Improving blood flow to fight disease: Whole-body vibration therapy found to increase blood and oxygen delivery

A meta-analysis published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines revealed that whole-body vibration exercise (WBVE) may significantly improve blood flow kinetics and boost oxygen delivery across the body, making it a viable treatment for a variety of degenerative diseases. The researchers pooled data from up to seven clinical trials and studies as part of the meta-analysis.

The scientists explained that normal blood circulation plays a vital role in maintaining health and body homeostasis. According to the experts, lifestyle factors and various clinical disorders – including diabetes and rheumatologic diseases – may inhibit blood flow restoration. However, the findings showed that WBVE helped increase the contraction in skeletal muscles. This resulted in better overall blood circulation, the experts said.

Likewise, the activity was found to increase the body’s oxygen supply and improve the oxidative metabolism. The researchers added that WBVE might reduce blood viscosity, which in turn might enhance the average blood flow speed in the popliteal artery. Furthermore, the scientists observed that WBVE helped improve blood circulation both in some clinical populations and healthy controls.

“Although the mechanisms by which WBVE can increase the blood flow are unclear, it would be plausible to consider two possibilities (i) the heightened muscle activity and muscle metabolic demand would result from the activation of muscle spindle reflexes and/or (ii) the reduction in the blood viscosity. Another possible explanation to these results may be related to a possible decrease of the resistance in the blood vessels as it was previously reported, although this hypothesis must be tested in future studies,” the researchers explained.

“Despite the limitations and although the idea that WBVE is a potential strategy for the improvement of the blood flow is a bit far-fetched, and it was not well corroborated yet; it can be concluded that the use of WBVE has proven to be a safe and useful strategy to improve the blood flow. These findings may have clinical relevance and should also be considered by professionals as a therapeutic strategy. Nevertheless, methodological flaws and differences among protocols indicate the need of more research in this area,” the experts concluded.

WBVE may improve blood circulation

An article posted on the Hypervibe website explained that poor blood circulation affects the body’s overall well-being, especially the lower extremities. According to the entry, symptoms of poor blood flow include inflammation of the feet and ankles, muscle cramps, cold feet and dry skin. The article added that old age is a big factor in reduced blood circulation largely due in part to declining muscle strength. Other risk factors for poor blood circulation include using wearing high heels, sitting or standing for several hours and wearing tight clothes.

However, the article stressed that natural treatments such as physical activity may mitigate the risk of poor blood flow. The entry noted that WBVE might even be the most convenient form of physical activity as it can be done by people of all ages and requires less than 15 minutes a day. (Related: Use whole body vibration exercise for weight loss, bone density and muscle building.)

The article listed a few vibrating plate exercises that may bolster blood circulation across the body. These activities include:

  • Upper spine massage – According to the article, this exercise warms up the upper body and relaxes the back and spine muscles.
  • Shoulder massage – This exercise helps relax the shoulders and the muscles surrounding them, the article explained.
  • Lumbar massage – This whole-body vibration exercise was meant to be done standing. The activity was known to support the lower back.
  • Lumbosacral massage – This exercise was designed to enhance the core muscles.
  • Hamstring massage – People are advised to stand on the platform with their back straight and the feet extended in order to carry out this exercise.
  • Gluteal massage – The activity helps engage the legs and the abs, the article stated.
  • Calf massage – The article noted that this exercise targets the legs and calves.

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