Daphne Lynch was like many of us who wrestle with chronic orthopedic issues — the aching back, the chronic knee pain. She’d sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before slowly putting her feet down on the floor to start the day. As a 60-something-year-old new grandmother, she wanted to find a way to ensure she’d be able to play with 1-year-old Bennett as he started to walk.
She found it in Manduu, a revolutionary fitness studio that leverages technology to provide an ultra-low-impact but highly efficient workout for people of all ages and fitness levels.
“When I first heard about it, I thought this was a little kooky. I didn’t think anything like this would work, and I was very skeptical,” Daphne says. “I can’t stand going to the gym. It smells, and I feel like I’m too old to be in there, so this was just a perfect fit. It’s fast and it works.”
Daphne says that since starting Manduu eight months ago, she’s not only toning and tightening up, but her knee and back pain have gone away. “I’ve had chronic back pain, and I thought I was going to have to have surgery on both knees, but this has totally taken my pain away,” she shares. “My knees aren’t catching and popping. It’s just amazing, and it makes me proud that I’m working on my health. I just feel young again.”
Manduu uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), a technology refined in Europe before gaining regulatory approval in America. Nashville resident Jason Ritzen, who built a career creating medical office and surgery center developments, came across Manduu while on a business trip in Miami. As an avid strength trainer, he scoffed at the idea and wanted to try to “break the machine.” Now Jason owns the company, which just opened its second Manduu Nashville location at Hill Center Brentwood.
The team behind Manduu America, headquartered in Franklin, includes a local mayor and career financial consultant, a former hospital executive, a longtime personal training entrepreneur and three leading orthopedic surgeons. They saw the results – and then the potential – in the highly efficient, incredibly effective program that leverages technology to reach deep inside the muscles while boosting fat-burning metabolism, helping people of all ages and fitness levels craft the body they want.
“As an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, I am intrigued by Manduu: a personal trainer once a week, no crowded, confusing, intimidating gym, and far more efficient yet with very little impact on the joints,” says Malcom E. Baxter, M.D., who along with his Hughston Clinic partners Joseph A. Wieck, M.D., and R. James Renfro Jr., M.D., are helping launch the local and national expansion. “If you haven’t felt a good burn in your muscles like when you were young, give it a try and you will start to notice tone and strength that you’d forgotten about. Exercise can be repetitive, and that ‘good sore’ confirms that you’ve actually done something. It is an impressive option for a broad range of people.”
Jason put together a team of entrepreneurs with proven credentials in finance, operations and fitness: Wiley Robinson, a registered nurse who ran a New Orleans hospital intensive care unit and directed physician practices before moving to Nashville and building one of the largest martial arts studio organizations in Middle Tennessee; Corey Napier, a career business operations executive and mayor of Thompson’s Station; David Evans, who retired as a senior financial officer of a healthcare system; and the three orthopedic surgeons.
“This is the only FDA-certified commercial EMS system in the United States, so while people in Europe have taken advantage of the technology through millions of sessions, I knew we needed the expertise to explain the science and change the way people think about exercise,” Jason explains. “The data doesn’t lie, and a weekly full-body scan measures a number of key health indicators with clinical accuracy. We’re now working with clients that range from professional athletes to seniors, people who are in great shape and those who haven’t exercised in years, and their bodies are being transformed.”
The human body runs on electrical impulses, and Manduu utilizes low-voltage current to activate more than 90 percent of muscle fibers in the body’s major muscle groups through a 15-minute, ultra-low-impact session of flexing and resistance movements once a week. An FDA-certified Manduu personal trainer tailors the program to individuals based on their unique fitness goals, and the InBody™ scan measures skeletal muscle mass, total body fat, visceral fat, hydration, metabolic rate and other relevant metrics before each session. Clients appreciate the privacy, cleanliness, efficiency and expertise that Manduu offers.
“Time is precious, and every second counts here. This technology allows us to be incredibly efficient and produce measurable results – there’s no guesswork,” Jason says. “When you experience Manduu, you’ll recognize that this is the future of fitness training.”
Becky Richardson manages the Cool Springs studio. She graduated from Brentwood High School but chased her love of travel and adventure as a rafting guide in Costa Rica, a backpacking tour leader in Australia and a snowboarding instructor in Vail, Colorado. There she started working with wounded veterans while earning a bachelor’s degree in adaptive physical therapy, and a stint with combat soldier reintegration at Fort Campbell brought her back to Middle Tennessee. She was familiar with electrical muscle stimulation therapy in a rehabilitation setting, but not in fitness. Like everyone, she was skeptical. “I do obstacle course racing and a lot of other sports – it’s not like I don’t work out,” she says. “But I was sore for five days. I was impressed, and I’ve been even more impressed as a trainer seeing people overcome great challenges and achieve their goals, whether that’s to be active with their grandkids or perform as an athlete.”
People like Vale Hawkersmith, a 40-something mother of two 10-year-old twin girls, was struggling with fibromyalgia and sciatica, to the point that she ended up in the emergency room and endured intensive therapy to try to ease the pain and chronic fatigue. “I couldn’t get out of bed I was so tired,” she says. “To me, this is a godsend. You can look better and feel better, and I’m living proof. It will change your life like it changed mine.”
Visit manduu.com to explore the science, hear more perspectives and schedule a complimentary session in Cool Springs or Brentwood.
This article is sponsored by Manduu.