The Layman’s Guide to Inversion Tables: How Do They Work?

Have you ever seen a person upside down on a table and have wondered what in the world they were doing? This is a process called inversion therapy where the person laying on the table inverts their body to a 90 degree angle.

What does this do? This helps immensely with pains, aches and even detoxification of the body. So, how do inversion tables work? Before we discuss the details, you need to understand how this therapy works.

Inversion Therapy Basics

Inversion therapy is a process wherein a person lays on a table and attempts to change the gravitational force on the body’s bones. When you stand up, gravity is continually pulling down on your bones causing them to rub together, compress and never stretch.

Inversion therapy utilizes gravity to undo this stress by literally turning a person upside down. When in a 90 degree position, gravity will be working in the opposite direction. This allows the body to heal faster when bone or disc problems are present.

Imagine your vertebra being compressed. This is an ailment that causes people to suffer in immense pain. As your vertebra stays in this position, the pain worsens and you may be prescribed a steroid to help with the swelling and healing process. Over time, the compression comes to an end and the pain has finally subsided. So what causes this to take so long to heal? Gravity.

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Every moment of the day there is a 100 percent pressure on your spinal column. If you have an injury, this pressure still exists and will stay there for quite some time.

When inverted, the pressure is 0 percent and will actually go into the negative range in some cases. This allows for a slight pulling apart of the vertebra which will not be felt or be painful, but actually releases the pressure felt on the vertebra.

Inversion therapies work in this way so that gravity does all of the work. All that you literally have to do is get into this position and the rest is done by nature.

How an Inversion Table Can Help

Over 2,300 years ago, the first documentation of this therapy can be found. What occurs is that the pressure on the bones is reversed, but also, the blood in the body flows differently. This allows for muscles to be filled with blood easier, alleviates pains and even helps the organs flush out toxins.

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There is much debate on how long a person can stay inverted, but it seems to be done on a per-person basis. Even 10 minutes a day has shown to be very beneficial. These tables can help a person with the following:

  • Back Pains: The number one reason for purchasing this product. People with back pain have found relief through inversion tables and the relief has been studied time and time again. What occurs is the pressure is relieved, allowing the back to find relief. Everything from disc compression to muscle strains have been relieved using this method.
  • Joint Pains: Arthritis and joint pain can be greatly reduced when inverted. The blood flow and relief of pressure on the joints provides near immediate relief without the use of medications.
  • Muscle Repair: Muscles repair and grow when blood is pumped into them and oxygen flows freely. When upside down, you will be causing blood to flow into your organs and muscles in an atypical manner. This allows for muscle growth and repair to occur much faster and is the main reason why professional athletes use these tables routinely.
  • Organ Health: The body is filled with toxins that make it perform less than adequately. Unfortunately, there are not many ways to flush these toxins out of the organs. When inverted, the blood is forced to cycle out of the organs allowing your body to be less filled with toxins.

How Inversion Tables Work

Inversion tables come either motorized or with manual operation options. The latter is the norm and is the least expensive option to choose from. Depending on the model chosen, there may be a few features that are not listed below, but the same general functionality will exist.

  1. The user stands on the table in an upright position and straps their ankles into a holder.
  2. The user leans back as the table begins to invert.
  3. The user chooses the degree setting they want (if applicable).
  4. The user eventually works their way up to a full 90 degree angle where they will be upside down.

Typically, you will be standing in a leaning position when applying the straps and will need to unlock the table so that you can lean back. The goal is to not go to a full 90 degree angle until your body is used to the positioning. If you do go too far too fast, you can expect to get very dizzy, lightheaded and maybe even nauseous.