A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Vibrational Training – shake shake shake!
“My cellulite is almost gone!” “I dropped three dress sizes in six months!” “My aches and pains are diminishing” “My coordination is so much better!” These are the testimonials I heard from patrons in a fitness center in Toronto where they incorporate vibrational exercise equipment. It is still very controversial as to whether turning to this exercise mode is enough to reach a workout goal or whether one should use it as a warmup before beginning another form of activity. I tend to think the latter.
Vibrational exercise technology originated with the Soviet Space Program. Russian scientists found that the longer their astronauts spent in space, the more they suffered from reduced bone density and muscle tissue. By using this type of equipment they found that not only could they stop bone loss but actually could increase bone density and strengthen muscle tissue. Hence, they were able to spend more than 420 days in outer space versus the American astronauts who trained on conventional fitness equipment and had to return after just 120 days.
Today it is used widely both in the fitness and physical therapy industries as well as in professional sports, rehabilitation centers. Vibrational training is increasingly used in both beauty and wellness applications. Celebrities and athletes around the world are using this equipment, including Madonna, Gwen Stefani and champion Lance Armstrong.
How Does It Work? Vibrational equipment is basically a platform that creates a vibration that is sent through the body. One can stand, sit, lay down and/or concentrate the platform on certain body parts. Because it causes all muscle groups to move by applying constant consistent vibrations rapidly and at specific frequencies, it is believed to cause tendons to stretch and blood flow to increase, thereby improving blood oxygenation. And all this without any exertion!
Touted Benefits of Vibrational Equipment
Improves balance and coordination
Improves muscle tone
Improves bone density and fights osteoporosis
Increases blood circulation
Prevents sports related injury by warming up muscles
Helps to burn fat, especially belly fat
Decreases recovery time after workouts
Reduces back and joint pain
Decreases muscle stiffness
Improves lymphatic drainage
Boosts your body’s natural collagen production
Aids in detoxification
Relaxes the entire body
Vibrational training is also used in cases where neuromuscular re-education is needed – i,e. Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. It is also used for peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia. Therapists are even incorporating vibrational training into their rehabilitation programs after surgery, strokes and even some cases of spinal cord injury. Apparently the type of movement is very important and there are many cheap knock offs on the marketplace. Moving in three fields, up and down, side to side, and back and forth, each direction having its specific functions is what most of the positive research indicates. When the machine moves up and down it improves muscle tone; left to right and front to back movements improve balance and coordination. Often people feel an itchy sensation when starting to use the machine but this is simply the body releasing lactic acid and activating the metabolism.
Does Vibrational Training Replace Diet and Exercise? Heck no! Wishful thinking perhaps, but several studies have indicated that vibrational training can play a very beneficial part in trimming belly fat and many anecdotal stories of women reducing their cellulite is enough to get me to either buy one or get me to a gym that has one!
(Judit Rajhathy is the author of the Canadian best seller Free to Fly: a journey toward wellness. She can be contacted at 765-4551 or through her website: www.juditrajhathy.com.)