Bouncing for Health
By Scott Miners
Like no other time before, our newly changing times call for us to create health for ourselves and others .
Rebounding, or bouncing-like children do on a springy bed or
mini-trampoline-stimulates and exercises every cell in the body.
It also strengthens the cardiovascular system and pumps the lymph
system in ways no other exercise can do, thus stimulating the
immune system in numerous ways.
Rebounding on a quality rebounder is easy to do with little effort. Even the elderly or those who don't exercise can do rebounding easily and happily. Bob Hope said, "I keep my rebounder at the foot of my bed and use it daily."
Rebounding Health Benefits
When you rebound even lightly, you strengthen your body's immune system, promote cellular repair, circulate more oxygen to the tissues, reduce arterial pressure, increase production of red blood cells, improve transmission of nerve impulses, increase mental performance, slow aging...and much more, according to Dr. Morton Walker (Jumping for Health).
You can also jump, do aerobic exercise, custom jog, run and more on a rebounder. Rebounding is especially healing for the ankles, knees and lower back, without the shock of regular exercise. Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) cited rebounding as 68% more efficient than regular running exercises. Rebounding is more playful than it is a job of exercise.
The one feature of rebounding that sets it apart from all other exercises is that you are not opposing gravity half the time! When you are bounced upward by the springs and mat of the rebounder, your body is not being pulled by gravity. Because of this action each cell in the body and brain receives a "positive" stress.
All other exercises-running, tennis, swimming, weight training, fitness exercises-are done on the horizontal plane. In rebounding, "every cell of the body is being stimulated by the forces of acceleration, deceleration and gravity," says Linda Brooks in her book Rebounding to Health.
Your cells experience a "gentle squeezing at the bottom of the bounce," which pulls toxins out, and cells become stronger. Brooks cites a study from the University of Oklahoma: Because the mat of a quality rebounder absorbs 87% of the shock of the bounce, the exercise is safe and healing to all the cells. Rebounding stimulates the cells of all organs, veins, arteries, bones and muscles, the eyes (which is one of the reasons many people experience vision improvement with rebounding) and the brain, and it increases circulation and lymphatic drainage, which is why arthritic conditions and other illnesses heal with rebounding. Here are a few examples of some specific health benefits people have experienced from rebounding:
The Lymph System
The lymphatic fluid is a clear liquid that contains the body's T- and B-cells. The lymphatic system, as Dr. Morton Walker refers to it in his book Jumping for Health, is the "metabolic garbage can of the body. It rids you of toxins, such as dead and cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, fat, infectious viruses, heavy metals, and other material cast off by the cells."
When you rebound, you are helping your cells metabolize, cleanse and renew, and you are helping your lymph system to pump and drain out the body's waste. Unlike the cardiovascular system, with the heart as a pump, the lymph system does not have a pump. Linda Brooks: "Lymph is moved like a hydraulic pressure system.... The lymph tubes are filled with one-way valves that only open up, or allow drainage toward the center of the body. When pressure below the valve is greater than above (as when you are moving downward on the rebounder) the valves are forced open so the fluid can flow."
By completely flushing the lymph system in a 2-minute session, Linda Brooks notes that she has had clients in her rebounding workshops who have healed cancerous tumors by rebounding for 2-3 minutes of each hour. Why 2-3 minutes each hour? Because white blood cell count triples during the bounce, removing toxins, but then white blood cell count resumes to normal within an hour. It was important in these cases, Brooks notes, that these clients also followed a pure, natural, healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, which decreases the "load" on the lymph system and helps purify it. They drank pure water, which helps flush out toxins, used digestive enzymes, and had a strong belief in getting well.
Arthritis and Circulation
"I have had both my ankles broken," says Yvonne Rivers, "and when they ache, I rebound to take the pain away!" Her case is not extraordinary. "Before using the rebounder, I couldn't walk," says James R. Heald. "I literally shuffled and stumbled my way along. Now, I can walk! My body feels lighter, my skin is now a rosy pink. Also, since more blood now gets to my brain, my memory is improving every day."
Bouncing flushes the lymph, the toxic substances and dead white blood cells out of the joints. During bouncing, the by-products from white blood cells are immediately flushed out before they can form new waste by-products. When the inflammation subsides, gentle motion exercises with all the joints help re-establish painless movement.
Illustrating how powerful circulation of the body's natural defenses can be is this comment: "I had bone spurs on both my heels for about 15 years," says H. M. from Edmonton, Canada. "I needed arches in my shoes so I could walk comfortably. I also had a calcium build-up on my fifth vertebrae in my back. After using the rebounder for only three weeks, my spurs had totally disappeared; the vertebrae in my neck took a little longer. I enjoy using my rebounder every day and owe a big thank you!" When circulation is increased in the body, more oxygen is carried to the cells, and the bones absorb more calcium.
Rebounding can help prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis. Bones become stronger when they are used, and the cells take in more minerals with use of the bones (exercise). Brooks points out that the astronauts who were studied after their trip to the moon lost 15% of their bone density in 14 days because there was no gravitational force to put "stress" on their bones. Even where osteoporosis is already present, a gradual program of rebounding can help build bone density.
Conditions of Aging
Rebounding also helps improve or heal these conditions: varicose veins, excess weight, sagging, bagging and wrinkling of the skin, and many other conditions of aging and disabilities. Yes, you can rebound even with a handicap, gently or with the help of a buddy, sitting, kneeling or standing! And, to help with balance, you can get a stabilizing bar to hold onto while you bounce.
Because rebounding exercises every cell in the body, it can improve the efficiency of weight training. You can hold light weights while rebounding as well. There is greater fat metabolism, muscle definition and improved strength and endurance as a result of rebounding with weight training. Rebounding helps flush the lactic acids from stressed muscles.
Linda Brooks notes that the number of calories burned per hour by a 154 pound person sprinting on a rebounder is 1,440. Regular running, in contrast, would burn only 750. Jogging on a rebounder: 600. Bicycling at 10 mph: 420. Health bouncing on a rebounder: 150.
Rebounding in the Workplace
Linda Brooks writes that a business owner in California started with one rebounder for himself, "then bought six more for his employees. When he noticed positive results from his employees, he purchased 40 more rebounders." Why? He saw a "marked reduction in stress reactions" among his employees, and "increased production." He also noticed "more physical capabilities, uplifted spirits, [and] reduction in absenteeism," and he said "employees looked and acted healthier and more cheerful." Imagine an employer helping employees enjoy their workplace and jobs. Rebounders, because they are small and light, can be placed in almost any workplace or office space.
In the Home
L. P. Publisher of Ohio said that he and his wife started with one rebounder, then bought two more, and they now "keep them on all floors of the house." They feel the convenience "exceeds by a factor of 10 any other exercise product."
I have arisen from my writing desk at least four or five times while writing this article. Sitting too long is actually deenergizing to me. I bounce, and within two minutes my lungs fill with air, I take a deep breath-one of those magical breaths that relaxes the entire body-my spine straightens, my legs flex and feel strong, my body is energized. I feel happy. I've rebounded.
Finding a Rebounder
I went to a local sporting goods store. I did the health bounce. I asked questions: Why did their rebounder cost so little? Was it made with child labor? Did it have a warranty? The clerk disclosed that he didn't really like selling it because he was relatively sure the labor conditions were not ideal nor were the materials long lasting. Within a few minutes I started to get a backache on the store model, which never occurred on our Needak® rebounder at home.
The store model mat was a very tightly woven, hard synthetic fiber of some kind. It wasn't soft and flexible like ours. The frame and legs were flimsy. The legs were made of a very low-quality cast metal. The springs were too taut and inferior. Linda Brooks had warned me that most of the models on the market have parts that break within a short time. The legs split, the springs break, the mats shred. Some are even off-balance on the floor because they are so poorly made, and the springs are sometimes too long, giving a false sense of springiness or bounce, and the mats are too small, not allowing a safe place to bounce. Also, she said, few have warranties, and the short warranties that may be offered are often hard to enforce.
On the other hand, if a spring ever does break on a Needak® rebounder, the one my wife and I bought, you can call the manufacturer direct in O'Neill, Nebraska, to get a replacement. I called the Needak® company and spoke with owner/partner Ken Seeley. He and his partner started the company 10 years ago. "At first," he said, "we offered a 5-year warranty on the frame and hinges. In 10 years nothing has ever gone wrong with any rebounder, so we now offer a 10-year warranty." (They offer a five-year warranty on the jump mat, which is made with Permatron®, a material that gives an invigorating bounce.)
The spring-loaded legs allow the Needak® rebounder to be easily stored under a bed or behind a door. The 40" diameter heavy-duty metal frame is outstanding. Individual spring-mounted pins attached to the frame on all 36 special, tapered springs prevent frame wear (the taper and the number of springs give this rebounder its special "soft bounce" quality). The springs are all shielded with a protective cover. You can even fold the Needak® rebounder in half, and with the carrying bag (included) take the rebounder traveling with you. For all these reasons, I think my wife and I have found the best rebounder for our health made today.
Readers may purchase a Needak® rebounder for $225 (plus shipping), which is $24.95 off the retail price of $249.95. (See www.needak-rebounders.com). Readers will receive a copy of Linda Brooks' wonderful book Rebounding to Better Health, and a video titled The Immune System, by Rebound expert Al Carter, when ordering a Needak® rebounder from Well Being, locally, at 425-888-0375 (9-5, M-F) with any major credit card. (Allow approximately two weeks for shipping.)
Scott Miners is a writer who enjoys passing on information about health. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.