First, the basic info. I am an active 62 year old male with a chest size of 42. I work a physical job in summer. The two current outdoor adventures include Nordic skiing and mountain biking. The air chambers of the waist cuff fully encircle my chest. The fit is exactly what I had hoped for.
Expected performance included pressure to the torso from an encicling squeeze. Steady pressure to the rib cage is known to me. This is a treatment for autism, as is pressure and release. I am not autistic or a professional in the practice of treatment. I wanted the pressure and release option since I have and use a vest. Steady pressure to the ribs is very calming. Pressure and release with full encirclement, and variable pressure, would be something entirely new.
Experience is showing that it does take time to learn the various offerings the Air Relax pump device provides. Like the other cuffs in the system, with use, the Waist Cuff has somewhat of a break in period. With use, the pressure delivered seems to have risen a bit compared to the day of arrival. The user can change the pressure setting within the mode in progress.
So, what happens? This is not your mother's hug. Pressure can be programmed from quite light, up to squeezing the breath out of you. I like it somwhere between those. One more squueeze fact. The body can adapt to squeeze pressure over time. Finding a mode that is too much at first can become tolerable over days. That means you have to use the Waist Cuff regularly to condition the body if you want higher pressure. As mentioned above, my Waist Cuff seems to have delivered bit more pressure with use. There are four pressure settings. My experience is that there are steps between the four in certain modes of operation. On my control device, in one mode (Automatic) the display shows a higher pressure setting than what is actually delivered as it cycles through a routine of varying pressures.
Unexpected results. I was having soreness in a hip flexor muscle. Worn low, the Waist Cuff reaches that muscle. I chose a mode that would inflate just the two lower chambers, which would target that muscle. It worked, the soreness disappeared and some flexibility returned.
Unexpected results. I am having soreness issues in the upper back. Worn high, the top chamber of the Waist Cuff can target the sore area. This is a work in progress. The progress is positive. The Arm Cuff is helping.
General use. The sensation of a full encirclement squeeze on most of the torso is new to me. As a result of the early sessions I may have been a bit wound up. My brain wants to relax but my ribs were wide awake. The Leg Cuffs and the Arm Cuff, used separately, can unwind the head enough to almost sleep. I seem to be getting closer to the unwind as time with the Waist Cuff grows. The Air Relax pump blows warm air after a brief warm up. Deluxe quality time!
Unexpected results. I chose a mode that inflates one air chamber at a time, then the inflation remains in place. The first chamber inflates, which secures the cuff from possible movement. As subsequent chambers inflate and hold, I could feel a stretch in my back. (The leg cuffs do this stretching too.) Eventually all four chambers are inflated. There is a brief hold before the release.
A bit more on the facts of squeeze. We know about the steady pressure (vest) and the calming effect on the brain. The rib cage, however, can be considerably awake. The Air Relax Waist Cuff does the same thing with the pressure and release. The sensation in the rib cage is best described as a glow as the Waist Cuff encircles with pressure and warmth. The glow remains some time after the cuff is off.
As of June, 2017, I am just over one week in on using the Waist Cuff. There have been some unexpected and great results. There is theraputic and physical value with this cuff. I went into the unknown with a Waist Cuff. No regrets as the learning continues.
Okay, got all that? Is there physical enjoyment from the full encirclement pressure? Yes! It takes a few cycles to get the warm air. Quality time here! Can it be overdone? Yes. The pump device does what you tell it to do. You can back down or release the pressure if a mistake is made. You have those instructions with the pump device. I had to release uncomfortable pressure. Can you breathe? I can because my diaphram and lungs are not both fully contained in the pressure (long torso, short legs at 5-8.) Can you breathe II? Set the cuff up so it leaves some of the chest free of the air chambers. It works somewhat like my vest set up that way. Does it hurt? Being a cross country skier, classic style, I am pretty well built in the core. I have overdone the pressure and gone to work sore below the ribs. More. I tend to use the Waist Cuff well after or before meals. I will vary the mode and pressure at the start of a session. Auto is the only mode I let run start to finish.
If you choose to purchase a Waist Cuff, enjoy it, but be careful.
See you on the trails around NW Wisconsin and nearby states!
By Jeff Bolte