Vibration Machines

History of Whole Body Vibration

History of Whole Body Vibration

The science and benefits of whole body vibration stretch across centuries. Dating back to the ancient Greeks, and continuing in to the 1900’s, body vibration machines have seemingly always been a part of human life. In this article, we provide a brief history of the modern day best vibration machine. We will also analyze how vibration therapy has woven its benefits into the fabrics of many cultures across the world.

Body Vibration Machines in Ancient Greece

The Greeks were a warrior society. As with any warrior people, dealing with injury from armed conflict was a reality of daily life. Ancient Grecian doctors invented the first body vibration machines as a therapeutic methodology to help soldiers recover from their injuries. They utilized a bow-like wooden instrument, and would ‘pluck’ the strings of the bow to allow it to vibrate over soldiers’ wounds. Doctors in Ancient Greece found that soldiers’ injuries would heal faster as a result of vibration therapy; this “buzzing” allowed pus to drain faster from wounds and stimulated the production of human growth hormone. Together, these benefits helped to stimulate healing in the patient’s body.

Vibration Therapy in the 1800s

Although Ancient Greeks invented body vibration machines, whole body vibration was not widely used until the late 1800s, when a Swedish doctor named Jonas Gustav Zander established the modern gym. In Zander’s gymnasiums, members could test out various types of gym equipment. Included in some of Zander’s earliest gyms was the vibration machine. Indeed, Zander employed vibration therapy as a way to help stimulate weight loss and muscle gain in his patients.

In 1895, John Kellogg, who would later invent the modern breakfast cereal, improved on Zander’s designs and came up with the first whole body vibration machine. Kellogg’s invention paved the way for modern machines like the Power Press.

Whole Body Vibration in the 20th and 21st Centuries

In the 1960s, scientists became increasingly bullish on whole body vibration, believing in its utility across various health aspects and careers.

Russia was the first country to fully embrace vibration therapy. In the 1960s, the nation utilized what they called rhythmic neuromuscular stimulation. This led to the discovery that whole body vibration could not only support muscle growth, but also help stimulate bone regeneration. Some of the first people to enjoy the benefits of vibration therapy were the Russian cosmonauts, who commonly suffered from poor bone density as a direct result of space travel.

The Russian space program took huge steps forward as a result of vibration therapy. In 1995, equipped with an effective solution for the negative effects of weightlessness in space, the cosmonaut Valery Polakov became the first man to stay in space for more than 400 days. In addition to the space program, Russian athletes also leveraged body vibration machines to speed up their rehab during the Olympics.

From its birthplace in Russia, body vibration machines spread far and wide. The Americans used it to get a man on the moon. German scientists put it to work in improving people’s flexibility. An Italian physiologist named Carmelo Bosco then came up with the modern day whole body vibration machine, allowing people from all over the world to access the benefits of vibration therapy in the comfort of their homes or in their neighborhood gyms.

The Benefits of Whole Body Vibration: Fact or Fiction?

The Benefits of Whole Body Vibration: Fact or Fiction?

If you’ve been reading about health and exercise lately, you have likely come across a puzzling trend called “passive exercise,” or more specifically, vibration fitness. Whole body vibration machines are exploding in popularity and don’t show signs of disappearing any time soon. In this article, we will dive in to discover the truth about whole-body vibration.

Origins of WBV

Whole-body vibration was born in the USSR, where Soviet astronauts used rudimentary vibrating “plates” to simulate various aspects of space travel. News of the positive effects of vibration on human health spread internationally. In no time, countries from the US to France to China began including whole body vibration in their space programs.

How Does It Work?

The most popular form of vibration exercise features a person standing with knees bent on a platform. When the user is ready, they flip a switch and the platform begins to vibrate. Vibration machines vary in their speed, but the most common setting is 30 vps (vibrations per second).

The human body interprets 30 vps as a danger signal, and fires a powerful “stress reflex” that causes the muscles to contract. The body’s “stress” reaction is the key to whole body vibration fitness. The contraction of human musculature generates a wave of physiological changes, including increased strength, better balance/stability, and improved blood flow. Believe it or not, professional athletes have begun using vibration machines to help speed recovery from intense workouts. Some additional benefits include increased metabolic rate, flexibility, HGH production, improved bone density, and better circulation in the lymph nodes.

While the above effects have been studied and proven at various degrees, do not trust everything you hear about whole body vibration. It won’t make you more beautiful, reduce bags under your eyes, or give you clearer skin. While whole-body vibration has shown great potential for improving human health and fitness, it is not a miracle-worker. There are many unsubstantiated claims floating around, and if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is!

Picture of Woman on Vibration Machine

Who Can Benefit From Whole Body Vibration?

One of the most incredible facts about whole body vibration is that it can improve the lives of everyone – able-bodied people, the physically disabled, and even our elders. Whole-body vibration can serve as a much-needed exercise alternative for sufferers of Parkinson’s, MS, and severe arthritis who may not have the mobility to exercise in more traditional ways. Similarly, elderly people who are too feeble to perform traditional exercises have shown improvements in muscle strength and bone density after using vibration machines.

Buying a Vibration Machine: Try Before You Buy

Studies have found that using vibration machines can be as effective as treadmills for losing weight. As we’ve already covered, there are clearly many benefits of vibration machines, from improved blood circulation, to stronger bones, to improved muscle strength. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that more research needs to be done before fitness experts can understand the exact value of whole body vibration machines. This new form of nontraditional or passive fitness is still in its infancy.

The best vibration machines like the Power Plate, the DKN, and the 3G Cardio Vibration Machine can run in the thousands of dollars. Because of this huge financial commitment, you need to be absolutely positive that you enjoy – and your body responds well to – vibration exercise. How often will you use it? Are you disabled, an elder, or have other mobility challenges? Do you have space in your home or apartment?

We suggest trying several different vibration machines before spending thousands of dollars on one. One of the challenges here is that your local gym probably does not have a vibration machine to try out. Whole body vibration is only now entering the mainstream, but who knows if gyms will adopt them? Vibration machine companies know this – adoption and lack of credibility are existential threats to their business. To help with adoption of their products, they’ve taken a “pop-up” strategy. “Pop-up” stores are special short-term, brick-and-mortar events that allow prospective customers to interact with a product line. If you live in a big city, it is very likely that there’s a vibration pop-up near you!

Finally, beware of any vibration machine under $200. You put your own health at risk by using a machine that isn’t built well or that takes shortcuts. That said, if you make the right choice, and you buy a high quality machine, you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come. But skimp on the price, don’t expect your machine to last long.

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