Is Vibration Therapy a Miracle Cure?

 Whole Body Vibration Therapy

Some call it a miracle cure while others say it enhances their workout performance, increases energy or improves their skin texture and tone.   As we learn more about the benefits of whole body vibration therapy (WBV) we learn this may be a key to combating many of the negative effects of aging. 

WBV was used by NASA to counteract the effects of zero-gravity on astronauts. Movements performed on a WBV platform have been shown to be more effective than equivalent exercises performed on a stationary surface. 

This low impact exercise can deliver impressive health benefits for users of all fitness levels. The best part is that it takes very little time, only ten to twenty minutes a day, and anyone can do it. 

 When standing on a WBV machine, vibrations penetrate the entire body activating up to 90% of all muscles and producing involuntary reflexes.  The stimulation increases proprioceptors which maintain muscle strength, bone density and balance.  Because WBV is relatively safe for most people there have not been enough scientific studies to prove all the anecdotal benefits being reported such as;

  • increased bone density
  • increased muscle mass
  • improved circulation
  • reduced cellulite 
  • reduced joint pain
  • reduced back pain
  • reduced stress
  • Improved sleep
  • increased energy
  • boosts in metabolism

Several studies show the whole-body vibration is effective in combating some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes. The results are accelerated when combined with exercise, but beneficial effects are seen in those who are not able to exercise. 

 

Weight Loss

We all know exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and being able to workout only 20 minutes a day while watching TV is exciting.  If your goal is to reduce fat and increase muscle mass you will be pleased to hear that WBV is ideal for you.  Do not focus on the scale, however, because replacing fat with muscle will give you a more fit and toned body but not necessarily reduce weight.  Notice the list of benefits above; we do not list “weight loss” as a benefit, only “increased muscle mass”.   This is where it’s important to understand that muscle and fat differ in density (muscle is about 18% more dense than fat) and one pound of muscle occupies less space (volume) than one pound of fat.  So ultimately our goal should be to gain muscle.  When you exercise, you use muscle.  This helps build muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories, even when you're at rest.   Keep in mind that 10 pounds of muscle burns approx. 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat burns approx. 20 calories. 

 

Bone Density and Muscle Strength

An article published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation reviewed the research on vibration therapy’s effects on muscle strength and bone mass. The authors found evidence that vibration therapy can help improve muscle strength and balance in older adults.

More recent research suggests WBV may help stimulate bone formation and improve bone strength especially in menopausal women.    

Muscle and Join Pain

WBV exercise leads to increased muscle blood volume which helps prevent muscle soreness according to research published in the Journal of Athletic Training, 

What are the risks of vibration therapy?

Caution should always be used when using vibration therapy as the intensity of machines varies.  Talk to your doctor before trying vibration therapy as you may be advised to avoid it if you:

  • are taking blood thinning medications
  • have advanced diabetes
  • have heart disease
  • are pregnant

 Conclusion

While additional studies on WBV would be useful, it is doubtful that many more will be done as there are no monetary benefits for doing them (in contrast to studies of new pharmaceutical products which offer huge monetary benefits).  However, many types of WBV machines are on the market and have been sold for several years, with no serious reported adverse health effects.  Some machines cost several thousand dollars and some just a few hundred – most of them doing the job.     Buying a WBV platform is much like buying a pair of shoes, it comes down to which you like and how much you want to pay. 

There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive machines.  Many of our customers report the inexpensive units offered at Amazon work just as well. Below are a few of the favorites! 

The Vibra Therapy is the most high quality for the money! 

   

       


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