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Health, Healing, Fitness, & Other Benefits Claimed For Rebound

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Health, Healing, Fitness, & Other Benefits Claimed For Rebound

    Health, Healing, Fitness, & Other Benefits Claimed For Rebound Exercise Aging process retarded Alkaline reserve improved Allergies improved

    Arthritis improved or held off Autism, Dyslexia, Learning Balance and coordination

    Disabled conditions assisted generally improved

    Blood pressure remains at Body composition and Bones strengthened from g-abnormal levels for shorter muscle-to-fat ratio improved force loading and from time after severe activity repeated light impact

    Cancer prevention generally Cardiovascular disease Cells strengthened in entire

    incidence lowered body by increased g-force load Chronic edema prevented as Colds and illnesses minimized Circulating cholesterol and less blood pools in veins triglyceride levels lowered

    Constipation improved or Detoxification of body Collateral circulation

    encouraged eliminated generally

    Diabetes onset delayed Endurance increased generally Digestion and elimination

    improved generally

    Energy increased generally, Fatigue fighter and energy Flexibility improved generally including more sexual libido level raiser generally

    Foot structure improved Glandular system toned, Hardening of arteries delayed generally, including arches especially thyroid or reversed

    Heart problem rehabilitation Heart strengthened generally Heart disease and attacks

    delayed or prevented aid

    Hemorrhoids improved or Internal organs massaged Low impact: protects joints eliminated and against chronic fatigue

    Mental performance enhanced Lymphatic circulation Menstrual discomfort and improved in several ways fatigue curtailed for women

    Mitochondria count within Muscles toned and Musculoskeletal systems muscle cells increased strengthened throughout body strengthened by g-force loading Neck and back pains, and Nerve transmissions between Osteoporosis prevented and headaches, generally brain and propreoceptors in bone density increased decreased joints coordinated generally

    Oxygen circulation to tissues Oxygen exchange throughout Red bone marrow stimulated increased body improved to produce more red blood cells

    Resting heart rate decreased Rehabilitation & Pain Respiration capacity

    Reduction: Knees, shoulders, improved

    arms, wrists, ankles, back, feet

    Resting metabolic rate in-Sleep, rest, and deep Tissue repair and muscle creased; more calories burned relaxation easier to achieve growth promoted generally Veins: better circulation Vestibular nerves stimulated, Vision improvement generally generally, less varicose veins balance and alertness improved

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

    25. The Benefits of Rebounding:

    Proven, Claimed, & Speculative

Introduction & Overview

    Many people will find this to be the most important Chapter of this book. “Why,” they might rightly ask themselves, “should I bother obtaining a quality rebounder, or seriously giving this form of exercise a real try, if there isn’t good scientific evidence behind its effectiveness? Which benefits claimed for rebounding are real, and what can I reasonably expect for myself if I get On the Rebound and regularly undertake a Daily Bounce?”

    Many claims have been made for the health and fitness benefits of rebounding. Some are undoubtedly true, while others are exaggerated or even made up entirely. Questions of what counts as “good” scientific evidence are not always easy to answer. And even if they are answered, it is important to integrate common sense, consistent anecdotal reports, and consensus opinion along with seeming hard scientific fact when evaluating the likely impact of something like rebound exercise on a particular individual. The modest goals of this Chapter are therefore as follows:

    ; To take a quick look at rebounding and the nature of scientific “proof” in general

    ; To present the wide variety of health and fitness claims made about rebounding

    ; To give a reasonably detailed overview of four main perspectives on what is

    unique about the health and fitness benefits of rebound exercises

    ; To then summarize what I believe can reasonably be said about the health and

    fitness claims made for rebounding

    The next Chapter will then review existing research and studies to help fill in the gaps and to see what can be said to be scientifically known about the health and fitness benefits of rebounding with any degree of certainty. As a preview, not all that much can be said with certainty. According to the introduction to one recent, apparently well-designed study (see next Chapter for a description of The New Mexico Study): “The

    physiological benefits are not known…[A] comparison of rebounding with other modes of exercise has not been investigated.” Isn’t that lovely! The benefits are not

    known, and rebound exercise has not really been scientifically compared to other types of exercise. So where do we begin? A good place to start is with rebounding and the nature of scientific proof generally.

Rebounding and the Nature of Scientific Proof in General

    Dictionary.com defines proof as “the evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.” What proof, then, is there for the assertion that rebounding is a powerful and effective means for achieving vibrant health and well-being? What proof

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

    is there for the many assertions made by proponents of rebounding covering a wide range of health, fitness, and rehabilitative issues? And what proof is there for the assertions made throughout this book that at least some of the health and fitness claims for rebounding are almost certainly true?

Expanding on the ideas put forward by Robert Rudelic in his new book, Anything is

    Possible: A PowerTapping Guide (2004), there are five types of proof relevant to health

    and fitness claims, which we will now look at one by one:

    ; Strict scientific proof

    ; Clinical evidence

    ; Anecdotal reports

    ; Intuitions, inductions, hypotheses, and theories (reasonable and

    commonsensical but nevertheless unproven)

    ; “In the Pudding”

Strict Scientific Proof

    Modern science is extremely rigorous in its demands for proof. A legitimate and accepted scientific experiment or study must follow certain strict rules set by the larger community of scientists, including, for example, the use of a control group. In many cases, only a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind protocol where even the experimenters

    do not know which subjects are getting the “real stuff” and which ones are part of a control group is required.

    In each scientific discipline the requirements for an acceptable study are determined by the experts in that area of inquiry, and by the editors of the peer-reviewed scientific journals who are the gatekeepers to publishing and legitimacy. With “publish or perish” as the critical career criterion for many professional academics and researchers, getting a research study published in a respected peer reviewed journal is an extremely competitive endeavor which serves as the benchmark of “truth.”

    With respect to rebounding, only a handful of strict scientific studies have been published, some of which are not even directly “on-point” (and some of which are not peer

    reviewed). For example, they may use a full-size trampoline instead of a rebounder, or they may show general facts about rebounding that would apply to almost any form of exercise (e.g., the aerobic and cardiovascular benefits of exercise). Most of the critical studies that would enable rebounding to achieve respect in the eyes of skeptics and the unfamiliar have not yet been done. For example, there are as yet (to my knowledge) no studies carefully looking at exactly how lymph flow circulation is increased and what the effects of this increased circulation are on the immune system generally. Certainly, there are no studies on this subject that compare rebound exercise to other forms of exercise. The few studies of any kind that do exist will be reviewed in the next chapter.

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

Clinical Evidence

    Dicitonary.com defines “clinical” as “of, relating to, or connected with a clinic,” or “involving or based on direct observation of patients.” We can say that clinical evidence is evidence gathered by those who have been working with and observing those who have undertaken a regular rebounding regime, including careful evidence-based claims that are not quite up to the levels of strict scientific proof as just previously described. As discussed in the next chapter, there is some clinical evidence for rebounding’s benefits.

Anecdotal Reports

    Anecdotal reports tales and stories that are reported by others or that are often self-reported are not usually considered a form of scientific proof. Yet, when thousands of individuals report substantial benefits from their adventures with rebounding, it is hard to ignore these anecdotal reports entirely. Taken together, anecdotal reports help to confirm, at least from a common sense perspective, some of the intuitive hypotheses and theories as to why rebounding seems to be such a powerful health and fitness modality.

    Intuitions, Inductions, Hypotheses, & Theories (Reasonable and Commonsensical, but Nevertheless Unproven)

    There is a great deal about rebounding that remains unproven at this point. Yet we can use reason, common sense, and intuition, combined with what we know about exercise and the human body generally, to make certain hypothesis, logical inductions, and theoretical guesses about rebounding’s likely effects and benefits. Yes, this is not scientific proof, but having admitted that it falls short of the high standard for definitive science, we can still make what seem to be reasonable statements about the health and fitness advantages and benefits that rebounding probably confers. When there are anecdotal reports or clinical evidence supporting these hypotheses or theories, we can feel even better about making reasonable statements about the likely benefits of rebounding. And sometimes, we just have to use our intuition to attempt to figure out what’s going on. Intuition may seem kind of “loosey-goosey,” but anyone who has ever

    not listened to their intuition and suffered for it will recognize the value of paying attention to it when it does speak forth.

Proof “in the Pudding”

    Will rebounding work for you? The only way to find out is to try it in earnest. Personally, I can tell you without reservation that rebounding has given me a new lease on health and vitality. My belief a guess, really, but an educated guess is that a large percentage of

    people who seriously take up rebounding will find that it works wonders for them as well. But my beliefs aren’t really all that relevant here. All that counts is your actual, personal, experience. The proof is in the pudding, or it is nowhere.

Benefits and Advantages Claimed for Rebound Exercise

    What health, fitness, and other sorts of benefits have been claimed for rebound exercise? And what advantages generally does rebound exercise have as an exercise form? The

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

following table compiles the claimed benefits from a variety of published and online

    sources. Note that no attempt is being made here to evaluate these benefits. Later on in

    this Chapter an attempt will be made to put some order to these claims, and to then say

    something sensible about which benefits can reasonably be expected to occur for most

    people who give rebound exercise a fair try. The claimed benefits are presented in

    alphabetical order, with key terms in bold. Note that there is some overlap and perhaps even duplication in this list.

Aging process retarded Alkaline reserve improved Allergies improved

    Arthritis improved or held off Autism, Dyslexia, Learning Balance and coordination

    Disabled conditions assisted generally improved

    Blood pressure remains at Body composition and Bones strengthened from g-

    abnormal levels for shorter muscle-to-fat ratio improved force loading and from time after severe activity repeated light impact

    Cancer prevention generally Cardiovascular disease Cells strengthened in entire

    incidence lowered body by increased g-force load

    Chronic edema prevented as Colds and illnesses minimized Circulating cholesterol and

    less blood pools in veins triglyceride levels lowered

    Constipation improved or Detoxification of body Collateral circulation

    encouraged eliminated generally

    Diabetes onset delayed Endurance increased generally Digestion and elimination

    improved generally

    Energy increased generally, Fatigue fighter and energy Flexibility improved generally

    including more sexual libido level raiser generally

    Foot structure improved Glandular system toned, Hardening of arteries delayed

    generally, including arches especially thyroid or reversed

    Heart problem rehabilitation Heart strengthened generally Heart disease and attacks

    delayed or prevented aid

    Hemorrhoids improved or Internal organs massaged Low impact: protects joints eliminated and against chronic fatigue

    Mental performance enhanced Lymphatic circulation Menstrual discomfort and

    improved in several ways fatigue curtailed for women

    Mitochondria count within Muscles toned and Musculoskeletal systems

    muscle cells increased strengthened throughout body strengthened by g-force loading

    Neck and back pains, and Nerve transmissions between Osteoporosis prevented and

    headaches, generally brain and propreoceptors in bone density increased decreased joints coordinated generally

    Oxygen circulation to tissues Oxygen exchange throughout Red bone marrow stimulated

    increased body improved to produce more red blood cells

    Resting heart rate decreased Rehabilitation & Pain Respiration capacity

    Reduction: Knees, shoulders, improved

    arms, wrists, ankles, back, feet

    Resting metabolic rate in-Sleep, rest, and deep Tissue repair and muscle creased; more calories burned relaxation easier to achieve growth promoted generally

    Veins: better circulation Vestibular nerves stimulated, Vision improvement generally

    generally, less varicose veins balance and alertness improved

    Fig __: Health, Healing, Fitness, & Other Benefits Claimed For Rebound Exercise

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

    Given the size of this table, the amount of medical knowledge required to carefully evaluate all of these claims would be substantial. Perhaps the first thing to notice is the wide variety of benefits claimed, from “Aging process retarded” to “Vision improvement generally.” If rebound exercise delivers on most of, or even some of, these claimed benefits, it is certainly something to take note of.

    The second thing to notice is that many of these claimed benefits can be made for exercise in general, especially aerobic exercise. For example, “Sleep, rest, and deep relaxation easier to achieve” is not a benefit unique to rebounding, but also follows from

    taking long walks, doing yoga, riding a bike, playing tennis, and so on. Exercise itself is highly beneficial, and in this sense, rebound exercise is just another form of exercise. What might make rebound exercise different in this respect, however, is its fun, easy, safe, low-impact, convenient, climate controllable nature. Rebound exercise might therefore be easier for many people to keep up with on a regular basis, thereby reliably receiving the benefits of aerobic exercise that many other exercises would also confer.

The third thing to notice is that there is so much information in this table so many

    claimed benefits that it is in general hard to get a handle on what is really being claimed here. Specifically, it is hard to know what, if anything, is claimed to be special about rebound exercise. (Remember the New Mexico study?) To help eliminate this confusion, we will turn to the main organizing themes or perspectives that different authorities on rebound exercise have put forward with respect to explaining its health benefits. As part of this process, some of these claimed benefits will be explained in more detail.

    Keep in mind, though, that just because something is claimed as a benefit doesn’t mean it is true. As the next Chapter will show, there is, overall, very little strict scientific evidence and only a bit more good clinical data than that. Then there is a great volume of anecdotal reports and an absolute bounty of theoretical speculation. It may take years to completely unravel what is true and not true about rebound exercise. In the meantime, we can only take our best guess as to what is probably true, and then, of course, it is always up to you to find out for yourself what is true for you what works for you based on

    your own rebounding experience.

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

Four Main Perspectives or Themes

    There are four main organizing themes or perspectives with respect to what is claimed to

    be special about the health and fitness benefits of rebound exercise:

    ; Strengthened Cells: All of the body’s cells are strengthened through the

    mechanics of rebounding, either because of gravity changes or because of

    pressure differentials;

    ; Increased Lymph Flow: Rebounding leads to greatly increased lymph fluid

    circulation, leading directly to a boosted immune system, greater white blood cell

    activity, and increased detoxification generally;

    ; Cardiovascular and Respiratory Improvement: Rebounding directly yields

    impressive aerobic exercise benefits in terms of heart strength and functioning,

    respiration, and related physiological functions; and

    ; Physical Strength, Coordination, Balance, and Flexibility: Rebounding is often

    said to improve all of these.

Which of these perspectives is true, and which tends to be overblown? The following

table sets out and summarizes a bit of information on each of these perspectives. We will

    then take a more detailed look at each one.

CLAIMED Level of Proof Uniqueness to Comments

    BENEFIT Rebounding

    Anecdotal; Very unique Two main theories: Al Carter’s “g-force” Strengthened

    Hypothetical theory, and Dave Hall’s membrane Cells

    strengthening through pressure differential

    Anecdotal; Fairly unique Even without strict scientific proof or Increased

    Hypothetical clinical evidence, this seems to me to be an Lymph Flow

    almost certain benefit of rebounding & Immune

    Boost

    Some Strict Not unique Rebounding’s great advantage here is that Aerobic,

    Scientific it may be easier for many to stick with Cardio &

    Proof; Clinical; rebounding than it is to stick with and Respiratory

    Anecdotal; thereby receive equivalent aerobic benefits

    Hypothetical from other exercises

    Some Strict Somewhat General mechanics of rebounding while Strength,

    Scientific unique using hand weights (“resistive training”), Coordination,

    Proof; Clinical; as well as “Force Flux” hypothesis, put Flexibility

    Anecdotal; forth in this Chapter, may lead to some

    Hypothetical unique strength and flexibility gains

    Fig. __: Four Perspectives on What’s Special About Rebounding

Let’s start with the first of these and work our way through.

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

The Strengthened Cells Perspective

    Al Carter, father of the modern rebounding industry, was introduced in 1977 to a “small round indoor exercise device that looked like a trampoline.” (Rebound Exercise The

    Ultimate Exercise for the New Millennium, 2003, p. 17). As a wrestler and then a

    performing trampolinist, he knew that bouncing up and down had been incredibly good for his and his co-trampolinists health, fitness, and strength levels, but he wanted to know why that was so. Although he would also champion the lymphatic benefits of rebounding (the second overall perspective, to be discussed next), after much study and thought he had an epiphany which would come to dominate thinking about rebounding for the next quarter century.

    To begin with, Carter recognized that what all exercises had in common, and what rebounding was especially good at, was working with and against gravity. Next he realized that when a person was rebounding, a vertical, “coherent,” alignment of gravity with two other natural “forces,” acceleration and deceleration, took place. In Carter’s own words (The New Miracles of Rebound Exercise, 1988, pp. 22; 61- 63, emphasis

    added):

    The common denominator of all exercises is the opposition to the gravitational

    pull of the earth…At the moment one jumps vertically, all of the cells of the body

    experience both the forces of acceleration and gravity. Since the cells of the body

    have no idea what is happening, they just feel the sudden increase in the G force.

    To survive, all DNA molecules of all cells react sending a message through the

    RNA to produce more protein which will be added to the cell membrane to bolster

    the strength of the cell membrane. Once the inertia of the jump is expended,

    gravity takes over and pulls the body back to Earth. Upon contact with the surface

    of the Earth the body experiences the combined forces of deceleration and gravity.

    More molecular messages are sent, and more adjustments at the cell level are

    made.…By combining the natural forces of acceleration and gravity

    vertically by rebounding, all cells are naturally challenged. The cells that

    have the capability of adjusting to an increased G force become stronger

    individually and the entire body becomes stronger collectively. We have

    come face-to-face with a whole-body exercise. To be more precise,

    rebounding is a cellular exercise because it causes all of the cells of the body

    to physically adjust to what is perceived by them as a more demanding

    internal environment yet lass traumatic.

    Carter’s epiphany about gravity, exercise, Einstein, and “coherently” bringing together gravity, acceleration, and deceleration, was at the very least a fascinating one. With rebounding, according to the Gospel of Al, because of the increases and decreases in g-force, the “whole body” was being exercised, from the cellular level, causing all of the body to get stronger at once. I sometimes like to explain Carter’s theory by analogy. Imagine a human being with the ordinary human genome born on a planet with a gravity twice that of our planet’s gravity. Such a person would, in a manner reminiscent of how Superman gained his powers, be stronger than a normal human being for having grown

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

    up in, and adjusted to, the incessant demands of a heavier gravity. (Note that in Superman’s case it was the red sun that he was born under, compared to the yellow sun of earth, that made the difference.)

    Is Carter basically correct that you are subjected to greater gravitational force during part of the time that you are rebounding? The short answer is “yes.” Without going through all

    the physics here, we can simplify by briefly stating that there are two main states when you are rebounding: when you are in contact with the mat, and when you are not in contact with the mat.

When you are not in contact with the mat from the time you leave the mat through

    reaching the height of your bounce and continuing on until you are pulled back to the mat by gravity you are actually, literally, in a state of “free fall,” and you (and perhaps especially your stomach) therefore subjectively experience the sensation known as weightlessness. You are not actually weightless: the earth still pulls down on your body *with its full gravitation force. But you feel weightless, because no external objects are

    touching you or exerting any push or pull on you, that is, you feel none of what is called the “normal force” (also known as a “contact force”). Ordinarily, when you are standing on hard ground, the weight you feel is not the force of gravity pulling you down, but rather, it is this normal force (or contact force) that opposes and exactly balances out gravity. When you are in free fall while you are not in contact with the mat, you no longer feel the normal force (or contact force), and that is why you feel weightless.

    Now what happens when you are in contact with the mat? Here, you are no longer just subject to the force of the earth’s gravity, and you no longer feel just the normal (or contact) force that feel pushes back up against you to balance out gravity. Instead, you are also feeling the force of the mat in concert with the springs pushing up against you and propelling you upward. These two forces (the normal force and the force generated by the mat and springs) are in fact additive. Thus, you and presumably your cells feel

    that combined force as a force that is greater than the normal force of gravity. (Funny how the word “normal” gets used there.)

    So, it is true that you experience more than 1 g of force during the part of the bounce cycle that you are in contact with the mat. But from there, it is a large leap to hypothesize that the DNA and RNA therefore work together to strengthen the membranes of the cells. We don’t know whether it is true – we don’t have any real proof – as to whether the cells

    are strengthened, and if they are strengthened as hypothesized, we don’t really know the mechanism by which they are made stronger (notwithstanding Al Carter’s speculation about DNA alerting RNA to have the cells create more protein to strengthen themselves).

     * For you science types, we know that f=ma, which means that you are being pulled down with a (f)orce that is equal to your (m)ass times your (a)cceleration, which at the surface of the earth is 32 feet per second per second. If you are on the surface of the moon, your mass remains the same, but your weight is different because the gravitational force that the moon pulls you down with is much less than the gravitational force felt at the surface of the earth.

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

    To repeat: Al Carter’s hypothesis about cellular strength and whole body exercise is a wonderful and fascinating hypothesis, but as far as I can tell, that’s all it is at this point: a hypothesis. It may be true that the whole body, every one of its 70 trillion or so cells, is indeed being strengthened by being subjected to increasing and decreasing gravity in a rhythmic fashion, but at this point there is just no direct proof for this.

This lack of proof, however, hasn’t stopped this cell-strengthening-through-increased-

    gravity hypothesis from being repeated in almost every existing book on rebounding. Even books that spend most of their focus elsewhere tend to repeat this hypothesis as if it were undeniably true. The problem with this is that if we pin our understanding of rebounding’s benefits on an unproven speculation, it tends to undermine rebounding as a whole. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that rebounding has remained mostly in the doldrums for the last 20 years.

    A modified version of this hypothesis has been put forward by Dave Hall. According to his website at http://www.cellercise.com/:

    Acceleration and deceleration create pressure changes within the body and an

    increased amount of weight against the cell membrane. At the bottom of the

    bounce, every cell in the body is stimulated, exercised and strengthened.

This alternative explanation both as to the causal mechanism pressure changes and

    the way the cells react to it (by being stimulated, exercised, and strengthened), seems a bit more plausible. However, it too (at least to my knowledge) remains unproven.

The Increased Lymph Flow & Immune Boost Perspective

    Starting with Al Carter again, virtually every book on rebounding will rightly point out that rebounding stimulates the circulation and flow of lymph fluid, and that this leads to a stronger immune system, more white blood cell activity (as old and dying white blood cells get moved through), and an increase in the body’s metabolic waste and drainage functioning. Lymph of which you have four times as much as you have blood is the

    interstitial fluid surrounding all of the cells in the body. Not only are metabolic wastes moved through by your lymph so they can be properly discharged (through your lymph nodes), but lymph circulates the white blood cells so they can do their job, including helping older white blood cells clear out so that the body produces more fresh, strong ones.

    Unlike our circulatory system through which blood is moved by a pump known as the heart, the lymph fluid and the lymph system have no pump. As Dr. Morton Walker writes in Jumping for Health: A Guide to Rebounding Aerobics (1989, pp. 60-61, emphasis

    added):

    The Lymphatic Drainage System. Aerobic movement provides the stimulus for

    a free-flowing lymphatic drainage system. The lymphatic system is the metabolic

    garbage can of the body. It rids the body of toxins, fatigue substances, dead cells,

    ? 2005-2008, Jordan S. Gruber, All Rights Reserved

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