There is plenty of scientific evidence out there proving the benefits associated with whole body vibration (WBV). Whole body vibration can help alleviate back pain, speed up the recovery of muscle and joint injuries, and even enhance weight loss.

But did you know that there is scientific evidence which suggests WBV could also improve your mood? There are several published studies showing that WBV training can increase the levels of feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain. At the same time, such therapies can also reduce the amount of cortisol (your body’s main stress hormone) in the blood. For these reasons, and many more, wellness centers across the country are getting extra mileage out of their WBV machines thanks to these mood-enhancing benefits.

The Science of Serotonin, Dopamine, and Whole Body Vibration

Serotonin

A serotonin molecule.

When levels of serotonin and dopamine are too low in the human brain, they create imbalance. This can cause a number of different mood problems and disorders. Sleeplessness, irritability, poor appetite, and lethargy are all common symptoms associated with having low serotonin and dopamine levels. When you compound these problems with cortisol – your body’s stress hormone – these problems can become much worse. Weight gain (even if you’re eating less), water retention, and slowed reaction times can be frustrating or, worse, dangerous.

Serotonin is one of the key “happy” neurotransmitters. Low serotonin levels are most often associated with clinical conditions like depression and anxiety. Your body naturally releases serotonin when you eat foods high in B vitamins, spend time in the sun and when you consume sugar (probably not the healthiest way to meet all of your serotonin needs!).

Dopamine WBV

A dopamine molecule.

Dopamine is very similar to serotonin in the sense that it makes you feel good, but it’s actually more related to adrenaline. Dopamine makes you feel pleasant, energized and allows you to focus. Your body naturally releases dopamine when you do anything that makes you happy, from kissing a loved one to eating a piece of chocolate. Low dopamine levels can cause inattention, very low energy and nasty mood swings.

Thankfully, we know now that WBV can be used to combat low serotonin and dopamine levels. European scientists have shown that exposure to whole body vibration in rats produced a statistically significant boost in both serotonin and dopamine levels. Because rat brains respond in similar ways to human brains when exposed to stress, such findings are hopeful for helping people with mood disorders.

It should also be noted that in the dopamine study, the rats in the control group who were exposed to stress had higher levels of cortisol in their amigdalya (the fear center of the brain). The WBV rats, on the other hand, had lower levels of cortisol and higher levels of dopamine, indicating that their stress levels were lower.

Putting Whole Body Vibration to Therapeutic Use

As we head into winter and the holidays, stress can creep up on you without warning. Combine that stress with the holiday junk food and you have a recipe for disaster! Just 10 minutes of WBV training during the day can help keep your mood high and your cortisol low.

As we head into winter and the holidays, stress can creep up on you without warning. Combine that stress with the holiday junk food and you have a recipe for disaster! Just 10 minutes of WBV training during the day can help keep your mood high and your cortisol low.