While vibration therapy might look like something out of Star Trek, this new trend in wellness may be beneficial for a wide range of patients. If you’ve been curious about what vibration therapy does, keep reading! We’re going to cover some of the key points about whole body vibration therapy, also known as WBVT.
What Is Whole Body Vibration Therapy?
There are several different vibration therapy technologies currently available. A common form of WBVT involves the patient sitting, standing, or lying on a large vibrating plate. If standing, the patient may hold onto handles for stability or may even be ordered to exercise by a healthcare provider.
The vibration plate then stimulates body tissues, forcing muscles to rapidly contract and relax. This may produce an effect that feels similar to exercise, making vibration therapy an especially interesting opportunity for individuals who are unable to exercise independently.
Of course vibration therapy can be utilized by anyone. Vibration therapy has been studied in connection with Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, weight loss, back pain, osteoporosis, strengthening tissues in older adults, and more.
What Does the Research Say About WBVT?
Numerous studies of whole body vibration therapy have been conducted in recent decades. A few brief summaries and conclusions are presented below:
- In 2005, researchers studied the effects of WBVT on patients with fibromyalgia, concluding that the therapy “may be an adequate treatment for FM [fibromyalgia] as a main therapy or when added to a physical exercise programme as it could improve the balance, disability index, quality of life, fatigue, and pain of patients with FM.” (source)
- A 2009 study concluded that vibration plate machines may help individuals “lose weight and trim the particularly harmful belly fat between the organs.” (source)
- A review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded, “The current evidence indicates that WBVT may be an effective exercise intervention for reducing the results of the ageing process in musculoskeletal structures.” (source)
Is Vibration Therapy Right for Me?
Vibration therapy may be useful for individuals who would like…
- More muscle mass
- Denser bones
- Greater metabolism efficiency
- Better circulation
- Less joint pain
- Less back pain
- Less stress
The potential benefits of vibration therapy continue to be studied. Please note that early findings may not be conclusive.
Additionally, many people suffering from migraines, headaches, and other head/brain-related injuries are finding relief with vibration therapy. Targeted vibrations around the cranium may disrupt pain signals traveling between the brain and nerve endings, providing a non-pharmaceutical form of relief.
Vibration therapy isn’t just for people with symptoms. Many people use vibration therapy as a part of a daily regimen for enhancing overall wellness.
Curious About Vibration Therapy? Talk to Your Health Care Provider.
Vibration therapy is an exciting new frontier in health care. Have questions about how vibration therapy may apply to you? Talk to your healthcare provider. And, remember, not all vibration therapy is “whole body.” Many researchers are currently exploring the uses of localized vibration therapy for the brain and other areas of the body. When it comes to vibration therapy, we’re at the beginning of a potentially exciting new world of possibilities!