This guide will tell you about TOP-5 best chi machines that could be a good substitute for physical exercises. You will learn where the technology originated and what kinds of these devices are available now on the market. Read detailed guidelines on using the unit and tips for enhancing its effectiveness. In addition, there are recommendations for buying these products so that you could make the right choice.

If you think that chi machines have been invented for lazy people, you are quite wrong. I real life, we are not perfect like the images created by ads. Exhausted at work, engaged in endless domestic tasks, burdened with the upbringing of children, many of us just do not have the time or physical resources to do sports or exercise. As for me, I have been suffering from poor health from the first days after my birth. And what may be a little thing to some — jogging or hiking — is an energy-sapping activity for me, resulting in dark rings beneath my eyes and stuff like that in addition.

And still, I think it is unfair to deprive those who are under time pressure or have health issues of the benefits that physical exercise offer. No wonder that the solution came from Japan, a country with the highest life expectancy in the world. In the late eighties, the chi machine was invented by a Japanese company, with a Taiwan-based HTE being a distributor. Now, the product is released by other manufacturers as well but be careful not to purchase it from unreliable producers.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

What Is a Chi Machine and How Does It Work?

This is a therapeutic device allowing you to passively engage in aerobic exercises at home, classified by the FDA as a therapeutic massager. Based on traditional Chinese medicine, the technology aims to balance Chi, a term for a vital force that forms part of any living.

The device swivels your legs from side to side, making your body respond to it and move rhythmically. Put it on the floor, lay down, placing your feet in the cradle and then turn on the timer. But keep in mind that you need to relax and breathe evenly to feel a wave running from your feet to the head.

You may watch The Doctors TV Show to see a chi machine works

Chi machines can be loosely divided into two types. The first is the original one, Sun Ancon model produced by HTE. It has a specific speed and vibration rate that cannot be changed. And it is said to be the only model that has the figure 8 motion.

Chi machine Sun Ancon model: photo

The developers say that any change in these parameters will make the device at best useless. Since this invention is patented, no other manufacturers can produce items running at the same speed and providing the same width of leg movement.

That is where models from other manufacturers offering speed adjustment came in. These products allow users to change settings, making the unit work faster or slower depending on their needs. They claim that Ancon is inferior because it has single speed while HTE insists that using any other settings than that in Ancon will lead to imbalance and the product’s inefficiency. Well, it is up to you to decide which types of a chi machine to prefer but you should keep in mind that only the original model has been scientifically studied.

Is a Chi Machine Effective? What Scientists Say

According to experts at Weber State University, it offers a number of health benefits by means of oxygenating, toning, and strengthening your body. The therapy makes you feel energetic and improves your overall health. On top of that, it gets your lymphatic system stimulated and the spine balanced.

One of the testimonies to the efficacy of the machine is the fact that it has been included in the program implemented by the University’s Stress Management Lab, along with other stress-reducing tools.

“The chi machine was my favorite. During this exercise, I felt uncomfortable at first, but once you got used to it, it kind of felt like a massage. The end feeling was amazing!” one of the patients shared his experience.

Some users question the efficacy of the device, comparing it with aerobic exercises which strengthen the heart and lungs while a chi machine just works through the lymphatic system. Well, what you should understand is that this device is not a magic wand, nor will it cure diseases. But it will have beneficial effects on your health, something that was confirmed by scientific studies.

A group of researchers at the University of Arizona have studied the impact of this therapy on patients suffering leg lymphedema. A 3-week trial has shown “statistically significant reductions in total leg volume and fluids, whole body extracellular fluid, weight, and subjective leg symptoms”.

Moreover, even those symptoms, which returned a month after the treatment, were not so severe and did not reach the level that had been observed before the therapy was applied. So based on the research results, the scientists have concluded that a chi machine is an effective therapy tool designed to be used at home.

What Benefits Does a Chi Machine Deliver?

Actually, I see no reason not to use this device given the number of benefits it delivers. It will improve your lymph circulation, massage organs, help you flush the toxins out, lose weight, and mitigate pains, especially those in your back. Your immune system will become stronger and so do your spine and joints. You will look refreshed and younger, with an oxygen surplus created in the body. You will sleep better, relieve stress and improve the overall psychological condition.

Last but not least, when using such a device you rule out any risk of injury which can occur during physical exercises. Nor should you worry about physical overwork, something that many people fail to avoid. Now, let’s dwell on some of the benefits.

For those who want to become slim

Well, losing weight is perhaps a problem many people are worried about and which is hard to fix. How a chi machine can help in this case? Fifteen-minute therapy is equivalent to walking for more than an hour in terms of burning calories. The benefit is obvious: you save time and, at the same time, you do not put further stress on your heart. Moreover, you do not sweat and, therefore, can exercise anywhere and anytime you like.

According to the manufacturers, there are also two factors helping users of this device to lose weight. First, the treatment results in the acceleration of metabolism. Secondly, due to oxygenation, the acid level in the food reduces, which contributes to weight loss as well. However, it should be noted that these claims have not been confirmed yet by the U.S. Food and Drug Federal Administration.

For those who work in a sitting position

Another problem many of us face is back pain. It is hard to prevent as we have to work throughout a day and mainly we do it in a sitting position — a sacrifice that office employees have to make. The apparatus is designed to mitigate pains in back and improve spinal alignment. This has become possible due to vibration the unit produce and can be achieved after repeated sessions.

How to Use a Chi Machine?

The unit is easy to use and does not require any special knowledge. Just place it on a firm surface while the handle should be turned away. There has to be enough space at the bottom of the apparatus for air to move. Drink a cup of water for releasing toxins and lay down the floor, with your legs placed on each side of the device.

Your arms can be placed either above the head, under it or at your sides. Each position results in a different effect, depending on what issues are dealing with. The first one will help you to lose weight, reduce muscle tension and eliminate psychological stress. The second position is recommended for people with headaches and spine issues while the third one is claimed to help you to sleep better.

Once the timer is turned on, the unit is activated. Start with one-minute therapy to make sure the device works well for you. The therapy time should be increased gradually to let your body get accustomed to the movement, however, one session should not last more than 15 minutes. To obtain better results, use the device two times a day. The apparatus will make your body move. Over this period of time, you should relax as much as possible and make sure that your breathing is deep enough.

Do not get up immediately after the device is turned off. Wait for several minutes, then slowly get up and drink another cup of water.

What to Look for When Buying a Product

As I have already mentioned above, since this device is designed to have an impact on your health, you should be careful not to buy counterfeit or low-quality items. In order to avoid this mistake, opt for brand-name models and make sure that a warranty is offered. However, there are some other points you should take into consideration when you decide to make a purchase.

The number of rotations per minute. Some models have as many as 175 rotations per minute, providing a maximum intensity of therapy.

Weight. There are relatively lightweight items which have the advantage of being easy to carry. This is essential for those who use the device often and do not want to miss sessions.

Remote. Most models have a control panel but you should better check it.

Speed settings. The more you have them the better as you will be able to adjust the treatment to your physiological needs.

Extra features. Additional functions make the product not only more expensive but more effective as well. Such stuff as carrying handles, speed indicators, and ankle paddings will certainly come in handy.

Warranty. This document does not only guarantee that you have your money back in case the item does not work. Warranty is clear evidence that the manufacturer is confident in the efficacy of the product. As a rule, there are 1-year and 2-year warranties and the latter is surely preferable.

TOP-5 Best Chi Machines

Below, you will find a review of TOP-5 best products available on the market within the price range from $100 to $350. These products have different wattage, something that matters for big people. Convenience and comfort as important as well, that is why ankle padding in most models is an advantage. All models are automated and have a remote but the numbers of speed settings vary, though.

Affordable Chi Machine with a Swivel Disc | Sunpentown

Affordable Chi Machine with a Swivel Disc: photo

If you are not sure whether you really need this stuff, try this model that comes at a price tag of about $100. This is a budget choice, however, the product has all the necessary features. The device does not consume much power, just 20 watts, and operates noiselessly. It can be adjusted to 14 different speed levels, depending on your preferences and weight. The number of rotations varies as well, reaching as many as 175 rotations per minute.

You can also program intervals from 5 minutes to half an hour. The product comes with a swivel disc which should be placed under your hips so that they turn in accordance with the leg movements. Yet, the disc works only on a rigid surface and not for everyone but in this case, you still can easily do without it.

Sunpentown: Check the current price

Energy Efficient Chi Machine | Daiwa Swing Master

Energy Efficient Chi Machine Daiwa: photo

For the same price, you can get a model that consumes less power — in case this matters to you. This device has a motor operating just at 15 Watts but powerful enough to effectively move legs, however, is not recommended for overweight people. Its advantage in comparison with the previous model is an ankle padding making your treatment more comfortable. You can even run it on the bed, giving there is a firm mattress or you have placed a board under the device. There is also an automatic timer and the possibility to adjust the speed. The downside is that the model operates only on 110 voltage.

Daiwa Swing Master: Check the current price

Chi Machine | U.S. JACLEAN 

Chi Machine U.S. JACLEAN: photo

Now let’s move to pricier items. This model with a 48-inch controller cord will cost you more than $200. Apart from having all above-mentioned features, such as an automatic timer, speed adjustment, and ankle padding, this unit is more powerful. The motor will consume 40 Watts but it is more heavy-duty and can support people weighing 200 pounds and more. When set to fast speeds, the unit will give you a body buzz.

U.S. Jaclean: Check the current price

High-End Chi Machine | Exerciser Elite

High-End Chi Machine Exerciser Elite: photo

You will pay more than $300 for this model which has an ETL approval meaning that the product meets the minimum requirement of safety standards. Unlike some other cheaper models, this one has only 5 speed levels. But it has a digital timer that stops the unit automatically in 16 minutes. In addition, the producer offers a 2-year warranty, which will pay off your investment in case some parts will need to be replaced. A cover comes with the product and can be used as extra padding for ankles. The item’s downside is heavy weight and moderate noise it makes, though the machine is not very loud.

Exerciser Elite: Check the current price

Chi Swing Machine | Daiwa Chi Swing

Chi Swing Machine: photo

Compared to the previous model by Daiwa, this 35-Watt device is twice as powerful. The unit has variable speed and imitates massage therapy as if a therapist is shaking your ankles vigorously from one side to another. The model is made of durable plastic and has a vinyl padding. What I like in the product is its relatively light weight, 7 pounds, allowing to easily move it from one place to another. The product has a disadvantage of having a hard cradle that may hurt your ankle. However, you can soften it with a tissue placed on the top.

Daiwa Chi Swing: Check the current price

Comparative Chart of Chi Machine Effectiveness

Product Features


  • 20 Watts
  • 14 different speed levels
  • Intervals can be programmed
  • Swivel disc

Effectiveness: 8

Daiwa Swing Master

  • 15 Watts
  • Ankle padding
  • Automatic timer and speed adjustment

Effectiveness: 7

U.S. Jaclean

  • 40 Watts 
  • 48-inch controller cord
  • Ankle padding
  • Automatic timer and speed adjustment

Effectiveness: 10

Exerciser Elite

  • 36 Watts
  • 2-year warranty
  • Ankle padding
  • Automatic timer and speed adjustment

Effectiveness: 9

Daiwa Chi Swing

  • 35 Watts
  • Durable plastic
  • Lightweight (7 pounds)
  • Ankle padding
  • Automatic timer and speed adjustment

Effectiveness: 9


Who invented the chi machine?
It was invented in the late eighties by a Japanese engineer, Keiichi Ohashi.

What is the best chi machine?
By “best” you mean the most efficient one, I suppose. Based on scientific studies, we can conclude that it is Sun Ancon that has proved to have a significant effect on human health. There is no available information that other manufacturers commissioned scientific research to confirm the effectiveness of their products. However, the original model is more expensive and may cost about $500.

Can the apparatus help sciatica?
There are multiple reports that yes, the device can relieve sciatica pain since it improves blood and oxygen circulation.

Is it good for varicose veins?
Although the increased blood circulation is good for veins, some exercises may harm. So you should better first consult a doctor.

Where to buy a product?
Most models can be purchased on Amazon while original Ancon is supplied by the manufacturer and specialized stores.

Tips on Using These Devices

  • The treatment is more effective when accompanied by relaxing music. This will aid in relaxing your body, which is crucial for the apparatus to work.
  • Overweight people should run the unit at full speed as its oscillation is directly related to the body weight. 
  • If you find lying on your back uncomfortable, place a pillow under the knees or neck.
  • Never use it immediately after eating. Wait at least an hour until your stomach digests the food.
  • If you are pregnant or have serious diseases, first consult a doctor.