For many years, people have been using inversion tables for back pain. An inversion table is a padded table that is connected to a metal frame. In order to use the table you must strap yourself onto the table. Then you must slowly allow the table to flip over, which inverts the body. People use this technique for back pain because they believe it allows your body to unload the bones, joints, and discs in the lower back. This technique is also referred to as inversion therapy. The most common risks associated with this type of back pain treatment is glaucoma, which is caused by a rise in blood pressure in the eyes. Inversion tables are not recommended for people with glaucoma, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease. An inversion table can cost anywhere between $100 to $400.
7 Things to Know About Inversion Therapy:
1. Inversion Therapy has been around for Thousands of Years
Inversion table techniques have been used for many years even dating back to 4000 BC. Even today, people who teach yoga promote inversion techniques. They believe it has a positive effect on the brain, improves circulation, and improves digestion.
2. Reduces and Eliminates select Pains
People that have injuries such as a herniated disc have been known to get some relief from inversion therapy. When you hang upside down, the vertebrae in the spine get distracted. This causes a release of pressure on the spinal discs. When pressure is released from the spinal discs, the herniation may shrink enough to get off the nerve. This results in some relief from the pain. You may find relief as well if you experience any of the following: sciatic nerve pain, cervical spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, fibromyalgia symptoms as well as headaches!
3. Enhances your Physical Fitness
Inversion therapy improves your posture quickly. Years of sitting at a desk, on your couch or at the table will take a toll on your back. Your vertebrae's become compressed and out of alignment and your muscles then stay in a stressed position due to muscle memory from poor posture. I use my weighted vest while I invert to increase my results. Some articles I've read online have been reviews of people who have increased their height up to two inches from inverting with upwards of 40 lbs. I too have increased my overall height and upon looking at my self in the sagittal plane in the mirror, I can tell from roundness in my spine that I still have another inch in there. I'm sure you have all had a parent or grandparent tell you they use to be taller! It's time to fight gravity and reach your full potential.
You will improve your flexibility and range of motion. Upon inverting and decompressing your vertebrae, you will then hydrate and nourish the disc between them. This affects all cartilage such as your ligaments and tendons that run throughout your body. Examples of this include your backbone, hips, knees and ankles, which will help rehab any issues you are experiencing in those areas as the collagen content in these areas will increase. Inverting is an awesome form of preventable maintenance as well, we sure do not want to break our hips!
It is recommended to invert after your workouts as all of these benefits will aid in a faster recovery from training. Due to your improved circulation, increased oxygenation, a more efficient lymphatic system and lower stress levels, you will also sleep much much better. As a result, you will be much more alert and have more energy throughout your day, while experiencing far less fatigue.
4. Mental Health
Inversion therapy helps reduce stress levels in several ways. It helps regulate hormone levels in the body, by soaking the hypothalamus gland, pituitary gland and the thyroid gland in oxygenated blood and, in turn, lowing your overall stress and cortisol levels. Muscle tension is also reduced while inverting. Studies have showed that muscle tension decreased an average of 35 percent within the first ten seconds of inversion.
Inversion therapy is widely used and beneficial for depression. Studies have shown that after just a couple of weeks of inversion therapy, their depression symptoms have gone down and remained lower throughout this therapy treatment. Studies have also shown an increase in the endorphins circulating throughout your body.
5. Improves Respiratory & Circulatory Systems
While sitting or standing,blood is pooled to your lower lungs. When you invert, you redistribute this blood & oxygen to the upper lungs for better lung function. Your diaphragm is also strengthened from this so you then will experience the benefits throughout the day from deeper breathing, better lung function and circulation. Your sinuses also improve from this due to the increase in blood flow & oxygen by flushing out your nasal passage making it moist and easier to breathe. Inverting is said to be great for your heart health and reducing heart arrhythmia. This is due to the increase in oxygen and the much needed rest your heart receives as it slows down while inverting due to the release of neurotransmitters that are signaled from the increase blood flow to your brain. This stems an increase in creative thoughts and divergent thinking. It is said to also reduce and prevent varicose veins from forming.
6. Improves Digestive & Immune System
Hanging upside down aids the wall of your intestines, both the small and large digestive tracks. Instead of gravity working against you, it will help improve the overall flow so you have an easier time going to the bathroom.
The lymphatic system removes harmful toxins from the body. It is most effective from human movement. Exercise combined with a few minutes of inversion therapy is great for your lymphatic system. Gravity works by pulling and washing the lymphatic fluids out of your body. Yoga is also an awesome form of exercise to rid your body of these toxins due to the upside down positions. As you improve the overall function of your lymphatic system, your immune system will strengthen so you will not get sick as much. With these toxins gone, their is not as much stress on your immune system allowing it to spend more time fighting off bacterial and viral infections.
7. Anti-Aging Effects
If you string enough healthy behaviors together, you too can drastically slow down the aging process. I believe I have found the fountain of youth. The aging process includes the slow deterioration of your organs, decrease in your flexibility, a continuous build up of toxins in your body as well as a decrease in the amount of oxygen and nutrients that once enriched your body and brain. Which, in turn, helps prevent dementia and alzheimer's. If it couldn't get any better, you will notice almost immediately your overall aura and physical appearance improving.