Buying Guide to Whole Body Vibration Exercise Machines
Types of Vibration Exercise Machine
If you plan on using or buying a whole body vibration machine, you would want to have a whole body vibration review that explains the different types of machines available. Which ones to use for what purpose and what are the differences between them?
To answer some of those questions, it’s important to first discuss the different types of vibration exercise machines available and get a better understanding of why there are different types of machines.
There are many different motion systems incorporated into whole body vibration machines. They all vibrate, but they vibrate in different ways, and the way they vibrate will produce different results on the human body. Some of these motion systems are compound motions, which means there is more than one motion occurring at the same time, and other machines use single motion systems.
The main types of machine motions are broken down into the following categories (alphabetically listed):
- Cross lateral
- Dynamic wave
- Hard triplanar
- Pivotal oscillation
- Pure vertical
- Soft triplanar
- Spiral rotational
The term Biplanar refers to the fact that the machines platform (the standing area) is moving in 2 different planes at the same time. The platform will be moving up/down and front/back on models where the motor is mounted underneath the plate along the X axis, and on machines where the motor is mounted along the Y axis the platform will move up/down and left/right. Biplanar machines typically have one motor and have a very rudimentary mechanical system internally, with an off center counter weight attached to the shaft of an electric motor. As a result this type of machines would generally be the lowest priced machines found on the market today. Typically this class of machine use AC electric motors, as these are less expensive compared to DC motors, but a few Biplanar machines do utilize DC motors. These Biplanar machines often produce a buzzing sensation from the vibro plate to the user and are typically used for massaging purposes. They are not very effective for any purpose other than a light massage, which may induce a slight increase in blood circulation, localized to the point of contact with the machine, such as the feet, if standing on the machine. Some users will place their back or arms on the machine to receive the benefits of the vibrations to that specific area. The amplitudes (amount of physical travel of the platform) of these machines are typically very low (1mm – 2mm) and their speeds are relatively high, reaching lows of 25 Hz and highs of 45 Hz. Along with the massaging vibrations, these types of units also produce very erratic and uncontrolled vibrations from the vibro plate, with approximately 30% - 50% of all vibrations being non harmonic in nature, since they have no externally mounted vibration dampening systems. Non harmonic vibrations are the dangerous wave patterns produced by mechanisms that are not well balanced or where the motion is not very controlled.
Cross lateral is one of the newest motion systems designed and patented by one specific manufacturer. This motion is based on the principle of having the platform move only along the X axis, with no vertical motion at all. Amplitude is very high, nearing 17mm and the speed is relatively slow. This combination of speed and amplitude lends itself very well to increasing lymphatic drainage and improving balance. Vibrations are very controlled and filtered by use of vibration dampening (both external and internal), which makes the unit well suited for rehabilitation purposes and is often used by people with knee or joint concerns, who normally would not be able to tolerate the vertical motion associated with other systems.
Dynamic wave motion is a compound motion system which in essence is a combination of oscillation and cross lateral motions combined. Driven by 2 separate motors and 2 separate mechanical systems, the platform moves along the X axis, while also moving in the Z axis. This high amplitude and relatively low speed is well suited for users looking for weight loss, increased lymphatic or improved balance. Similar to the cross lateral motion, this motion is considered perfectly safe for people with knee or joint concerns. Since there are 2 different drive systems working in unison, vibration dampening systems are put in place to remove all unwanted mechanical non harmonic vibrations. Though more expensive to manufacture compared to biplanar, these units are still economical when compared to other single motion units.
Hard triplanar, which is often referred to (incorrectly) as simply triplanar, is a motion system that is used by many pro and amateur athletes, and typically marketed to that audience as a power plate workout. A wide range of manufacturers make this style of machine and though the internal mechanisms are more elaborate than oscillation motion systems, they are less complicated to manufacture than multi motion mechanisms, and hence are typically less expensive. They are simply a variation of biplanar mechanisms with the exception of the fact that the off center counter weight is not firmly attached to the motor shaft, but rather is mounted in such a way that allows for the weight to ‘wobble’ while being spun, producing motion in all 3 axis at the same time. Since the amount of ‘wobble’ is not the same as the amount of spin of the counter weight rotation, the Z axis and the Y axis would be identical but the X axis amplitude would be less. In situations where the motor is mounted sideways the Z axis and the X axis would be identical and the Y axis would be less. Some models of hard triplanar machines use 2 motors for increasing the amount of available power. Better manufacturers place the 2 motors in sync with one another, where lower priced units do not sync the 2 motors. In these 2 motor drive units vibration dampening is essential, though few companies incorporate dampening. The dampening can eliminate the large amounts of non-harmonic vibrations produced by having 2 different motors, since their speeds and positioning can never be exactly identical or matched precisely. This hard triplanar motion system is very effective for increasing muscle strength, improving blood circulation and extremely effective for building bone density. However, since hard triplanar motion is a low amplitude (typically 2mm-3mm) and relatively high speed (30Hz – 60Hz) system, it is not very effective at improving lymphatic drainage, nor is it effective for improving balance, and should not be used for weight loss purposes either. The last few years independent studies and continued research has shown that there is an inherent risk of knee and soft tissue damage from using hard triplanar machines. The danger comes from the fact that the Z axis (vertical component) movement is low amplitude and high speed and the users weight is constantly ‘bouncing’ up and down generating enormous stress levels on the knee joints and other soft tissue regions. Some manufacturers of these machines have recently begun adding air bags under the platform, between the user and the motion mechanism, in hopes of reducing the stress levels on the joints. The procedure has worked to some extent, but in theory these air bladders simply reduce the effectiveness of the entire principle of this movement altogether. Hard triplanar types of machines often include a strap system which enables users to perform upper body, arm shoulder and back exercises by transferring vibrations from the platform through the straps to desired body areas. Though machines with this mechanism system were one of the first machines to enter the marketplace and can be easily found when searching for ‘gyms near me’, they are still popular and are in use in many fitness centers. However, their popularity is quickly diminishing as more information is becoming available about their potential damaging effect on joints and soft tissue.
Pivotal oscillation motion is the most common type of motion system found on machines today. Many workout routines for women are featured on oscillation type machines. In fact it’s estimated that 70% of the machines on the planet are of this type. These types of machines are commonly used in weight loss programs for women. Often referred to simply as oscillation motion, these machines move the platform under the user very similarly to the way in which a see saw operates. One side goes up, while the other goes down. To achieve this the platform is mounted to a central fulcrum or pivot point and the platform is connected by a belt drive to a motor or crank system with an eccentric wheel. Though many people believe the platform is moving only in an upright manner along the Z axis, the platform is actually moving on 2 axis, predominantly the Z axis, but there is some lateral motion as well along the Y axis. The platform is moving in an arc, so there is some lateral shift occurring at the same time as vertical shift happens. The motion is a relatively low speed, but with high amplitude, typically 10mm – 12mm. This combination is suited for weight loss, increased lymphatic drainage and for improved balance, however, since there is no low amplitude or high speed motions, it is not effective for strength training, circulation or bone density concerns. Differences between different manufacturers of oscillation motion machines center around the amount of power available to the motor (some use DC motors and others use AC motors), and the rate of acceleration of the platform. Some units have the platform accelerate very rapidly, slow down quickly and repeat with every cycle, which is a very effective method of producing better results and lowering potential injury. Other less complicated mechanisms, however, operate at the same speed throughout their range of motion, which will produce a very linear speed from the top of the arc to the bottom of the arc, during the platforms movement and therefore produce much less usable or desired force for the user, as there is no force without acceleration and acceleration is based upon the change in speed, not the speed of the movement. Something could be moving very quickly, but if it is moving at the same speed constantly, there is no acceleration. Vibration therapy is based upon acceleration, so without it the machine is really doing nothing beneficial. These lesser models will produce a feeling of discomfort and are not very effective and should, therefore be avoided. They are producing vast amounts of non-harmonic vibrations which are dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. Proper oscillation motion is a gentle movement which is not dangerous to joints or soft tissue as movement of the platform is following a proper sinusoidal wave pattern, which eliminates undue stresses on knees and other joints. Many of the lower priced oscillating machines found on the market today do not have sinusoidal wave patterns.
Pure Vertical movement machines are a rarity in the market place and are typically only found in medical facilities and are used for treating very specific types of injuries and are also used in some chiropractic facilities for vibration therapy. These machines tend to be rather expensive, with their price tags often reaching close to $15,000 or higher. These machines produce a movement where the platform is moving only on the Z axis, that is to say the platform is only moving straight up and down. They will often have controls to dictate the amplitude, which would be adjustable anywhere from 2mm – 15mm. These pure vertical motion machines also have the ability to adjust the speed or frequency of the movement. There are very rare circumstances during treatment where, it is vitally important to only move a joint in one direction, with absolutely no lateral movement across the joint, and these scenarios are where this type of machine is invaluable. However, in most rehab and therapeutic uses the direction of movement using other types of vibration machines can also be controlled by simply adjusting the direction in which the patient is facing in relation to the machine.
The drive systems which move the platforms on this class of machines can vary, and no one particular style is better than the other, and the ‘uniqueness’ of the drive unit is strictly a marketing tactic. One of the drive systems is often referred to as ‘Sonic’ vibrations or something similar. This is a system where the platform is raised and lowered by having an inaudible speaker system push air in a closed cylinder, and an inserted piston in the cylinder is attached to the platform plate. The piston is pushed further away from the speaker by the air trapped in the cylinder, raising the platform. And the adjustability comes from the ‘volume’ of the noise from the speaker and the timing of the pulses of the ‘sound’. It does take great energy to properly drive this style of motion system, and these machines are prone to breakdowns as any seals that are worn will leak air and reduce the effective or responsiveness of the machine.
Another common technique used to achieve movement on pure vertical machines is through the use of magnetic forces. In these machines very strong electromagnets inside cylinders or directly under the platform are powered on and off and repulse against stationary magnets under the platform. This magnetic repulsion technique is very effective, quiet, energy efficient and powerful. In fact there are many passenger train systems throughout the world that use the same principle of movement, just on a much larger scale. Often also referred to as magnetic levitation, or mag-lav, this technique has its opponents however, with many scientific communities showing great concern about exposing human tissue to such vast amounts of electro-magnetic energy.
Soft triplanar machines have been on the market for only a few years and are a direct result of the recent research that has been introduced on the detrimental effects of using hard triplanar machines, which were very popular a few years ago. The detrimental effects of hard triplanar machines are not present with soft triplanar motion, though these machines still offer the many benefits associated with hard triplanar motion, such as improved blood circulation, increased strength and increased bone density. These newer style of whole body vibration machines are very safe on joints and soft tissue. Typically this motion is the culmination of having oscillation motion and spiral rotational motion occurring at the same time. The oscillation motion provides the necessary vertical (Z axis) motion, while spiral rotational motion provides the low amplitude/high speed lateral motion along the X and Y axis.
Often this new class of machine is referred to as a class 3 or level 3 motion system, referring to the fact that there is multiple and separate motions emanating from the machine from 2 separate drive systems. Typically these machines have 2 separate electric motors driving the machine, with independent speed controls for each motor. This allows users the option of using the machine in one of 3 different ways. The user can opt to use the machine simply in oscillation motion, spiral rotational mode or in the combined soft triplanar mode.
Being the direct result of new research this class of machine has only been in the marketplace for approximately 5 years and is quickly becoming the machine of choice for vibration therapy and is used by chiropractors, wellness centers and rehab facilities as they show no potential of being able to cause harm to users.
Spiral rotational machines have been available in North America for approximately 8 years. However it is difficult to find a unit these days that only offer spiral rotational motion, as the majority of units with this movement are found in multi-motion machines, such as soft triplanar machines. This type of movement propels the platform under the user in a cyclic manner. Clock wise or anti clockwise, but always having the platform facing the same direction. The platform is not spinning, but rather it is being driven by a spinning mechanism which forces the platform to move from front to side, side to back, back to opposite side, then side to front again. This spiral rotational movement is performed at high speed, but very little movement is incorporated (low amplitude). Typically 2-3 mmm of amplitude is as much as these machines move, along the X and Y axis. The drive system for this motion mechanism has seen very drastic changes in the past few years with respect to the mechanics of the structure that permits this fashion of movement. The mechanical structure for this movement style is very difficult to build correctly. Many manufacturers have used and continue to use drive systems which rely on a plastic or rubber ‘O’ ring design to maintain a steady connection between the motor unit and the moving platform. This connection system is inherently designed to fail however, as there is too much friction caused by the high speed movement and premature failure is unavoidable. Newer industrial technologies has allowed some manufacturers to construct this movement connection system from high strength steel, instead of plastic, though this is more costly to produce, but provides a stable long life solution. Spiral rotational motion machines can use either AC or DC electric motors, with the AC motors produce more EMF and more non harmonic waves. The more expensive DC motors produce negligible amounts of EMF and far less destructive vibration patterns. Units utilizing DC motors will cost several hundred dollars more than units which use AC motors.
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Types of motors
With the many different types of whole body vibration machines available, there seems to also be a wide assortment of available motors to choose. Certain types of electric motors are very well suited for specific machines, and others are not well suited for the purpose at hand. There also seems to be a great deal of misleading information about the motors in whole body vibration machines.
Almost all whole body vibration machines are powered by electric motors. There are various different types of motion mechanisms for these vibration exercise machines and one motor type may be better suited for a specific motion than another. Oscillation motion for example is a relatively low speed motion, so a DC (direct current) motor would be appropriate for powering this type of vibration exercise machine. DC motors are also more easily controllable for precise speed changes that AC motors are.
AC (alternating current) motors can produce a little more power than their DC counterparts can, but not by much. They can have however, reach higher speeds more easily and are therefore the favored motors by manufacturers in triplanar style whole body vibration machines. This type of machine also does not require very precise speed control, compared to oscillating motors, so again these AC motors work well for this purpose. One specific trait of AC motors is that they produce considerably more EMF (electro magnetic force) than DC motors do. Many researchers are concerned about the long term health effects of being bombarded by large amounts of EMF. On the other hand there are many researchers who believe that large magnetic dosage is helpful for treating a variety of concerns such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and diabetes. Whether or not the exact parameters of the EMF produced by AC motors is the exact type required for treatment is a question that the jury is still out on, as there is little research done on this matter and there are very few experts in this field.
There are a lot of whole body vibration reviews on the internet. Much marketing hype from whole body vibration manufacturers centers around the motors used in their machines. With claims of 2 HP (horsepower), 3 HP and even 5 HP motors available. The truth of the matter is that 1 HP equals 746 watts of electricity and the average household electrical outlet (wall plug) in North America is only capable of producing 1800 watts maximum before overloading the circuit breaker. With this information it is easy to calculate that the maximum HP available in a house hold plug is 2.4. That is the absolute maximum power available and realistically you would probably not be drawing more than about 2.0 HP (1492 watts) before breakers begin tripping. So any claims of 3 HP motors or larger on machines is unrealistic as there wouldn’t be enough available power in your home to operate equipment with those specifications.
Certain electric motors are more efficient than others. Through the efforts of modern computers and CAD design, designers are now building electric motors that are far more efficient than motors of the past few years. This new breed of motors have better internal cooling and use newer style magnets. Though more efficient by design they are also more expensive as rare earth magnets are still a pricey commodity. Most whole body vibration machine manufacturers do not take advantage of these newer motors as their inflated prices do not justify their necessity.
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Hertz, Amplitude and G Force
When conducting a whole body vibration review, you will probably see specifications about machines using words such as amplitude, hertz and G forces. What do they mean and what relevance do they have to whole body vibration machines? These terms can be very helpful in evaluating which machine is best suited for your particular needs. They describe specific features about the whole body vibration machines and are a good way to compare one machines specifications to another.
The speed at which a machine moves is measured in Hertz. This simply refers to the number of times that the platform you stand on moves per second. Generally speaking oscillating machines, the ones found in many weight loss programs for women, move in a see saw like motion. One side going up while the other side moves down are the slower styles of machines and they typically move around 2-28 times in one second (Hz.) This is a result of the vast quantity of research which points out the optimal speed with high range of motion for the purpose of weight loss, improved balance or improved lymphatic drainage is around 18 Hz to 24 Hz. These machines typically have a high amplitude, usually around 11 mm or so.
The speed of the machines are typically adjustable on most vibration exercise machines by changing sets on the control panel or head of the machine. Many machines may be marketed to have 50 speeds or 100 speeds. This done mean that the machine is capable of going to 50 Hz or 100 Hz. The number of speeds simply refers to the number of steps between the machines lowest and highest speed settings. On many oscillating machines the speeds are very gradually changed.
The amplitude of a vibration exercise machine is simply a measurement of how far the platform which the user stands, on actually moves. This is the physical distance of travel of the platform, typically measured in millimetres (mm). This measurement is vertical for oscillating machines and sideways for triplanar or spiral rotational machines. Oscillating machines are generally considered high amplitude, with amplitudes of 10 mm - 12 mm. This means that the platform will move 10 mm – 12 mm from the bottom of its motion to the top of its motion, in one cycle. Triplanar style machines or spiral rotational machines typically move faster than oscillating machines and they usually have amplitudes of only 2mm to 4mm. This is much less travelling distance than the oscillation machines travel. So these types of whole body vibration machines don’t move as far as oscillating machines but they do move much faster. Most triplanar style machines move around 30 – 60 times per second (Hz.). This high speed and low amplitude type of motion is generally very good for strength concerns, blood circulation improvements or for increasing bone density. This high speed motion (especially when combined with low amplitude) is not effective for concerns such as weight loss, improved lymphatic drainage or improved balance. Therefore the vibration therapy benefits are different between an oscillation type machine and a triplanar type machine. Triplanar machines often have pre-set speed options, but very few allow for a change in amplitude. It is fixed, and the users stance will not change the amplitude. Some triplanar machines market their ability to offer the user an option of high or low amplitude adjustments. This is accomplished by varying the intensity of the motors power, which will slightly affect the amplitude, based on the user’s weight. It is not actually a way of altering the amplitude, but offers a similar result. Oscillating machines on the other hand have no adjustability for amplitude. The amplitude specification is measured at the very outer end of the platform. The user can alter the amplitude by simply adjusting their foot position. The wider their foot stance, the higher the amplitude (up to the maximum specified for the machine). If a person places their feet closer together at the center of the platform, the amplitude will become very low as the user is now at the fulcrum (center pivoting point) of the machine.
The G Force of a machine is a method of measuring the rate of acceleration of a machines platform. The theory behind the ‘magic’ of vibration therapy relies on the principles of physics, which states that Force (the amount of work the body is doing) is equal to the Mass (your body weight) times Acceleration. The formula is F=MA. According to this principle if you desire more force (better workout), you could raise the mass (add more weight or resistance) in your workout or increase the rate of acceleration of your workout (how quickly you raise the weights and continue to increase the speed from the bottom of your lift and speed up toward the top of your lift). In theory the more G Force, the better, but in reality, one would certainly not want to overdo those forces either. Imagine that you are standing in the gym, lifting a 10 Lb. weight with your arm. If you lift it at a continuous speed, there is no acceleration, but if the lift is in such a way that your arm moves faster the further it raises, you are adding acceleration to the work out and the amount of G Forces increases. Keep in mind that if you achieve 2 G Force, the 10 Lb weight is effectively now 20 Lbs. Your arm would have to work twice as hard in this scenario. There are a couple of machine sellers out there that will tell you of their machines achieving 17 or more G’s and this may be too much for most people. Consider the average 150 Lb person lifting weights, they may very well workout with 100 lb. weights, and that’s reasonable. If they are working a 100 lb. weight at 17 G’s that would be the equivalent of working with a 1700 Lb weight. If you think about the same 150 Lb person on a whole body vibration machine, their 150 Lb weight is now effectively 2550 Lbs. (17 times 150). That is the effective weight on the legs, knees, and ankles. That sort of weight on the knees and joints is too unsafe for most people and this high of a level of G force can cause irreversible and painful joint damage. Even highly fit astronauts and fighter pilots have to wear special anti-gravity suits to protect them from high G forces and they still can’t exceed 11G or 12 G forces. Actually they will often start to black out when they reach 10 or 11 G forces. 17 G is too excessive for human beings to sustain without injury. More realistic numbers would be between 3-8 G forces. This gives the human body a great workout and yet reduces or even eliminates the opportunity of over straining the joints.
There have been many advances in vibration therapy. In fact there are a number of vibration exercise machines on the market nowadays that are designed to reduce the effective G forces that their machines produce. Great effort goes into the suspension systems of better machines and the motor drive systems to reduce G forces transmitted to the users. Some manufacturers simply place an air bag or air bladder between the motion mechanism and the platform which the user stands on. This actually simply lessens the entire workout on the machine. Newer anti shock mat technology is also incorporated to reduce the overall G force levels that users are subjected to. The difficult task for manufacturers has been to make whole body vibration machines with low G Forces, but to still have continuous and sustained G Forces. This is a difficult task, but some manufacturers have figured out methods to accomplish this. The concept is that instead of having a machine that moves at a steady rate and then quickly changes speed as it’s changing direction, which creates a short burst of very high G Forces it’s better to make a machine where the platform is continuously accelerating and then gradually decelerating as its about to change direction. The point when the machine starts to change direction, must come gradually, and then start to accelerate again in the opposite direction gradually. Consider that a user is on a machine for 10 minutes and during that time, their machine reaches 17 G, for 1/10th of a second per cycle. Does this give the person a good workout? Or is it better to have a person on a machine for 10 minutes where they are receiving only 5 G Forces, but for 80% of the 10 minute time? This creates a smoother ‘ride’ for the user, with lower G Forces, as the body is subjected to milder G Forces, but for a longer period of time. This is much safer for the user and they actually receive better results. As with other complicated mechanical structures, this is a difficult mechanism to create, and not all machine manufacturers will go through the trouble or expense. In their minds it’s much easier and cheaper to make a machine that has very high G Forces, because for marketing purposes, bigger numbers to most people means better. In fact, however, once a consumer is aware of the truth about G Forces, bigger is not always better. Consider if you will, the following analogy. If you are falling from a plane, you start accelerating rapidly, but then the rest of the fall is at a steady rate (though fast), but if you don’t open your chute, when you would hit the ground, you would experience very high G Forces, enough in fact to kill you, but you experienced no G Forces during the rest of the fall. Like they say, it’s not the fall that hurts, but the sudden stop at the end.
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Whole body vibration machines have been available in the United States for almost 20 years now, and numerous studies have taken place on their effectiveness in that time. A great deal has been learned about vibration therapy and how the body responds to different vibrations and the effects of varying speeds, and varying motion types. Specifically a key understanding is emerging on how best to harness the power of this technology.
A whole body vibration review reveals many common characteristics found in vibration exercise machines, such as speed, amplitude, and motion type. Some manufacturers have deeply investigated the vast amounts of data to learn in great detail, specifically how the body reacts to certain vibration therapy. Much has been learned about what motion styles work best for certain goals. For example, a person wanting improved blood circulation is much better off using a triplanar or spiral rotational machine as opposed to an oscillating machine. One particular manufacturer has taken this knowledge to the point where they have designed entirely new motion styles based on what has been learned. Their innovation has resulted in the evolution of such motion styles as cross lateral, dynamic wave and soft triplanar motion. These vibration motion types were designed to meet specific purposes and to excel for those purposes. We’ve seen, for example, how dynamic wave motion is 245% more effective for the purposes of weight loss or increasing lymphatic drainage, compared to the traditional oscillation motion of older, more simplistic technologies. The application of learned science to mechanical design is important to the development of vibration exercise machines.
One important area of vibration therapy research lately has been the study of harmonic wave patterns and more importantly non-harmonic waves. The human body’s internal components, such as bones, and muscle resonate at very specific frequencies. It’s been learned that whole body vibration machines produce a wide range of harmonic frequencies and specific body parts respond well to those frequencies. However, all vibration exercise machines also produce non-harmonic frequencies and varying body parts do not respond well to those non-harmonic frequencies. Research has focused on how best to eliminate those non-harmonic frequencies, as they can cause severe irreversible damage to soft tissue, almost tearing it up internally. Think of this effect as being very similar to the TV commercials we’ve all seen where a singer’s voice shatters a wine glass when she hits a specific note. That note is the exact specific resonant frequency of the wine glass. So it becomes vitally important to ensure those specific non-harmonic frequencies never reach the users of the vibration exercise machines. This is a complicated science which requires a great understanding of the science of wave patterns and needs top technical scientists in the field of wave dynamics.
After conducting a detailed whole body vibration review, we discovered only one whole body vibration machine manufacturer who has invested heavily into the research of this wave phenomena and subsequently has released vibration exercise machines with vibration patented vibration dampening systems. These dampening systems act as a buffer against non-harmonic vibrations and eliminate them from ever reaching the user. These dampeners come in many forms. One approach has been to make the column material itself less prone to vibrations. Another approach has been to use motors of specific weight with perfectly centered shafts, which eliminate much of the harmful frequencies. Special mats are used on some machines which absorb offending vibration and yet let good vibrations pass unobstructed to the user. Many of these mats are also infused with specific minerals which, among other things, aid in the process. Another method this manufacturer has employed is the use of column mounted vibration dampeners which are ‘tuned’ for specific frequencies and specific machines. Each vibration exercise machine can have slightly different resonant characteristics and these dampeners are adjusted at the factory for each individual machine. Very similar to the principle of how small weights are added to a car’s wheels to remove vibrations when driving at high speeds, these dampeners interact with non-harmonic frequencies and alter them into useful and safe harmonic frequencies. The use of many or all these vibration dampening techniques has seen the reduction of non-harmonic vibrations by as much as 98.5% on machines that use the patented technology. Unfortunately only one manufacturer employs these vibration dampeners currently. It appears that currently no other manufacturer is willing to invest in this technology. Hopefully one day in the near future we will see all manufacturers introduce vibration dampening to their entire line up of machines, since research has proven over and over again, that use of vibration dampening technologies is crucial and beneficial for the long term health benefits of all whole body vibration machine users.