For most of us, the amount of time we spend with our hearts above our heads is limited, but there are so many benefits associated with inversion therapy, we are turning our health regimens upside-down, literally.
Inversion therapy is a technique that involves being upside down or at an angle, helping relieve back pain. Many people choose to use an inversion table. There are also other devices like the inversion chair or alternate methods that can be used without equipment such as hand/headstands.
Being upside down helps rehydrate disks which prepares the body for better flexibility and realigns the spine. According to teeter.com, when inverted to 60 degrees, the pressure in the spine drops to zero, as shown in the Nachemson medical study, which takes pressure off of the vertebrae; with some gentle stretching, the vertebrae then has the opportunity to move back into alignment.
Another benefit of inversion therapy is that it's great for the lymphatic system. Roger Jahnke OMD writes about the Lymph system from a holistic perspective in his article The Lymph , describing gravity as one method of lymph propulsion:
“Because gravity exerts such a substantial force and because lymph has so far to climb to get to the thoracic duct's entry into the sub-clavian vein, any inversion of the limbs or even the prone body position allows for a free flow of lymph unencumbered by the effects of gravity. Elevation of the lower limbs is often prescribed for health problems characterized by a pooling of interstitial fluids.”
This improvement to the function of the lymphatic system also improves the overall wellbeing of the body by strengthening the immune system.
Inversion Therapy can also help detoxify the body and improve your appearance as well. Putting your feet above your head flushes fresh oxygen to the face, reducing blemishes and gives you a healthy glow. This additional rush of oxygen also helps the brain with concentration and memory. It encourages the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins, which reduces depression.
Finally, Inversions also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces feelings of relaxation and calmness as well, making for a peaceful night’s rest.
Please note that there are risks that can be associated with Inversion. Inversion increases blood pressure, decreases heart rate and puts more pressure on the eyes and ears so you should assess the risks and consult a professional with any questions/concerns. We do advise starting slow with shorter intervals so that you do not pull a muscle.
Inversion is one of the few practices that you can start right now without any additional purchases and a minimal amount of time. We hope this piece inspires you to put your feet up today - everyone can use a little inversion in their lives.