“The fella in the middle of this picture is my Dad. He turned 85 yesterday. Without Power Plate, he wouldn’t live mobile or pain free.
I know this because over the past 6-7 years his knees have been problematic. Although he was diagnosed with arthritis many years ago, my skills with myofascial movement therapy have kept him mobile and generally pain free until about two years ago. The magic of movement had been increasingly less effective and there was talk of surgery.
On my last trip to the UK in September, I arranged for the loan of a Personal Power Plate for the month I was visiting. I gave my Dad 5 one minute exercises to perform on it, 3 times a day. They were myofascial mobility movements for his feet and hips, which I identified were glued and creating pressure through his knees. The moves alone hadn’t been enough, but adding Power Plate vibration changed the game.
Within 1 week he was noticing more comfort. Two weeks in, a 50% reduction in discomfort, and some days where he was unaware of his knees at all. 6 months on, speaking with him yesterday on his 85th birthday, he said he’s “getting around fine” and still uses his Power Plate every day.
I stress again, the absolute magic of myofascial mobility which helps so many of my clients find new joy in movement, was no longer enough. The addition of vibration was the little extra that was needed for tissue change. I’m always in awe of what Power Plate brings to my clients and now, my precious family. My Dad can walk the dog, go shopping, mow his grass and watch football, pain free.
Not much to ask is it? Many don’t have this at 85. Dad does.”
We love to ‘flush the system’ at my studio. Create blood flow, lymphatic flow, hydration of the tissues and generally nourish the body. Whilst there are many ways to use Power Plate to flush, or massage, different areas of the body, the most well used, and indeed client favourites, come down to three. The back, the pelvis and the calves. Let me tell you why.
Firstly, we have three major joints in our body that want to move; that should move. Often they don’t move well. These are the foot/ankle complex, the hip complex and the thoracic complex. Movement restriction here can often impact other areas like knees, low back and neck/shoulders. This has resonated with every group I’ve taught in the last 8 years.
What you’ll note is that each of these massages targets those complexes. So, secondly, let’s take a look at each one.
THE BACK/THORACIC FLUSH
People are often surprised by this one. It’s putting vibration right through the spine and the rib cage, which many may feel isn’t ‘right’. Indeed, it feels mighty weird too, with the vibration going straight through your lungs making breathing feel just plain odd! However, if you can get past this ‘weirdness’ and your client has no contraindication of course, the ease of breath and space in the thoracic cavity feels wonderful. Whilst an ‘acquired taste’, our clients love the feeling afterwards, if not during!
Okay, this is a more common sight. Warning – please have an empty bladder before trying this one. It does create unexpected urges to pee! Okay, that aside, this flush is great for tight hips and stressed out souls with knots in their abdomens they don’t even know about. The freedom when they walk away from this one is indescribable.
Looks lovely doesn’t it? That’s because it is! This is probably the biggest favourite among our clients. You’ll see I have a sandbell on my calves. Any weight, including someone putting downward pressure on your shins, is superb and if I may say, incredibly pleasurable. Our lymphatic system starts at our feet but the first lymph nodes are behind the knees. This flush provides a welcome boost to the process and is so relaxing.
Okay, finally apart from the massive physical favour you’re doing for your clients, there’s a huge mental and emotional favour you can do too. With each of these flushes my instruction is “the more relaxed you are, the better this will work”. This is powerful. First, it’s true physically. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, you have just given your client permission to relax. They can’t be anywhere else and if this part of their session is to work best, they HAVE to relax. It may be their only chance to do this in their entire week. Imagine what this means. This is so much more than ‘a quick massage’. Happy flushing! JP
Peri-menopause is that 5-10 year period before women reach menopause. Hot flushes, mood swings, depression, weight gain – these are many more symptoms are common. With peri-menopause comes lower levels of oestrogen, and with that women lose the protective benefits oestrogen provides to our hearts, our bones, and our brains. So although weight gain is one concern at this stage of life that might drive women to feel the need to exercise, the other health benefits are less visible yet life-savingly important.
Peri-menopause is a time to start taking your health more seriously – and exercise is an excellent medicine.
In choosing a particular kind of exercise for yourself, you need to examine your relationship with exercise. Do you view it as punishment, as a reward, or is it just another thing to check off your daily to-do list? Would you really enjoy the stress associated with crossfit-style competitive motivation – will this help your adrenal stress levels? Or do you perceive it as fun? What symptoms of menopause are you having most difficulty with? Your sense of wellbeing is connected to your serotonin levels, and it has recently been found that 10 minutes of stretching before bed-time can reduce the intensity of hot flushes and also depression. So maybe some mind-body connection and focus on breathing is what you need to reduce stress levels.
You also need to pay heed to the laws of physics when it comes to pelvic floor strength. Trauma from child-bearing or birth often doesn’t manifest itself until 20 years later, when the strength loss from oestrogen decline leaves you in less control of your pelvic floor, and you find yourself suffering from urinary or faecal incontinence, or even prolapse. High impact exercise will probably not be a good place to start if you are coming back to exercise for the first time in ages.
Kegel exercises have been prescribed to us for generations for increasing pelvic floor strength – however I don’t see the shelving space for grownups pullups in supermarkets getting any smaller. Something more focused is clearly needed to address this issue.
For a global approach to the pelvic floor and core muscles, we recommend Power Plate. The gentle vibrations trigger rapid reflex contractions, engaging muscles subconsciously, building strength in no time, and showing a proven reduction in incontinence. Knowing what to do on the Power Plate machine to achieve a desired effect has always been the puzzle. Newly released, the Power Plate Healthy Mums Programme provides a 12 week video-led coaching programme with pelvic floor safe exercises to restore the strength in a compromised core or pelvic floor.
Designed by industry-leading expert in post-natal fitness education, Jenny Burrell, it is an easy to follow programme that comes complete with your own portable Personal Power Plate machine, a Kick Start fat loss recipe book, exercise accessories and your unique video access code.
Recently I was lucky enough to present educational sessions at the New Zealand fitness conference, FitEx. With one of my specialisms being movement based therapy and training using the Anatomy Trains understanding of the body, it was hugely gratifying to see the rapid changes in delegates who came to the sessions. Look at the before and after with Riwai below, who said to me in all seriousness “my body just can’t do that”, whilst occupying a position that shows with the right approach, it does!
I was reminded how powerful vibration can be when looking for almost any outcome. What is sometimes lost is that Power Plate gives you what I call ‘a glimpse of the near future’. In other words, harmonic vibration creates a bigger response (the rapid reflex response) than we would otherwise get in the short time frame. However, that response is fully ‘ours’, it’s our own bodies reacting to a stimulus, only more. Hence, if change happens using Power Plate with my clients, which doesn’t usually happen for them, we both know they can get there with regular movement of this kind. Vibration has just shown proven that.
Therefore, you can imagine the response rate if the correct movements, are teamed up with the correct vibration strategy using Power Plate. Huge change, huge benefits and huge smiles! At this stage you may be wondering what we did with Riwai. Well, several things, but I want to show you two very powerful movements that create mobility WITH stability in our deep front line and superficial front line, to use Anatomy Trains terms. Check out the video below and note the following:
• Sumo reaches (the first exercises) should be performed with a tall spine and the reach should be from the inner hip of the same side arm as shown
• The ‘mountain climber’ style movement needs straight elbows and a straight back knee to ensure safety as well as the best response in the tissues up the front of the body.
These are particularly effective on tight or uncomfortable lumbar areas in my clients. Each movement enhances elasticity whilst creating stability. We therefore get to ‘keep’ the gains. Try them out and let me know what you think! JP
With the increase in the size of elderly populations in the world, osteoporosis and sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass and strength) are important public health issues.
Postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment has typically focused on screening, diagnosis, and early therapy. Treatment of osteoporosis is a long-term process and typically involves the prescription of drugs with potential adverse effects. This kind of treatment may not be 100% preventive of its development and consequences. Lifestyle factors that are within a person’s control are important to treatment and prevention, and these include nutrition, smoking, alcohol intake, and movement/exercise.
The rapid decline in bone density at menopause is attributable to lower hormonal levels, and this is a very important time to start taking action for your bones to prevent osteoporosis in your later years.
Although exercises are widely used to enhance muscle strength and flexibility and to prevent bone loss, there are conflicting results when measuring the effect on bone loss of different types of exercises. Walking and jogging, while popular, do always show uniform results, and can be potentially harmful for people with impaired balance and flexibility, and jogging is certainly not the most popular exercise of choice for post-menopausal women, what with reduced pelvic floor muscle strength and potential incontinence issues. (See our Power Plate Healthy Mums Programme for a programme designed especially for restoring pelvic floor and core strength).
Safety of physical activity is an important consideration in the management of osteoporosis, due to the increased risk of falls, since quite often the fact that people in this age group already have compromised strength and balance.
Research shows Power Plate can help…
Scientific literature reviews consider Whole body vibration within a specific range of appropriate parameters, including frequency, amplitude, and peak-to-peak distance, to be a safe form of physical activity. The mechanical vibration from whole body vibration can influence a number of body processes and systems to help prevent the decline, to increase, or maintain bone mass.
Osteocytes are mechanoreceptors within the bone and respond to the EMG activity of the muscle responding to the vibrations. There is an increase in circulation and the fluid dynamics within the bone, as a result of forces applied by muscle to bone during physical activity. There is also mechanical strain applied directly and indirectly through the hydrostatic elements within the bone. The bending/deforming of bone by the action of the muscle contractions induced by the vibration also produce electrical charges, which in turn stimulate bone formation. Whole body vibration also has an anabolic effect on soft tissues, muscle and bone and with increases in growth hormone, parathyroid hormone and testosterone, muscle loss and osteoporosis can be limited.
Long term consistency is key…
Across extensive literature reviews of the effect of whole body vibration and post-menopausal osteoporosis, the best outcomes were found when
- frequency range was between 12Hz and 40 Hz
- amplitude was between 1 mm and 12 mm
- G force was between 0.3 g and 6.4 g
- the person participated in 2 to 3 sessions per week
- the duration of the intervention was a minimum of 6 months
Read more of the available research
CHICAGO – September 21, 2017: Power Plate® today announced it has obtained NEAT™ certification for its entire product line. NEAT™ is an acronym for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, developed by Mayo Clinic. Devices that meet certification criteria may showcase the NEAT™ trademark.
NEAT™ focuses on the daily calories an individual burns while doing normal, non exercise related activities. NEAT™ certification requires an Institutional Review Board (IRB) study with more than 20 participants that results in at least a 10 percent increase in calorie burn versus a baseline.
Leading obesity expert James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., and the Mayo Clinic Active Life Research Team spent a decade conducting medical research on nutrition, physical activity and behavior related to weight management and obesity prevention. Their research concluded that a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic is the decrease in energy expenditure resulting from a lack of movement in daily life.
The research found that increasing NEAT™ in daily life can result in overall improvements in health, reduced obesity risk factors and weight loss.
“Even though people recognize the effects of being overweight, the obesity epidemic continues to grow. It is a challenging public health issue,” said Lee Hillman, CEO of Performance Health Systems, owner and manufacturer of Power Plate. “NEAT™ certification is important to us and our customers because it indicates we are contributing to improving people’s health.”
About Power Plate
Power Plate is owned, manufactured and distributed by Northbrook, Ill.-based Performance Health Systems LLC, a global company that delivers advanced technology solutions through its health and wellness equipment. Power Plate is the global leader in vibration technology to help you prepare faster, perform better, and recover quicker. It makes you feel better by stimulating natural reflexes, increasing muscle activation, and improving circulation. Power Plate enhances any movement, simple or complex, typically performed on the ground.
The science behind NEAT™ indicates that the cumulative effect of non exercise activity is significant. Activities such as walking to meetings, pacing while on the phone, cleaning the house, cooking, and climbing stairs are all part of non exercise activity that result in burning calories during daily living. NEAT™ does not include the calories burned during intense periods of exercise such as long-distance biking, running, jogging or aerobics.
Certification testing must reoccur every three years or whenever significant changes are made to the product. Certification does not mean that Mayo Clinic endorses the product but rather it proves the product meets specific criteria.
To learn more about NEAT™ and the certification process, visit mayoclinic.org/neat/certification. Mayo Clinic and Dr. Levine have a financial interest in the technology referenced in this news release. Revenue Mayo receives is used to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education, and research.