- Exercise & Fitness
Planet Fitness HydroMassage Machine Techniques for Muscle Pain Relief
I'm a little embarrassed to admit I was a member of seven different gyms since I was a teenager. I was getting tired of those Cindy Crawford workout videos which were my saving grace during the winters before the Wii was invented. I seemed to have the strange notion that whomever I worked out to, my body would look like, so of course, Richard Simmons was out and Cindy was in. Over and over again. Now I realize how much of a consumer I was.
I'm no stranger to progressive chronic neck pain and knots in my back over the past decade. I thought it was from standing for long periods of time in retail jobs (it was) or from sleeping in strange positions (that didn't help), but it turns out its mostly from an accident that happened ages ago which left me with carpel tunnel in both hands. Sometimes the migraine pain would radiate from the back of my neck into my lower skull so I would be forced to pop an OTC painkiller and call it a day.
Then one day I experienced a shooting pain from a pulled muscle I had woken up to. I went to my doc and also casually mentioned a dull neck ache that occurred from time to time which would turn into migraines and he ordered an X-ray of my chest and neck.
I was called to come back for test results. We all know what that means (queue the dramatic peak violins here). Let the plethora of panic attacks begin...from now up until the scheduled doctor's visit.
A week later, I was told it was arthritis and that I would need physical therapy weekly. Of course I asked, "Does it ever go away?"
My youth felt like it was just swept away from under me. Much like many people under 35, I thought arthritis only happened to senior citizens. Of course, the Universe was throwing me another message. The same message I'd heard inside my head numerous other times in my life due to my food sensitivities. Everybody is different, so stop thinking your body is like everyone else's.
I drove home with a shiny brand new prescription for a physical therapist that day...which I never filled.
I'm not promoting going against your doctors orders and what you do after reading this article is all at your own risk. I am simply sharing my own unbiased experience and story so you can take what you want from it and do as you wish. Obviously if you've had serious injury or any serious health conditions, definitely talk to a doctor before trying any kind of deep tissue massage, whether from a machine or human being.
The HydroMassage at Planet Fitness: A Little Piece of Heaven
What my doc didn't know was that for the past two years, I had been using the 'hydro'. This powerful contraption at Planet Fitness relieved my neck pain so much that I didn't even know I had arthritis in my neck. It's basically a waterbed which contains jacuzzi jets on speed moving up and down the middle of your body from head to toe. Black card member Planet Fitness benefits include full use of the 'hydromachine' also known as the HydroMassage Machine. This amazing contraption even kneaded out hard knots in my back which I get once in awhile from sitting or laying in certain positions for extended periods of time.
I began experimenting with the machine.
If a certain knot I had was more toward a side of my body that laying flat on my back couldn't reach, I tried turning a little more to the left or right depending upon where it was. I'm sure many of you have experienced the sensation of someone hitting the exact knot during massage turning into a weakened and vulnerable Herbal Essences commercial, hot red shame all over your face.
Luckily, the HydroMachine (and you) are in a darkened room usually located 25-50ft from the workout machines and other people. Don't get any other ideas, because if you lay face down, you could seriously potentially hurt yourself and possibly ruin all chances of future generations of geniuses such as yourself.
Helpful Tip: Since sweat and massage releases toxins and other stuff, I spray down the machine before I use it as well as after.
The 'Golden Ticket' of Planet Fitness
I'm going to share with you a little secret which I'm sure is not really a secret (since I'm sure many of you know this already). Something that I call the 'Golden Ticket' of Planet Fitness (Willy Wonka reference).
I consider this next technique the best little 'reward' for a workout well done. With the hydro's simple touch-screen interface, you can easily 'pause' the machine at spots you need for whatever percentage of your time on the machine you want. If you 'pause' the machine at about knee level, you simply bend your knees and plant your feet in that spot for the ultimate foot massage. If you know anything about reflexology, your feet are connected to numerous meridians and nerves that flow throughout your body.
If you're not used to foot massages, it will probably tickle like crazy, but once you relax into it, you won't feel like you're in the gym anymore.
I've been asked to switch gyms by friends and had the opportunity to a few times. The question remains the same.
"Do they have a massage machine?"
"They have a massage chair."
Sigh. "I think I'll stick with my hydro...er, Planet Fitness. Thanks!"
© 2015 Maya Marcotte