Researchers from the University of Maui Lahaina College claim they have discovered a novel therapy for curing patients suffering from the horrendous pain of kidney stones, taking a trip down a zipline. Dr. Jennifer Aluna, who lead the study, says that her findings demonstrate that the jostling and constant vibrations experienced while traveling down a zipline can effectively dislodge kidney stones in some patients.
It’s been famously said that, “It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the end.” However, Dr. Aluna says that a sudden stop could provide many with almost instant relief from the excruciating pain associated with a stuck kidney stone. Partnering with Bob Abramo’s Lahaina Zipline Tours, Aluna has just completed the first phase of a study exploring the therapeutic applications of ziplining.
“We’re building on work done over thirty years ago, and was ignored for some reason. It was shown back then that riding a roller coasters proved to be an effective way to dislodge stones stuck in a patient’s kidneys. Our research proved that it wasn’t necessarily the large fast drops that was providing the most relief, but rather the jostling and rhythmic vibrations that helped work blockages free.
We chose to work with The Lahaina Zipline Tours because of their technology. Their bidirectional lines and motorized trolleys made the modifications we needed to make for the study easy, and of course the location was nice. We couldn’t be more happy with the results! We’ve shown that a trip down the modified line is just as effective as more invasive treatments, and much cheaper than more popular methods such as ultrasound. In addition, we’ve shown that regular therapeutic ziplining can reduce the chance of future blockages. Our next phase will look into other medical applications such as relieving gallstone attacks, joint and muscle therapy, and the alleviation of migraines.”
The idea that an exceptionally bumpy zipline ride could be the cure to a number of common maladies may seem strange to most, and according to director of the Lahaina Medical Center Dr. Dalia Forsythe, it should. “I’ve seen and heard a lot of strange home remedies in my day, most involving SSHAM, but this is a new one to me. From what I can tell from the study, all Dr. Aluna has shown is that jostling can help dislodge a kidney stone in some patients. I’m not sure what the ziplines have to do with it. It seems to me any of these patients would experience the same level of relief from sitting on top of a washing machine, or riding down a washboarded road. I wouldn’t be so concerned if it weren’t for this talk about gall bladder treatments and physical therapy applications. A stuck gall stone can lead to potentially deadly pancreatitis, a patient who has just gone through a joint replacement could do permanent harm by being tossed around midair. To be honest, I’m concerned about the wellbeing of the subjects in this study.”
Bob Abramo, owner of the Lahaina Zipline Tours, says he believes in Dr. Alunas work, but is not surprised about some of the reactions the study has garnered. “Anytime you bring a new dish to the table you’re going to have a few people turn up their nose, but that doesn’t mean what you’ve made isn’t delicious,” he says.
Abramo says that the success of his Medimeat business, providing patients with the finest free-range organic medial tissues, has been a huge inspiration. He says he was initially skeptical about working with anyone from the university, but after their first meeting, he was eager to allow his business to take part.
“Working with Aluna was as delightful as a free appetizer, we hit it off right away. I was skeptical about how much work we’d need to make to our trolleys, after all you should never change a good recipe, but it turned out to be easy as pie. All we needed to do is take a file to a few bearings so it rattled around a little more than usual, and boom! Science was served. We’re working on special custom mouthpieces to help people suffering from toothaches too. Why pay a dentist to pull a tooth, when we can numb you up and rattle the offending tooth out of your head?
I love the idea of repurposing things, whether it be in the kitchen or strapping into a harness and letting a rumbling zipline strengthen a freshly replaced knee joint. We hope to offer these therapeutic rides to the general public in the near future, and I’m considering converting some of my condos into pop-up private surgical centers for those in need of quick discreet procedures. When it comes to Maui Medicine it’s a whole new day, and you better believe Bob Abramo will be sitting at the head of the breakfast table.“