Anyone flicking through the channels late at night may have seen a Dr. Ho infomercial, and if you had, it wouldn’t have been overly convincing, especially with the bikini-clad assistants, unless you were drunk (our friend Zeph probably has 3). So when Mama Bear arrived home from a shopping outing with Nana and plunked a Dr. Ho’s Pain Therapy System box down on the kitchen table it was a bit of a surprise. First of all, Papa Bear is generally suspicious of all forms of quackery and this had all the makings of a ‘miraculous snake oil’ cure. So after being told that it was on sale for $127.99, suspicion turned into full blown incredulity. PB: ‘Really, you spent that much for a plastic gizmo?’ MB: ‘Yes, Mom says it works.’ [The evil gassy-arsed mother-in-law strikes again…]
Now Mama Bear has been struggling with a chronically sore hip caused by a fall down the icy front steps back in January so she was willing to give this a try. She unpacked the device, applied two of the gel packs to her hip, turned the dial to a particular setting and sat back. Within seconds, she was grimacing and contorting.
Dr. Ho’s Pain Therapy is a battery-operated hand-held device weighing in at 100 grams, promising to deliver electrical stimulation through 2 – 4 gel pads to ease aching muscles. The intensity of the stimulation can be adjusted by the wearer as well as the type of massage. Three different programs run through distinct ‘massage’ therapies, including sensations of kneading, rubbing and tapping. When checking online reviews, surprisingly, it gets a mostly positive response. Even more astonishing, the device is used for rehabilitation by several chiropractors and some physiotherapists.
So after a few days using Dr. Ho’s system, Mama Bear proudly exclaimed ‘My hip is fixed!’ What? That cheap looking contraption actually worked? Yup, she said, ‘it’s a miracle!’ So Papa Bear, being the skeptical curmudgeon he is, had to try it for himself to see it would have any affect on the occasional sciatic pain in his lower back.
Calling it a massage may be a bit of a misnomer because it doesn’t actually feel like one – more like a small jolt of electrical current, painless if the setting is low, eye-popping if you turn the dial past three (it goes from 1-5). Basically, the muscle contracts through electrical stimulation. The power of this little unit – using only 2 AAA batteries – is actually quite amazing.
So was there a second miracle? Well, kind of. Papa Bear’s back definitely felt better after several 20 minutes sessions, but it’s a bit early to declare a complete corrective remedy. The most immediate benefit, however, was a smoother, pain-free ‘moonshot’ for the mother-in-law…