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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does it work?
    The Surge of Chi Exerciser is placed on the floor, or an elevated surface – which must be firm. The user simply lies down and places their ankles just beyond the cushioned recesses in the leg cradle, so the legs are well supported. The leg cradle swings from side to side after turning on the motor. The leg cradle has a slightly elliptical trajectory, rising a little at each end of its travel. This movement of the leg cradle, driven by the motor, is designed to swing the feet and legs sideways in a rhythmic back-and-forth motion at varying speeds of between 80 and 160 oscillations per minute. The user can decide which speeds according to their own feeling and condition. The Surge of Chi has a “remote” hand controller enabling the user to adjust the speed gradually and precisely mid-session while lying down.
  • Is it good for back problems?
    One of the great potential benefits is the release of tension in the back, shoulders and neck. This is especially helpful if you use the Surge of Chi regularly, as it will help to relieve the build-up of tension that often accompanies continuous bad posture or other possible causes for your back problems. However, it should not be used as a substitute for the many excellent therapies which professional practitioners make available. In particular, you should not use the Surge of Chi immediately after you have suffered a back injury. There are many practitioners able to assess your back problem comprehensively. They are best qualified to work on injuries and persistent conditions that need special attention.
  • Will it cure any specific health problems?
    Apart from the back care benefits, regular use of the Surge of Chi can help more generally – especially if you are suffering from stress and loss of optimum health conditions. After some time – which could be days, weeks or months – you may recognise a significant shift in your general state of health and energy levels. If you continue to use the Surge of Chi regularly, this support for the body’s natural capacity to maintain and renew itself will help to keep you healthy. The Surge of Chi Exerciser is registered by the MHRA in the UK as a Class 1 Medical Device, for use as follows: in the treatment and/or alleviation of muscular-skeletal conditions of the back, neck and shoulders such as chronic muscular tension; misalignment of the pelvis and spine; sciatica; poor posture; aching and stiffness; poor mobility and suppleness of joints and muscles; in treating and/or alleviating the symptoms of chronic conditions characterised by poor or unstable energy levels and/or impaired systemic health, such as chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, poor circulation, oedema, poor sleep and the general symptoms of stress. At the same time it is important to understand that the Surge of Chi should not be used as a substitute for the many excellent therapies which professional practitioners make available. Your GP and many other well-trained health care practitioners are best able to assess your health condition comprehensively. They are best qualified to work on particular conditions and parts of the body that need special attention. As a company we are not able to advise on specific medical conditions. We strongly recommend that you seek advice from your GP or therapist if you are suffering from a recurring or chronic physical condition.
  • What is ‘Passive Exercise’?
    Exercise comes in many forms. These days we know it is important for health. Doctors and health professionals are always encouraging us to get a varied range of exercise on a regular basis, as modern lifestyles have reduced the amount of exercise that many of us get. The Surge of Chi Passive Exerciser provides a direct form of exercise that we call ‘passive’ because the user is lying down in a completely relaxed state, not expending any energy. The exercise happens in a very balanced way, as the body responds naturally to the movement of the feet from side to side. Most adults in today’s society rarely enjoy this type of exercise in their everyday lifestyles, even if they manage a workout in the gym, go jogging or play sports. It is important to understand that the Surge of Chi should not be used as a substitute for ordinary exercise wherever you can get it. In particular it does not provide a muscle strengthening function.
  • Why is ‘passive exercise’ valuable?
    Within the animal kingdom, only humans stand and walk erect. This means that gravity constantly works against us. As adults many of us tend to use our bodies in a less than optimal way, and adopt postural habits that lack dynamism and exert pressure on our spine, hips and neck. It takes energy and awareness to use the body well. Many of us unconsciously surrender to gravity – and to a state of physical lethargy – as most of our energy is directed to the mental tasks we pursue. In this state our backs, shoulders and necks can lose their flexibility, and tension accumulates here. The Surge of Chi Exerciser provides a simple and direct form of exercise. Most importantly, this exercise is all gain, as it is free from stress. This relaxing type of exercise actually increases the respiration rate, giving you a consistently deeper breathing pattern as your body responds to the Surge of Chi's movement.
  • What is the optimum speed?
    Everyone’s body is different. There are many ‘body types’ and our health conditions and fitness levels vary a lot. Your body’s response to the movement of the Surge of Chi will differ, depending not only on your physical height and weight (due to the laws of physics!), but also on the general tendencies and condition of your nervous system, muscles and ligaments, metabolism, internal organs and so forth. The hand controlled speed dial allows you to adjust the speed while you monitor your physical feeling as your body responds to the oscillation of the leg cradle. This will allow you to discover a speed which is in harmony with your needs and breathing rate. Most people will find that the optimum speed for achieving a comfortable rhythmic movement and deep but undisturbed breathing is considerably less than full speed. Some people find they need to use a very slow speed, yet have experienced very significant benefits from using the Surge of Chi. Some who are more athletic and very fit may wish to use higher speeds, though should only do so after gradually building up from their first session.
  • Why is it called a ‘2nd Generation Chi Exercise Machine’?
    The original passive exercisers of this class – which were invented in Japan around 1990 – were designed for the Japanese who had a history of practising “goldfish exercise” in different ways. These exercisers generally had lightweight AC motors and one fixed speed. The Surge of Chi was developed for Western physiques, adopting a more robust engineering model than the early products. It has a heavy-duty DC motor and a low friction engineering design. These motors have several benefits including a longer life (tested under continuous use for 3000+ hours under 20kg load), smoother ride, lower noise level, temperature resistance (works well even in cold temperatures), and the capacity to accommodate electronic programming with precise speed adjustment controls. Other refinements over the original models include padded leg cradle, a broader width of travel and slightly elliptical travel of the leg cradle, an adjustable hand-operated speed controller and, in the case of the the Surge of Chi Exerciser Mark 2 / FlexxiCore and the Surge of Chi Exerciser Mark 4, an LCD screen on the handset, a 3-mode timer with display, and pre-programmed speed variations (Auto-modes) for those wishing to enjoy fully automated sessions.
  • Is it safe for all age groups?
    The Surge of Chi Exerciser can be used safely by all age groups, so long as the User Guidelines are followed. Elderly people and children enjoy the experience and come back for more! Care should be taken to start with short sessions, and everyone can then gradually increase session time and find the speed at which they are most comfortable, using the adjustable speed control. Users can easily stop the machine with the hand control at any time – while still lying down. The safety of the Surge of Chi is backed up by Energy for Health’s Product Liability cover of £5 million.
  • What about low energy disorders like ‘ME’ and Fibromyalgia?
    For people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, “ME” and similar debilitating conditions characterised by low energy levels, it is important to experience exercise in spite of the general sense of fatigue. Many people with these conditions report feeling better after undertaking a moderate exercise plan. However, many people with CFS etc are sensitive to overexertion, and excessive exercise may lead to consistently worsening fatigue and mental functioning. Exercise with the Surge of Chi is normally a great help for them, but should be taken at gentle speeds and in short sessions. The Surge of Chi can be used selectively and moderately by those with CFS and other debilitating conditions, starting with very short sessions at a slow speed. As they get used to the gentle and rhythmic motion of the Surge of Chi, they will normally start to feel confident to gradually increase session time and to find the speed at which they are most comfortable. We strongly advise that they should consult with their regular healthcare practitioner and, even though they may get significant benefits from using it, they should not rely upon the Surge of Chi as a ‘cure-all’.
  • Why does our nervous system need modulation?
    The autonomic nervous system constantly works in the background to regulate all the major functions of the body. It is so powerful and truly autonomous (working independently of our conscious thought) that we can literally live our whole lives without being aware of all its intricate and subtle workings. However in modern society many of us (and the environment we live within) have placed great burdens on this nervous system. The pressures of demanding work schedules, poor posture, stressful situations, and even excessive body weight can all lead to an overstretched and out-of-balance nervous system. This in turn can lead to many of the modern ailments that medicine has no specific cure for – back pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia, headaches, stomach aches, constipation, depression, allergies and so forth. The autonomic nervous system has two parts: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, which govern different aspects of the whole being. With some individuals the sympathetic nervous system tends to be more dominant, while with others it is the parasympathetic. Most of us need rebalancing in that sense. Regular use of the Surge of Chi Exerciser can help stress-related health problems generally.
  • Why is oxygenation important?
    As we all know, oxygen is the most essential element for the body’s survival. But the manner in which oxygen is absorbed, transported and utilised by the body remains a mystery to many of us. Some medical professionals have devoted long periods of study to oxygen and the human body. Dr. Stephen Levine is a renowned molecular biologist. In his book “Oxygen Deficiency: A Concomitant to All Degenerative Illness”, he stated that: “In all serious disease states we find a concomitant low oxygen state… Low oxygen in the body tissues is a sure indicator for disease… Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen in the tissues, is the fundamental cause for all degenerative disease.” Dr. Otto Warburg was Director of the Max Planck Institute for Cell Physiology in Germany and a Two-time Winner of the Nobel Prize For Cancer Research. In his book “The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer” he wrote: “Cancer…has only one prime cause, the replacement of normal oxygen respiration of the body’s cells by an anaerobic (i.e. oxygen-deficient) cell respiration.” Recent research at the University of Georgia, USA, has revealed that the 7 different types of cancer cell tested had very low levels of oxygen [Journal of Molecular Cell Biology 2012]. The Japanese health professionals who first invented (in 1990) the original passive exerciser which preceded the Surge of Chi were focused on the benefits for improving circulation, including oxygen supply at the cellular level. Oxygen is needed to maintain a healthy environment for all cellular activity. Lack of exercise, stress and sedentary lifestyles contribute to chronically low levels of oxygen in our cells. Even lack of sufficient fresh food and water have been linked to reduced oxygen intake by the human body. Bacteria, viruses, parasites and malignant tumors all thrive in an oxygen-depleted environment. Low oxygen levels leave us feeling tired and depleted. A common factor in asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory system disorders is an inadequate supply of oxygen to the blood. Our lungs will deteriorate between 9% and 25% every 10 years (Framingham study) unless we do something to maintain them. Exercise is the body’s mainstay for achieving this self-maintenance requirement. However, excessive stress during exercise can actually cause breathing blocks, which can lead to inadequate levels of oxygen. The Surge of Chi Exerciser allows us to enjoy a balanced and stress-free form of exercise.
  • What time of day should I use it?
    This is really an individual choice, but there are 3 typical times that many users like: 1. First thing in the morning – a nice energising way to start the day 2. When you are feeling tired after work or during a break from work – a great way to relax and unwind 3. Before going to bed – especially for people with sleep problems – many find it helps them to relax. A slower speed may help at this time, and the Auto 3 Sleep Mode gives a wonderfully relaxing session where you can let the Surge of Chi do absolutely all the work.
  • How long should it be used for?
    The maximum recommended session time is 15 minutes. The Surge of Chi has an automatic cut-off at 15 minutes. We recommend starting with just a few minutes and building up gradually. It is not necessary to do 15 minutes every session, though many people enjoy doing so. For most people 5 – 10 minutes is a good average session time. Please refer to the detailed guidelines for use. NOTE: You can get more benefit with several short sessions than one long one.
  • Does it have to be used on the floor?
    In order to work properly in creating the regular rhythmic motion through the legs and hips, the Surge of Chi needs to be placed on a firm surface. This is because the swing action – and your body’s response – would be affected if the surface is unstable. A carpeted floor is therefore an ideal surface for the Surge of Chi to be placed on, and use of a yoga mat or comfortable rug or blanket to lie on will give added comfort. It is also ideal to have a comfortable resting place for the head. Many people use a pillow or cushion, and a mouse mat is also a popular choice for those who are able to lie flat, as it has a smooth surface which allows the head to wobble around naturally, without causing the user’s hair to tangle. The main point is to be completely comfortable, and to make sure there is no friction or abrasion of the skin through rubbing against a hard surface. It is worth experimenting to find out how to best suit your own body’s needs. The Surge of Chi should ideally not be placed on a bed, though for infirm or elderly users it could be set on a firm surface laid over or beyond the end of their bed, or on a therapist’s couch which remains firm and solid.
  • Can it be used with any voltage?
    The Surge of Chi has two versions for use in: North America and other countries with 100 – 110 volt power supplies; and Europe and other countries with a 220 – 240 volt power supply. The European model is not suitable for use with a 110-volt power supply, even with a power adapter, and vice versa. This is because the circuit board will not operate well with the wrong power supply. The European model is supplied in UK with a 3-pin adapter for use in UK; this adapter can be easily removed (one screw) for use with its pre-fitted 2-pin plug in other European countries with a 220 – 240 volt power supply.
  • What is the size and weight of the Surge of Chi?
    Dimensions: 18.5 in. x 13.75 in. x 10.25 in. 47 cm x 35 cm x 26 cm overall Weight: 15.65 lbs. / 7.1 kg without packaging 18.75 lbs. / 8.5 kg with packaging
  • Is it easy to carry and transport?
    The Surge of Chi has an integral handle, allowing anyone to pick it up easily with one hand, and to carry around the home. It comes packed in a sturdy box – handy for transporting by car or sending by parcel services. For those such as therapists who want to transport it frequently, we recommend a wheeled suitcase with zipper.
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