Whole Body Vibration exercise increases serotonin
During times of NEGATIVE mental/emotional stress, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. This can throw the immune system out of balance and destroy brain cells. Whole Body Vibration (WBV) exercise increases serotonin (the “healthy, stress-free hormone”) secretion, lowers cortisol and epinephrine secretion by 31%, and enhances circulation, thereby counteracting the effects of NEGATIVE stress on the body, mind and spirit.
However, the word stress has many definitions, both positive and negative, and for those using Whole Body Vibration training and therapy that have experienced the euphoric feeling of multiple involuntary muscle contractions every second, stress is often defined as a beneficial muscle response to vibratory stimulation. The movement of the vibration plate simulates the body’s natural “stretch reflex” (similar to the knee jerk reaction that occurs when the knee is tapped by a reflex hammer in a doctor’s office). Without thinking about it, your body responds with a strong involuntary muscle contraction. With Whole Body Vibration therapy, these strong muscle contractions can be repeated at a rapid rate. It is through this type of mechanical stress that the POSITIVE impact on the central nervous system occurs.
This form of POSITIVE stress resulting from Whole Body Vibration is responsible for the happiness some people experience after a WBV exercise session; the freedom of movement that they speak about; the sudden burst of energy they often describe after using a vibration platform.
Neurogenesis, Serotonin, and Endorphins, these three things, time and time again, have all been positively linked to exercise. More specifically, they have all been linked through legitimate scientific research to Whole Body Vibration exercise and therapy.
Neurogenesis refers to the creation of new nerves, and occurs in an area of the brain known as the hippocampus, the same region where learning and memory occur. The process of neurogenesis, according to researchers, is generated by exercise, stimulating stress-induced formation of a brain protein (known as BDNF) whose job it is to not only create new neurons, but to protect the existing ones and enhance communication between them (commonly referred to as synaptic plasticity). It is through synaptic plasticity that all learning and memory can occur in the brain. This includes muscle memory and motor learning, two important considerations that are clearly enhanced through Whole Body Vibration.
As BDNF levels increase in the brain, so do the levels of another brain protein called SERT. This protein is responsible for increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for mood elevation, feelings of ecstasy, increased sexual desire and function, and improved sleep.
The term “Runner’s high” is used to describe what is otherwise known as an endorphin rush. Endorphins are chemicals released by the pituitary gland in response to stress or pain. It takes approximately 30 minutes to release endorphins into the system using conventional exercise, but with more intense hyper stimulation of the central nervous system, such as is produced with WBV training and therapy, this release occurs in much less time. Once they are released, endorphins help with everything from blocking pain to creating a sense of euphoria or exhilaration.
There is a clear and positive connection between Whole Body Vibration, central nervous system stress, relief from pain, mood elevation, exhilaration, and most importantly, neurological “brilliance.” This has lead to the conclusion that the stimulating effects of the regular use (10 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week) of Whole Body Vibration equipment can help counteract certain types of depression and loss of motivation. This can initiate a major change for the better in people who take advantage of WBV exercise. When you feel good you look better and perform better.