As we get older, human beings of both sexes tend to come across new health issues that they did not foresee every happening to them. After all, while it can be easy to play for the logistical aspects of getting older, it can be much more difficult to wrestle with the unchanging and unavoidable aspects of growing old.
Some of the most common physical ailments that come along with getting up there in age include arthritis on certain parts of the body, a reduction in athletic performance, chronic back and joint pain, a reduction in balance, an increase in cellulite, general fatigue and so much more.
Of course, there are many different medical ways that people try to approach and solve these issues that start to pop up, but it can be impossible to find something that works well without coming with any noticeable side effects.
Luckily, there is one such procedure that people of all ages can go through to help solve all the aforementioned ailments and many more! This solution is known as whole-body vibration therapy and the technology has actually been around since the late 19th century!
Back in 1867, Russian physician and inventor Gustav Zander found that an apparatus he created to create a sense of vibration helped heal circulation ailments and solve constipation. About a century later, Russian doctors found that a similar type of vibration helped Russian cosmonauts overcome the unfortunate loss of bone density that occurs when human bodies enter space.
From that alone, it should be clear that there are some pretty incredible signs that this kind of therapy is much more than a vibration massage. After all, procedures that extend from before the age of modern medicine to the age of space exploration seems to be a clear indication that this is very impactful.
While this technology may seem somewhat space-age, there is no reason why you cannot take part in this incredible technology even if you are not an astronaut exploring the cosmos. Let us at lifetimevibe.com break down the basic facts about this form of therapy for you!
How does it work?
When a person undergoes whole-body vibration therapy, your therapist will ask you to stand, sit or lay on a machine that is supported by a vibrating platform. There are many different positions that a whole-body vibration therapist may ask you to get in depending on what you are hoping to cure. For example, you could be lying down, or you could end up standing in a half-squat position with your knees slightly bent.
From there, the machine is turned on and vibrations begin to be sent through your body. When this occurs, the muscles in your body begin to contract and relax. In fact, it has been proven that this type of vibration can end up causing your body to produce more osteoblasts. These are crucial cells that produce bone.
Not only is this a pretty exhilaration experience, but the vibrating itself can be somewhat therapeutic in a mental and physical way. Just like babies love to be rocked to sleep, the sensations that arise from whole-body vibration therapy tend to blanket the patient in a sense of calm and contentment. Surely, that sense mostly only lasts during the actual therapy session, but it is also known to leave patients feeling great and heavily relaxed!
Ultimately, the direction and intensity of the vibrations are going to play a large role in how well the therapy fully works. That is one of the primary reasons – and we’ll get into more a little later on – why it is so important that you find a reputable and expert therapist to work with who can help guide you through your sessions and make sure that you are getting the very most out of your whole-body vibration experience.
What are the primary health benefits of vibration therapy?
Therapists and medical experts who advocate for full-vibration therapy believe that the act has a huge range of important health benefits for people of all ages. The primary benefits include the following:
- Increase bone density
- Improves blood circulation
- Increase muscle mass
- Reduces joint pain
- Reduces back pain
- Alleviates stress
- Boosts your body’s metabolism
- Reduces dizziness
- Reduces fatigue
- Reduces insomnia
- Increase mobility
- Aids the lymphatic system
And much more
While there is no doubt that research is still ongoing to determine the raw data about the benefits of vibration therapy, there have already been a many number of highly respected medical studies that certainly point to the incredible benefits of this type of therapy. Let’s break down some of the most notable and impactful.
How whole-body vibration helps increase bone density and muscle strength
In one article that was published in a highly reputable rehabilitation journal, authors found meaningful evidence that vibration therapy can help to improve leg muscle strength in older adults. Beyond that, a different study suggested that vibration therapy can help stimulate bone formation and improve bone strength. However, one thing that has become clear is that the strength of the vibration has a strong impact on whether or not the therapy is effective.
How whole-body vibration helps ease muscle pain
According to research that has been published in a journal covering athletic training and rehabilitation, whole-body vibration was found to help prevent and reduce muscle soreness the results from strenuous and continued exercise.
While many of the ways in which whole-body vibration is believed to help people have to deal with chronic aches and pains, there has actually also been research on how whole-body vibration therapy can help ease the symptoms of some very serious diseases. One such disease is Parkinson’s disease. A study that was reported in a journal covering neuropathy and rehabilitation, it was suggested that vibration therapy may have short-term benefits for people struggling with Parkinson’s.
For example, it was found that vibration therapy could help decrease the muscle tremors and rigidity that Parkinson’s disease is known for.
With that being said, it is believed that there is still a fair amount of research that has to be done in order to determine how whole-body vibration could help ease the long-term side effects of the disease.
What are other major illnesses whole-body vibration therapy has been found to help
Now that you know that it has been found that whole-vibration therapy has a positive impact on serious disease such as Parkinson’s, you may be interested in learning about some of the other major illnesses that it is used to treat. Those include the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cystic Fibrosis
Of course, if you are dealing with any of these health issues, or are simply interested in the other benefits of whole-body vibration, it is wise to consult your primary care doctor before you take matters into your hands. Without a doubt, a combination of pharmaceutical solutions along with whole-body vibration could be a fantastic way to help overcome the side effect and symptoms of these unfortunate illnesses and health issues.
Are there any risks of whole-body vibration?
Overall, vibration therapy is considered primarily risk free, that is especially true if you are doing so with a professional therapist on hand, which you should always do. However, there are some possible risks that anyone who is curious about possibly using whole-body vibration to overcome illnesses should know about.
Overall, the main risk related to vibration therapy has to do with the chance that the level of vibration is too high. Vibration that is too great for an individual can unfortunately lead to lumbar injuries and subsequent back pain. However, if you are working with an expert, there is virtually zero risk that this would ever occur.
Beyond that, you will want to speak with your doctor before you pursue vibration therapy. In some cases, they may end up suggesting that you do not take part in the therapy. The primary reason for that would be if you are dealing with any of the following:
- You are taking blood-thinning medication
- You have advanced diabetes
- You have heart disease
- You are pregnant
At this point, you probably have a pretty good idea regarding whether or not whole-body vibration is right for you. In the end, this decision, just like any other related to your body and health, is one that you have to make for yourself. Of course, there may not be ample research proving that there is a direct connection between vibration therapy and healing serious illnesses, but there is no doubt at all that the data is there to indicate that it has a highly positive impact on the body.
Whether you are a highly trained athlete who is looking for a new way to relieve muscle and joint pain after a competition or a strenuous exercise session, or someone who is elderly and looking for ways to overcome the chronic aches and pains of old age, whole-body vibration therapy could certainly be for you.
If this sounds like something you are interested in, all you have to do now is fine a whole-body vibration clinic near you and set up an appointment.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.