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The Healthy Skeptic: Debunking the Myth of Whole Body Vibration Training and the Hypergravity Platform

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Whole Body Vibration (WBV) training is a recent fad that has been foisted upon the public by fitness marketing types. In recent years several different types of these vibrating platform contraptions have hit the market.

About a month ago I wrote a critical review of something called the Power Plate that was getting press because the aging pop star Madonna had purchased one and was supposedly singing its praises. I kicked off a firestorm among the WBV crowd because I actually read the studies used by the Power Plate people, and pointed out that the emperor had no clothes.

In my research on the Power Plate I came across the Hypergravity website, a manufacturer of another of these WBV platforms.

Over several installments over the next month or so I will provide a detailed look at each study that the marketers of the Hypergravity platform use to support the claims that they make about their product, and show how the data from these studies is severely lacking.  

It bears mentioning that the numerous spelling and grammatical errors that are present on almost every page of the site are indicative of an intellectual laziness that permeates the Hypergravity people's approach to everything, including the science that they allege backs up their claims.  This lack of attention to detail speaks volumes about how these people act in their efforts to try and sell their ersatz, high-tech snake oil.

To kick this whole thing off I’ll address the claims coming from the WBV hucksters that NASA has studied this mode of training, and as a result has determined that WBV is valid and its benefits can be derived by astronauts and earth-lubbers alike.

On the home page of the Hypergravity site we’re told that “Vibration technology is based on Russian research and development. It reached its peak when Russian cosmonauts were able to regain bone mass (which was lost due to lack of gravity in space) using advanced vibration technology. Today NASA is working with similar technology: Whole Body Vibration (WBV) to stop and possibly reverse the loss of bone density.”

The Hypergravity people do not provide us with any details in regard to this “Russian research.” There are no mentions of any specific studies, no passages from studies, no dates to give us an idea as to when this research and development was performed. There is nothing about this “Russian research” anywhere on the Hypergravity site.

Was this data culled back in the days of Sputnik or during the time when Rocky IV was being made? Your guess is as good as mine.

The fallacy of Whole Body Vibration training’s suitability for the general public is revealed by the nature of NASA’s research on the subject. For as much as the purveyors of these vibration platforms want to convince you that this method of training is equal to – or even superior to – conventional training, the research being done by NASA in no way supports this position.

According to the WBV industry, NASA is studying the effects of WBV training as a way to combat bone loss that results from astronauts existing in a zero gravity environment for long periods of time. A zero gravity environment is an extreme condition that no person on earth will ever deal with no matter how couch potato-ish they are, so to apply these theories or the results of these very preliminary studies to any members of our earth-bound population is ridiculous.

Even the most sedentary and/or infirm individuals are subjected to the forces of gravity. Standing, walking, climbing stairs or getting up from a seated position place demands on the body’s muscular-skeletal and nervous systems that don’t occur in a weightless environment.

To study the response of a person who is either in a weightless environment or who has been subjected to a weightless environment is meaningless when applying the data from these studies to people who will never be exposed to a weightless environment.

Walking can load the hip and knee joints with forces anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 times body weight ("Hip Contact Forces and Gait Patterns From Routine Activities", Bergmann, Deurerzbacher, et. al.) and these loads are even greater when a person runs, climbs stairs or gets up out of a chair.

Wolff’s Law basically states that a bone gets stronger when a sufficient load is placed upon it, and this same bone will lose strength in the absence of this load. Without the force of gravity no load is applied to bone, and bone loses strength much quicker and doesn’t respond to any exercises that can be performed in this weightless environment. This is why NASA has been trying to find a form of exercise that can combat the detrimental effects of weightlessness while astronauts are in this environment.

There are links to two stories on the Hypergravity site under the heading of “What NASA Has to Say About Good Vibrations?” [sic]. Ostensibly these stories are supposed to prove that since NASA is studying WBV as a possible aid to astronauts, that this method is somehow useful to the rest of us.

The first link, titled A new treatment under study by NASA-funded doctors could reverse bone loss experienced by astronauts in space, takes you to an article that was written in 2001.

Here is a passage from this article: “Whether astronauts would benefit from a vibration-plate regimen is a question that can only be fully answered by conducting experiments in space. Such tests have been proposed, but none are scheduled yet [my emphasis].”

Here’s another interesting passage: “According to this thinking, the remedy for bone loss in space should be exercises that duplicate stresses on our muscles and skeletons experienced during a daily and active life on Earth. Unfortunately, without the pull of gravity it is very difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate loads routinely experienced by our muscles and bones on Earth.”

And finally, Dr. Clinton Rubin, a professor of biomedical engineering at SUNY-Stony Brook, “hopes that future experiments will reveal not only whether vibration therapy works, but also why [my emphasis].”

Since this article first appeared in 2001 and the Hypergravity people don’t provide us with any additional updates from this story, we can conclude that the jury is still VERY much out on whether or not WBV works for astronauts. And there is no way anyone can conclude that WBV will do anything for us non-astronauts. The head researcher himself doesn’t even assert that WBV works.

The second link is titled Shaken Not Stirred: Mixing Vibrations With Genetics May Help Reduce Bone Loss for Astronauts, and takes you to a NASA site and an article very similar to the first article. This item was posted in 2002 and features the research being performed by SUNY-Stony Brook’s Dr. Rubin.

Here’s the most interesting passage of this article: “These results (animal and preliminary studies featuring postmenopausal women and children with cerebral palsy), while still preliminary, show that the platform may be an effective counter-measure in space. Astronauts could stand on the platform a few minutes a day, even performing other tasks at the same time because the stimulus is so minimal [my emphasis].”

What this means is that researchers proposed in 2002 that the astronauts would use WBV in a weightless environment to combat the effects of weightlessness. Even these researchers weren’t proposing that the astronauts would use WBV once they arrived back on Earth as part of a rehabilitation program. And these studies were not conducted, they were just proposed.

Just like in the first article highlighted by the Hypergravity people, there is no recent update to this story. There is no reason to believe that any of this has ever gotten off the drawing board.

What all of this means is that there is no data from NASA that indicates that Whole Body Vibration is a valid method of exercise or treatment for astronauts or members of the general population.

In the next installment of debunking the myth of WBV training I will review the first six studies on the Hypergravity website’s “Researches [sic]” page that are provided to somehow prove the efficacy of WBV.

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About Sal Marinello

  • Cosmicenergy

    My question to you is …
    Have you …
    ever tried the whole body vibration machine???
    Yesterday I had the most incredible opportunity to try it… and I fell in love with it !!
    Before you write such an article as this.. you should have tried it first !!!!!!
    I woke up this morning feeling so alive! I had the best night’s sleep ever!
    But the best part… is the orgasmic feelin’

    • ralford100

      Cosmic: I agree with you. The author goes through all this research to come up ZERO on experience. Experience from himself or others. This is what I really want to know…

      • dfff

        You cock jockey

    • ggr

      You fuckin idiot

  • I purchased a power plate unit about a year ago. It has been nothing but problems and has had many mechanical and electrical failures. The insides look like they were put together with hot glue. It is poorly designed and guaranteed to fail. When that happens just try to get someone to fix it. Hell, try to get power plate to answer their telephones during normal business hours. Guess they make to much money to be bothered with paying customers once they have your money.

  • To Becca

    never heard of vibration training before. Very strange thing to claim. It is not exactly new.

    “i stood on it for less than 3 seconds at a low level and it was quite uncomfortable, it felt like my brains were even vibrating”

    You do not say what kind of machine it is. Pivotal or Lineal ???

    The only way you would have felt uncomfortable as you describe is if you were not following basic bio mechanical principles. aka…. In a deep squat position.

    Did you have your legs locked ?

    If you jump off a chair, how you land is the most important bit right ? Even a kid knows that.

  • Becca

    hello, i am a physical therapist and just started working at a new doctors office/rehab who has one of these WBVT machines…i don’t think it’s one of those lightweight plastic ones. well, i’ve never heard of these before, but i got to tell you right off the bat i’m skeptical, thus i’m doing research. i don’t even know what the contraindications for these machines are and i can guarantee you the doctor is not screening his patients as to who is using these machines. i stood on it for less than 3 seconds at a low level and it was quite uncomfortable, it felt like my brains were even vibrating. i’m not knocking this machine until i do further research; maybe can give a younger, in shape athlete that extra edge, but i don’t think that many of my patients that i’m seeing who are older with back/neck and other orthopedic problems should be doing this machine; especially one that studies are inconclusive. this doctors tells me that “he changed the world of medicine” by using this machine on mastectomy patients as it helped with their lymphadema???!!! that sounds like that should be a contraindication. needless to say for other reasons besides this,i gave my 2 weeks notice on the first day at work. what i was thinking i would like to do is write a list of contraindications to post on the machine before i leave for these poor patients who are using this machine but probably shouldn’t be.

  • I’ve heard about those Russian studies some 30 years ago and I believe they have some merit. There was something about kicking out I believe free radicals out of the cells (I could be wrong though, it could’ve been toxins). Of course there were some dangers, especially for women.

  • Roger K

    Hi Folks,

    I’ve been reading with interest the comments. I do not have the expertise to validate research, but I did stumble on this site.

  • Debra Sherman

    J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Mar;19(3):352-9. Epub 2003 Dec 22.
    Effect of 6-month whole body vibration training on hip density, muscle strength, and postural control in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study.
    Verschueren SM, Roelants M, Delecluse C, Swinnen S, Vanderschueren D, Boonen S.
    Laboratory of Motor Control, Department of Kinesiology, Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium.
    High-frequency mechanical strain seems to stimulate bone strength in animals. In this randomized controlled trial, hip BMD was measured in postmenopausal women after a 24-week whole body vibration (WBV) training program. Vibration training significantly increased BMD of the hip. These findings suggest that WBV training might be useful in the prevention of osteoporosis.

    High-frequency mechanical strain has been shown to stimulate bone strength in different animal models. However, the effects of vibration exercise on the human skeleton have rarely been studied. Particularly in postmenopausal women-who are most at risk of developing osteoporosis-randomized controlled data on the safety and efficacy of vibration loading are lacking. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to assess the musculoskeletal effects of high-frequency loading by means of whole body vibration (WBV) in postmenopausal women.

    Seventy volunteers (age, 58-74 years) were randomly assigned to a whole body vibration training group (WBV, n = 25), a resistance training group (RES, n = 22), or a control group (CON, n = 23). The WBV group and the RES group trained three times weekly for 24 weeks. The WBV group performed static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform (35-40 Hz, 2.28-5.09g), which mechanically loaded the bone and evoked reflexive muscle contractions. The RES group trained knee extensors by dynamic leg press and leg extension exercises, increasing from low (20 RM) to high (8 RM) resistance. The CON group did not participate in any training. Hip bone density was measured using DXA at baseline and after the 6-month intervention. Isometric and dynamic strength were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer. Data were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA.

    No vibration-related side effects were observed. Vibration training improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength (+15% and + 16%, respectively; p < 0.01) and also significantly increased BMD of the hip (+0.93%, p < 0.05). No changes in hip BMD were observed in women participating in resistance training or age-matched controls (-0.60% and -0.62%, respectively; not significant). Serum markers of bone turnover did not change in any of the groups. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that WBV training may be a feasible and effective way to modify well-recognized risk factors for falls and fractures in older women and support the need for further human studies.

  • ann haynes

    I am interested in buying a T-zone Vibration machine, anyone have any info. on this machine please?

  • Chuckkel

    I like my vibration machine. I’m 56 years old, 350 lbs, diabetic, had quadruple heart bypass who started going to physical therapy three weeks ago since I have foot and leg pain coupled with poor balance. I could barely walk due to severe pain. The physical therapist had a TurboSonic brand vibration machine which I have used a total of of eight-10 minute sessions coupled with other strength training equipment. Today I was able to run just about full speed and have regained about half of my balance as measured on a balance testing machine. Because of my excellent results, I purchased a Proform Activator V7 floor model from Sears Roebuck for $160 ($999 retail) which included 30 pounds of adjustable hand weights. Secondary effects are that my hunger is also reduced and am starting to experience some weight loss too as is my daughter who is using the vibrating machine.

  • Kirk Regular

    Hi Ruby,
    We have a fitness studio where I did a lot of research in the industry. I think the Galileo or Vibraflex in the americas is the best machine I have seen. It is the only one licensed in Canada as a Class 2 medical device and I know of a Doctor in Montreal currently doing studies in CP. I have only seen one other cheaper oscillating machine which can perform as well which is the hpyervibe out of Australia but it is not the nice german construction of the galileo. I have also worked out on expensive lineal machines but they do not give me as good a workout as my galileo.

    Good luck

  • Fenbeast

    Actually, WBV is being studied for osteoporosis, and with positive effects. I refer you to this article from the J Bone Mineral Res, a widely respected medical journal.

  • Ruby

    I’ve just paid for a Galileo ( German) pivotal machine to help strengthen my non ambulant, wheelchair using 5 year old son who has cerebral palsy. It Is a huge investment for
    Me.After reading this I’m now worrying about the clashing fq in his organs. We haven’t had the training yet, but I’ll ask about it… I’m really hoping the machine will help strengthen his trunk. When doing my research into vibration therapy I came across some clinical studies that had been undertaken using a Galileo, all had positive outcomes. Does anyone here have an opinion of this particular machine?

  • ravethewave

    @ Cat Mac
    Look on Waveexercise.com and see if there is a Wave in your area.

  • ravethewave

    I personally own a wellness center in the middle of a town full of retirement homes and a generally older population. I have 3 WAVE vibration exercise machines. I am sure that my customers could talk to you about the benefits they have from this machine. They are sleeping through the night, less headaches, more energy, more circulation and muscle tone, and weight loss. There are many vibration exercise machines out there, some are completely generic. There is positive research being done about these machines. Most of my clients won’t go to the gym because they are in too much pain to work out. This machine is their answer, with so many other benefits.
    Check out this article and see how the Detriot Medical Center uses the Wave.

  • “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

  • OMG ! I just read something by Sal the critic in his ramblings saying that when doing a push up pose on a vibration plate it can not effect your arms, chest and back because they are too far away from the vibration. ????

    When doing a clap push up hitting the floor and catching yourself with your arms everything has to be used to take your weight. Not just your hands. Same as a bench press. Here vibration is being used as a load. Nothing else changes.

    There is no way someone can not understand that. Especially a trainer. I think the articles themselves are a bit one eyed and Sal has obviously made up his mind on this subject long before he wrote them, but not too bad otherwise. But there is something seriously fishy about the other things he claims he can not understand.

  • @Chris message #64.
    You don’t need to track the early Russian studies. There is much more research on vibration training done now in one year than probably in the last 10 altogether. Click for instance on this bibliography selection.

  • In the United States, exercise machines, vibration technology start, Pop-up in gyms, fitness center and even homes.Whole Body Vibration Technology has been propagated as the next generation and exercise of weight loss machine.

  • I’m open minded. I suspect FV is being tried faddishly by people for the enjoyment, but ‘fitness’ is a valid excuse for adults to spend time on what is really an amusement toy.
    I doubt that FV substitutes for serious training, but may have benefits for the less athletic and thsoe with heart conditions.
    Not for the serious athlete, though.
    Can someone trace the Russian studies?

  • Cat Mac

    Has anyone heard about the Wave….. is it any good???? It is made in Canada.

  • It is very difficult to personally recommend brands or specific machines. So many factors are involved: the geographic locality of the person asking determines what is available. Do they want to go to a Studio to use a machine under the direction of an Instructor. Do they want to buy a machine to use at home?, what results does the person want to achieve?, have any injuries, health problems, age maybe, sex maybe, weight definitely needed. And after all that there are very different types of vibration machines and the person may have a preference. Let’s not forget that if it’s a home machine the placement of it needs to be considered.. and even more.

    If you seriously want some help, go to Vibration Training. Read the articles in the help section then if you still need advice, ask there.

  • Sam

    I would just like to know which machine or machines “Lloyd Shaw” would personally recommend?

  • Ok , Now a researcher David Bazzett-Jones has released the actual g-forces the Power Plate machine he used gives out we will look at the figures.

    Note: This tests was done unloaded ( no-one on it )it would get worse if tested with someone standing on the plate.

    The research lists that the machines set its top setting of 50hz and 4mm . The engineering tests show it ran at 5.83G

    But working backwards with certified Vibration Analysis Software from CTC …

    (1) If the amplitude was correct at 4mm then it was only running at 32Hz instead of 50Hz ?

    (2) If the Hz was correct then it was only running at 1.64mm to get 5.83G , instead of 4mm ?

    So it either had lost 36% of its speed or 59% of its amplitude before someone jumped on it. That is even worse than other tests I have seen on the Power Plate that showed it running at only 38Hz on its 50Hz setting.

    When I reported this years ago I was accused of tampering with the machine , when other parties including an Olympic sprinter got similar results they ” refused to acknowledge ” them.

    I think the time has come for consumers to understand this company…….

    (a) Will never be honest in their advertising.

    (b) Actually cant build a good machine.

    They lack the skills and integrity to do either.

  • Mark Minter , Managing Director of Power Plate has recently signed a statement ( 12/6/2008 ) basically saying that……

    (1) Their machines have never had any problems with not running to their advertised specs , and everyone else is lying including “apparent” technicians that performed the tests .

    (2) If their machines do not work as advertised for some reason then that’s Ok by Power Plate standards.

    (3) Power Plate deny all knowledge that the machines did not operate to spec and only admit they has noise problems.

    (4) Power Plate are allowed as a “right” to use other companies and machines test results to sell their products.

    (5) They deny swapping photos on research reports and “if they did” they do not believe this to be dishonest.

    (6) It was not dishonest to use Dr Marco Cardinales name without permission.

    (7) They deny tricking a disabled person to do an advertising shot for them , and this person never complained or called then “unscrupulous marketers ” .

    (8) He then goes on to say that because they can use celebrity endorsements , a disabled persons endorsement does not register in the same “context”.

    We can take from the above denials and accusations of other people lying that Power Plate have learnt nothing from their past mistakes. So we must continue to warn the consumer that they are still highly unethical and cant be trusted .

  • Industry news….

    The new HyperGravity range is getting good reviews. These machines really are a step up and I believe the commercail units will do very well in the gym market.

    Power Plate have just been caught again….

    Claiming their machines to be Class 1 medical devices , only one problem…..

    Both KEMA and TUV the organizations responsable for such listings say a Vibration platform has to be a class 2A , class 1 is only for low risk medical device like plasters and bandages.

    It is obvious Power Plate are bending the truth again to fool the consumer.

    Truly earning the title as the most unethical company our industry has witnessed.

  • Confirmation….

    Europlate pays ….. $208 ( U.S.)

    How much are they trying to charge …..$1699 (U.S.)

    Do you really think a $200 machine is going to work ?

  • Be wary , the new Europlate is made in Tiawan. And sold by the same company supplying cheap machines from China before.

    But this from their new “Euro”plate website….

    Our vibrating machine is NOT made in China. BEWARE of Chinese vibration exercise machines, they will fall apart.

    Talk about dodgy…

  • Why is the Vibration Training market so hard to understand ?

    This is a question I am being asked constantly now with most people getting very confused as to what to buy , why and from whom. I will quickly explain below the concerns I have and how the confusion surrounding this industry is deliberate and why I am so hard on those selling dodgy machines.

    (1) If a machine is not built to a good standard not only will it not work for long ( reports of broken units coming in hard and fast lately ) ,but it may not work at all. Combine that with the injury risks from uncontrolled 3D units or machines running at incorrect Fq its just not worth it.

    (2) Simply creating a “Vibration” is not Vibration Training , if it was that simple then we would have had this science up and running 100yrs ago , correct ? The only people you will hear say otherwise are the same marketers/manufacturors that would sell you fake Aids drugs .

    (3) If a machine is built to the level of a proper Vibration Training device the correct postures needed when in contact with the unit becomes so important that unsupervised use actually becomes irresponsable. ( education of the buyer is very important here )

    (4) If the program does not match the unit , even the best machine can become an injury trap.

    Why is this not told to you….

    To some involved in this industry , taking your money is just a game , with the fact they are selling you a health product to be used on your body not even considered. They risk some capital , you risk your spine , and the expanding obesity crisis comes second to their expanding bank accounts.

    This is the game they are playing with you and why it looks so confusing from the outside……

    In chess you have 3 stages to a game.

    (1) Opening
    (2) Middle game
    (3) End game


    In the opening players set up their defences and potential attacks. If a photo of the game around move 10 was shown to most other players they could basically work out whats going on even if they had not witnessed the game up till that point.

    Our opening was the “real” industry building good quality units , testing units , doing R&D or opening places to access them safetly.

    Middle Game….

    This is where you will see pieces scattered all around the board in what appears to be a random order, a photo of a middle game would tell an outside player little as to others stratagies and past movements, this is YOU the consumer at the moment , looking at a middle game and wondering why it looks so disorganaized.

    This is where the marketers like to step into the game , making off the confusion and doing their upmost to make out they are a part of the “real” industry , relying on the presumption you will just get tired of hearing conflicting information and flow like water to the nearest/cheapest dealer. Their mantra of ” but at least at this price you arnt risking much ” sounds logical, except for the risk to you future health that is not being discussed.

    The dishonest marketers/manufacturors ( about 160 out of 180 at last count ) have relied on this confusion period to be of 5yrs minimum from the introduction of Vibration Training to your country, so they can make back their investments. They fully understand the risks to you.

    My aim is this , to shorten the ” Middle Game ” buy releasing so much marketing free information to the consumer as to collapse their plan and give them a very expensive lesson at the same time. And yes I am aware how aggressive and condescending this sounds.

    The end game is yet to come….

    A group of us have made it our relentless endevour to have a clean industry where the end game has no losers but those who should not have been playing with your health in the first place.

    If you are still confused , my advice is to wait for us to finish our work. In the mean time education is your only weapon. Keep reading , keep asking…..

    Kind regards Lloyd Shaw

  • Scientific America report , Jan 2008……

    The reports starts out by saying ” Exercise takes energy , and presumably that combats obesity.”

    Good start….

    Scientists at Stony Brook University found that Vibrating mice for 15mins every other day reduced Body-Fat% by 27%. The body fat mainly decreased in their torso. They also had significant reductions in fatty compounds linked to type2 diabetes.

    No other changes to the mices environment where made.

  • Greg

    I have worked with vibration training for almost four years now. Since may 2004 the results i have found have been quite remarkable. The article i read ignores a few very key facts.

    1. Vibration training is NOT done statically, its not as simple as standing on a platform and jumping off 12minutes later. the exercises have to be performed.

    2. The research from NASA and the Russian Space program is widely publicised. Just check the NASA website for further details.

    3. The article doesnt point out the benefits of vibration training.

    4. As for the comments about sentences and spelling mistakes, the author of this article should go back to his “research” and take note that some of the research was gathered in Holland where the native language is Dutch. Now this might sound like a silly point but DUTCH DOESNT TRANSLASTE INTO ENGLISH FLUENTLY!!

    The research (which spans 45 years and not the “few years fad” in which this article claims) has proven time after time that vibro training out-performs standard gym trying every single time.

    Not only this but it has been proven to not only reverse symptoms of MS, but has been PROVEN to reverse Osteoparosus, Fabromyalgia, Arthritis and dozens more ailments.

    My advise to people reading this article to dismiss the selected information, the unsupported arguments found in it. The author has ZERO experience working with Vibration Training and has obviously rushed out an article to meet a deadline. Very Very poorly written article.

    I have a Phd in sports science, have worked with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tiger Woods, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and EVERY single NFL team……they all use them to great effects

  • Industry news…

    VibraSlim have released the following statement…

    ” BEWARE of Chinese machines, they will fall apart”

    They are the same people that supplied Chinese made units for extreme prices.

    They plan to release a new machine called the “EuroPlate ” , to feed off the anti-Chinese backlash they have helped create.

  • Industry news…

    Consumer protection site vibrationtraining.net threatened with legal action by VibraSlim.

    Articles pointing out true prices of units from China along with misleading information used by that company to sell machines must be taking it toll.

  • Note: Sal is not a big fan of inventors.

    I actually think Tesla would have loved working on constructive and destructive kenetic Fq and its effect on biological matter. His dedication to forwarding science would have come in handy around about now.

    His inventions where not motivated by corperate greed. Just the need to make things better.

  • Mark R

    Have read through these comments, just wanted to point out that a certain man named Tesla is probably one of the first people to have looked at WBV. Have not tried it myself, but once you have read a little about Tesla, you are less likely to to disagree. I believe that his original comments were that its application should be as a therapy unit. BTW you would not be reading this without Tesla !

  • We had a Nemes studio in Auckland last year , with a unit that tested your individual Fq. I tried it and found it Ok.

    I understand the theory behind this practice but I did not find it matched up the hype.

    I did not also like their anti-competitive nature in saying ONLY Bosco systems worked.

  • Well after all of my critiques on other products, its finally time to put mine to the test. As of next week I am gving my MVPRO demo unit to a University run Kinesiology department for testing. Don’t worry I will make sure that the studies clearly state that its my product being tested. Lets hope I don’t end up helping companies who take credit for testing they have never had done on their own products.

    Also two new machines have come out from BOSCO– origionator of many of the studies on WBV. Some of these machines measure each individuals frequencies and adjust accordingly– Sounds very nice. HAs any one been on a BOSCO machine yet?

  • The company VibraSlim that was caught plagiarizing commercial companies material and attaching it to cheap Chinese imports for home use , is now trying to hit gyms and health centers.

    If you know anybody looking at a commercial purchase , please tell them to look before leaping.

  • Kevin Barclay Webb , a man who also worked for, then stood against, PowerPlate in the U.K. has been targeted in a law suit , over the advice given out to some gyms about Powerplates dodgy dealings.

    To help this guy out I would ask anyone who has tested the PowerPlate and found it failing its advertised specs to please contact me ASAP.

    Even breakdown rates would help.

    Thank you.

  • Di Heap

    Yes, that presentation is interesting (I’ve seen it before) but it doesn’t give any conclusions. It’s hard to know what point the author is making. It’s kind of flat.

  • This interesting powerpoint presentation tries to summarize the current state of research

  • The Notice for PowerPlate N.Z. Ltds liquidation has appaired in the N.Z. Herald on 25th October 2007.

    I the Plantiff Lloyd Shaw will complete this action on the 12th November in the High Court .

    This kind of action in and out of court will continue until PowerPlate has either…

    (a) Apologised for its past behaviour and negotiates a settlement for those effected by it unethical practices.

    (b) Is dismantled globally.

    I will do what it takes to give our industry an example of what not to do.

  • Yes the Soloflex is a decent therapy unit. The problem most have with the company is their false claim it is a training unit.

    Just creating a vibration does not make “Vibration Training.”

  • Adam Condyle

    I have a Ph. D. in clinical psychology. I have owned
    the Soloflex vibrating board for about 9 months.
    I have gotten more relief for stiffness, aches,and
    pains than anything else I’ve ever tried. I bought it
    for about$450.00. I wouldn’t sell it for a $millon

  • Dear Sal,
    Thanks for your critical piece on WBV. You should dig deeper into Clint Rubin’s work, however. There are a number of studies that have been done over the last several years on earth w/ various populations, human and animal, young, old, post-menopausal, etc. Some of the results are very promising, some ambiguous, some contradictory – clearly much more research needs to be done. However it is clear that something is going on here . What’s unfortunate and dangerous is the number of companies which you rightly excoriate for exploiting the promise of the field for profit while giving lip service to proven results and research.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    This is of grave concern….

    PT-ON-THE-NET which is included in Power-Plates website sent me an e-mail after I inquired about if they understood what Power-Plate had done in the past and if they would reconsider their support.

    The message I got back was very clear. They have seen the proof , they understand , they do not and never will care what Power-Plate does to the consumer. No matter how bad. It is just business .

    A quote from the e-mail…

    “and we are not in a position at this point to say anything publicly or would ever anyway ”

    Got to love their dedication to good old fashioned greed and lack of ethics.

    Outstanding guys.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Real Health Concerns Regarding Vibration Training

    The unrestricted/unsupervised use of Vibration Training equipment has been a concern of mine since I first started writing orininal material in 2003. As Product Manager of Power-Plate I saw the potential for abuse of the units in several ways. Some of them being.

    (1) Overuse

    (2) Incorrect poses

    (3) Incorrect Fq

    I will list the reasons for these concerns and why I believe the sooner the “real” industry starts talking to each other and laying down some restrictions , the better.



    (1) Chronic Fatigue….

    This can cause everything from just plain tiredness to a massive drop in your immune system. Which can lead to other health disorders. This one is simple , you ask you body to do too much and it can’t keep up. Think about this , in an average Vibtation Training session you may do approx 30,000 seperate movements. This is like running a marathon for most people, and because it is actually do-able for most people, it is primed for abuse. But your body simply can’t expend that amount of energy and keep going for long. You will get sick eventually.

    (2) Hyperthyroidism….

    This is a state where your regulatory glands are over activated causing a large fluctuation in your hormone levels. This can lead to fluid retention , problems with hormone sensitive organs such as the ovaries (for woman). To its extreme this condition can cause multi organ failure.

    Note: I have had one case reported to me so far from South Africa where a lady was using a plate for over 40mins a day. And she was following her instructors advice !! So this theory was not a fancy-full idea as was put to me when I first aired my concerns.

    Unfortunatly I expect to hear about more such cases before anything concrete is done.

    Tissue breakdown….

    This is when the healing cycle is not allowed to complete itself. And your body breaks down more cells than it can rebuild before you re-damage the area. Long distance runners have always had this problem with their knees.

    Incorrect poses…..

    This one sounds self explainatory but it is obviously not, from what I have seen on many a Vibration Training poster sold with machines and on the net.
    Your joints are only designed to work at high use at precise angles , moving away from these angles can cause unnesessary wear and tear. It can also cause neck injuries. That is where a good instructor is very important , they will recorrect you during your time on the units so no problems occur.

    Incorrect Fq….

    This is a tricky one as so may of the units available go to the lower Fq , hense people believe it must be safe. The fact is lower Fq should only be used for limited Physio programs due to the unsafe nature of what they call resonance Fq. This is where waves bounce off each other causing a disturbance in an area. In this case in your internal organs give off their own resonance and matching these is not a good idea. They range from 5Hz-20Hz. Again mis-use could cause distrubance to the organs function. Keeping away from these Fq by a factor of 10 should allow safe use of units over a lifetime.

    Note: Some cheaply built units are NOT doing the Hz setting showed on the display. Some are slowing down with only a load of 20-80kg. One major brand was tested unloaded at it was still slower by 13hz than its advertised specs.

    Now this article was not written to scare anyone off Vibration Training , just to show how serious we are about putting up this type of training for scrutiny . We will never create a safe industry by burying potential problems as is the normal procedure for marketers and corporates .

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Power Plate in trouble again. This time being caught using a world leading researchers name on their so called Medical Advisory Board.

    This person has publically denied being involved or supporting the company.

    They have been forced to take down every name from the list.

    The academic community will not be happy with this and the backlash should come as a timely kick in the guts for a company that seems to know no ethical boundaries.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    VibraSlim a U.S./Canadian based company has been involved with Plagiarising an entire website for marketing purposes.

    Absolute proof that this company is dishonest in nature and should not be trusted.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Acceleration Training and Vibration Training/Therapy is the same thing in case anyone hears the term from a marketing company and is confused.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Yesterday I won a judgement by the Ministry of Justice against Power-Plate by a District Court Judge.

    The ruling was to help me clarify I was indeed Power-Plates Product Manager ( 2003-2004 ).

    Power-Plate had recently tried to defend itself from my exposure of their unethical behaviour by claiming I never worked for them.

    That was found untruthfull by the courts.

    The good that can come from this , is people around the world who have a legal case against Power-Plate can now call on me as an expert witness.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Greg Hammond…..

    For you to mix up a Pivotal unit with a Lineal Machine can mean only one thing.

    You are a marketer for Vibraslim.

    After your claims of plenty of “Research ” this could could not have been an honest mistake.

    Better luck next time.

  • Lloyd Shaw
  • Lloyd Shaw
  • Lloyd Shaw

    Another dedicated Vibration Training link

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Lloyd Shaw
    February 3rd, 2007
    Just to let everyone know. We have an issues here in N.Z.

    A certain so called “non-profit” organization ( Fitness N.Z. ) has given a retailer of fitness products the following.

    (1) The CEO made a supposedly independent statement in a high profile fitness mag. ” this company is the only one that employs qualified staff ” Knowing no qualification exists in this field.

    (2) A ” Preffered Suppliers ” award.

    (3) A place on their board.

    This particular person has been on our banned list for unethical business practices for some time , and was turned down for a purchase of a studio because of my concerns, which includes.

    (1) Selling cheap Therapy units under the guise of Vibration Training.

    (2) Although being a landlord , saw fit to go into direct competition with a Tenant. ( highly unethical )

    (3) Knowingly useing other companies trademarked names to shift products.

    (4) Using results from well known Training units to sell cheap asain Therapy machines to both Gyms and home users.

    As having high business ethics could not have been the reason for these moves by Fitness N.Z. As one would expect with a ” non-profit org” . I will leave it up to the readers to guess its motives.

    But I think it would be fair to say , that Fitness N.Z. is not moving in a good direction.

    An update on this soon.

  • Greg Hammond

    I found this blog which might help some of you work through all the info. Alot of people are talking with NO credibility here. I suggest you read the research link at the bottom and see what the doctors and scientists are saying. Also what NBC News and the NFL say also.

    The Whole-body Vibration Exercise Program Review & Update

    For the past few months I have been reporting my findings on vibration exercise and gathering more research. I have now talked to many people that use this program to get fit and to lose weight. At first I was skeptical of this theory but after doing this research I was impressed enough that I ordered a machine for myself. I looked at many machines ranging in price from $1700 to $13,000, including: Power Plate, VibraSlim, K2, M-power and the Pila-vibe. Some of these machines are geared more for professional use and are too big and heavy for home use and some are just out of my price range.

    After comparing features, quality and price I decided on the VibraSlim. It seems to me that many of the machines out there, are over priced and I could not find any reason to pay more than $1700. This machine is well built, quiet, has lots of settings, easy to use and has a two year warranty.
    Now that I have the VibraSlim in my living room my wife and I have been on it for 10 minutes about 5 days a week. We both have become addicted to this machine. The funny thing is that our friends thought we were nuts until they got on it for the first time. It is funny the reaction people have with vibration exercise, at first they get on an laugh as they vibrate away, then they start to get into it as they feel their muscles working. Once you get on this machine, you are hooked! When the 10 minutes is done everyone gets off of it with a euphoric feeling. You really need to try it to understand.

    The results so far are impressive. We have both lost weight and gotten stronger in just a few weeks. My wife has seen a reduction in cellulite also (she will kill me if she sees this!). I will continue to report back our results over the upcoming months to keep everyone informed. Our biggest problem now is that our friends keep dropping by to use our machine!

    NBC News did a story on the Oakland Raider using whole body vibration as part of their regular training program which is worth watching.

    watch it here

    Until next time!
    Kevin Rellis

    Links to Vibration Machine Suppliers: VibraSlim Power Plate Pila-vibe, M-power K2

    Research on Vibration Exercise

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Lloyd Shaw
    January 25th, 2007
    Discrimination against the overweight with some weight loss machines ?

    Are companies producing low quality Vibration Training units discriminating against obese people by having low ” dynamic load ” specs ?

    This is the point where the machine loses speed and amplitude due to a load threshold being exceeded.

    I will be looking at this closer in the future. With tests on popular brands being released. One brand already coming up short at only 80kg.

    In the mean time a discussion around the ethics of this would be valuable

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Lloyd Shaw
    January 24th, 2007

    Mr Chris Bantin
    75 Manoor Park Drive
    GU46 6JZ


    To whom it may concern,

    This is a letter with reference to the articals thet Power Plate have been placing in magazines.

    The artical seeks to imply that I have been helped by PowerPlate in the past and I am endorsing them for othered disabled people. Both of these implications are false.

    Everything about my experiences and the benifits I felt are true but it all relates to the machine now know as the Vibro-Gym and Kevin Barkclay web.

    I do believe Vibration training is of tremendous benefit to bisabled people but I do not want them to be misled by unscrupulous marketing.

    Yours Truly
    Chris Bantin

    The artical advert printed in D&CS FITNESS ( Disabled and supportive care mag )

    It does imply all the way through the artical that Chris Bantin has been helped by Power-Plate and endorses it for everbody.

    Now also remeber this was the new Chinese built unit that had massive problems from day one. So why would Power-Plate even let a disabled person near an uncalibrated unit.

    Power-Plate once again shows us what they stand for.

  • sal m

    if you feel that the platform is helping you than that is great.

    my point is that while there may be some narrow application of the WBV for people who are suffering from a degenerative condition like MS, this doesn’t mean that it’s applicable to members of the general population.

    and that being said at my facility, our physical therapist treats patients with a variety of severe and degenerative conditions, and has great success using traditional methods of rehab and without the costs involved with WBV platforms.

    like me, he has read the research and shares my beliefs with regard to WBV.

  • TJ Schneider

    I read all of the comments regarding WBV and thought I would weigh in as a person who is battling primary progressive multiple sclerosis. I was always a very active person and since the onset of this illness I have been unable to do any physical activity. I cannot get enough of a workout in a pool to do any good and I can say unequivocably that the Soloflex WBV has been a godsend. The circulation in my legs have improved dramatically as has the pain in my hip from the way I have to walk. I understand that you are here to question the validity of a product, but in this case, I have to disagree. Gravity affects me every day and without this product I would still be in pain 24/7. It is not a cure-all but I can tell you that now at least I can tolerate the level of pain.
    I understand your skepticism but would also ask you to look at the positive side of these products.

  • sal m

    i like that saying about using the small broom! if i use it i will give you credit.

    and you are totally right that it’s up to the people who sell these devices to be responisible in their marketing efforts. if i go to the hypergravity site and the best that they can do is give me old, irrelevant stuff, it’s not my job to go out and find the proof that they should provide.

    and with regard to the NASA stuff, i did say that even if WBV works in a weightless environment that it is quite a stretch to assume in will work down here on the ground to the same extent and in the same manner.

    as i said, all i am doing is responding what these companies are doing and pointing out the inadequacies in their data.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Fair point SAL , but the research they choose to put up is marketing. No decent research could be done to date , because the machines where not built and developed for all goals.
    The studies from N.A.S.A. where never released ( someone bought the I.P. ) but they still have a TVIS system used everyday on the space station ( after 5 yrs ).
    You can see this buy googleing ” TVIS N.A.S.A. ”
    So that should at least tell you something right ?
    I personally rely on feedback from trainers , athletes etc… to move the industry forward , not old dodgy studies.

    To put it bluntly they jumped the gun about 10yrs ago and released essentialy test models to the public , just to make some $$$$. And had to make up claims to shift product. That has really set us back , and almost caused me to give up.

    I can tell i am “pushing shit up-hill with a small broom” to make you believe Vibration Training has a valid place in exercise programs.

    I suppose its up to me to PROVE to you we arent all full of it.

  • sal m

    the personal research is looking at the research provided by these hucksters and seeing that no such “proof” exists. the studies provided by the people selling this stuff are lacking, so how can the argument be made that WBV is worth trying or spending money on?

    the purveyors of these gadgets distort reality when they say there is proof that WBV works, and if there was real proof there would be real studies with real results to provide for us.

    in this particular case there would be actual studies from NASA and not 5 year old stories talking about proposed studies and the theoretical uses for WBV.

    all i am doing is pointing out that the people who sell this gimmicktry have not provided any compelling reasons to use WBV.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    I am starting to believe none of you have actually tried a real “Vibration Training” machine ( not a plastic Chinese machine ). It is VERY hard and is no easy or free lunch. So i dont quite understand your reaction. But if you have tried most avalable units , and they where crap ,then sat so.
    I have personally seen commenwealth athletes and coaches , falling off with absolute fatigue. And they where very impressed.

    I understan Sal M , your hobby is being a skeptic , but doesnt it have its own set of rules ? Like some personal research ?

  • sal m

    mr newbill:
    your last paragraph says it all…thanks for reading and responding!

  • Wiliam W. Newbill

    fffMy comment is that Soloflex is now offering a Whole Body vibration therapy unit that says “God does the healing, we collect the fee.” Indeed. “scientists don’t know how it works,” say the advertisement. More accurately, scientists don’t know if WBVT works at all, but we do know that false or unsupported medical claims are made all the time. People will bleieve almost anything, especially when it offer improvement with no effort on your part.

    I have osteoporosis and I can tell you quite honestly that no serious experts are recommending or even talking about WBVT as a treatment.

    If you’re not willing to make the minimal effort to walk, lift some weights, and try other known methods of improving your health, then maybe WBVT is for you. Just don’t expect it to do anything other than magically lighten your wallet.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Yes well im trying to clean things up. But the marketers are not happy with me. In fact i may be shot anyday.

  • sal m

    your comments, “The tests are only been done because a positive outcome is assured” and “Maybe a Yr 1 student may fall for this , but certainly not a health proffesional,” are spot on.

    the only addition i’ll make is that the other people who “fall for it” are the gullible and less-than-knowledgable members of the general public.

  • Lloyd Shaw

    Yes some studies being done that are promising , and causing concern at the same time.
    Be aware most studies are done with only one type of unit ( usually as a marketing ploy by the company ” sponsoring ” the tests ) . Limiting any response they may be looking for. The range from Therapy to Training is huge in the units and this exact information is seldom givin .

    A good case in point is the “Vibro-Gym” , which is being tested at a number of Australian Universities. The criteria for the studies was supplied by Vibro-Gym , and they are repeats of tests already completed at most European Universities years ago.
    The tests are only been done because a positive outcome is assured.
    Good marketing for VibroGym , and someone gets their grant.
    But it in no way moves Vibration Therapy/Training ahead.

    Maybe a Yr 1 student may fall for this , but certainly not a health proffesional.

    I have yet to see a proper study done on multiple units with a wide range of subjects. Looking for different clinical effects.

    At some stage my research company ( Vibration Training LTD ) will fund such a study with all manufacturers invited to partake.

  • Aesthetic MD

    Additional references here. Readers, Do your due diligence…

  • BMJ Journals

    Whole body vibration exercise: are vibrations good for you?
    M Cardinale1 and J Wakeling2
    1 College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK and British Olympic Medical Institute, Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK
    2 The Royal Veterinary College, Structure and Motion Laboratory, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA, UK

    Correspondence to:
    Dr Cardinale
    College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK;

    Accepted 25 April 2005

    Whole body vibration has been recently proposed as an exercise intervention because of its potential for increasing force generating capacity in the lower limbs. Its recent popularity is due to the combined effects on the neuromuscular and neuroendocrine systems. Preliminary results seem to recommend vibration exercise as a therapeutic approach for sarcopenia and possibly osteoporosis. This review analyses state of the art whole body vibration exercise techniques, suggesting reasons why vibration may be an effective stimulus for human muscles and providing the rationale for future studies.

  • LLoyd Shaw

    I would like to add , we at Vibra-Train do not agree with Power-plates move to allow people with pacmakers on WBV devices.
    We believe this action comes from pure greed at work.
    What is next , pregnant woman ?

  • sal m

    i agree with you…if WBV can be used to aid those who are considered to be in that extreme category of disrepair, that more power to it.

  • LLoyd Shaw

    My main aim is to use Vibration Training as a stepping stone for the clinically obese , just to allow simple pressure and movement into the outer limbs . This eases the occurance of Type 2 Dia/ Septic shock and amputations.

    As any health proffesional knows , nothing a good walk wouldnt help with. But its a symantic agruement. The truth is this is not happening.

    And my mortuaries are full of the truth.

  • sal m

    you make good points and i do not disagree with where you are coming from. if it turns out the WBV can offer something, that’s great.

    in addition to those who are misapplying the data from NASA’s work on the subject, i have a problem with the extremely flawed studies that have been conducted on WBV. in particular these WBV studies that involved the aged. i will address this issue in the next installment.

    with regard to pilates, you are also right. pilates is a great complimentary activity. as a matter of fact, and to paraphrase,no one mode/method of exercise is an island. weight training alone cannot do everything for a person, neither can jogging, martial arts, cycling, pilates etc.

  • LLoyd Shaw

    I would also like to point out , that Palates was launched worldwide with very little scientific evidense to support its claims.

    But people tried it anyway. Something i always found confusing , untill i found out how much money everbody stood to make , by NOT pointing that out.

  • LLoyd Shaw

    You are correct , the claims are random at best , and dont apply to every unit available. And the work NASA is doing is valid to some degree but its a very small part of what vibration training is all about. The marketers just like a nice label attached to something to justify their job. Something i am working hard to clean up.

    The point i am trying to get through at the moment , is as an exercise format , vibration training is not new. Rebalancing techneques have been aroung for years. And have been used more and more recently by coaches and trainers worldwide.

    Think of this , ” ball rebalancing ” is popular for stability because of the involuntary contractions caused during the time you can stay standing up. Now think of the ball vibrating.
    The same rebalancing response is caused , just alot more controled. This allows pressure to be added to the equasion leading to a stronger required force to keep balanced.

    And yes it is very hard.

    I think the problem with Vibration Training is its real uses are being over-run by “Wealth” industry people , and the “Health” industry may lose out. Therapy machines with no RF rating are being sold as workout models ( plastic , light , Chinese made ) , with no relevent research attached .

    I understand why it looks so dodgy. I appoligize on behalf of those who are doing this for the right reasons. Please give us time to show you what is real and what is not.

  • sal m

    the problem – especially if you visit these sites – is that WBV is being touted as being applicable to the general population based on what NASA is doing.

    the state of today’s research with regard to health related issues is way more sophisticated today than it was 40 years ago. and 40 years ago weight training was “debunked” not through science, but through incorrect assumptions and a lack of understanding.

    it’s not a detriment to moving forward in criticizing a gimmick like WBV as it’s being marketed to the general population.

    also, if the research doesn’t back up the claims of the WBV’ers how is that indicative of being unable to handle change? the hypergravity site makes all kinds of outrageous claims as to the benefits of WBV where there is NO research or indications of WBV’s efficacy.

  • LLoyd Shaw

    The TVIS system NASA is using , is still in its 3rd phase ( it broke again ) on the space station right now. Reports are slow to be released as always.
    I understand Juvent DMT ( a U.S. based company ) may have the rights to the reports. And they are only looking a bone density issues.
    As Vibration Training has a limited cardio level ( static ) i cant ever see it replacing traditional training.

    Just like to point out that weight training was also debunked for over 40yrs after very positive original research was released , by health proffesionals.
    And there are still those who belive its only for athletes.

    The moral of this is , yes be sceptical , but not to the detriment of moving forward. Or you risk looking like someone who cant handle change.

    And try not to lump all Vibration Therapy/Training machines together. That is very similar to saying every car is the same because they are similar. Im sure the guy down the road who owns a Bentley would dis-agree.
    And not all companies are like Power-Plate. I have had conversations with people who are doing this for the right reasons. Gymna-Uniphy ( who produces the Fit-Vibe ) has a good reputation and medical history , and is anything but ” dodgy ”

  • Hairynipples

    Is this anything like those vibrating belts you put around your waste at the old gyms??

    You must be in a serious mood not to have placed a picture of them above.

  • sal m

    the research doesn’t support claims by the manufacurers of these devices that whole body vibration training is valid.

    any company that uses this data should be considered in the same boat as power plate and hypergravity.

  • I am concern that all the talking and news regarding all body vibration is only about power plate , there is a manufacturer in Germany by the name of Fitvibe that has been in the business of manufacturing medical and rehabilitation devices for over 40 years. they are using their machine specifically in the medical and rehabilitation business. I believe that this people know what they are doing with the whole body vibration concept. As a matter of fact, I have purchase one of this machine: the fitvibe Excel pro and the fitness and strength results are amazing.
    The fitvibe is manufactured in Germany and their claim on WBV is that the only efficient vibration is a vertical vibration with a low amplitude ( as a matter of fact, their machine Fitvibe Medical as been approved by the European Board of medicine (MDD approved).. As per power plate It seems that their machine is manufacture in China and provide 3 D vibration??? and have no medical background in their sleeves. Sal, if you know something about this company, please enlighten us.