Flexibility & Stretching Zone!

Whole Body Vibration and Gravity

By Gary Gray, PT, FAFS

What we do is empowering. What we do is fun. What we do is functional. We empower others by creating fun environments that enhance their function. It is empowering when our clients work better, play better, and rest better through the interactions within fun and functional environments. Not only is it empowering to them, but it is also empowering to us.

Applied Functional Science™ (AFS) is the science of empowerment. AFS is the synergistic convergence of the physical sciences, biological sciences, and behavioral sciences. From the truths and principles of AFS come the powerful strategies and the resultant techniques that enhance function and 3empower individuals. When we understand the world we live in, the function of the human body, and the interaction we have with our world and each other, we can then realize how to empower others through AFS-based environments.

Human movement – human function – is driven. We are driven by physical drivers, biological drivers, and behavioral drivers. Physical drivers take into account what we know about physics and all the forces around us. Biological drivers take into account biomechanics and the Chain Reaction™ of the human body. Behavioral drivers take into account psychology and the motivation of the human mind and spirit.

One of the most significant drivers on earth that we, as humans, have to deal with is the force of gravity. Gravity is a force that attracts all objects to all other objects. We see gravity at work any time we drop something, step on a scale, throw something up into the air, or try to jump as high as possible.

As gravity draws us to the earth, and literally creates a compression of our body into the earth, ground reaction force creates an opposite force where a Chain Reaction™ occurs in our body. In walking, gravity and ground reaction force meet at our interface – our feet – and the Chain Reaction™ begins. In fact, in all upright function, gravity and ground reaction force must be understood and appreciated as those forces that create a significant amount of movement, as well as a primary Chain Reaction™ loading within the body. For example, while walking, as the foot enters into the ground, gravity and ground reaction force come together, facilitating tri-plane (or three-dimensional) movements to occur that turn on proprioceptors, which allow for the engagement and activation of muscles to decelerate the movement and, ultimately, perform the desired task. As soon as the foot hits the ground, gravity and ground reaction force facilitate subtalar eversion and abduction, midtarsal joint inversion, abduction, and dorsiflexion, ankle dorsiflexion, knee flexion, abduction, and internal rotation, and hip flexion, adduction, and internal rotation. The functional force of gravity and ground reaction force creates functional movements in the locomotor chain and facilitate a proprioceptive response that engages a reaction of the muscles to react and initially decelerate the motion in order to transform the motion into productive activity.

Vertical whole body vibration produces the same desired effect as facilitated by gravity and ground reaction force through the entire chain of the body. Because there is only a vertical displacement while standing on the VibePlate, you will experience "microhits" of the same reaction that we get with gravity and ground reaction force. The gravity in ground reaction force is called the gravity ground reaction. A vertical whole body vibration, as facilitated by the VibePlate, produce "microhits" of gravity ground reaction through mechanical vibrations.

Understanding why vertical whole body vibration, as facilitated by the VibePlate, is so effective is as simple as understanding AFS. AFS allows us to take advantage of the truth of gravity and ground reaction force. Biologically, we understand the biomechanical Chain Reaction™ that is facilitated by the gravity ground reaction. Vertical whole body vibration, VibePlate, is not magic, it creates a controlled environment where the platform facilitates that same reaction and creates the movement to turn on the desired muscles. It is simply an understanding of physics and biomechanics. It is understanding how to create the most optimal environments for the desired Chain Reaction™ in order to facilitate the movements and activities that our patients and clients desire.

With an increased understanding of AFS you can see that the VibePlate allows you to perform just about any movement on vibration that you could do on the floor. Having a barrier free, low profile, durable platform is essential to allow you to perform three dimensional movements. VibePlate allows you to go beyond the point of just standing on a platform for certain period of time.  Get the results you want by applying your understanding of AFS and remember, use the tool, don’t let the tool use you.