What is WBV: Whole Body Vibration?
By Jocelin Higgins
It’s an acronym, WBV. “It’s the smartest, most efficient way to exercise and rehab because it’s firing 98% of your muscles at once and it’s low impact” states Tara Krupich, co-owner of Body Quirks.
What is whole body vibration training, otherwise known as WBV? Strangely enough, I had never heard of whole body vibration training as a means to fitness and weight loss. In fact, I thought these types of vibration machines were just for physical therapists to use to help people regain muscle strength for recovery and such.
However, recently I was introduced to Portland’s new whole body vibration studio, Body Quirks and this led me to try the machines out and investigate how they can help people not just in feeling better, but to increase fitness and bone density, improve core strength, improve your circulation and flush your lymphatic system, reduce cellulite, and especially promote weight loss. I’ll share with you my experience using the machines, explain how they work and give you some advice on where to go to find them.
My Experience with WBV-Whole Body Vibration Machines
So, I spent a couple of weeks, about every other day using the machines for twenty minutes each time and then the following Saturday, ran seven easy miles playing in a soccer tournament. I was really impressed on how my body responded after using these WBV machines for only two weeks. I felt better and more energized. I noticed my muscles toning up and my belly felt firmer. My mood improved and the neck pain that I get from long hours at the computer, eased. Apparently, ten minutes on one of these equates to an hour at the gym. I found that it was much easier for me to run and move my body and dart back and forth quickly out on the soccer field than it had been previously.
Why and How Does Whole Body Vibration Training Work?
A person stands or sits of a vibrating platform and experiences these movements throughout their body. The speed can be adjusted and many of the machines are equipped with workout plans that can target specific areas of the body or switch from a more massage or “therapeutic” mode to a fitness or “training” one. It is an aerobic form of exercise, even though you may not be panting as heavily, but if you also move your major arm or leg muscles more rapidly your heart rate will increase as your body is vibrating on the platform. Specific machines are equipped with guided workouts and show you which posture to take by demonstrating with a picture of what to do and how long to hold each posture. This makes them super easy to use and you can always step off one at any time if you are feeling uncomfortable.
How Body Quirks Opened in Portland, Oregon
There are many different types of whole body vibration machines which have been researched for over fifty years I’m told by the owners of Body Quirks, Esther Bell and Tara Krupich. Some are better than others, of course. Tara shares the story of how they first found and tried the Zaaz 20k machine, which is one of the most popular on the market currently. This discovery led them to dive into more research done on the machines and learn as much as they could.
What they discovered was that the closest studio was in San Rafael, California. They knew that the time was ripe to open a studio here. Their studio is even equipped with an amazing Sonic Pulsation WBV machine which uses sound energy. It feels calmer than the other ones and so very soothing that it even put me into a light trance; I was so relaxed on it.
Are There Any Risks to Whole Body Vibration Training?
As with most any exercise or activity, it’s important to start slow and build momentum. If you are out of shape or previously sedentary, try a slower speed (15 hertz) at first and work your way up (30 hertz). Trust your body to tell you if it’s too much as you will begin to feel very tired if you are over doing it because your body goes into detox mode, which can affect your immune system. Remember that ten minutes on a vibration machine is like an hour of training in a gym or fitness facility. Additionally, you want to make sure that you are not jumping too much on a platform because you could lose your balance.
If you are local in or near Portland, the Body Quirks owners invite you to come on by for a free session to try out the WBV machines. They are located at 3311 NE MLK Blvd. in Portland, Oregon. Call them at 503-233-9030. A couple of pricing options include a $15 per session price or an $80/month unlimited membership, but call them for more specifics!
Where and How to Try Some Body Vibration Training
But, what if you don’t live here in Portland, Oregon or San Rafael, California? What can you do to try this simple vibration training?
Well, you can either find a studio in your area by typing whole body vibration and your city name into a search engine or buy a machine of your own. The prices run the gamut, depending on the quality. The better the machine, the longer it lasts. My favorites are the Sonic Life ones as I found an incredible difference in using sound versus mechanical vibration. They are a bit more pricey, but you can also reach higher levels. They have even been compared to simulating heightened states of meditation quite accurately. The Zaaz 20 k mentioned earlier can be found at Zaaz Movement. If you are on a smaller budget, the Confidence Fitness has a best-selling machine with 4.5 star rating.
A great reference book, Whole Body Vibration: The Future of Good Health, describes the many health benefits to whole body vibration. It’s written by a naturopath, Becky Chambers. In it, she claims that WBV therapy in combination with nutrition, supplements and homeopathy treatment under her doctor’s care, finally allowed her to heal from a lifetime of extreme and serious health issues.
Lastly, here in this video chiropractor Dr. Mike Moriearty explains why these machines help so many people. He debunks the criticism and details how their effectiveness is backed by numerous scientific studies.
Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear from you regarding this post here at Feel Better Wellness! Please leave a comment or question below. Namaste!
Bell and Krupich, Esther and Tara. “Whole Body Vibration Training.” Body Quirks: Total Body Solutions. Body Quirks, 2015. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
Chambers, Becky. Whole Body Vibration: The Future of Good Health. First ed. N.p.: Quartet, 2013. Print.
Moriearty, Mike, Dr. “Do Whole Body Vibration Plates Work.” YouTube. YouTube, 23 Aug. 2014. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
Unknown. “Whole Body Vibration.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.
Vibration, Lymphatic. “ZAAZ 20K Vibration Machine – Step Counter – Lymphatic Drainage Monitoring.” YouTube. YouTube, 13 June 2014. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.