Galileo Vibration Therapy
Improved Muscle Tone and Definition
One of the primary goals of exercise is to tighten and tone our muscles. The term tone refers to the level of activity in our muscles at rest. In other words, the state of readiness of the muscle. More frequent or more intense exercise causes our muscle to adapt and establish higher levels of tone. This not only makes us look better from an aesthetic standpoint, but also enhances our metabolism and forces our muscles to burn more calories at rest.
On a deeper level however, tone is a reflection of the level of communication, via the nervous system, between the brain and the muscle. To increase tone, we need to participate in activities that reinforce the need for this level of communication to be strong, fast and accurate. These terms define Vibration Training as the use of Whole Body Vibration technology puts our muscles through thousands of reflexive muscle contractions in minutes; all done DIRECTLY through the nervous system. The result is an unparalleled rapid change in the tone of the muscles being utilized. This is often visibly evident after 2-3 weeks of training, 3x/week for 10 - 15 minutes.
Weight Loss and Metabolic Enhancement
In a reasearch lab at the Mayo clinic, Dr. James Levine has worked tirelessly to develop the concept of non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). The concept of NEAT is quite simple; the body does not care whether you are sweating it out at the gym or cleaning your bathroom. With either activities, work is work and a calorie burned while running on the treadmill is no different from a calorie burned while scrubbing the floor. His work, supported by clinical research, is redefining our concept of what constitutes healthy activity.
While Vibration Training is in no way classified as non-exercise, the concept of NEAT shows us that all the body requires is muscle contraction, no matter the source, to burn calories and thereby promote better health, weight loss, and an improved metabolic rate. In a recent study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (Ritzmann et al. Apr. 2010), it was confirmed that the movement of the Vibraflex whole body vibration platform can effectively create involuntary muscle contractions. In other words, by properly positioning yourself on the platform and holding that position, your body will work ON ITS OWN, through the stretch reflex, to burn calories. In just 10 minutes of usage, thousands upon thousands of these muscle contractions occur.
Vibration Training can be done by anyone with varying amounts of effort required by the user. The thousands of contractions, done throughout 90% of the muscle, work rapidly to not only use stored energy from fat cells, but assist the body in adjusting its metabolic rate to burn calories faster when you are not training. When this is combined with proper nutrition, the result is rapid and painless weightloss. All you need is 10 minutes!
Improved Muscle Strength
The ability to improve muscle strength is the keystone on which Vibration Training is built. This phenomenon is supported by numerous international studies and has, in several of these studies, been shown to successfully outperform traditional training protocols (see the Strength and Performance section of our Benefits page). While the traditional mechanisms to improve muscle strength are all part of Vibration Training, this form of exercise has the following advantages:
1) Vibration Training, because it utilizes the stretch reflex to contract the muscles, uses 90% of the muscle. This is dramatically different from the 40-50% used during traditional resistance training.
2) Vibration Training DIRECTLY stimulates the nervous system. As a result, the communication between the brain and the muscles are rapidly improved. This enhanced speed of communication leads to quicker, more efficient and accurate muscle contractions. The result is increased muscle power and force; all of which are component of what we identify as strength.
3) The strong influence of Vibration Training on the circulatory system enhances the speed of oxygen delivery to the muscle. This results in improved muscle endurance and energy utilization.
4) It has been clinically demonstrated (Bosco et al. 2000) that Vibration Training increases human growth hormone levels while, at the same time, lowers cortisol. These two hormones, among other things, play a role in the breakdown and buildup of muscle tissue (referred to as anabolism and catabolism). With these two hormones in better balance, the muscles maintain a healthier and stronger state.
Improved Sports Performance
The primary key to sports performance enhancement training is improving the speed, power, and accuracy of the individuals movement. One way this is achieved is by enhancing the rate of communication between the central nervous system and the peripheral body (muscles, connective tissue, and sensory nerve endings). By utilizing training techniques for this particular purpose, the movement pathways become more deeply embedded and the performance is enhanced. Because Vibration Training involves direct stimulation of the central nervous system, when dosed properly and combined with sports specific training, it offers the individual a unique means to more rapidly achieve this increased speed of communication. This concept has been demonstrated by clinical research since the late 1990s (see the Research section titled, Strength and Performance for more information).
Flexibility is generally considered to be a reflection of the length that a muscle can achieve when being stretched. Muscle stretching techniques are what we use to increase our flexibility. When we stretch a muscle however, what we are actually attempting to do is alter the activity of specific structures within the tendons of the muscle and the muscle itself that normally serve to create an opposing tension in the muscle. This opposing tension is what gives us that painful sensation when we are being stretched too far. While this system seems counterproductive, these structures are our built in defense mechanisms that protect us from overstretch injury or tearing of the muscle.
When we place a muscle in a stretched position on the vibration platform, it is believed that the vibration serves to prevent or alter the ways in which these structures communicate. This therefore reduces their ability to increase the level of stiffness within the muscle. This results in an unchecked lengthening of the muscle and a corresponding rapid change in its length. This emphasizes the importance of professional supervision when using Whole Body Vibration equipment. The speed of this length change is like no other form of stretching and yields results in a fraction of the time.
The additonal increase in blood flow as well as the vibration-induced relaxation of the surrounding connective tissue further enhanches the improvements in flexibility.
Improved Bone Density
Throughout life, the body is continuously removing old bone and rebuilding new bone through a process referred to as bone remodeling. An imbalance in this process and the resulting reduction in bone density leads to osteoporosis. In the US, it is estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over 50 years of age have osteoporosis. These changes in bone density are concerning as they predispose the individual to fractures.
In the fight against bone density loss, it has long been recommended that an individual perform weightbearing exercises. Through the combination of repeated compressions on the bones and the repeated pulling on the bones provided by the contracting muscles, one can slow the rate of breakdown and promote the preservation of bone density. With Vibration Training, the rapid movement of the platform and the resulting reflexive muscle contractions amplifies these effects. In just minutes, the body undergoes THOUSANDS of muscle contractions: all done in weightbearing positions. This is the incomparable value of Vibration Training over traditional forms of exercise. Even further, the way in which the user positions themselves on the platform and the way in which the platform moves allows these contractions to be deilvered directly to the hips and spine; two of the most vulnerable areas of the body to osteoporosis.
Best of all, this form of strengthening is easily tolerated by everyone, from 18 to 80 years of age.
Improved Lymphatic Mobility
The lymphatic system, a system vital for proper function of the human body, is a system of thin tubes that runs throughout the body. These tubes are called lymph vessels or lymphatic vessels and consist of one-way valves. The fluid that they move is referred to as lymphatic fluid (or lymph for short). The movement of lymph through these vessels requires muscle contraction. Due to the extremely high number of muscle contractions created by Vibration Training, a pumping mechanism is established in the body that serves to increase the lymphatic flow. As a result of the increased lymphatic system activity, oxygen and immune cell delivery to the muscle, bones, joints, and peripheral tissue is increased. The increase in lymphatic system mobility also increases the ability of cells to eliminate waste, respond to hormone secretion and absorb nutrients.
Although the jury is still not out on the degree to which Vibration Training can be viewed as a cardiovascular training technique, it is quite clear that it has a strong ability to improve blood flow and local circulation. Supported by multiple clinical research studies, the incredibly high amount of muscle contractions that occur with Vibration Training do create a muscular pumping effect. Much like the way this muscle pump effect helps assist the lymphatic system in moving lymph, the repeated compressions also assist the venous system in returning blood to the heart. This can be of significant benefit for those with medical issues that cause difficulties with normal blood flow. Essentially, Vibration Training makes each muscle a pump to assist the heart.
Additionally, the high amount of muscle contraction taking place also requires very rapid oxygen delivery to occur. Through repeated training sessions, the ability to oxygenate the muscle tissue more rapidly improves. This can be a rather significant benefit for high level althletes; especially those in sports that require reciprocating, or alternating movements (running, biking, swimming).
Lastly, since Vibration Training helps to maintain normal blood viscosity (level of resistance to blood flow), the ability of blood cells (platelets) to clump and form clots is greatly reduced. This blood thinning effect has been shown to help you maintain normal blood pressure and therefore reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Improved Balance and Body Awareness (Proprioception)
An important part of a our ability to maintain our balance, coordinate our movements, and maintain body awareness is our proprioceptive system. A part of the nervous system, the proprioceptive system is responsible for providing feedback on the status of the body internally, where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other, and whether the body is moving with required effort. Once this proprioceptive information is sent to the brain, it is processed and a specific response is initiated involuntarily by the body. With Vibration Training we are utilizing this system to process a great deal of information pertaining to both our body position and our level of muscular coordination. As a result, the proprioceptive system becomes more finely tuned and this leads to quicker response times, more accurate movement, better overall equilibrium, and improved body awareness.