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One of the most common questions we hear is “What’s the difference between Pivotal vibration and Lineal vibrations?”. Well, this should give you a good idea. Pivotal (seesaw or oscillation) vibration is good for fitness and therapy of the entire body, while Lineal (vertical vibration) is more focused on the lower legs. Below is a study conducted by NASA to help answer the question, “Which is better for you, Lineal vs Pivotal vibrations?” Let’s find out.


In Pivotal vibration machines, the platform you stand on tilts around a central pivot point like a see-saw. The left and right sides alternate up and down while the centre remains fixed.

Pivotal Vibration diagram - Vibra Therapy by HnB Connection

Pivotal Vibration diagram – Vibra Therapy by HnB Connection

You can change the amplitude or distance your feet move up and down by moving them either closer or further away from the centre. Typically, high quality Pivotal vibration machines have a total peak-to-peak Amplitude of 10mm or more at the platform’s widest point. German-made Pivotal vibration machines were the first to be used commercially and be validated scientifically.


In an attempt to compete with the successful German vibration platforms, a Dutch company created a vibration machine with a new kind of platform movement called Lineal.

A Lineal vibration platform remains horizontal at all times with the entire platform moving up and down by the same amount. Lineal vibration platforms typically have very small peak-to-peak Amplitudes ranging from 1 to 5mm.

Lineal Vibration diagram - Vibra Therapy by HnB Connection

Lineal Vibration diagram – Vibra Therapy by HnB Connection

At the time, the exact mechanism of how Whole Body Vibration works was largely unknown. Lineal vibration machines soon joined Pivotal vibration machines in scientific

experiments aimed at uncovering what was causing the benefits Pivotal Whole Body Vibration exercise had already become famous for.

To date, Pivotal vibration machines maintain a prominence in research with more research-proven benefits than Lineal vibration machines.

Stimulate Your Muscles, Not Your Eyeballs

One major limitation of Lineal platforms is that they move the whole body up and down including the head. A Pivotal platform on the other hand raises one leg at a time. As one leg goes up the pelvis tilts and the other leg goes down. This side-to-side rocking of the pelvis and lumbar spine causes most of the vibration energy to be absorbed by the time it reaches the rib cage which keeps any head movement to a minimum.

Many users who try Lineal Whole Body Vibration machines report a strong vibration occurring in the head that cannot be eliminated by changing posture.

“Lineal Caused 189% More Head Vibration”

In 2007, research funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute compared the effects of exercising on a Lineal machine with the same exercises performed on a Pivotal machine.

They found that in all the body postures they tested: “transmission of vibration to the head was 71 to 189% greater during vertical (Lineal) than rotational (Pivotal) vibration.” and that “rotational (Pivotal) vibration has the lowest risk of negative side effects.”

Abercromby, A., et al. Vibration Exposure and Biodynamic Responses During Whole Body Vibration Training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Oct;39(10):1794-800.

Other researchers have reported the following damage caused by using low magnitude Lineal vibration:

  • reduced visual-motor tracking ability (difficulty following moving objects)
  • reduced visual acuity (vision becomes blurry)

Ask If A Machine Uses Lineal Vibration Before Trying It

The alternating tilting of the pelvis in Pivotal vibration is the same natural movement that occurs during walking and it prevents vertebra from being compressed. Those with bad backs and necks or prone to headaches should be cautious when trying a Lineal Whole Body Vibration machine.

Pivotal or Lineal, Which Would You Choose?

NASA Put Both Platforms To The Test; Which Produced Greater Muscle Activity?

NASA case study vibra therapy by HnB Connection

NASA case study on vibration machines

In a 2006 study conducted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) a leading Lineal and leading Pivotal machine were both used in the same muscle performance experiment and the results of each compared.

According to the researchers, the conditions for each platform were the same:

  • Same Frequency (30Hz)
  • Same Amplitude (4mm)
  • Same test subjects
  • Same exercises

The result:

“[Muscle] responses were significantly greater during rotational vibration (Pivotal) than vertical vibration (Lineal).”

A reason for Lineal’s poor performance in some of the Lineal scientific research is explained by understanding another limitation of Lineal machines: their inability to use large vibration amplitudes resulting in low acceleration. Learn more about acceleration.

Pivotal Stretches Muscle

Another possible explanation comes from research conducted at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, New Zealand in 2006. It was proven that even at low output (6Hz + 3mm peak-to-peak amplitude) Pivotal Whole Body Vibration exercise causes stretching of the muscle that is associated with an immediate increase in electrical muscle activity.

To date this effect has not been demonstrated with Lineal Whole Body Vibration exercise.


So which vibration is better is up to you. If you are trying to get massage & therapy for your legs, then you should try Lineal vibration. If you have neck pain or prone to headaches, then lineal vibration is NOT for you. But if you have foot or leg problems and need therapy, then see our Lineal vibration machines below.

Lineal Vibration Machines

– Dual-Motor Vibra Therapy Machine
– Personal Trainer Vibra Therapy Machine
– All-in-One Vibra Therapy Machine 

However, if you are looking for whole body fitness & therapy in one, then you should try Pivotal vibration. Also people who have neck pain, headaches or don’t like too much head shaking will prefer Pivotal over Lineal. Below are our pivotal vibration machines.

Pivotal Vibration Machines

– Portable Vibra Therapy Machine
– Professional Vibra Therapy Machine
– Platinum Vibra Therapy Machine
– Dual-Motor Vibra Therapy Machine

Exercising is very important in controlling Type 2 diabetes.  Exercise can help control your weight and lower your blood sugar level.  Aerobic exercise increases insulin sensitivity and, along with proper nutrition, helps restore normal glucose metabolism by decreasing body fat. Strength training (a.k.a. resistance or weight training) also decreases body fat by raising the metabolism. It’s main benefit; however, is increasing glucose uptake by the muscles and enhancing the ability to store glucose. Exercise can mean the difference between “medical management” and “lifestyle management” of Type 2 diabetes.

A study was completed to determine if whole body vibration is beneficial in controlling Type 2 diabetes.   The main findings were: Fasting glucose concentrations remained unchanged after training. The area under curve and maximal glucose concentration of the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test were reduced in the vibration and strength training group. HbA1c values tended to decrease below baseline date in the vibration training group while it increased in the two other intervention groups.

treatment-for-Type-2-DiabetesThese findings suggest that vibration exercise may be an effective and low time consuming tool to enhance glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients.

Diabetes is usually listed as a contraindication for training on whole body vibration devices because of the rapid decline of the blood glucose levels, which may cause the patient to feel faint.  However, the WBV device is also very well suited to improve the physical condition of diabetics.   Diabetics can benefit hugely from WBV exercise, particularly if the exercise can improve blood circulation to their lower extremities.   After a check up and approval from a doctor, a diabetic can perform their entire training schedule on a WBV device.  Since exercise time is drastically shortened when using whole body vibration, diabetic patients may prefer vibration training as a part of an intended lifestyle modification.

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30 Universities Worldwide and 100’s of Doctors, Chiropractors, have conducted various research, all pointing to the proven health benefits of whole body vibration machines. One doctor in particular published his work with the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Bruyure in a published medical article[1], stated the following:

Controlled whole body vibrations (CWBV) improve quality of life, walk, balance, and motor capacity in elderly patients, according to a new study reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

happy seniors at a nursing home using whole body vibration therapy machines

In the new study, 42 volunteers in a nursing home were randomized to a vibration group or a non-treatment group for 6 weeks. The treatment group underwent 6 weeks of CWBV (4 one minute series 3 times a week) on a vertical vibrating platform (10 Hz in the first and third series and 27 Hz in the second and fourth ones).

After 6 weeks of therapy, patients in the vibrating group showed:

  • 143% improvement in physical function.happy people using Vibra Therapy machines

  • 41% improvement in pain.

  • 60% increase in vitality.

  • 23% improvement in general health.

  • 57% improvement in quality of walking as assessed by the Tinetti test (compared with a 2% improvement in control subjects).

  • 77% improvement in equilibrium (compared with 1% worsening in controls).

  • 39% decrease in time required to get up and go (compared with an increase of 14% among controls).

While it was only a small study, after just 3 weeks or 9 sessions, we saw a great improvement in get-up-and-go.

These results suggest younger audiences can also benefit from vibration therapy machines, especially those with physical issues like chronic pain, poor circulation and weight-related medical conditions.

1. Bruyere O, Wuidart, MA, et al. Presentation: Controlled whole body vibrations improve health related quality
of life in elderly patients. Orlando, FL: American College of Rheumatology: 2003 meeting; October 23-28,
2003:Abstract 1271.

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It may be popular with professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities, but WBV also has very real clinical potential for patients with neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and spinal cord injury.


By Kurt Jackson, PT, PhD, GCS and Harold Merriman, PT, PhD, CLT

Whole body vibration (WBV) has become increasingly popular over the last several years as a method of exercise training. As the name implies, WBV involves the application of a vibratory stimulus to the entire body, as opposed to local stimulation of specific muscle groups. This is typically performed by standing on a vibrating platform with knees slightly flexed.  In some instances, simple exercises (e.g. squats) can be performed during WBV.

WBV units typically provide their vibration by using either a rotational or vertical stimulus. With rotational vibration, the platform rotates about an anterior-posterior axis so that positioning the feet further apart results in increased amplitude of movement and applies force asynchronously to the left and right foot, similar to standing in the middle of a “teeter-totter.”(Figure 1) WBV units that provide a primarily vertical stimulus have a platform that moves vertically and symmetrically, causing simultaneous movement of the lower extremities in the same direction.1 (Figure 1) In addition to the direction of the vibration stimulus, several other training parameters are important to consider when using WBV, including frequency (Hz), amplitude (mm) and duration. Most commonly, WBV studies have used frequencies ranging from 25-50 Hz, amplitudes from 2-10 mm and total durations of 30 seconds to 10 minutes.2 Currently there is no consensus regarding the optimal parameters needed to achieve a specific physiological response.

The most common application of WBV has been to attempt to improve physical performance in athletes and younger adults by enhancing muscle activity, strength and power associated with traditional neuromuscular training.2-4 It has been hypothesized that improvements in muscle strength and power after WBV may be related to an increase in neuromuscular activation during and following WBV. Nishihira et al5 speculated that mechanical vibration elicits a myotactic stretch reflex, which is mediated by the muscle spindle and its Ia-afferents. In a recent study by Abercromby et al1, subjects performed unsupported dynamic squats while exposed to either vertical or rotational WBV at 30 Hz and 4mm of amplitude. These parameters elicited a significant increase in EMG activity during the vibration stimulus in the knee flexors and extensors as well as the ankle plantar flexors and dorsiflexors, when compared to the muscle activity seen while performing the same movement without vibration. However, it remains unclear if the enhanced muscle activation associated with WBV is primarily due to neural factors (e.g. increase in muscle spindle activation) or if biomechanical factors, such as maintaining a stable posture and dampening of mechanical energy, also play a significant role.1

Figure 1. WBV units typically provide their vibration by using either a vertical (left) or rotational (right) stimulus.

Some researchers have evaluated the immediate effects of a single exposure to WBV in younger adults and have shown transient improvements in muscle performance,3,4,6-8 while others have found little or no effect.9,10 Investigations involving chronic exposures (11 weeks to 8 months) to WBV in younger adults have also shown mixed results.11-13

Although the majority of WBV research has focused on improving physical performance in normal younger adults, there is a growing body of research on the effects of WBV in clinical populations, such as those with neurological disorders. The primary purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the current literature regarding the effects of WBV on lower extremity performance and function in individuals with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and spinal cord injury. Additionally, practical clinical considerations and safety issues will also be discussed.  Unless specified, most of the reviewed studies required the subject to simply stand on the vibrating platform with knees slightly flexed.

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Parkinson’s Disease

Several studies have evaluated the effects of WBV in persons with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Two studies conducted by the same group of researchers investigated the effects of a unique type of whole-body vibration on postural control and motor symptoms in persons with PD.14,15 These studies used a form of random (stochastic) low frequency (6 Hz) vibration that is distinctly different from the non-random rotational or vertical higher frequency (20-50 Hz) vibration used in most WBV research. These studies both evaluated the acute effects of WBV immediately following a series of five one-minute exposures.  One study14 reported significant improvements in postural control as determined by measuring postural sway during tandem stance; the other15 found significant improvements in the motor subscale of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), which includes measures of tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, gait and posture. While both of these investigations used blinded evaluators and a control group, neither used a true placebo. This could be an important point because previous Parkinson’s research has demonstrated improvement in motor function in response to placebo treatment.16 In a more recent double-blinded placebo controlled trial using similar WBV parameters, a different group of researchers found no difference in gait, balance and motor symptoms between the WBV treatment and placebo groups.17

Only one study has evaluated the effects of a long-term training intervention using WBV in persons with PD.18 This study compared the effects of 30 WBV (25 Hz, rotational) sessions (two 15-minute sessions a day, five days per week) to conventional balance training using a tilt board. Following three weeks of training, both groups demonstrated similar significant improvements in measures of balance and motor function. The benefits were retained at a four week follow-up assessment.

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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Common symptoms include poor balance, spasticity, and motor weakness. These symptoms are especially prevalent in the lower extremities, with distal muscle groups often being more affected. Several researchers have evaluated the effects of WBV on lower extremity performance and balance in persons with MS.

In a single-blinded randomized crossover trial, Jackson et al19 measured acute changes in lower extremity muscle strength using a dynamometer following a single 30 second exposure to either 2 or 26 Hz WBV (rotational). Strength was measured at one, 10 and 20 minutes post exposure. Although strength changes were not statistically significant, there was a consistent trend of higher peak torque production for both the quadriceps and hamstrings following the 26 Hz exposure compared to 2 Hz at all time points post WBV.

Similar to some of the previously described Parkinson’s research, Schuhfried et al20 evaluated the effects of random (stochastic) low frequency vibration (2.0-4.4Hz) on postural control and function in 12 individuals with MS. In this double-blinded placebo controlled trial, subjects were evaluated using computerized posturography, the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), and the Functional Reach Test. Subjects in the treatment group received a series of five one-minute WBV exposures and were then re-tested on all measures 15 minutes, one week and two weeks later. Results of the study showed a non-significant trend for improvement in computerized posturography scores at each of the post-test time points and a significant improvement in TUG performance at one week post exposure. Although the improvement in TUG performance was statistically significant, the change was small (1.0 sec) with questionable clinical significance.

Only one study21 assessed training responses to a longer-term training intervention. In this within-subject counter balanced study, subjects received either exercise therapy combined with WBV (40 Hz, vertical) or exercise therapy alone for four weeks. Subjects then switched protocols following a two-week washout period. Outcomes included measures of tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance. Results showed similar non-significant improvements in the 10-m walk test, TUG and muscle force production for both protocols.

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Table 1: Possible Precautions and Contraindications to Whole Body Vibration Training

Two studies have evaluated the acute effects of WBV on postural control and muscle performance in persons with stroke. The first study22 measured changes in postural control in 23 individuals with chronic stroke using computerized posturography following four 45-second standing exposures to 30 Hz WBV (rotational). Following WBV, there was a significant (P < 0.01) reduction in the root mean square (RMS) center-of-pressure velocity in the anterior-posterior direction when standing with eyes closed. There was also a significant (P < 0.05) increase in weight-shifting speed. Although these findings indicate possible short-term improvements in postural control, there is no evidence that changes in discreet posturography measures lead to actual reductions in fall risk or improved function in persons with stroke.

A second study23 measured acute changes in lower extremity torque production and electromyography (EMG) values in the knee flexors and extensors in acute stroke patients following six one-minute standing exposures to WBV (20 Hz). Immediately following the WBV, subjects demonstrated a significant (P < 0.05) increase in isometric and eccentric knee extension torque and EMG amplitude. There was also a significant (P < 0.05) corresponding decrease in knee flexor co-activation during the eccentric condition. However, it is unclear how long these changes may persist since the study only performed one immediate post-vibration measurement.

Just one study24 has investigated the long-term effects of a six-week WBV training intervention in persons with stroke. In this randomized controlled trial, all 53 subjects were receiving acute inpatient rehabilitation. In addition to their regular rehabilitation, half received WBV sessions (4 x 45 seconds of supported standing or sitting [depending on patient ability], five days per week at 30 Hz [rotational]) while the other half performed the same amount of a “sham” treatment of simple exercises while listening to music. Following the six-week program, both groups demonstrated increased balance and function, but there were no differences in improvement between the groups.

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Spinal cord injury

Only a single pilot25 study has investigated whole body vibration training in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). In this non-randomized trial, a group of 17 individuals with chronic (> 1 year) motor-incomplete SCI performed a vibration training program (4 x 45 seconds, three days/week for four weeks at 50 Hz [vertical]). Gait speed and characteristics were measured before and after training. The results demonstrated significant improvements in gait speed (0.062 m/s, P < 0.001) following training. These results are comparable to other forms of training that are much more time- and labor-intensive, such as body-weight supported treadmill training.26 An obvious weakness of the study is the lack of a control group. However, the promising results warrant further investigation.

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Precautions and safety considerations

As with most therapeutic modalities, WBV can be associated with risks of harmful effects when used improperly and indiscriminately. It is well known that chronic exposures to WBV in occupational settings can cause negative effects in a number a physiological systems, including musculoskeletal, digestive, vascular, reproductive, visual and vestibular.27-30 Vibration exposure can be quantified using an “estimated vibration dose value” (eVDV= 1.4αwT1/4). This value is calculated using the direction, frequency, magnitude and duration of the vibration where αw is the frequency-weighted root mean square (RMS) acceleration and T is the duration of daily vibration exposure in seconds.2 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which is  responsible for setting standards for occupational exposures to mechanical vibration and shock (ISO 2631-1), states that an eVDV exceeding 17 is potentially harmful. Abercromby et al2 found that vibration parameters similar to those used for therapeutic purposes (10 minutes per day at 30Hz, 4mm amplitude) exceeded ISO standards for vibration exposure.  It is important to note that ISO health guidelines focus on chronic exposures of healthy adults to daily vibration and so may have limited value for assessing risk associated with less frequent exposures in clinical populations. It is worth noting that no serious adverse events were reported in any of the reviewed studies involving subjects with neurological disorders. The most frequently cited side effect of WBV is lower extremity erythema and itching that generally tends to dissipate after several treatment sessions.31

Abercromby et al1 also compared the potential harmful effects of vertical and rotational forms of WBV. They suggested that risks associated with rotational vibration may be lower because it is easier to dampen the mechanical energy transferred to the spine and head during rotational vibration by flexing and extending the lower extremities in an alternating fashion. They also found that maintaining knee flexion angles between 26º and 30° while standing on the vibrating platform minimized head acceleration and transfer of mechanical energy to the spine.

It should be emphasized that prior to administering WBV, it is critical that all patients be carefully screened for possible conditions or co-morbidities that could increase the risk of unintended negative side-effects. Table 1 lists some possible conditions and co-morbidities that may preclude the use of WBV training.


Summary: So if you said yes to any of the above, you…

…or someone you know should start enjoying the healing affects of whole body vibration.

Despite the limitations of the current literature for persons with neurological disorders, there is a growing body of evidence in older adults and sedentary individuals that has shown a more consistent and positive response to WBV, especially when combined with simple exercises and applied in a systematic and progressive manner. This research has demonstrated improvements in lower extremity muscle strength that are comparable to traditional resistance exercise training programs.28,31-,33 This could be important for individuals with neurological disorders who can often not perform conventional strength training due to difficulty generating a voluntary muscle contraction, poor coordination and/or excessive fatigue.

Since most WBV protocols require minimal coordination and relatively brief treatment exposures, WBV may offer a viable lower extremity exercise alternative for persons with neurological disorders.

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Kurt Jackson,PT,PhD,GCS, is the neurology coordinator and Harold Merriman,PT,PhD,CLT is the general medicine coordinator for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the Department of Health and Sports Science at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.



1. Abercromby AF, Amonette WE, Layne CS, et al.  Vibration exposure and biodynamic responses during whole-body vibration training.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(10):1794-1800.

2. Jordan MJ, Norris SR, Smith DJ, Herzog W.  Vibration training: an overview of the area, training consequences, and future considerations.  J Strength Cond Res. 2005;19(2):459-466.

3. Cardinale M, Bosco C.  The use of vibration as an exercise intervention.  Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2003;31(1):3-7.

4. Bosco C, Colli R, Introini E, et al.  Adaptive responses of human skeletal muscle to vibration exposure.  Clin Physiol. 1999;19(2):183-187.

5. Nishihira Y, Iwasaki T, Hatta A, et al.  Effect of whole body vibration stimulus and voluntary contraction on motorneuron pool.  Adv Exerc Sports Physiol. 2002;8(4):83-86.

6. BoscoC, Cardinale M, Tsarpela O.  Influence of vibration on mechanical power and electromyogram activity in human arm flexor muscles. Eur J Appl Physiol.  1999;79:306-311.

7. Bosco C, Cardinale M, Tsarpela O, et al.  The influence of whole body vibration on jumping performance.  Biol Sport. 1998;15(3):157-164.

8. Torvinen SSievänen HJärvinen TAPasanen MKontulainen SKannus P.  Effect of 4-min vertical whole body vibration on muscle performance and body balance: a randomized cross-over study.  Int J Sports Med. 2002 Jul;23(5):374-9.

9. Cormie P, Deane RS, Triplett NT, McBride JM.  Acute effects of whole-body vibration on muscle activity, strength, and power.  J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20(2):257-261.

10. de Ruiter CJ, van der Linden RM, van der Zijden MJ, et al.  Short-term effects of whole-body vibration on maximal voluntary isometric knee extensor force and rate of rise.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;88(4-5):472-475.

11. Delecluse C, Roelants M, Verschueren S.  Strength increase after whole-body vibration compared with resistance training.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(6):1033-1041.

12. de Ruiter CJ, van Raak SM, Schilperoort JV, et al.  The effects of 11 weeks of whole body vibration training on jump height, contractile properties, and activation of human knee extensors.  Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003;90(5-6):595-600.

13. Torvinen S, Kannus P, Sievanen H et al.  Effect of 8-month vertical whole body vibration on bone, muscle performance, and body balance: a randomized controlled study.  J Bone Min Res. 2003;18(5). 876-884.

14. Turbanski S, Haas CT, Schmidtbleicher D, et al.  Effects of random whole body vibration on postural control in Parkinson’s disease.  Res Sports Med. 2005;13(3):243-256.

15. Haas CT, Turbanski S, Kessler K, Schmidtbleicher D.  The effects of random whole-body vibration on motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.  NeuroRehabilitation. 2006;21(1):29-36.

16. Goetz CG, Leurgans S, Raman R, et al.  Placebo-associated improvements in motor function: comparison of subjective and objective sections of the UPDRS in early Parkinson’s disease.  Mov Disord. 2002;17(2):283-288.

17. Arias P, Chouza M, Vivas J, Cudeiro J.  Effect of whole body vibration in Parkinson’s disease: a controlled study.  Mov Disord.2009;24(6):891-898.

18. Ebersbach G, Edler D, Kaufhold O, Wissel J.  Whole body vibration versus conventional physiotherapy to improve balance and gait in Parkinson’s disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabi.l 2008;89(3):399-403.

19. Jackson KJ, Merriman HL, Vanderburgh PM, Brahler CJ.  Acute effects of whole-body vibration on lower extremity muscle performance in persons with multiple sclerosis.  J Neurol Phys Ther. 2008;32(4):171-176.

20. Schuhfried O, Mittermaier C, Jovanovic T, et al.  Effects of whole-body vibration in patients with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study.  Clin Rehabil. 2005;19(8):834-842.

21. Schyns F, Paul L, Finlay K, et al.  Vibration therapy in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study exploring its effects on tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance.  Clin Rehabil. 2009;23(9):771-781.

22. van Nes IJ, Geurts AC, Hendricks HT, Duysens J.  Short-term effects of whole-body vibration on postural control in unilateral chronic stroke patients: preliminary evidence.  Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;83(11):867-873.

23. Tihanyi TK, Horvath M, Fazekas G, et al.  One session of whole body vibration increases voluntary muscle strength transiently in patients with stroke.  Clin Rehabil. 2007;21(9):782-793.

24. van Nes IJ, Latour H, Schils F, et al.  Long-term effects of six-week whole-body vibration on balance recovery and activities of daily living in the postacute phase of stroke: a randomized, controlled trial.  Stroke. 2006;37(9):2331-2335.

25. Ness LL, Field-Fote EC.  Whole-body vibration improves walking function in individuals with spinal cord injury: a pilot study.  Gait Posture.2009;30(4):436-440.

26. Field-Fote EC, Lindley SD, Sherman AL.  Locomotor training approaches for individuals with spinal cord injury: a preliminary report of walking related outcomes.  J Neurol Phys Ther. 2005;29(3):127-137

27. Bovenzi M.  Health effects of mechanical vibration.  G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2005;27(1):58-64.

28. Griffin MJ. Handbook of human vibration. Burlington, MA: Academic Press, 1996.

29. Lings S, Leboeuf-Yde C.  Whole-body vibration and low back pain: a systematic, critical review of the epidemiological literature 1992-1999.  Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2000;73(5):290-297.

30. Seidel H. Selected health risks caused by long-term, whole-body vibration. Am J Ind Med.  1993;23(4):589-604.

31. Merriman HL, Jackson KJ.  The effects of whole-body vibration training in aging adults: a systematic review.  J Geriatr Phys Ther.2009;32: 134-145.

32. Bogaerts AC, Delecluse C, Claessens AL, Troosters T, Boonen S, Verschueren SM.  Effect of whole body vibration training on cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength in older individuals (a 1-year randomized controlled trial).  Age Ageing. 2009;38(4):448-454.

33. Machado A, García-López D, González-Gallego J, Garatachea N.  Whole-body vibration training increases muscle strength and mass in older women: a randomized-controlled trial.  Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009 Apr 20. [Epub ahead of print].

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Runge M, Rehfeld G, Resnicek E. Aerpah-Klinik Esslingen, Germany.

Objective measures of gait and balance which meet the criteria of reliability and validity are required as a basis for exercise regimens. We established reference values of clinically relevant locomotor and balance performances for geriatric patients. We are using these data for evaluating the effects of different therapeutic approaches to locomotor and balance disorders. Reference values for chair rising.

We administered a battery of five tests concerning neuromuscular function, locomotion and balance to a sample of 212 participants without apparent locomotor deficits (139 women, 73 men, mean age 70,5 years, SD 6,78 , median 70 years, range 60 to 90 years, recruited by public announcements). The test battery comprised the ‘chair rising test’ for measuring lower extremity neuromuscular function (five repetitions of rising from a chair as quickly as possible with arms crossed over the chest). The test has been proven reliable, valid, sensible and predictive for falls and future locomotor status and ADL-status. Chair rising [sec/5x], Range: 5.4-19.4, Mean: 9.1 (women:9.2, men:9.0), SD: 1.97, Median: 8.9. Training of balance and muscle power with Galileo 2000 – preliminary results. Galileo is a device for whole body vibration/oscillatory muscle stimulation. The subject stands with bended knees and hips on a rocking platform with a sagittal axle, which thrusts alternatively the right and left leg 7-14 mm upwards with a frequency of 27 Hz, thereby lengthening the extensor muscles of the lower extremities. The reflexive reaction of the neuromuscular system is a chain of rapid muscle contractions. We conducted a randomized controlled trial, n=34 (age: mean 67y, range 61-85, 11 female), cross-over design, intervention group 2 months training program three times a week (each session 3×2 minutes), performance tests of all participants every two weeks). The first 19 subjects have finished the intervention period. They reached mean performance gains in chair rising of 18%, strikingly different to the constant values of the controls! We interpret the findings as improvements in muscle power by the oscillative muscle stimulation.

Runge M., Rehfeld G. & Resnicek E. (2000). Balance training and exercise in geriatric patients. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. 1(1). 61-65.

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Cardiac responses of dogs to nonsynchronous and heart synchronous whole-body vibration

Whole Body Vibration Therapy for Horses – Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association

New Equine Vibration Plate Shakes Things Up at the Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center – The Equine Chronicle
EquiVibe – Cowpoke Kendra’s What’s Hot in Western Trends – The Horse Source Magazine

Shannon Dueck and Sentimiento I Win The Sanctuary Peak Performance Award During Gold Coast Dressage Final – The Chronicle of the Horse
Vibration Therapy: EquiVibe – Thoroughbred Times
New Equine Vibration Plate at the Sanctuary – RIDE The Online Horse Magazine
Equine Vibration Therapy – The Equine Chronicle

New Equine Vibration Plate – Bridle and Bit

New Equine Therapy Shakes Things Up – Thoroughbred Times
EquiVibe Equine Racehorse Rehabilitation Plate – Balkowitsch Enterprises
Vibration Therapy, Whereby the Horse’s Whole Body Receives Massaging Vibrations – North American Trainer,-whereby-the-horse%E2%80%99s-whole-body-receives-massaging-vibrations
Whole Body Vibration for Horses – The Horsemen’s Journal

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Our body naturally creates new bone cells and expels the old ones. When this process is out of balance, osteoporosis occurs. Our bones become less dense. We can bring this process into balance and protect our bone health.

Resistance exercise is always recommended to increase bone density. Why? Resistance exercises make our muscles stronger, which in turn, make our bones stronger. We cannot have strong bones without strong muscles.

Muscle strength, and thus, bone strength, is increased in two ways: First, we can lift progressively heavier weight. Fitness centers are filled with weight machines and other equipment that helps us do resistance exercises. As we add more and more weight in our workout, we increase the resistance our muscles work against. The result is stronger muscles and stronger bones.

Repetition of muscle movement is the second way to strengthen muscles and support our bone health. During a workout we perform sets of multiple repetitions to tone a specific muscle. You may have used hand or ankle weights while walking to increase resistance to the muscles, while doing these repetitive movements. You can increase the power and strength of a muscle by working it over and over. Isometric exercises build muscle strength through repetition.

These are the only ways we can increase our muscle strength and bone density. If you have osteoporosis, or want to protect your bone health, you need to move your muscles! Whole body vibration exercise and therapy machines move every muscle, every time you use them.

Remember isometric exercises? You focus on a muscle and tighten it, then release the muscle. Tighten, then release. You do this over and over again. Isometric exercises use our own body weight as the resistance. Isometric resistance repetitions tone and strengthen our muscles. When we flex, tighten and release, toxins are pushed out of the muscle cells and blood and lymph circulation is increased.

This is a description of the involuntary muscle movement induced by whole body vibration machines. Whole body vibration machine-use causes a rapid, involuntary contraction and then, expansion of muscle cells.. This rapid repetitive movement occurs at the cellular level and is proven to build muscle strength and new bone cells. It also burns fat. The motion generated by whole body vibration exercise and therapy machines enhances the natural regenerative processes in our body.

Our whole body vibration exercise machines use low-speed, low-amplitude vibrations to generate health benefits. The technology has been researched for 30+ years by NASA and medical scientists, who discovered that low-frequency low-amplitude vibrations build muscle strength and new bone cells.

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Whole-Body Vibration for Osteoporosis

Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study.

High-frequency whole-body vibration improves balancing ability in elderly women.

Technical Brief: Whole Body Vibration Therapy for Osteoporosis

By Adrienne Dellwo, GuideNovember 16, 2008

OK, here’s one I didn’t see coming – a study published in the Journal of Altenative and Complementary Medicine says that whole-body vibration (WBV) can actually reduce pain and fatigue, and improve physical function for those of us with fibromyalgia.

In the study, they had a group of women with fibromyalgia who followed an exercise regimen consisting of aerobic activities, stretching and relaxation twice a week. Half of the women followed their work-outs with WBV, while the other half didn’t. A control group didn’t exercise or get WBV.

After 6 weeks, the WBV group showed significantly lower pain and fatigue scores than the exercise-only group and the control group, while the exercise-only group wasn’t significantly different from the control group.

This sounded really bizarre to me, so I did some research on WBV. Turns out, it’s been proven to help physical function in the elderly as well. I also found out you can buy WBV platforms online.

Is WBV something you’d be interested in trying? It sounds weird to me, but then again the treatments that have helped me most sound weird, too! Does anyone have experience with WBV? What do you think about it? Share your comments here or in’s Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue.


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Alentorn-Geli E, Padilla J, Moras G, Lázaro Haro C, Fernández-Solà J.
Laboratory of Biomechanics, INEF-Exercise and Sport Sciences School, University of Barcelona, Spain.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a 6-week traditional exercise program with supplementary whole-body vibration (WBV) in improving health status, physical functioning, and main symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) in women with FM.

METHODS: Thirty-six (36) women with FM (mean +/- standard error of the mean age 55.97 +/- 1.55) were randomized into 3 treatment groups: exercise and vibration (EVG), exercise (EG), and control (CG). Exercise therapy, consisting of aerobic activities, stretching, and relaxation techniques, was performed twice a week (90 min/day). Following each exercise session, the EVG underwent a protocol with WBV, whereas the EG performed the same protocol without vibratory stimulus. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) was administered at baseline and 6 weeks following the initiation of the treatments. Estimates of pain, fatigue, stiffness, and depression were also reported using the visual analogue scale.
RESULTS: A significant 3 x 2 (group x time)-repeated measures analysis of variance interaction was found for pain (p = 0.018) and fatigue (p = 0.002) but not for FIQ (p = 0.069), stiffness (p = 0.142), or depression (p = 0.654). Pain and fatigue scores were significantly reduced from baseline in the EVG, but not in the EG or CG. In addition, the EVG showed significantly lower pain and fatigue scores at week 6 compared to the CG, whereas no significant differences were found between the EG and CG (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Results suggest that a 6-week traditional exercise program with supplementary WBV safely reduces pain and fatigue, whereas exercise alone fails to induce improvements.

PMID: 18990045 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

As a therapy, whole body vibration (sometimes abbreviated as WBV) was explored by Russian scientist Vladimir Nazarov, who tested vibration on cosmonauts in an effort to decrease the loss of muscle and bone mass in space. As there is minimal gravitational force in space, muscles and bones are not loaded as they normally are on earth. Cosmonauts (and astronauts) in space lose their muscular strength very quickly, which is why they are not able to easily walk when they come back to earth. The decrease of bone density increases the risk of bone fractures, so it’s not safe to stay in space for extended periods. The aerospace industry in the former Soviet Union worked with vibration training. Before their departure, cosmonauts were subjected to special training sessions so that the density of their bones would increase and their muscular strength would rise.
A particular form of WBV is vibration training, which is becoming increasingly popular. Initially, vibration training was mainly used in the fitness industry, but the use of vibration equipment is expanding quickly. It is now widely used in physical therapy, rehabilitation and professional sports, but it is also increasingly used for beauty and wellness applications.

What it is
The first applications of vibration for the improvement of human performance were developed in ancient Greece; a saw covered in cotton was used as a tool to transmit mechanical vibrations to the part of the body that was not functioning properly.[citation needed]In the 1880s and 1890s, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was utilizing vibrating chairs, platforms and bars at his Battle Creek, Michigansanitarium. These methods were part of his “wellness” strategies for inpatient and outpatient populations.
The immediate predecessor of modern vibration training is Rhythmic Neuromuscular Stimulation (RNS). In former East Germany Dr. Biermann was experimenting with the use of cyclic oscillations and their effects on the human body back in the sixties (Biermann, 1960 [1]).
In that same era the Russian scientist Nazarov translated these findings into practical uses for athletes. He observed a substantial increase in flexibility and strength after the application of vibrations in the athletes he studied (Kunnemeyer & Smidtbleicher, 1997[2]). The Russians also carried out experiments with “Biomechanical Stimulation” for the benefit of their athletes as well as in their space program. Unlike WBV devices on which the user stands, Biomechanical Stimulation uses vibration stimulation directly on muscles or tendons.
The Russian Space Institute (RSI)[citation needed], the European Space Agency[3][4][5] and NASA are experimenting with various types of vibration training systems in order to get the ultimate benefits from the vibration stimulus. Due to the lack of gravity in space,astronauts and cosmonauts exhibited muscle atrophy (muscle impairment) and bone loss, which forced them to return to earth rather quickly. For rehabilitation after prolonged space flights, Russian scientists experimented with biomechanical stimulation. Once theIron Curtain had been dismantled, the West could finally profit from the information and experience that had been gained in the previous years.
Whole-body vibration platforms enable the user to train various skeletal muscles, and trigger other body reactions. The effects are used in sports, fitness, aesthetics, rehabilitation and medical therapies. Several hundred peer-reviewed papers have been published on the effects of WBV, and the number of research studies conducted every year is accelerating. Effects described in the studies include: muscle strength and toning, cellulite reduction, improved bone density, heightened secretion of hormones associated with exercise, and depressed response of hormones associated with stress. Several inventions regarding whole body vibration devices have also been patented.
There are currently many whole body vibration machine brands and types of machine available. These vary in quality, design specifications and manufacturing materials. Some machines are able to provide the benefits that are described in the studies, others do not. In fitness centers or when buying for home use intended results need to be matched with the machine type and quality chosen. There are machines designed specifically for physical fitness training or muscle build while others are efficacious in physical therapy.

How it works

As apparent from its name, in WBV, the entire body is exposed to vibration, as opposed to local vibration (Biomechanical Stimulation, BMS), where an isolated muscle or muscle group is stimulated by the use of a vibration device. Whole body vibration is implemented through the use of a vibrating platform on which static poses are held or dynamic exercises can be performed depending on the type and force of the machine. The vibrations generated by motors underneath the platform are transmitted to the person on the machine. The intensity, defined by the parameters frequency, amplitude, magnitude (light vibration versus heavy vibration) and the direction of these vibrations are essential for their effect.

Vibration Platform Types

Vibration platforms fall into different, distinct categories. The type of platform used is a moderator of the effect and result of the training or therapy performed (Marin PJ, Rhea MR, 2010 [6]). Main categories of machine types are: 1. High Energy Lineal, found mostly in commercial vibration training studios and gyms. The vibration direction is lineal/upward eliciting a strong stretch-reflex contraction in muscle fibres targeted by the positions of training program. 2. Premium Speed Pivotal, (teeter-totter movement) used for physiotherapy work at lower speeds and exercise workouts at “premium” speed, up to 27 Hz. Both commercial and home units are available. 3. Medium Energy Lineal, the majority of lineal platforms produced. These are usually made of plastic; some have 3-D vibration which is low quality. They give slower and less consistent results. 4. Low Speed Pivotal units. These can give “therapy” benefits. Other machine types are low Energy/Low amplitude lineal and Low energy/High amplitude lineal with varying uses from osteoporosis prevention, therapy for improved blood circulation and flexibility and limited fitness training.
In order to elicit a stretch reflex in the muscles, the major contributing factor to the training results that can be achieved with vibration platforms, the up-down movement is the most important. The platform is vibrated upwards to work directly against gravity and therefore is called “hyper-gravity”. High Energy Lineal Machines can overload the muscles up to 6 times(6G)in the upward phase; meaning the person on the platform is weight training using their own body mass.
The training frequency (Hz) is another of the important factors involved. Prof. Bosco was the first scientist to prove that every person has his own muscle frequency[citation needed]. The human body is designed to absorb vertical vibrations better due to the effects of gravity; however, many machines vibrate in more than one direction: sideways (x), front and back (y) and up and down (z). The z-axis has the largest amplitude and is the most defining component in generating and inducing muscle contractions.
Concerning the z-movements, two main types of system can be distinguished (Marin PJ et al. 2010 [6]Rittweger 2010[7]Rauch 2010[8]) :

  • Side alternating (pivotal) systems, operating like a see-saw and hence mimicking the human gait where one foot is always moving upwards and the other one downwards, and
  • Linear systems where the whole platform is mainly doing the same motion, respectively: both feet are moved upwards or downwards at the same time.

Systems with side alternation usually offer a larger amplitude of oscillation and a frequency range of about 5 Hz to 35 Hz. Linear/upright systems offer lower amplitudes but higher frequencies in the range of 20 Hz to 50 Hz. Despite the larger amplitudes of side-alternating systems, the vibration (acceleration) transmitted to the head is significantly smaller than in non side-alternating systems (Abercromby et al. 2007[9]). This difference can be a determining factor when choosing a platform for therapy versus training effects.
Mechanical stimulation generates acceleration forces acting on the body. These forces cause the muscles to lengthen, and this signal is received by the muscle spindle, a small organ in the muscle. This spindle transmits the signal through the central nervous systemto the muscles involved (Abercromby et al. 2007 [9]Burkhardt 2006[10]).
Due to this subconscious contraction of the muscles, many more muscle fibers are used than in a conscious, voluntary movement (Issurin & Tenenbaum 1999 [11]). This is also obvious from the heightened EMG activity (Bosco et al. 1999 [12]Delecluse et al. 2003[13]).

Training effects     Immediate and short term

More motor units (and the correlating muscle fibers) are activated under the influence of vibration than in normal, conscious muscle contractions. Due to this, muscles are incited more efficiently (Paradisis & Zacharogiannis 2007 [14]Lamont et al. 2006 [15]Cormie et al. 2006 [16]; ; Bosco et al. 1999 [12]2000 [17]Rittweger 2001 [18]2002 [19]Abercromby et al. 2005 [20]Amonette et al. 2005[21]). The immediate effect of WBV is therefore that the muscles can be used quickly and efficiently, rendering them capable of producing more force. However, this process will only be effective if the stimulus is not too intense and does not last too long, because otherwise performance will diminish due to fatigue.
Another immediate effect of WBV is an improvement of circulation. The rapid contraction and relaxation of the muscles at 20 to 50 times per second basically works as a pump on the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, increasing the speed of the blood flow through the body (Kerschan-Schindl et al. 2001 [22]Lohman et al. 2007 [23]). Subjects often experience this as a tingling, prickling, warm sensation in the skin. Both Stewart (2005 [24]) and Oliveri (1989 [25]) describe the appearance of vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels) as a result of vibration

Long term

In order to have any effect on the body in the long term it is vital that the body systems experience fatigue or some sort of light stress. As in other kinds of training, when the body is overloaded repeatedly and regularly, the principle ofsupercompensation applies. This principle is the cause of the body adapting to loading. In other words: performance will increase.

This effect has been proven several times in scientific research for both young and elderly subjects (Roelants et al. 2004 [26],Delecluse et al. 2003 [13]Verschueren et al. 2004 [27]Paradisis et al. 2007 [14]). The only placebo-controlled study to date (Delecluse et al. 2003 [13]) concluded “specific Whole Body Vibration protocol of 5 weeks had no surplus value upon the conventional training program to improve speed-strength performance in sprint-trained athletes”. Therefore there is no clear indication that the vibrations actually do have added value when performing static exercises.
From research into the structural effects of vibration training it can be deduced that the increased strength resulting from WBV training can definitely be compared to the results that can be attained with conventional methods of training. But there are indications that better results may be achieved with WBV in the area of explosive power (Delecluse et al. 2003 [13]).
Another important difference between conventional training methods and WBV is that there is only a minimum of loading. No additional weights are necessary, which ensures that there is very little loading to passive structures such as bones, ligaments and joints. That is why WBV is highly suited to people that are difficult to train due to old age, illness, disorders, weight or injury. On the other hand, it is also highly suitable for professional athletes who want to stimulate and strengthen their muscles without overloading joints and the rest of the physical system (Cochrane et al. 2005 [28]Mahieu et al. 2006 [29]).
Other than its influence on the muscles, WBV can also have a positive effect on bone mineral density. Vibrations cause compression and remodeling of the bone tissue Mechanostat[30][31][32][33], activating the osteoblasts (bone building cells), while reducing the activity of the osteoclasts (cells that break bone down). Repeated stimulation of this system, combined with the increased pull on the bones by the muscles, will increase bone mineral density over time. It is also likely that improved circulation and the related bone perfusion due to a better supply of nutrients, which are also more able to penetrate the bone tissue, are contributing factors (Verschueren 2004 [27]Jordan 2005 [34]Olof Johnell & John Eisman, 2004 [35]Rubin et al. 2004 [36]).

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Just stand or sit on it. The machine does all the work.

All you do is stand on the platform in a variety of positions that target specific body parts. And though they’re low impact vibrations, you will feel it working immediately, burning calories, relieving pain and improving your overall health & well being.

10 Minutes = 1 Hour In The Gym!

Exercise Suggestions

1. Beginners should start on a low speed until your body adjusts to the vibrations.
2. Select 10 positions. Hold each position for one minute.
3. Do not exercise on a full stomach.
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. Have fun!


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