Recently, many people have asked me, "What's that new thing over in the corner?" If you did, its likely I encouraged you to step on and have a turn; an unfamiliar vibration experience that at first "feels a bit weird" but usually leaves you feeling pretty great afterwards. If you're still wondering what I'm talking about, we recently got a Vibeplate. No, it wasn't purchased late-night from a TV infomercial and no doesn't come with one of those belts that vibrate you to lose weight. So, (I hear you wonder) what's so great about the Vibeplate then and more importantly, why do I need it?
What is the Vibeplate?
Well, in short, it's a plate that vibrates... There are a large number of systems on the market that produce Whole-Body-Vibration equipment, and the Vibeplate in this industry is what a Ferrari or Maserati is to the car industry. It's built to last, manufactured in the USA, and uses tiny vertical vibrations at various speeds to mimic how our bodies interact with gravity and the earth. Most other vibration plates on the market produce a side-to-side based vibration which can potentially leave people feeling unsupported or destabilised. With the Vibeplate, the vibration occurs vertically, closer mirroring real life and providing a superior experience. Understand more about Vibeplate's vertical vibration system here.
And why should you care?
Let us start with some basic biological-physics. When you move, there are different forces on your body. Depending on the surface you strike on, the amount of this force that is either absorbed by the ground or it is ricocheted back into your body will change. The example I offer is the contrast between walking barefoot on the grass compared to on concrete. Grass generally has a bit of give and therefore it absorbs more of the force; while concrete has very little give, and therefore it doesn't absorb much and you have to employ your own natural shock absorbers e.g. toes, ankles, knees and hips and if all else fails, your inter-vertebral discs, ouch!
Now your body actually responds really well to a bit of force as it assists you in strengthening your bones. Force is a stimulus for your bone cells to increase how much bone they are laying down, hence increasing your bone density. For the most part, the more vibration your bones experience, the greater amount of bone they are stimulated to lay down hence the greater improvement to your bone density. The news is that at 30 years old we are at our peak bone density. This is not to say that once you hit 30 you stop worrying about your bone density - quite the contrary. Your biological balance for producing bone will not be functioning faster than your bone is breaking down anymore. It's still working, it's just breaking it down faster than it is being produced, so by remaining active you can still slow down the rate of bone deterioration, which is absolutely essential for how long we are living these days! Imagine being able to improve your bone density by working on it a little bit every time you head into the studio without having to jump or hop or run?
So it's about bone health then?
Yes, and so much more! The Vibeplate also acts to stimulate your Vestibular system which interacts with your nervous system to reflexively stimulate your postural muscles to help you balance and stay upright. The Vibeplate creates extra challenge for your Vestibular system and your posture, as you work to do exercises and small movements whilst on the vibrating platform. Then there's your Lymphatic system - the drainage system for your body. It drains waste throughout your body however if not working optimally, it can have a huge impact on your health and clarity of mind. Think about a storm drain that gets so blocked up it flows back up your drain and floods your roof! At its lower levels, the Vibeplate is fantastic for shaking up your Lymphatic system to ensure it is draining effectively.
So as you can see, by adjusting the vibration frequency on the dial during the session we can focus on impacting different body systems and as a result, affect different elements of your health and well being. Essentially, using the Vibeplate will exaggerate how you interact with gravity and the earth, (similar to how a reformer can at times) but it doesn't load up your joints nearly as much as trying to run along the pavement. Instead you will experience some great health benefits and will likely leave the studio feeling like your floating on air.
For those interested in trialling the Vibeplate, we are running 20 minute privates at $40 or for one of your normal studio sessions. Once you know what you're doing then you can jump on at your own leisure to keep up the good work!