High frequency vibration machines with very low amplitudes have been undergoing research for years, but is the technology as effective as higher amplitude machines that we see being sold for fitness, weight loss and sports performance? Due to the many different types of vibration machines in the marketplace, it’s no wonder everyone is confused about what all these machines can do. This article discusses some of the benefits of low amplitude high frequency vibration machines, their limitations and future potential.
These type of machines are not the same as the standard fitness vibration training machines we see in fitness clubs and rehabilitation centers. When your typical fitness vibration machine has an amplitude (distance the platform drops up and down) anywhere from 0 to 4 mm on a lineal / vertical vibration machine, to 12 mm on a pivotal / oscillating vibration machine, the low amplitude high frequency machines have amplitudes in the MICRONS. This is a lot smaller. In fact, if you ever stand on a vibration machine in this amplitude range, you won’t be feeling any muscle contractions. You won’t need to be getting into an exercise position. You’ll be feeling a sort of ‘buzzing’ under your feet. That’s about it.
This feeling is one of the reasons people get confused between the different types of vibration machines. An example of a high frequency low amplitude machine is the Marodyne Liv Tablet. These vibration machines are generally promoted for bone density. Research has been quite extensive with these machines, and I foresee competitors popping up soon when the research continues to prove the benefits of this type of platform.
There are pros and cons of this technology. However, once you visit the website, you may come to the conclusion that this technology is the ONLY vibration platform on the market that is safe and effective. This is a shame. The marketing department certainly has a say in how to position their company in comparison to all the other technologies. In a future article, I’ll show actual proof that their marketing message of being the only safe and effective vibration machine is false. However, vibrationexercise.com is not designed to play favorites and take sides. Our goal is only to provide you with the educational information you need to make the right choice in your vibration machine purchase or vibration training program.
The pros of these tablets is that they are really made for the geriatric population, or those that really can’t engage in any exercise program. The vibration training program is simple. You just stand on the platform for 10 minutes, twice a day. It’s not based on actual muscle contractions. You aren’t going to be sore after. You aren’t going to get a ‘workout’. The platform is easy to use and I see more attention paid to this type of device.
There are also cons. One con is that the original platform had issues with the amount of weight you place on the machine. I was also involved in a preliminary research study that looked at the effects of different weight loads on various vibration machines. Hopefully that study will one day be published. The original version of this device didn’t fare well with the increased amount of weight loads. Simply put, the heavier you are, the less precise this machine will be in delivering the right ‘dose’ of vibration frequency and amplitude. However, their new device appears to adjust for this weight difference. Still, the limit appears to be about 250 pounds.
The main area i see these devices gaining attention in is rehabilitation. Bone density with vibration is the main goal of the devices, although they did get into some weight loss effects with their technology. One of the things I like about the technology is that regardless of the limitations the devices have had, there is still solid pursuit of research that is going into this niche form of vibration technology. There have been a lot of animal studies and some human studies that have been done with the technology. However, don’t let their research fool you in believing other forms of vibration are lacking in research and practical outcomes. If you take the marketing spin with a grain of salt, I still believe there is merit in this technology.
If you are looking to purchase a vibration machine, there are certain criteria that you may need to follow in order to understand the full potential of this device:
You are not looking for an exercise device
You have limitations that prevent you from engaging in a real exercise program
You are looking for something that helps with bone density
You weigh less than 250 pounds
All these factors may point to searching for this type of platform. One word of caution though. I am a big proponent of getting into some sort of fitness program. The higher amplitude vibration machines do provide a fitness effect. If done right, they can also be easily used over time. If you are still confused on what type of vibration platform to purchase, simply email us at the email at the top of our webpage. We’d be more than happy to give you the proper unbiased advice on finding the right fit for you. A high frequency vibration machine with a low amplitude may end up being the right fit for you.
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.