FREEDOM AND PERSONAL HEALTH
I want to use an example to illustrate the difference between accepting personal responsibility and giving it away to others. Giving it away to others is a form of slavery by choice. It is a cop out. There are others who would enthusiastically take it from us to establish dominion over us but they really have no authority to take it. Even if they did, they would eventually find that they have taken control of nothing, for such transference by an individual is a step toward voluntary extinction. Actually it is really impossible to pass personal responsibility to others unless we would rather cease to exist. Here is a rather lengthy example of how it works in personal health.
Whole Body Vibration technology (WBV) was first developed for Russian Cosmonauts and U.S. Astronauts to restore and preserve muscle and bone mass that was lost during long term stays in zero gravity space. Zero Gravity means no stress on bone and muscle structures. Exercise is essential to sustain bone and muscle mass. Sedentary living, a most common condition of office workers and senior citizens, has the same effect as outer space because muscle and bone masses are not challenged enough to preserve their integrity. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
The space research programs stirred an interest in academia and the medical world, mostly in Europe and Asia. Recently, more work has been done in universities across the United States. A number of studies were done in the 1980s and 90s, and were applied to a variety of conditions and applications. If you want to do some research, there are volumes of studies on the internet, most of which show very positive and encouraging results. However, technology that interferes with medical business models that include the marketing of new drugs and the addressing of medical maladies by treatment after the fact is not readily welcomed by medical professionals. Preventive medicine, exercise and healthy living do not call for frequent visits to the pharmacy or the medical professional. Here again, personal responsibility trumps the doctor’s.
I was first introduced to whole body vibration using an oscillating vibration plate with variable frequencies of movement. I noticed right away that I felt warmer and my hands and face were more flushed. This aroused a curiosity in me and motivated me to look into the physics of the blood, arteries, veins and capillaries. Arteries are the big blood vessels, veins the medium sized ones and capillaries the tiny tubes that feed individual cells and organs of the body. I have since tried and done research on vibration plates of different types.
The most common vibration plates are of two types, tri-planer and oscillator. The tri-planer has two motors, each vibrating in a different direction, either up and down or sideways. The oscillator has only one motor and moves in a teeter totter motion, up on one side while down on the other. After doing the research and my own experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that the tri-planer vibration plate is an over-kill attempt toward maximum benefit, kind of like overdosing on drugs or vitamins – if one is good for you then two must be better. This impression may also be used to stimulate a higher price and more profit to the manufacturers and distributors. Tri-planers are more expensive than oscillators for obvious reasons, they have more parts.
Further, It doesn’t seem logical, from a physics point of view, that vibration in more than one direction simultaneously is helpful to the body. Oscillation, on the other hand, is a coordinated way of communication with blood and tissue cells of the body, stimulating the fluids and muscle fibers in an action/reaction, coordinated manner. The body will respond by reflex to one direction of movement but the reflex response becomes confused if the movements are in more than one direction at a time. Besides, oscillator plates with a single motor are affordable for the average user and are also most beneficial for everyday conditioning.
The body responds to movement or disturbance of balance with a reflex action. This reflex action is involuntary and happens even without a person being aware that it is happening. I had a friend who said that he could always tell if his wallet was in his back pocket because if it wasn’t it would cause one side of his butt to fly up higher than the other. I’m not sure his body was that sensitive but I do know that I will tip over if my balance mechanism does not involuntarily correct my center of gravity without my making a conscious effort to remain upright whenever my fulcrum is displaced.
Oscillating vibration plates work better in cooperation with the body’s natural responses. The exercise experienced with an oscillation plate stimulates soft tissue, blood and muscle for balanced exercise without effort on the part of the user. First use will make some ordinarily sedentary subjects a little stiff the next day. Gym enthusiasts will tell you that is a good thing. It means the muscle is torn down a bit and is now in the process of developing more mass and becoming stronger than before.
I have tried several vibration plates in the process of my research. Professional sports teams and some doctors use more sophisticated vibration plates for recovery and conditioning. These units are expensive, running in cost from about $12,000 to $40,000 or more per machine. It is difficult for an average home owner, particularly a retired one, could afford such a machine in the home. Oscillating plates are more beneficial and have become more affordable for the average home owner at about 10% of that cost.
There are commercial whole body vibration oscillating plates available ranging in price from about $269 to $20,000. I have found that you can get almost anything manufactured in China for about any price and what you get will usually be worth about as much as you pay for it. Personal responsibility demands some research and that we beware of cheap models of vibration plates. The Chinese are getting better at manufacturing quality products if the price is right but their culture does not necessarily demand integrity in representation. Look for an oscillating vibration plate with as many features as possible and a guarantee by the distributor, not the manufacturer. It is impracticable to expect a guarantee or followup service in the United States by a Chinese company.
A good quality WBV unit that is optimally designed for the home user will cost between $1,200 and $2,400. Appaloosa Vibration Exerciser that sells on the website www.wbhp.us for $1,650 is a good choice. It is reasonably priced, fits in a room nicely, has 99 speeds, 10 preset programs and is guaranteed by the distributor.
WBV has yet to be recognized and established as a cure for diseases. However, it has been shown to be an effective mild exercise for the rehabilitation of the soft tissue surrounding joints after surgery. Patients using WBV after knee surgery have recovered in as little as half the time of patients using ordinary rehabilitation by itself.
Customary exercise such as running, weight lifting, bike riding and even walking target certain bone and muscle groups, leaving others somewhat unchallenged. The muscle used for strenuous activities such as these are mostly the larger muscles of the body. However, there are hundreds of smaller muscles, such as involuntary sphincter muscles, that may remain unchallenged during strenuous exercise.
According to my research, there are approximately 50 sphincter muscles in the body. Sphincters muscles control the dilation of the eyes and the flow of fluids in the body. Sphincters can be thought of as valves because that is precisely what they are. They are most ordinarily recognized as the muscles that control the flow of food and fluid substances from the stomach to the small intestine and beyond and also the elimination of waste by ordinary fecal and urinary functions of the body.
Incontinence is caused by a weak sphincter muscle that doesn’t have the strength to hold the pressure in the bladder or the large intestine. Coughing and sneezing can apply pressure that exceeds the ability of a low integrity sphincter to hold. Urinary incontinence is a common problem for women whose sphincter muscles have been weakened by pregnancy and child bearing. Sphincter muscles are maintained by exercise, the same as other muscle groups.
Whole Body Vibration does not focus on specific muscle groups the way that conventional exercises do. Instead, it effects all of the muscles simultaneously. Whole Body Vibration stimulates the circulation of blood through the tiny capillaries that provide oxygen and other nutrients to all of the bones and muscles of the entire body.
The body is moved and controlled by both voluntary and involuntary muscles. There is no status quo with muscle fiber. Muscles increase in size and strength with exercise and will weaken and deteriorate where there is none. Pain is the most common deterrent to human determination to exercise. It is discouraging to work through pain, even if we know that it is the only way to get rid of it. In most cases, exercise will alleviate muscle and other soft tissue pain but it takes time and effort. Whole body vibration provides a way to engage the exercise in shorter time and with less effort, making it easier to work through the pain.
Stagnant blood flow allows the settling of suspended particles which may obstruct blood vessels and result in an accumulation of cholesterol or a blood clot, causing a stroke or a heart attack, or the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs and skeletal muscles. The unobstructed flow of the blood stream is essential to preserving the function and integrity of all of the organs of the body. WBV shakes the body much like a can of paint at the hardware store and it serves a similar purpose, to suspend all particles in the fluid for even distribution.
While considering the elements of the body, a consideration can also be made of their actions and reactions in relationship with one another. One of the most important components of the body is blood but the mechanisms that transfer the blood are just as important. The heart is mostly muscle, a muscle that feeds itself through its own functions. All other muscles are fed by the mechanism of the heart too. The body would have no energy without the muscles of the heart pushing and pulling the blood through them and dropping off the fuel that keeps them going along the way. Blood is a suspension of particles in a fluid called a colloid. The particles can be separated by mechanical centrifuge which is like the force of gravity enhanced by centrifugal motion. Keeping the particles mixed and evenly distributed in the fluid (colloid) helps the fluid to flow evenly and with less restriction through smaller tubes and vessels. Consequently, it makes sense that Whole Body Vibration decreases chances for the accumulation of particles such as fat (cholestrol) in any tubes or channels, including capillaries or blood vessels. Research has shown that capillaries and blood vessels are also dilated and flexibility is increased by WBV.
Blood is not a solution, it is a suspension of particles in a fluid. Blood can be gravitationally separated into solid and liquid parts by a centrifuge, separating the blood cells and platelets from the plasma. Fat cells are also carried and distributed by the blood. Suspending the fat cells in the blood stream tends to prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in stagnant areas of the blood vessels. Stagnant or restricted blood flow contributes to the gravitational separation of suspended particles which may accumulate and obstruct blood flow and result in a buildup of cholesterol or a blood clot, causing the blood pressure to rise which may contribute to a stroke or a heart attack. WBV has the effect of helping to suspend the platelets, blood cells and fat particles in the blood stream. We shake up paint for even flow and distribution without clogging. Is the paint more important to us than our bodies?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s defense system attacks and destroys its own cells. In Type 1 Diabetes, the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, which is a hormone that is used by the body to convert sugars and carbohydrates into the energy that is needed for our bodies to maintain normal function. Once these cells are destroyed, the body does not produce enough insulin to convert the sugars and carbohydrates that are consumed. This can lead to other, life threatening illnesses and diseases. Studies have shown that approximately 75% of diabetics die of heart disease, stroke, or other types of circulatory problems brought on by the disease, not the disease itself.
The pancreas is an endocrine gland. The islets are a compact collection of endocrine cells arranged in clusters and cords and are crisscrossed by a dense network of capillaries. The capillaries of the islets are lined by layers of endocrine cells in direct contact with vessels, and most endocrine cells are in direct contact with blood vessels, by either cytoplasmic processes or by direct apposition. A healthy circulation system is obviously essential for the prevention of the onset or progression of diabetes.
Poor circulation can contribute to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs and skeletal muscles. The unobstructed flow of the blood stream is essential to preserving the function and integrity of all of the organs of the body. It also helps circulation to drink a lot of water. Drinking water provides the necessary fluid for the blood stream to carry the essential particles throughout the body and for the heart and blood vessels to do their job efficiently.
Let’s talk physics for a moment. All things are made of a combination of basic elements. The elements are indestructible. They always exist, although many environmental idealists would rather that some of them would just go away. They demand that the industrialists make them disappear, however unreasonable as it may seem. Mostly political pressure, I’m sure. The human body is made of elements, a combination of many elements that form substances and materials, fluids, fibers and tissues that make up valves, vessels, bones and muscles.
There is need for user awareness with WBV that should be placed at the front of any exercise program, WBV or otherwise. That is that the body is a physical mechanism that functions much like other physical mechanisms. It requires management like other mechanisms do, and it functions much in the same manner. The body is made up of solids, gases and liquids like every other creature, substance or device found in this environment we call “nature”. The elements are the building blocks for the creation and existence of everything, whether solid, liquid or gas, organic or inorganic.
When we look at our bodies as physical mechanisms like any other physical mechanism, it is likely that our awareness of its needs can be increased and its integrity improved by physical applications. We have pumps, valves, orifices, sphincters, glands and transfer systems that have been widely duplicated by industry to accomplish many mechanical processes. Moving parts, substances and fluids are not likely to become bound up as with stagnation and dormancy, whether in industrial processes or in the human body.
The human body and its waste elimination system is no different than other physical processes in that it requires material and fluid handling by motive force, voluntary or involuntary in order to function properly. Gases, solids and liquids must be passed effectively through the digestive system or the system shuts down, clogs up or becomes non-functional due to stagnation of the motive force (sphincter muscles) that keeps things moving and shut them off when necessary.
It is pretty hard to imagine not being able to pass gas when necessary. In fact it is impossible to continue to live without that necessary privilege of eliminating the waste byproducts generated by the ordinary and necessary physical functions of the lymph and digestive systems. The gas passed by the human body is largely carbon dioxide and methane. The smelly part is a minute amount of hydrogen sulfide, a gas, not suspended particles. Incidentally, hydrogen sulfide is deadly if inhaled in concentrations above 400 ppm. This is not likely to happen in ordinary living or co-mingling with our fellow creatures in an elevator. However, I have heard that at least one person has died when cleaning out a lower level hog pen from the heavier than air concentrations of hydrogen sulfide emitted from the hogs. No thought for the hogs of course.
In the last few decades, industry has moved away from bucking hay or stacking boards or boxes to sitting all day in front of a desk or computer. Exercise programs, designed for the new industry environment have sprung up and people are exercising in other ways. However, senior citizens are largely ignored by the exercise industry that plays heavily on youthful, hard body appearance. The WWII baby boomers are now retiring, rapidly increasing the senior population in the U.S. I should know for I am one. Most seniors shut down at retirement and many of them become so sedentary that bodily functions become impaired. Whole body vibration is wonderful for senior citizens. It provides a means for essential daily exercise for seniors in the privacy of their own homes.
So, what is wrong with invasive technologies such as whole body vibration exercise? Well it largely boils down to the fact that it, like other preventive health measures, interferes with the income stream of the medical profession and it isn’t expensive enough. If you feel good at home you’re not going to the doctor for anything. Consequently it is opposed by many doctors and “experts” in the medical world. Here again, personal responsibility is essential to a happy life. The responsibility for personal happiness and well being cannot and should not be turned over to another person regardless of his status or expertise. Personal choice and responsibility are essential for happiness.