Sore muscles, back pain and general aches will start to creep in as you become older. Unfortunately, the older you become, the more pains you seem to get. Even a simple exercise can leave you sore for days or picking up a can off of the floor can cause you to pull your back.
While there are medications and treatments that can help you alleviate your pain, nothing works quite as effectively as inversion therapy.
What is Inversion Therapy?
Inversion therapy involves strapping yourself to a moveable table. What happens is that once strapped into place, you will be inverting yourself upside down. There are different degrees that you can choose until you get used to this type of therapy. However, you will eventually progress to a completely inverted position.
The best part is that this is not just some hocus-pocus type of therapy that doesn’t work. This method was created over 24 centuries ago, but it is still in use by athletes all around the world to reduce pain and pressure. Even if you are not the next football star, you can use this procedure at any time that you like to reap massive health benefits.
You are probably wondering how this even works. Now, let’s explain exactly why this form of therapy has helped so many others and continues to do so 2,400 years after it was invented.
How Inversion Therapy Works
The body is always in the same position. When you sit up or lay down, you are still putting pressure downward on your spinal column. Your blood even flows in the same position at all times. This becomes the body’s norm and while it is functioning properly, this does not mean there are not benefits to exploring other positions.
Inversion tables use gravity as a force to pull your spinal column in the opposite direction. This sounds like it hurts right? Well, luckily it is painless. What you are doing is reversing gravity in such a way that it is actually beneficial.
Without mentioning any major benefits, which we will cover shortly, the spinal column is allowed to have pressure applied in the opposite direction. If a person has a compressed disc or painful vertebrae, the gravitational pull may alleviate this pain by simply pulling the bones in the opposite direction.
Benefits of Inversion Therapy
Bone pulling sounds quite painful, but inversion therapy provides much more benefits that mere bone alignment. While we use much different methods than Hippocrates did (he strung up his patients using rope) we still utilize the same basic techniques.
The benefits include the following:
1. Back Pain Relief
First and foremost, pain relief is the number one reason people gravitate towards inversion therapy. Pinched nerves and compressed discs are often caused by gravity. As gravity pulls down your spinal column, the pain becomes worse and there is little to no immediate relief seen.
By inverting the body, the spine is being put into full-traction and the reversal of gravity actually allows the body to heal much faster. A disc that is compressed will have the pressure relieved immensely through inversion therapy.
Have you experienced the pain of a pinched nerve? This can be alleviated as well. Since most nerves are pinched between a disc, the gravity pulls the bone apart enough for the pressure to be relieved and oftentimes, the nerve to move from the pinched position.
For example, when you are standing, there is 100 percent pressure put on your spine. When you lay down, there is still 25 percent pressure put on the spine. However, inversion tables completely remove this pressure so that 0 percent pressure is put onto the spine.
The basic stretching of the spine is also quite beneficial.
2. Joint and Arthritis Relief
According to Livestrong, there are a few studies that indicate a relief in overall joint pain and pressure. This is done by the stretching of the joints as well as the muscles thanks to the basics of inversion therapy.
There is also some proof that there is a basic realigning seen when performing this therapy accordingly. Slight misaligned backs are often corrected and this is beneficial for golfers and tennis players.
3. Detoxification and Circulation
There have been quite a few studies on the effects of circulation and inversion therapy. While there is some scientific debate, there seems to be a consensus among natural healers that this process can perform a sort of detoxification of the body.
One thing is certain and that is that the body’s circulation is changed when inverted. This allows the blood to flow slightly differently. Interestingly, there is a pull on the body’s organs that allow them to stretch and receive more blood at this time. This is great for the organs as it helps to circulate the blood out of the organs and provide cleaner blood back into the organs.
What some doctors suggest is that the toxins normally found within the blood are allowed to be pulled outward when inverted. This provides a detoxification of the body and the organs.
Ultimately, this detoxification not only helps with the healing process, but it allows the body to function better as a result.
The increase in circulation can also help after an intensive workout when the muscles need further blood to grow. In fact, inversion therapy is highly recommended for athletes and competitors as it allows for further muscle growth and aids in the muscle repair process.
Choosing the Right Inversion Table
There are medical professionals and doctors that allow you to perform this procedure within their office. This may be an option when insurance is covering the costs, but you can also buy your own table and do the therapy process at home. The best part is that the tables are very inexpensive and you only need to keep a few pointers in mind when purchasing.
The main features that need to be noted when buying an inversion table are as follows:
- Weight Capacity: You will need to purchase a table that is able to hold your current weight. It is essential to purchase an inversion table that far exceeds your weight limit as you would be in a very vulnerable position if the table collapsed.
- Control Adjustments: Your body needs to get accustomed to being inverted. If you decide to go a full 90 degrees quickly, you will become very dizzy. Control adjustments should be present that allow you to easily control the degree of inversion provided.
- Padding: Comfortable padding is a must. This will allow you to remain comfortable while inverted and will alleviate any pressure put on your ankles.
- Model Type: Some tables are controlled by a motor and allow you to simply press a switch to be inverted. This is not the norm as these tables are more expensive, but they are very convenient as well. The other type is a manual table wherein you control the inversion yourself.
These are the basic features that a person needs to consider when buying the best table. The rest of the features, minus potential clamping, are all an added bonus.
Inversion therapy can be done for as long as the user likes. Beginners should start slow and not exceed 10 – 15 minutes at a time, but there is no hard and fast rule provided.