
There are several reasons why I chose this type of passive exercise device. The first is that it required NO effort on my part! That’s right! No standing, sitting, or voluntary movement of any kind! That sounded perfect for someone who had adhesions ripping from her muscles and organs every time she sat or stood up.
My second reason for choosing this form of passive exercise was the health benefits for people like myself, who are primarily sedentary due to severe chronic pain and illness. Possible health benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Increased circulation to the lower extremities
- Stress reduction
- Restful sleep
- Increased energy levels
- Loosen tight hips and spine
- Reduce leg swelling
- Increase oxygen in blood
- Encourage lymphatic flow
If it did nothing more than half of this list, it would have been worth what I paid. But because it has done so much more, this device is worth more than its weight in gold!
My Passive Exercise Machine and Chronic Pain Relief Results
I began using this passive exercise device precisely three weeks ago. While some things, especially physical treatments, take longer than others to notice results, I noticed something extraordinary within the first week.
Within a few days and despite a wild weather shift, I noticed an increase in energy. I was sleeping better too! But what got my attention from the first treatment was decreased inflammation throughout my abdomen!
My abdomen is severely swollen from inflammation caused by adhesions wrapped around many of my organs and attached to my abdominal muscles. There was no reprieve, no moment of relief, just ripping, tearing, and more swelling for two years.
Yet, after that first treatment, I felt a reduction of that swelling. And the decrease continues with each following treatment. I set myself back with an experiment, but the decline is back on track since resuming the original way.
With psoriatic arthritis being the worst on my spine and having a few degenerative discs, my sacrum locks up when I lie flat on my back. To the point of not being able to move my pelvis in any direction.
Treatments with this device occur while lying on the back, and yes, each ends with a locked sacrum. To ease my end of treatment pain, I tried it with one of my wedge pillows. This worked fabulously! I could sit up sooner and with less pain than when I was lying on the floor.
The problem with using the wedge is that the motion relieving the inflammation in my upper abdomen wasn’t reaching that area. It worked great from the belly button down. But for the places where I needed it the most, I had to find another solution to combat the end of treatment sacrum lockdown.
Now I end each treatment by slowly removing my legs from the machine and gently rocking my hips with bent knees and feet on the floor. I slowly rock side to side, relaxing my hips and lower back to the point where I can sit up without pain. This side effect is worth dealing with when compared with my results.
Note that I am just sharing my experience.
Your experience and results may differ.
Here are my results of using a passive exercise machine for pain relief after three weeks:
- More physical and mental energy.
- Better mental focus.
- Physically relaxed without having to focus on relaxing.
- No or low pain in hips. (With the exception of the few minutes post reatment, pain from inflammation caused by pressure pushing in a heatwave, and the afternoon I partially dislocated my hip, my hips are pain-free. FYI, partially dislocating my hips is something I have dealt with since my teens and is not a result of using this device.)
- Decrease in restless leg symptoms.
- Lost abdominal inches, not weight, but several inches. (I know that I am overweight, but my weight isn’t as high as it looks. Why? Because much of my fluffiness is from inflammation.)
- My bowels are emptying!! (Adhesions have created several narrowed passages throughout my intestines. Unless I stick to a liquid diet, waste builds up like a dam. But when I follow a liquid diet, the adhesions form a tighter hold which narrows the instestinal path even more.)
- My balls have dropped! What I mean by that is the unknown masses that feel like balls in my belly. When this endometriosis flare began I felt up to seven “balls” throughout my abdomen. As with all of my abdominal scans, nothing has been visible. But as my medical history proves, scans don’t always provide the answers we need. Anyways, a week and a half into treatments I felt a shift, like two large masses had dropped. There is also a physcial difference in the appearance of my belly. My hope is that in time, the outward appearance of those balls becomes undeniable to my medical team so we can deal with them.
- Adhesions are releasing from organs and muscles. Unlike the violent rips and tears I had been experiencing, these are gentle. The best I can compare it to is when you slowly pull off a bandaid, but with more of a tingling than pain. With the release being so gentle, my muscles aren’t ripping and my organs aren’t having adhesions violently ripped from them. My bladder is close to being set free! I have felt most of the left side release and am currently feeling the right side release during treatments.
- I have decreased the amount of cannabis I consume for pain relief. Less pain equates to lower dosages.
- My blood pressure is damn near perfect! It runs dangerously high when I am in excruciating pain.
- My mind and body are less stressed.
With so much relief and improvements in so many areas, I want to know why my medical team has never suggested this form of physical therapy. Instead, they offered temporary pain relief then told me to exercise and lose weight while handing me a copy of their suggested diet plan full of foods that inflamed my digestive tract.
Daiwa Felicity Chi Leg Swing Options
The Daiwa Felicity Original Chi Swing Machine USJ-815 costs more than the model I purchased but has a longer session time than mine. It also has a handle and a foam-padded ankle cradle, which mine does not have.
With the Daiwa Felicity Original Chi Swing Machine USJ-815 / Japanese Sobakawa Buckwheat Pillow bundle, you get a pillow that can help with snoring, restlessness, and other sleep issues. It gives support all night long by never going flat.
The model I purchased is the Daiwa Felicity Original Chi Swing Machine USJ-201 Passive Aerobic Exerciser Swing Master.
Final Thoughts on Passive Exercise Machines and Chronic Pain Relief
Now that I know how much my body loves and responds to my leg swing device, I wish I had spent the extra money on one of the newer versions.
An extended treatment time would be excellent. But, the foam-padded cradle is what is most important! The cradle on my model does not have it, and I ended up spending extra money on foot pillows after getting a blister. I also added a neck traction device because having my head on the ground was painful.
I have no complaints regarding my results. The progress I have made has been worth adjusting my schedule for. I run one or two treatments every morning and night. It is the first and last thing I do. I have not missed a day, nor do I intend to.
My body craves and looks forward to each treatment. So much so that I didn’t mind waking up an extra 30 minutes early when we spent a full day at Disneyland. And I couldn’t wait to hit the floor and turn on the machine when I returned home at midnight!
As for what I expect from daily morning and evening treatments are, a continuation of reducing long-term inflammation along with whatever occurs each day. I hope to have more time and energy to give my other chronic illnesses the attention they need. I do not expect to be healed. But I do wish that at some point, my abdominal inflammation will be low enough for my medical team to acknowledge the lumps, balls, masses, or whatever you want to call them that are torturing me. And last but not least, I hope to someday in the future be able to exercise without injury or severe pain.
Have you tried or considered a passive exercise machine for chronic pain relief?