Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Robo-masseur hits the spot


Rich Greco's office looks like that of any other physical therapist but for two machines hovering over the training tables.

Most noticeable are the long mechanical devices above the two training tables, the Meilus Therbo Robot. Greco, who worked with 2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes, does not service golfers exclusively. He has, however, noticed the machines he purchased last December have been particularly valuable to his clients who play golf.

The machine can work on any muscle group. Greco asks clients which muscles need work and sets up the computer accordingly. The arm - about 2 feet long - has an end fitted with two rounded-off metallic knobs. They are equipped with sensors that detect resistance in the muscle and adjust during the typical session, which usually lasts 8-12 minutes per muscle. The arm applies steady pressure to a muscle, increasing blood flow and, ultimately, movement.
"It's like a massage, but it's not," Greco said. "Its effect is much quicker and the result is going to last longer."
Greco is one of two physical therapists on Long Island who have the robot, which was developed in 1997 by Tampa Bay-area automation engineer Al Meilus. Robo-masseur hits the spot


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