Whole Body Vibration & Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J Fox Donate for ParkinsonsWith as much combined experience as we have (50+ years as multi-modality massage therapists) we’ve helped a lot of people. We’ve seen first-hand how living with a debilitating condition can make every day feel like an uphill battle. In fact, our vision for the BodyQuirks studio and the reason we’ve created the BodyQuirks “Total Body Solutions” model (which incorporates massage, Whole Body Vibration (WBV), and Far Infrared (FIR) sauna treatments) is to help improve the health and quality of life of the people in our community here in Portland.

Seeing for ourselves, the positive impact that Whole Body Vibration (WBV) has on our client’s lives makes us want to spread the word so that more people can reap the benefits. We know that among the toughest diseases to live with is Parkinson’s disease (PD) but now there’s research to support that regular use of a Whole Body Vibration machines can help alleviate many of its symptoms.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Named after James Parkinson, an English surgeon who first wrote about the condition, the Mayo Clinic defines Parkinson’s disease as, “a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.”

Roughly one million Americans live with the disease (60,000 are diagnosed each year) which is more than the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Like multiple sclerosis, PD is a progressive disease and symptoms can vary from person to person. Here are just some of the primary symptoms:

Resting tremor. A slight, repetitive shaking movement, especially in hands, feet, arms, and legs that occurs when the person’s muscles are at rest. It is the most common, and often the first, symptom of Parkinson’s. Though it often begins on just one side of the body, it can eventually progress to both sides.

  • The muscles of the limbs, neck and trunk are never relaxed, leading to stiffness, a limited range of motion, inflexibility, and painful muscle aches.
  • Slow or limited movement. Also called bradykinesia, this symptom can make simple tasks like buttoning a shirt or cutting food very difficult.
  • Weakness in throat and face muscles (makes speech and swallowing difficult).
  • Postural instability/difficulty balancing. The inability to stand upright, with a tendency to fall backwards with even the slightest jostle.
  • Difficulty walking/freezing. Freezing is a sudden and momentary inability that occurs at specific times such as taking a first step after remaining stationary, turning, and approaching a chair.
  • The Parkinson’s Mask. The result of rigidity and bradykinesia, the Parkinson’s Mask is a term used to describe the lack of facial expressiveness that many Parkinson’s patients exhibit due to decline in unconscious facial movements.

Whole Body Vibration & Parkinson’s

An article published in the January 2010 issue of The Journal of Medicine and Medical Vol. 2(1) pp. 594-600 on the effects of whole-body-vibration exercises in Parkinson´s disease noted that, “The effects of vibratory stimulation in PD were first described by the neurophysiologist Jean Marie Charcot in the 19th century. He found that PD patients show fewer symptoms when they were traveling with the train and he concluded in a further step that these effects result vibratory stimuli that were generated by the train.”

The article, which analyzed data culled from numerous studies on WBV found in PubMed , concluded that, “Whole body vibration exercises are highly relevant in the development of clinical procedures to the management of patients with PD.”

WBV may help Parkinson’s patients by improving the following:

Muscle strength.

  • Motor skills.
  • Bone density.
  • Gait and balance (lessening the risk of falls).
  • Postural control.
  • General quality of life.

Here at BodyQuirks, we see the difference WBV makes in our client’s lives every day. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease and would like to try Whole Body Vibration to see how it can improve the quality of your life, give us a call at 503-233-9030. We’d be more than happy to chat and answer any questions you may have and let you try it out for yourself for FREE.

To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, or to learn about how you can show your support, visit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s website.







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