The Chi Machine is a type of passive exercise machine, which means you don’t expend any effort because the machine moves your body for you. These machines were originally developed to improve blood flow in patients with limited mobility, but have since been marketed as weight-loss tools. The research on these machines — most of which has been sponsored by companies that manufacture them — is limited, and a Chi Machine is unlikely to do much to help you lose weight.
How Chi Machines Work
Chi machines work by vibrating the lower half of your body at a rapid pace. This requires your muscles to move, but you lie in the machine, which means you won’t feel like you’re expending much effort. Moreover, while such motion might reduce fluid in your legs or even give your legs a very low-intensity workout, the motion won’t work your hips or waist, which means you can’t get a calorie-burning aerobic workout.
Can You Lose Weight?
One 2004 study published in the journal Lymphology points to weight-loss in the legs among people who used the Chi Machine. However, the study did not find weight-loss in other areas of the body, and the leg weight-loss associated with the Chi Machine may be due to fluid reduction, not actual fat loss. Losing weight in your legs won’t affect your love handles, and because the Chi Machine requires no effort from your upper body or core, it won’t challenge any muscles on or near love handles.
Chi Machine Limitations
There’s only limited evidence that Chi Machines yield any weight-loss in the body, and no evidence that they can help you lose love handles. Losing weight through exercise requires your body to work and burn calories, and the Chi Machine doesn’t meet this requirement. Instead, if you want to shed fat you need to get plenty of exercise, particularly cardio such as running or jumping rope. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control advises a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardio and two days of strength-training per week.
Effective Weight-Loss Strategies
You might be tempted to work your waist and abs to shed love handles, but these spot reduction strategies build muscle. They won’t burn fat. Instead combine a healthy cardio routine with a balanced diet. Try cutting a few hundred unnecessary calories from your diet each day. Soda, alcohol and sugary snacks are a good starting point. This caloric deficit can help you lose weight, but paired with regular cardio, will help you lose weight even more quickly.
- Lymphology: The Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser — A New Patient Focused, Home Based Therapy for People With Chronic Secondary Leg Lymphedema
- Chi Machine International: Weight Loss Testimonials
- American Council on Exercise: Weight Loss — Diet vs. Exercise