A night of high-tech body testing at PIH

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012 at 15:25

TriathlonOz - Michelle

It must be fate... a few weeks ago, I was invited by a friend to attend a workshop for triathletes about swimming biomechanics. Not one to avoid an opportunity to soak up new knowledge about anything triathlon, I said "sure" and together we went to Perth Integrated Health in Balcatta for this info session and not only picked up some tips but discovered where I can get a underwater camera analysis with a customised program from a National swim coach. I'm not sure how regularly they offer these sorts of workshops, but last night I went to another one - this one was callled "Make me Better" and all the participants and I got one-on-one time with their specialist practitioners on their high-tech diagnostic machines.

The "Huber Motion Lab" - a French design, hence pronounced as "Hugh-Bear" (not "hub-ba"), is the flagship machine of the clinic. Words cannot describe this machine, so here's a photo I found on the company's website (LPG Systems S.A)

I stepped up to this machine and was put through a series of balance tests - it was a bit like doing the balance games on Wii Sports. I had to "ride" the oscillating platform like a surfboard = fun! I had no visual clues to anticipate what was coming, and no read-out on the screen to tell me if I was doing it right or wrong. But the physician was gaining heaps of info about what my body was doing and sure enough my current issues with my knees, hips and feet were quickly detected and a few statements made about the causes of my weakness!



The next test-subject was put through a totally different series of activities. She was told to place her hands on the "intelligent handles" which have sensors that analyse pushing and pulling efforts. The results show on the central screen and reveal specific data that helps the physician assess specific strengths and weaknesses.

My understanding is that PIH physicians put clients through an initial biomechanical analysis on the Huber Motion Lab and then if necessary various sessions on the machine can be worked into a program that is highly specific to an individuals needs and goals to target and train strength, core stability, reduce muscular tension and specific pain in joints, improve flexibility and coordination etc.

It was apparent to me that this is a very unique machine and probably worth millions of dollars. PIH Balcatta have the only Huber Motion Lab in Western Australia and I believe there are only about 5 Australia-wide but internationally, it is used by Olympians, elite golfers, football clubs and international 5 star wellness centres.

We then moved into another room and each of us underwent a basic scan of the c-section of our spine. Purely a diagnostic tool, the EMG scan detects the activity in the spinal nerves, which provides a read-out showing any imbalances and is used for bench-testing before treatment and then to reassess improvements after a treatment phase has been undertaken. Sure enough, my sore neck showed up.

The third machine was the Key Module, another invention by French company, LG Systems. This machine has multiple uses but was originally invented for the treatment of burns and scars but is also used for sports injury rehabilitation, cellulite control, oedema (fluid) treatment, body sculpting etc so also has a place in high-tech beauty clinics. We all had our lactic acid drained by a machine that seems to suck onto your muscles as it gently glides over your skin - a bit like the creepy-crawly in your pool. Afterwards we all commented how our legs felt light. Apparently Katey Gibb comes in regularly for a session to drain her lactic acid out so that she can do back-to-back big training sessions with less fatigue. How nice would that be?!

Overall, it was a fun night and a real eye-opener learning about the services offered by PIH. I have to admit that previously I've not really fully understood the range of services they offer. Pity because all the various podiatry, physio, massage appointments I've had with different people all over the show could have all happened in the one clinic by people that specialise in dealing with triathletes.

The good news I've been asked to share is that they are offering complimentary full body scans (normally $55) for one month to the triathlon community (max. 2 sessions per person). I would think you shouldn't miss out on this opportunity if you have any current niggles. Give them a call.

If you do please mention you were referred by TriathlonOz.


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