Bouncing For Health
Scott E. Miners
My sister and I sought every opportunity in our childhood to find a springy bed and
jump up and down upon it. I recently learned that this simple activity, happy as
it was, stimulated and exercised every cell in the body. Not only that, it strengthens
the cardiovascular system and it pumps the lymph system in ways no other exercises
ever do. It does even more. Let's take a look further at this remarkable, simple
and joyful exercise.
Trampolinist Albert Carter wrote The Miracles of Rebound Exercise and therein coined
the term reboundology in 1979. Carter had designed a sturdy rebounder for police
departments in Hong Kong, and his design became a standard for quality rebounders
One day, my wife purchased a new, professional quality rebounder modeled on Carter's
design. She jumps on it several times a day, enjoys it, and has been doing so for
several years now. At first I wondered about spending that sum of money for what
seemed a toy, but right away she started taking on a very healthy glow, and felt
better, and so I read a little about rebounding in the book she had.
Then I started rebounding on the new rebounder, which is easy to do with little effort;
the mat is firm yet soft and giving, the springs are quality, the frame is solid,
and I didn't get aching legs or a backache, like I did with those low-quality, inexpensive,
stiff mini-trampolines on the market, with their taut mats and inferior metal frames
and legs that break after a few months of use. I see why even the elderly or those
who don't exercise can easily and happily do rebounding. I, like centenarian Bob
Hope, who said, "I keep my rebounder at the foot of my bed and use it daily,"
wanted one for our bedroom too.
I start bouncing for health–and I start feeling better right away–even just doing
the "health bounce" 2 or 3 minutes at a time, once or twice a day (I love
it because all you do in the health bounce is stand on the mat and lightly lift your
heels up and down, and the rebounder mat and springs do the bounce for you–you don't
even have to lift your feet off the mat). By the third day I am on the rebounder
4 or 5 times a day, a few minutes at a time. I find myself enjoying it. I even jog
on it a little after jogging outside. I buy another one for my office. I notice it
gives me more energy after only 2 or 3 minutes of health bouncing, and I just want
to get up from my desk every so often and jump–for joy. I notice it is uplifting
too to play lovely classical, rock and roll or upbeat, free-style dance music on
my radio while I bounce.
THE IMMUNE BUILDING AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF REBOUNDING
Here is what I learned from reading books about rebounding: When you rebound lightly,
as in the health bounce, you strengthen your body's immune system (the rebound action
increases your white blood cell count temporarily), promote cellular repair, attain
absolute potential of cells, circulate more oxygen to the tissues, reduce arterial
pressure, increase production of red blood cells, improve transmission of nerve impulses,
obtain relief from headaches and neck and back pain, 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 your rebounder.
There are many different, happy ways to move on your rebounder. You do it silently
sometimes; at others you play rhythmic music. Your body moves and sways in new ways
each time. Sometimes you are very tired and you only do the health bounce, and each
time you are buoyed in spirit and energy. You know it is healthy, and you know your
lymph system is being cleansed.
It is especially healing for the ankles, knees and low back, without the shock of
regular exercise. Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) cited rebounding as being 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
half of the time you use it you are not opposing gravity! 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. Vision therapists have long used quality mini-trampolines to help clients
strengthen eye muscles.
Each cell in the body receives three natural forces from the rebounding. Gravity
pulls you down from each bounce, acceleration forces you back up, and you are doing
this vertically, as certified reboundologist Linda Brooks (who was trained by Al
Carter) points out in her excellent book Rebounding to Better Health. 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 Brooks.
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 the quality rebounder absorbs 87% of the
shock of the bounce, the exercise is safe and healing to all the cells. A. L. Cave
of Junetson, Oregon, commented that he and his wife had their rebounder for about
2 weeks and that his "wife's pain in her hips and arms had completely disappeared."
Why do such dramatic changes occur? One of the reasons is that 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 heal when rebounding. What is lymphatic drainage and why is it important
to "exercise" the lymph system?
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." CJ Puotinen outlined how modern living
and clothing, such as bras, and lack of exercise lead to constriction of the lymph
system or allow it to lag and become clogged. ("Lymphatic Immune Support,"
May/June and July/August 2000 issues of Well Being Journal.)
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." There are only three ways for the lymph system to "pump"
and cleanse: exercise, which helps muscular contraction; massage (via movement) of
the musculature or tissues it serves to get it to pump back into the pulmonary circulation;
and gravitational pressure with its resultant internal massage. Rebounding provides
all three ways of removing waste from the cells.
Dr. Walker sums it up: "Then arterial blood enters the capillaries in order
to furnish the cells with fresh tissue fluid containing food and oxygen. The bouncing
motion effectively moves and recycles the lymph and the entire blood supply through
the circulatory system many times during the course of the rebounding session."
And the joy of it all is that you don't even have to exert yourself to get these
benefits. The eldest of the elderly can do this, as well as the handicapped person,
and the arthritic.
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." Diane Palmer, who is in her late seventies, says, "After
one month I was hooked on rebounding. As an indoor `jogging' mat, it is very easy
on my knees, and with the least effort I find it a fun health aid for my circulation.
The optional stabilizer bar attachment helped me maintain balance, and has helped
me strengthen my shoulders and upper body. I'm happily addicted to this `bouncer.'"
Why does rebounding help with arthritis and what does circulation have to do with
it? When a foreign substance enters one of your body's joints, lymphocytes, or white
blood cells, come to the joint to clean out the toxic material. These lymphocytes
begin the cleaning process, but often the toxic material from this process, if it
is not being flushed out of the joints by body movement, adds to the problem by killing
cells on the synovial lining of the joint (Brooks, Rebounding to Better Health).
More lymphocytes then come, which adds to the toxic by-product problem, unless the
joint is being moved. The joints have to be moved to cleanse because they have no
veins or lymphatic tubes to otherwise cleanse them. What is a painless, simple way
to move the waste from the inflamed joints and out of the body? Yes, health bouncing
is the answer. 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
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 fifteen years," says
H. M. from Edmonton, Canada. (When circulation is increased in the body, more oxygen
is carried to the cells, and the bones absorb more calcium.) "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 everyday and owe a big thank you!"
Rebounding alone may not heal your arthritis. It is important to eat and drink well.
Too much acidic food without the balance of alkaline food creates more acidity in
the joints, leading to inflammation. (Some acid-forming foods: meat, fish, fowl and
nuts; alkaline foods: fruits and vegetables! The ideal is a ratio of 80 percent alkaline/20
percent acidic, but if this is difficult for you, try to balance acid- and alkaline-forming
foods at least 50/50 at each meal.) Also, drinking pure water is especially important–at
least a quart and a half of water each morning shortly after arising. Then drink
8 or so 8-ounce glasses throughout the day, less if you weigh very little, more if
your body weight is above average. If you have arthritic conditions, it may very
well be time to purify your body–as well as rebound to health.
I have no arthritic conditions. However, I have noticed, every time I do the simple
and gentle health bounce, that my spine adjusts itself. I can hear and feel the little
clicks that occur between subluxated joints in the thoracic area of the spine, a
chronic tension area for me. The tension just melts away and the spine readjusts.
I often notice the same adjustment takes place in my sacroiliac area, where the bone
joint clicks into place again slightly. In fact, I think I will go do a two-minute
session on my rebounder right now.
Rebounding can 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, starting slowly, can help build bone density.
Interestingly, many people with cancerous conditions have healed with the aid of
rebounding exercise added to what they were already doing. The most outstanding reason
this healing occurs is that rebounding stimulates the immune system, as noted above
in the section on the lymphatic system, 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. 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, drank pure water, which
helps flush out toxins, used digestive enzymes, and had a strong belief in getting
Why health bounce 2-3 minutes of each hour? Because the white blood cell count triples
in number during the bounce, removing toxins and wastes from the body. Within an
hour the white blood cell count returns to normal, so "health bouncing every
waking hour keeps the white blood cell count optimal in the body, and it keeps the
BLADDER AND INCONTINENCE
Bouncing may not seem like the best thing to do if you have a bladder or incontinence
challenge; however, it is one of the best things to do! Rebounding exercises the
cells, and it strengthens the cells of the sphincter muscles, thus "building
increased control of the bladder within about 2 weeks," says Brooks. She recommends
short periods of health bouncing several times a day, every day. When necessary,
empty the bladder, and get back on the rebounder!
ON PAIN AND DISEASE
Brooks also notes that "blood proteins can collect around cells, which attracts
fluid that can cause pain and disease." Rebound exercise efficiently removes
trapped blood proteins from around the cells. Normal cardiovascular pressure squeezes
the blood proteins out of the capillaries, but "since there isn't enough pressure
to force them back in, they collect around the cells, attracting fluid." Rebound
exercise helps move these trapped proteins into the lymph system and then excess
fluid is removed by the exercise and cells receive more oxygen, thus freeing the
body of pain–and disease.
VARICOSE VEINS, STRENGTH TRAINING, WEIGHT LOSS...
Rebounding helps the entire body. Just a few of the conditions that Linda Brooks
mentions that have improved or healed and that we haven't already covered are: varicose
veins, overweight, sagging, bagging and wrinkling, and many other conditions of aging
and disabilities. Yes, you can rebound even with handicaps, gently or with the help
of a buddy, sitting, kneeling or standing!
Rebounding can also be used in more assertive ways: as an aerobic exercise and for
gaining strength; in fact, weight training is enhanced by rebounding. 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.
Rebound exercise, when accompanied with an intelligent diet of whole foods, proteins,
and fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, can help decrease unneeded body weight.
You can burn more calories per hour with rebounding than in regular exercise, with
87% less shock to the body, as well as less effort! For example, 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.
Remember also, when rebounding you are flushing the lymphatic system and adding strength
to every cell, improving metabolism, circulation, vision and hearing and receiving
many other benefits.
REBOUNDING IN THE WORKPLACE
"As the owner of a bookstore," writes Sandra McGill, "I am on my feet
all day. I always had pain in my legs and feet. Rebounding at work has changed all
that. [It relieves] the stress on my feet and legs and helps me to get through the
day with more energy and less pain." Linda Brooks writes that a business owner
in California started with one rebounder for himself, "then bought 6 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"
amongst 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, since 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 2 more, and they now "keep them on all floors of the house." They
feel the convenience "exceeds by a factor of ten any other exercise product."
I agree. One isn't enough for us anymore. I want one in my home office too. I want
to bounce for 2-3 minutes whenever I need to, and walking to my wife's home office
to ask, "May I use the rebounder now?" is too much exercise for me. It
is wonderful to do the bounce just about any time. L. P. has his reasons for using
the rebounder too: "Just by doing 10 minutes in the morning, or even 5, or even
3 minutes while watching the news and weather, you are awake and feeling just great.
No other exercise can offer that. Then for the evening pickup, after a long day,
again, the recirculation of the blood, speed-up of metabolism, burning of calories,
serves as a weight control device which has no equal."
I have arisen from my writing desk at least 4 or 5 times while writing this article.
Sitting too long is actually deenergizing to me. I bounce, and within 2 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 did a market test after our first rebounder arrived. (My wife had purchased a Needak®
rebounder.) I was convinced I should be using it for my body's health but not that
it was the best one on the market. I went to a local sporting goods store, part of
a national chain. I wanted to find out if we could have gotten a good rebounder for
fewer dollars. The clerk at the store was very helpful. He let me jump on the rebounder
(made in China) they had on sale. It sold for less than $50! So, as we talked, I
did the health bounce. I asked questions: Why did the rebounder cost so little? Was
it made with child labor? Did it have a warranty? He disclosed to me that he didn't
really like selling them because he was relatively sure the labor conditions were
not ideal nor were the materials long lasting. Within a few minutes I stopped my
health bounce, because it didn't feel healthy. I started to get a backache within
2-3 minutes of bouncing. That never occurred on our rebounder back home. The mat
was very taut and the springs were not very giving.
I examined the store model and saw that the mat was a very tightly woven, hard synthetic
fiber of some kind. It wasn't soft and flexible like my wife's. Her rebounder is
based on Al Carter's design, the one made for the police department in Hong Kong.
The owners of the Needak® company in Nebraska perfected Carter's design (see
photo on home page) ten years ago, and offer a ten-year frame warranty on their rebounders
because not one in ten years has ever broken down. Each has a 5-year warranty on
the mat as well. I also examined the legs the store model stood upon. They were flimsy.
The legs were made of a very low-quality cast metal. 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. The springs are often 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 because the parts aren't readily available and
you would probably have to go through a distributor to find them, rather than direct
to a manufacturer. Imagine calling the manufacturer in Asia!
On the other hand, if a spring ever does break on a Needak® rebounder, you can
call the manufacturer direct in O'Neill, Nebraska, U.S.A., 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." (The jump mat
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 (you just pull on the leg and fold it up). Each leg has a
heavy-duty molded leg tip to protect floor surfaces. 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 so your feet will never step on them if you go to
the edge of the mat while bouncing. 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 we think we have found the best rebounder for our health made
Marie Miczak, D.Sc., Ph.D., author of Age Reversal for Body and Mind, says, "The
Needak® Softbounce is the standard of rebounders. Well made, comfortable and
practically indestructible, it is the only rebounder I recommend in my books' exercise
Well Being Journal readers may purchase a Needak® rebounder for $225 (plus shipping),
10% off the retail price of $249.95. (See www.needak-rebounders.com). Readers receive
a copy of Linda Brooks' book, Rebounding to Better Health (most testimonials quoted
above are from Brooks' book), as well as a video on the immune system by Al Carter,
when ordering a Needak® rebounder. We will also include two back issues of Well
Being Journal (Vol. 9 #3 & #4) containing a two-part article on Lymphatic Immune
Support. Call us toll free at 1-888-532-3117 and order with any major credit card.
(Allow approximately two weeks for shipping.)
If you will excuse me, I must go rebound. It is rather addicting. Or is it just that
I feel like being a child again from time to time? That's it–healthy like a child!