Working with bellicon in therapy
By Andreas Sperber, March 23, 2014
The Schwarzwald clinic in Bad Rippoldsau has now been working with the highly elastic mini trampoline bellicon® for five years. In the context of group therapy (where 13 units are placed in a circle), as well as individually personalized instruction, training is very effective with these new trampolines.
The participants are enthusiastic about the softness and vitality, the feeling of bouncing, the dynamic switch from take off to landing and the many exercise alternatives. In the beginning, the feet are actually securely kept in contact with the mat when bouncing.
Using music in time to the beat, this form of exercise therapy is very easy to follow even for those who “dislike”, or are not used to, exercising. When we, the therapists, then explain how to use and benefit from it, the patients are very quickly convinced of the effectiveness on many levels. This is plainly the most important basis for successful training that can then be continued at home.
The positive acceptance of trampoline bouncing and the feeling of pleasure when taking off and accelerating is the result of motional experiences we collected as children which conditioned us. Even after many years, we connect to this feeling again. It literally produces a smile on our face, something which we therapists always enjoy seeing.
Preventive training with the bellicon trampoline. The bellicon® from the bellicon company is equipped with highly elasticized, individual rope rings and therefore provide a very gentle and soft way of training. As the trampoline can also be delivered with support handles, it can safely be used by older people as well.
Even after training for only a short time, health benefits can be observed. Due to repeated acceleration and deceleration, the muscles are permanently tensed and relaxed. These impulses of pressure and pulling accelerate our metabolism and lead to better maintenance of the tissue structure.
Although training with the trampoline doesn’t seem very strenuous, it provides very effective cardiovascular exercise. Pressure is determined by using the Borg scale which ranges from one to ten. After five minutes, participants were asked to check the intensity of pressure they were experiencing. Regular checks prevented overstraining. Total training time is maximum 30 minutes.
Trampoline training is a very effective way to build muscles. Due to the changing forces of acceleration, all muscles are reactively innervated. The increased gravitation force produced by deceleration boosts the eccentric muscle activity. The pelvic floor muscles also benefits from the changing acceleration forces. Our posture improves due to vertical force against gravitation.
Joints and intervertebral discs
Both the joint cartilage and inter vertebral discs are only nourished by forces of pressure and pulling. Without adequate exercise the cartilage loses its substance. The reason why training with the highly elastic trampoline is so advantageous is because the pressure on the joints remains minimal due to the highly elastic ropes, whilst the pressure on the muscle sheaths provides the joints with good stability.
On the one hand, the segment stabilizing muscles work synergistically with the Ms. transversal abdominals to stabilize the torso, on the other hand the exertion and then easing of tension provides these muscles with oxygen, so they don’t lose their ability to relax.
Even after a vertebral disk operation the bellicon® is used for individual therapy. Wide legged bouncing with torso control is less stressful than walking. This way the possibility of straining can be controlled and resistance built up.
The pump function of the skeletal muscles accelerates the lymphatic system which is also responsible for our immune system.
Training accelerates our metabolism greatly. It is also responsible for an improved peristalsis and thus easier digestion. One should also know that fat can be burnt with only moderate exercise, especially with the gentle training that the Medi-Swing provides. ”Power training” only burns the easily available carbohydrates and by no means helps to reduce weight.
Balance and equilibrium
Our unstable standing platform provides a consistent check of our equilibrium. Especially to prevent falling, this coordination training is very important. Our muscles ability to react increases and takes care that, for instance in icy conditions or when tripping up, the body learns to use its reflexes adequately.
Regeneration and stress reduction
The reduction of stress hormones occurs mainly through exercise and breathing. Regular tensing and relaxing of all the muscles works like a massage on the inside: breathing becomes quieter, more even and deeper.
Through improved blood circulation, the ability to regenerate is accelerated, similar to the footballer "cool down" after a game. The ability to concentrate is remarkably improved after training.
Lust for life and increased self confidence
Light depressions can be treated by physical activity and without medicine. The crux of the matter lies in the length of training and stamina: with this illness an effect is only seen after several weeks. What works best is light endurance training spread out over a longer period.
We recommend bouncing to music, using songs that the patient has loved in the past, whether rock, pop, jazz or classical. They should accompany him or her during the daily training session.
Short sessions of exercise give the feeling "I can do it”. These successes are extremely important for the next step. They convey positive life- and self confidence. And that which gives you pleasure also becomes a habit.
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