Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often presents with the inability to engage in any sort of intense exercise program. When I recommend vibration exercise therapy, most of my patients are initially skeptical. It is difficult to recommend something without being sensitive to what my chronic fatigue syndrome patients are going through. That’s why this article sheds some light on why vibration exercise can be a beneficial therapy to pursue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by low effort capacity. It’s difficult to initiate any form of exercise. Hence a person becomes deconditioned. This continues on in a vicious cycle until the deconditioning continues to make one more and more unable to engage in any activity. This is a peripheral thing. You can’t use your muscles because for some reason your body can’t handle the load. You avoid it. The muscles get weak. Your ability to do anything goes down and down. However, there’s another factor also present. This is what we call the reduced effort tolerance. Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome just can’t do something because their tolerance to the activity is quite low. A study found that those with chronic fatigue syndrome had altered cerebral oxygenation and blood volume. This led to a significant exercise intolerance. So it’s not just that the muscles can’t handle the exercise. By having altered oxygenation in the brain, a simple exertion through an easy exercise program can be ‘perceived’ as harder than it actually is. Then of course one doesn’t do the exercise and then the muscles get deconditioned and the vicious cycle continues.
So now we know that someone with chronic fatigue syndrome is unable to engage fully in an exercise program. However, exercise is exactly what they need. That’s where vibration exercise has some significant benefits. A person can get a high enough intensity workout in a fraction of the time as conventional training. What this means is that you can easily start with a few seconds and work your way up to a couple of minutes. By having a high number of muscle contractions in a short period of time, there is less chance of quitting because you are unable to exert yourself. Also, whole body vibration exercise can be done in gentle static positions, thereby making the ability to actually complete an exercise session more plausible. Not only is there strengthening involved, but also flexibility and deep massage and circulation.
All these effects makes it clear that vibration plate training is an ideal choice for exercise. However, just like any other exercise program, you will need to have a program designed for you by a competent professional or trainer. Don’t just follow a standard poster or exercise dvd. What is your limitation? What aspects do you need to work on? Is it flexibility? Massage? Strengthening? Also, what kind of vibration unit will be the best fit for you? If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, all these things need to come into consideration when you are looking at engaging in vibration exercise.
Dr. Jasper Sidhu has been using vibration platforms for over 10 years in rehabilitation, sports, fitness and weight loss settings. In addition to hands on treatment of patients and clients in these settings, he has lectured at various universities and medical association meetings on the application of vibration training.