Regeneration Point in Spokane is not your typical gym with weight and treadmills. Yes there are treadmills but they have harnesses to help your balance. There are resistance bands but you’ll be using them while vibrations are pulsating throughout your body. When you’re finished you’ll stretch your muscles to regain elasticity. Overall I found it to be not only challenging but I have never felt more limber and energetic when I walked out of Regeneration Point. On my visit there I had a chance to talk with Bettina Torres about her unique approach to fitness. This will begin a series of articles I will do that will touch on alternative forms of exercise.
Bettina Torres, Owner of Regeneration Point in Spokane
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into this type of exercise technology?
I was born in Stuttgart, Germany, lived 5 years in Egypt with my family, then completed high school in Germany intending to go to medical school to become a doctor. I am very motivated in helping people and always have been interested in health and healing. I was living in Hamburg, Germany, when I met my husband Greg (the NewYorrican:) who interrupted my plans, and I moved to New York instead. We had a family and that became my focus. I pursued my original plans once again when my youngest child started kindergarten. I completed all prerequisites for medical school: biology, human biology, chemistry, physics, three semesters of calculus, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and then some. For personal reasons I changed my major after all that hard work and graduated in GBM (Global Business Management) and Spanish……….go figure. It had more to do with future travel plans surrounding my husband’s ambition to create a telecom consulting firm for the Latin American market once our kids were grown. In 2006, while visiting my family in Germany, I was introduced to a German medical device called BEMER in my aunt’s house. She had purchased it to control her chronic pain and severe migraine headaches resulting from an almost fatal car accident in 1991. I became interested because it was a non-chemical, non-invasive and no side-effects approach and helping her very effectively. This company started doing business in the U.S. in the spring of 2007. I purchased the device and was brought back to my original passion for helping others with their health issues. The rest is history and I haven’t looked back since. Last year in January, my mother-in-law Millie Torres started living with us because her limitations and having fallen had landed her in a nursing facility in New York where she was very unhappy. When she came to us she hardly could walk. She has MS and severe scoliosis. But within one week of using BEMER on a daily basis, she was able to climb stairs, sit upright, lie straight on her back, had more energy and was not falling asleep at a moment’s notice all of which she wasn’t able to do before. She regained enough stamina to join a physical therapy program to learn anew the good practices that keep us from falling. When I heard about the un-weighted system, I got her enrolled in using that equipment at the Revita Institute. I was just amazed how well she was doing, and I was inspired to create a program for others. To me, it is all about quality of life. If we can achieve it with non-chemical, non-invasive and no side-effect means, the better it is for the person. Hence, a year ago, REGENERATION Point was born.
Treadmill with harness
This is not your conventional gym with weights and treadmills…what makes this so much different?
REGENERATION Point is focused on what the individual needs. Not everybody does well in a regular gym setting. As a matter of fact, a lot of people go there because it is their only option. I wanted to create an environment that is both stimulating, soothing, accommodating and familiar where people can leave their troubles at the door and just be themselves. Achieving your goals at your own pace is important. There is no cookie cutter approach for everybody. Using equipment that is non conventional helps me establish the environment necessary. Heck, everybody likes to lie down and relax, right. That is exactly what you do at the beginning of the rotation and that is where you end the rotation. Lying on the BEMER mat stimulates blood circulation and is very relaxing; the stretch chair is very effective in making you more flexible; the un-weighted treadmill allows you to exercise at less weight reducing impact on spine and joints and reduces balance and stability problems as we age due to the different walking modes while on it: forward stepping off and on, sideways both directions and backwards. Because you are safely strapped into a vest, the fear of falling is eliminated; finally, the vibration plate stimulates all muscle groups simultaneously and the band system is used for upper body strength while on it. The whole program is low impact and yet very effective.
What is it about vibration that makes this so effective?
Vibration Technology was developed by the Russians to counteract muscle atrophy and bone loss during space flight. This technology was also incorporated into their athletic training program. The effect lies in that while standing on the vibration platform you tighten up all your muscles and get quicker results. The work-out that you normally would do for all muscle groups in 40 – 45 minutes is equivalent to doing a work-out standing on the vibration platform and tightening your muscles for about 15 minutes. The results can be felt fairly quickly if you do it on a regular basis. Here are some research statistics
Leg extension strength increases 15%*
Biceps curl strength increases 10%*
Jump height increases 9%*
Growth Hormone increases 361%*
Testosterone increases 7%*
Cortisol decreases 32%*
Lower back pain decreases 66%*
Basal Metabolic Rate increases 21.9%*
Body Fat decreases 11.2%*
Systolic Blood Pressure decreases 10mmHg*
Diastolic Blood Pressure decreases 7mmHg*
Bone Density of the Hip increases 1.51%#
Cellulite decreases 25.7%*
Key clinical data
Average values *
Net Increase #
1. Warman, G., et al. The effects of timing and application of vibration on muscular contractions. Aviation,
Space and Environmental Medicine 73 (2): 119-127, 2002.
2. Issurin, V., et al. Acute and residual effects of vibratory stimulation on explosive strength in elite and
amateur athletes. Journal of Sports Science 17 (3): 177-182, 1999.
3. Torvinen, S., et al. Effect of four-month vertical whole body vibration on performance and balance.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 34 (9): 1,523-1, 528, 2002.
4. Bosco, C., et al. Hormonal responses to whole-body vibration in men. European Journal of Applied
Physiology 81: 449-454, 2000.
5. Rittweger, J., et al. Treatment of chronic lower-back pain with lumbar extension and whole body vibration
exercise. Spine 27: 829-1, 834, 2002.
6. Sordorff, S. Pneumex: Identify what effect Vibration Fitness will have on metabolism. Sandpoint, Idaho.
7. Verscheuren, S.M.P., et al. Effect of 6 month Whole Body Vibration on Hip Density, Muscle Strength &
Postural Control in Postmenopausal Women. Journal of Bone & Mineral Research 19 (3): 352-359, 2004.
8. SANADERM Health Clinic, Germany. Fachklinik, für Hautkrankheiten, Allergologie, 2003, Löffelstelzer
Straße 36 97980 Bad Mergentheim, www.sanaderm.de, Email: email@example.com
What is PEMF?
PEMF stands for Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field. In the BEMER Technology, which I incorporate at REGENERATION Point, a pulsed electro magnetic field carries the unique and patented BEMER signal into the body to stimulate blood flow in our small vessels. It is the most researched and most effective physical vascular therapy available. There is a lot of research regarding this technology. NASA did studies on PEMF to counteract muscle atrophy and bone loss during space flight.
- PEMF – A Countermeasure for Bone Loss and Muscle Atrophy Paper released by the Johnson Space Center. Pulsed electromagnetic fields and their effects on the body’s functions in the environmental conditions of space. Conclusions and applicability to bone loss and muscle atrophy.
- Physiological and Molecular Genetic Effects of PEMF on Human Neuronal Cells
Study conducted by NASA in 2003. Thomas J. Goodwin, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center. 38 Pages.
NASA scientists are currently collaborating with BEMER (BioElectroMagneticEnergyRegulation) on how to incorporate BEMER Technology into astronauts’ space suits, space station, etc. It is really exiting to have BEMER here at REGENERATION Point because I see how people improve with their issues. As I said above, at the basis of BEMER Technology is the improvement of blood flow. Without blood flow our cells will not get the nutrients and oxygen they need and no waste products will be removed.
Here is an interesting quote from Dr. Linus Pauling, double Nobel Price Winner
“From infant to Geriatric PEMF will lead to a change in the paradigm in medicine.”
You will also find studies on BEMER Technology at pubmed.gov
Why is micro circulation so important to health?
The term “Microcirculation” refers to the blood flow in our small vessels. When you think of our circulatory system, most people think of the large vessels: arteries and veins. For blood flow in these vessels we depend on the heart beat. But they only make up 26% of our circulatory system. The small vessels comprise 74% of the system but have to do the work on their own. That is called vasomotion. The rythmic lumen changes of these small vessels assure blood flow and thereby the transport of vital nutrients and oxygen to our cells as well as the removal of waste products. We cannot feel or hear this activity as we can our heart beat; and we do not feel it when it breaks down. Yet, the medical profession estimates that 95% of all diseases have at its roots the break down in vasomotion function. It is simply the tip of the iceberg when we experience symptoms. If we do not get nutrients and oxygen delivered to the cells, our cells will not produce the energy molecule ATP, which is a catalyst for protein synthesis and keeps our cell membrane potential intact; and this leads to disease. If we do not get wastes removed, it leads to inflammation and a toxic environment’and this leads to disease. You can see how important microcirculation and vasomotion is for prevention; and it is completely necessary for regeneration. Can you guess how vast this 74% of our circulatory system is? Most people do not guess the right number: an astonishing 75,000 miles, which would allow us to wrap a string around the earth three times. Microcirculation really is at the basis of staying healthy. It ensures for our innate self-regulatory mechanisms to work properly. In simple words: our inner doctor depends on good blood flow.
Who can benefit from your exercise program?
Anybody can benefit from this exercise program. To be sure, we all will age and get to a point where we slow down and things are different. But we all want quality of life during this phase of change, right? While maintaining stability and balance may not be of such great importance to a younger person as it is to someone older, keeping flexibility, strength, and reducing susceptibility to infection or disease is and should be important to us all. And I have clients from all age groups. But to point to a specific group, I would say the baby boomer generation will benefit mostly as they deal with chronic diseases and getting nearer to that stage that my mother-in-law found herself in. I am a baby boomer, and I can honestly say that I feel better today than I felt 10 years ago. Normally, it would be the other way around.
What about the critics who say this is not real exercise and you’re selling placebos?
Well, they should talk to my clients and ask them how they have progressed. Or they should talk to the top athletes that use this type of equipment. There certainly is no placebo effect when things are backed by double blind studies on the devices that people use at REGENERATION Point. And what constitutes exercise for one person may be “torture” to someone else; or on the other hand what people do at REGENERATION Point may not be extreme enough for others. It is a matter of preference and people should be able to chose. But speaking of a placebo is simply not realistic.
You are from Germany originally, has this influenced your outlook on fitness?
In general, I always thought that the fitness “craze” originated from America. While I was involved in sports as a young person from swimming, basketball, volleyball, skiing, I never really maintained a “regular” program. It was more sporadic. As I got older and lived in this country, I became more interested in maintaining a general fitness program with hiking or walking. Running was never my strong suit. But people in Germany or Europe in general just walk more, while people in the States depend more on their cars. I think that physical activity is more easily incorporated in Germany due to the different life style. But since I haven’t lived there in 28 years, I have to admit that young Germans today are different from the way it used to be when I was young. When it comes to eating habits, I would include that in the term “fitness”. I believe you are what you eat; therefore, if you eat healthy it is generally easier to stay fit. I think eating habits in Germany are still a lot different from here. People eat more whole foods instead of processed foods or junk food. In the States, I am always baffled at what people consider food. I emphasize eating well here at REGENERATION Point and offer health and nutritional coaching with Pamela Biasca Losada.
Are there any people who have really benefited from this?
Since I opened REGENERATION Point, I have helped quite a few people suffering from a variety of issues. I do not diagnose nor do I treat anything in particular. I simply offer the program and people do better after a very short time. Here are some examples: a client with fibromyalgia and lots of pain now has a lot more stamina and has hardly any pain issues anymore; a client with chronic knee issues due to arthritis and couldn’t climb stairs in a normal manner but just step by step who is now completely pain free and has no troubles climbing stairs; a client who had balance issues and noticed right away how much better she was when she almost slipped on ice but did not fall in the winter time; a client who has slimmed down 27 pounds and feels so much more energetic. The list is much longer, and I can give lots more examples.
What age group will benefit the most?
As I said before, any age group can benefit. We all can benefit from better blood flow, greater flexibility, better balance and stability, greater stamina and strength. Since I emphasized prevention, people should look at this program before they start dealing with issues. However, this program is very effective in helping people feel and get better again. I think that the baby boomer generation is my target group, but I welcome anybody who likes a more intimate environment and the special attention given at REGENERATION Point.
REGENERATION Point – where regeneration MATTERS
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