This article is to help highlight the reasons the Physio / Weight loss industry in general is not taking the Vibration Training industry seriously. Which is a complaint I hear often from industry players. They seem stumped, as there are now enough studies around to suggest only positive, safe results from treatment using vibration platforms. At least enough for most "academics" to take an interest in. But I personally think the problem is not a purely academic one.
I think it is a functional engineering / biomechanics issue and this article will point out why.
To understand why I designed machines to the standards they are, the limitations of previous units need to be addressed frankly. This is not to disrespect previous efforts, but to move the technology forward in real human terms.
In 2003 Vibration Therapy was chosen by myself ( an embalmer who specializes in obesity cases 120kg - 300 kg ) to help fight obesity. The idea was simple, and that was to use existing Vibro-Therapy units to create hyper-circulation in limbs to halt amputations. As statistics showed 6 months after the first amputation another will follow. And this would closly be followed by death.
The only issue was current models had significant limitations in both size, power and ergonomic design. Basically you had to be under 62kg for them not to lose significant performance, and already be healthy to use the units safely.
The list of contraindications was not only a reflection of medical risk, but physical risk due to the platforms shape.
The aim, to build a machine that could take a 300kg person with all of the feasible limitations that would go with that weight.....
(a) Possible leg amputation due to septicemia.
(b) Blood pressure issues, which means no floor work. ( this means the upper body must be worked out in a standing position )
(c) Produce enough energy, that if you are only able to sit in front of the machine. You will still get significant effects right up the leg into the torso .
(d) Serious knee or lower back injuries could be worked around.
This could not be achieved by simply building a bigger version of the small platforms already available. A total rethink and innovation process was needed.
A machine with unique features such as.....
(1) Takes up to 300kg and does not lose performance.
(2) Has a 45 degree angle on the front edge, to allow for people who could not stand, to sit down and still get correct foot placement to transfer the vibrations at the required angle.
(3) Load bearing vibration handle bars at a sufficient height as to be able to take load off the lower body if needed. Or they can be used to isolate the upper body while still standing. This innovation also allows brachiation ( hanging ) poses to be done such as a pull-up pose.
(4) Be 1 meter wide to accommodate any size user.
(5) All steel construction so the power from the motors are effectively transferred to the individual using the platform.
So the original idea was to develop a machine to save lives, and save limbs. But the overall result of building such a powerful highly functional unit, was a true Vibration Training machine. To this day it is the only machine produced with such features.
My concern is the lack of effort being put in by the rest of the industry to address the inherent limitation of older designs. Even to a point of some claimed medical / academic based companies creating deflecting public arguments such as "amplitude is everything" or , "gravity is everything" etc.... rather than address the real issues.
The question needs to be asked by the manufacturers "what cant my machine do?". If this industry is to move forward.
And health professionals interested in using this technology in their practice, need to speak up about current models limitations.