If you have the means, like $1500 or more, than Normatec has a plausible solution for muscle recovery without seeing a therapist. They’ve created a self-massaging system that you strap on, then hit the power button. There’s no work other than that. You can use it wherever you want.
Anyone who’s been on a field or in a court has at one time heard of the RICE acronym. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
The timeless advice doled by therapists since the mid-twentieth century lauds the benefits of pain reduction to hurry recovery. In more recent history, folks question the value of deep freezing muscles for pain.
Normatec’s system provides for relief without shutting down your natural systems, providing expulsion of your cellular waste without a therapist. It may be the best wearable to happen to athletes yet.
To understand the need for a high-cost wearable such as this, a little background is in order.
If you ask, most people know the body has one fluid transport system. “The cardiovascular system,” they’ll answer proudly. They would be half right.
There are two parts to fluid transport in the body, known as the circulatory system. Think of your blood vessels as the clean water system. The drain in the case would be your lymphatic system.
The blood system works via the pump from your heart pushing the blood through your body at 5 to 7 liters of blood in one minute.
The lymphatic system is a much simpler set-up. There is no lymphatic heart.
Your body expels cellular waste through your lymphatic system by way of muscle pump. When your skeletal muscles contract they push fluids through. That’s a good thing.
While icing muscles can reduce swelling, even pain, it won’t hasten recovery. In fact, it may slow it down. An iced muscle doesn’t contract very well. It doesn’t push out the waste.
You could see the massage therapist or pursue self-myofascial release, pushing on your tissue to increase blood flow. Not everybody has access to these techniques.
The Normatec system does all that for you. It uses something they call Sequential Pulse Technology (SPT), whereby the sleeve pulses then holds the pressure, moving progressively towards your heart.
The pressure is via the whisper-quiet air-pressure filling different sections of the device.
The custom-shaped sleeves fit over your legs, your hips or your arms. You control the sleeve with a digital touchscreen display that houses some basic control options.
Per the variances in pain tolerance and other factors, intensity levels will vary from person to person, but with the controller you set the intensity. Try to be so controlling during your next deep tissue massage.
Most of the wearables we cover in Body Hacks are in the $20-500 range. Most are also not FDA approved. If you’ve never worked with the FDA, we can shorten this explanation by comparing the experience to threading a drawstring through sweatpants. It’s time-consuming.
Time is money, so the end product is always more costly. The upside is you can talk to your physician about Normatec as a solution. You also may be able to get some relief from your insurance provider, but most importantly, you know you can trust the product.
The most basic product is just above $1500, which is about the cost of one professional massage a month for a year. If you’re hitting up the massage therapist every week, the Normatec pays for itself in months.
Not to mention, Normatec is on your schedule. Leg pain at 3:00 AM? No problem.
Normatec is not a new product. Unlike much of the wearables we cover, it’s not crowdfunding. It’s available now. You can have it to your home within days.
If you’re someone who lives with muscle aches and pain, then it’s a worthwhile consideration. They give you a thirty-day, no-questions-asked return option with a two-year warranty.
You could start by contacting your insurance company to see what they will cover. You may not even need a prescription to buy it, depending on your coverage.
Final thought: You can keep icing your muscles if you’d like, but don’t think you’re hastening recovery. Instead get some pressure on that lymphatic system. Push out the crud.