Before we get started, I’ve got to know. Why exactly did you click on this blog post? Who are you, Samantha Jones? What type of daily vibration do you think I’m talking about?
I’m talking about Whole Body Vibration.
You see, the vibrator I use doesn’t fit in a nightstand. It’s a whole body vibration machine. Specifically mine is the Power Fir DS-K01 Bantamweight Vibration Massager. I love my machine so much that I consider every day to be a failure if I haven’t stepped on it for a least a few minutes.
I discovered the power of vibration at Ballenger Creek Chiropractic. Every time I had a knot in my back, Dr. Cassie would pull out a jack-hammer-like hand-held device that pounded the hell out my muscles. I would walk out of her office feeling amazing and then hop on her whole body massager to stretch, strengthen and also work on my balance.
I loved their machine so much I often went 3 times a week until I researched WBVs and figured out that I could buy an affordable model to use at home.
Although fitness folks like exercising on WBVs I use it to stretch and get blood flowing to my weak left side. Some days after only 5-10 minutes I’ll look down to find that my left foot, hand, leg or arm is beat red and itchy like how your legs look when you go for a run. Considering how little movement I give to one half of my body, I love knowing that I can give my vascular, lymph, and musculoskeletal symptoms a workout.
I also can’t help but notice that ever since I started actively working at the level of my nervous system and added movement with awareness to my life, my machine has been helping me wake up parts of my body.
For example today I made the connection that when I’m using my exercise bike, if I press into the peddle with the forth toe on my left foot, it helps to stabilize my knee which allows me to peddle properly (i.e., my knee doesn’t collapse in on itself). I then took that new tidbit of information into my functional, daily movement. Suddenly I can more easily rise from a chair, keep my legs crossed and push off my foot when walking which is HUGE!
So what does that have to do with a vibration machine?
I believe the machine is bringing parts of my body back online. By micro-moving bones, tendons, joints and bringing blood flow to the aspects of myself that I normally don’t feel at all, I’m bringing these parts back into my mind-body consciousness. This awareness helps integrate my foot back into a very complex gait-cycle that most people don’t think about let alone, notice.
If you’re interested in adding this technology to your wellness regimen keep a few things in mind:
- Although they make industrial machines for gyms that cost upwards of $6,000, you can buy a small, home-use machine for about $150.
- In her book, Whole Body Vibration: The Future of Good Health, Becky Chambers notes that double motor machines are a waste because you can’t completely synchronize two motors. Although you won’t notice the millisecond difference, your nervous system will. Keep it simple and stick to a single motor machine.
- Avoid seesaw oscillation and stick with vertical vibrations.
- If you only want to warm up, stretch and relax your muscles then a WBV can be a passive addition to your wellness routine
- But if want to turbo charge your fitness regimen, WBV only does that if you’re already a fitness freak that loves to sweat and push yourself to your limits. It adds another dimension to your workout, brings more muscles into play, and challenges you in ways different from static, floor moves.
- I have no clue if you can lose weight with these machines so if you think you can vibrate while eating a doughnut without any consequences, spend your money on something else. I also can’t confirm that 10 minutes of WBV exercise equals an hour of traditional exercise like a lot of the marketing materials claim.
And finally this is the part of the post where I need to remind you that I’m not a doctor and I’m not dispensing medical advice. I’m just telling you what works for me. In other words I’m describing activities not advocating any, so talk to a healthcare professional if you’d like to add whole body vibration to your healthcare regimen. But between you and me, if I had a pacemaker, recently implanted pins, plates, or screws, a history of deep vein thrombosis and blood clots, varicose veins, disc issues, orthopedic problems or recent head or neck trauma, I sure as hell wouldn’t be adding vibration to my day until I spoke with someone in the know.