If you’ve been tooling around the site or keeping an eye on us on social media lately, you probably already know that — we’re moving!! Not only are we moving our BodyQuirks Massage practice from the Asha Wellness Integrative Center (who have been great fun to work with over the last few years) to a brand new office of our own — but we are expanding our services to provide our clients with more wonderful tools to help your bodies work at optimum. This includes something called Whole Body Vibration.
Over the past year, we’ve been introducing our clients to the wonders of a Whole Body Vibration (WBV) workout. For us the journey to WBV was a natural and logical progression in helping our clients with mobility, health and range of motion issues heal faster and gain back some of what they may have lost through accident, injury, aging, disease or sedentary lifestyle.
That’s because WBV let’s you start increasing muscle strength, balance and flexibility without the kind of joint impact and stamina requirements of most traditional workouts. This means it works in tandem with the customized bodywork we do — not against it — to help our clients feel better and move better, faster.
What is whole body vibration (WBV)?
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is one type of exercise in a new field called passive exercise. It’s done on a WBV machine with vibrating plates and according to Using Whole Body Vibration in Physical Therapy and Sport: Clinical Practice and Treatment Exercises by Alfio Albasini, Martin Krause and Ingo Rembitzki, it refers to “vibration therapy, biomechanical stimulation (BMS), and biomechanical oscillation (BMO), a training method employing low amplitude, low frequency mechanical stimulation to exercise musculoskeletal structures for the improvement of muscle strength, power, and flexibility. Vibration training has been advocated as a therapeutic method in the treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and metabolic syndrome and is used in the fitness industry, physical therapy, rehabilitation, professional sports, and beauty and wellness applications.”
History of whole body vibration (WBV)
But in reality, it’s not all that new. In fact, the roots for the theories behind WBV can be found in ancient Greece, though they really didn’t begin to take hold until Russian cosmonauts began using the machines to help counteract the effects of zero gravity back in the 70s. It worked so well, the Russians began using it on their Olympic athletes as well. After the fall of the wall back in the 1990s, commercial WBV machines were developed and spread throughout Europe. It would be a decade before WBV hit the shores of California and began to make their way across the states — first gaining popularity among professional athletes like the Chicago Cubs, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, tennis star Serena Williams and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
These days you can find celebrities like Madonna, Courtney Cox, Elle MacPherson, Mark Wahlberg, Claudia Schiffer, Kelly Osbourne, Hilary Swank, Kylie Minogue and Clint Eastwood among its devotees. But celebrity shine aside, what makes WBV so compelling and popular is that it really works and not just for professional athletes or young, fit celebrities but for everyone, regardless of age or mobility issues.
Does WBV really work?
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, researchers found that in elderly populations, those who were not able to participate in traditional exercise saw significant muscle strength and speed benefits from using a WBV machine. And another study on postmenopausal women and the effects of WBV, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research in 2004, found a 1% increase in hip bone density among users of WBV machines as well as a measurable increase in muscle strength with just 30 minutes three times a week for six months.
Beyond the studies, we can tell you from our own experiences and from the experiences of some of our clients who’ve been using WBV in our current practice, that the benefits are measurable in inches lost, strength gained, greater mobility and decreased joint paint. We also love it because it increases circulation, which is one of the most important ways you can help your body to move toxins through and out of your system, which allows for faster healing and recovery times.
We cannot wait to share what WBV can do for you, which is why, in the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing the Grand Opening of our new location where BodyQuirks will make the shift from Massage Therapy Studio to Total Body Solution. We have so many great things planned for you to help you achieve your fitness, relaxation, rehabilitation and wellness goals — including an entire WBV studio — the first of its kind in Oregon! Keep watching the blog for more details and join us for our Grand Opening celebration in the weeks ahead.
Can’t wait to see you there!
Tara and Esther