By Michaela Gibson Morris
High-tech fitness equipment from France has landed in Tupelo, but not at a gym.
Tupelo family physician Dr. Anne Haire brought the Huber Motion Lab to Northeast Mississippi as part of the newly opened Elite Aesthetics and Wellness located adjacent to her Elite Medical Clinic office.
“There are only about 25 in the U.S.,” Haire said. “Most of those are in chiropractors’ offices or physical therapy practices.”
The Huber Motion Lab uses a rotating platform so that the user has to constantly adjust the muscles in the abdomen, legs and back as they apply pressure with their hands, which engages the muscles in the arms and upper back.
“The table forces you to use your core muscles,” Haire said. However, because there’s no impact, it’s well-tolerated. “This doesn’t feel like exercise. Your lungs aren’t burning, your knees aren’t hurting. It promotes movement without the negatives.”
The machine has 85 different programs ranging from gentle stretching to challenging sports-specific exercise programs. For people with limited mobility and balance, there’s a seat that attaches to the platform.
“It’s very unlike anything we’re used to,” Haire said.
It may seem like a strange fit for a primary care clinic, but Haire sees the Huber Motion Lab as part of an evolving, expanding umbrella of preventive and wellness care.
“I would like people to be proactive about their health,” Haire said. “I want to stop focusing on illness and start focusing on wellness.”
Haire wanted to be able to offer more support to her patients fighting chronic diseases like Type II diabetes, beyond the general eat-well and get-some-exercise advice.
“I might not see you for six months,” Haire said, but having access to the motion lab, dietitians and personal trainers next door provides options for staying accountable.
Huber Motion Lab has therapeutic, aesthetic and general fitness functions.
“It just does so many different things,” Haire said.
On the primary care side of her clinic, Haire has used it to evaluate patients with Parkinson’s disease and muscular dystrophy. The Huber Motion Lab was helpful in quantifying how much a patient with long-term back issues was compensating with her stronger side, she said.
However, Haire expects the Huber Motion Lab will primarily be used on the wellness side of her practice, where clients will book time for sessions. It will cost $40 for a 20- to 40-minute session in the lab.
It is helpful for people who need to improve their balance, gently strengthen their muscles and improve range of motion and flexibility, especially in their core muscles and spine.
“It’s based on your strength and your ability,” Haire said. “It’s customized to your level.”
People using the Huber Motion Lab go through an initial assessment on the machine. The assessment is repeated after five sessions. Users keep track of their information on their own thumb drive.
“This is a small step,” Haire said. “We have a lot of room to grow in trying to prevent illness.”