Upon stepping into I Vibe Fitness and Massage, there's an immediate sense of relaxation. The sounds of tranquil water drops accompany dolphins swimming across the wall on a giant screen. Coming in from the noisy street rush, it's like stepping onto a sandy ocean beach -- a respite many are in search of during their lunch hour.
As the nation has undoubtedly seen a dramatic change in popularity over fitness exercises -- I'm looking at you, yoga, Zumba, and CrossFit -- there has been an increase in fitness awareness and attention.
With the popularity, all of them have created a massive push for fitness and personal health all around the nation -- and we should applaud them for that. This rise in health awareness is what drew Karen Romero to Tulsa, and with it her fresh take on wellness with I Vibe.
"People are more health conscious these days about their weight. I like this whole fitness movement, and I want to be apart of it," Romero said. "I think it's important to take care of yourself no matter what your physical state is or what age you are."
I Vibe is focused on well-being, health and personal comfort. It is a fitness center for people who don't feel the need to get swoll. For Romero, time and convenience, she hopes, are what will attract people to her spa, and the personal space with a low key environment will keep her customers coming back.
"I think it's nice that people can come in at anytime, get a massage, relax, and not have to make an appointment," she said. "It is a small studio, with a more intimate feeling. It's not a crazy fitness center or gym. I'm always here as a personal trainer. If people want more out of it, I can certainly push them."
Feeling stressed out from work by lunch time? Don't have gym clothes to change into? No problem, says Romero. Customers can workout and get a massage within thirty minutes.
"So it's not just a workout in less time, it's that you get the same results and benefits in less time," Romero said. "It also helps people de-stress and increase blood flow throughout the body -- and that helps with weight loss, also."
The machine she is referring to is the Power Plate. Considered a tool for prevention and proven to treat fibromyalgia and brittle bones, Power Plate is a unique exercise device.
It was originally designed for Russian cosmonauts when dealing with zero gravity in space, body depletion, and the dilemma of not being able to stay in space for longer periods of time. While stuck in a space shuttle, the design provided easy access to a complete workout for the entire body. Time spent on the device resulted in much needed blood circulation, muscle strength, and an increase in bone density to counter-act the zero gravity effects. Astronauts were then able to strengthen their muscles/bones while in place. This allowed the cosmonauts to stay in space longer.
The Power Plate isn't a panacea, however. Exercise physiologist Jeffrey McBride said, in a New York Times article, that there are potential issues associated with its use.
"High-frequency vibration affects your nervous system, but it definitely takes getting used to," he said. He also said that overuse of the machine could have adverse effects on internal organs.
He called the machines "best for professional athletes," but did not condemn them, admitting, "your muscles do work harder."
Numerous celebrities, top athletes and professional athletic clubs have already discovered the advantages and results in using this machine as part of their routines. In moderation of course, acceleration/vibration training has been proven to increase balance, flexibility, strength, tone and leanness says Dr. Mercola, of mercola.com.
I Vibe aims to make the Power Plate more readily available for all of the Tulsa area.
"I know it's very appealing to more women and the elderly in general. The vibrations decrease large percentages of cellulite and it helps with those who are limited in physical exercise," Romero said. "But I don't want to be known as the place that's just good for older people; it's much more than that. With a variety of benefits, there's something for everyone."
The Power Plate is just one of three specialty machines at I Vibe. For customers who just want to relax and enjoy a Shiatsu massage, whether it's during lunch time, around work, or even just trying to relax from the surrounding shopping areas, they can use the state-of-the-art Shiatsu chairs with personal customization while enjoying scenic views on screen. And, last but not least, the hydro massage bed also offers a very relaxing massage utilizing the power of water.
The jets within the bed propel water in varying increments and direction up and down the body. Results are almost immediately noticed, and it's very relaxing. According to Romero, these beds create a more fluid and calming blood flow within the body.
As a nice added touch, Romero has also placed a NASA-designed infrared LED light over the head area to help heal collagen on the customer's facial skin as they enjoy the water massage. Collagen, a vital protein for the body, is responsible for strengthening blood vessels and skin tissues: in other words, this LED light acts as a wrinkle cure. Over time of exposure, skin absorbs infrared light as an energy source, and it strengthens depleted collagen in the tissues. When customers are finished, they can enjoy the nice kitchen area for healthy drinks and snacks.
"Everything that I chose to have in here is designed to make you feel good. I'm trying to create good vibrations for people. Everything in life is vibrations like music, and sound." Romero said. "I think Tulsans are ready for this. I think when more research and studies are shown, more people would be willing to try it."
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