If you have ever visited a chiropractor or alternative health specialist in the hopes of alleviating chronic or acute back pain, you’ve likely been told about inversion therapy.
Inversion therapy involves hanging upside down with the assistance of a specifically designed table or gravity boots. Inversion therapy benefits are numerous although the main purpose is to relieve back and neck pain.
How Inversion Therapy Works
It may seem like a new age fad but in reality, inversion therapy benefits have long been recognized, dating back to 400 B.C.
Back pain is one of the most common aliments, generating complaints from millions of people every day. It can compromise quality of life, physical capabilities and job performance. The specific causes are varied including everything from genetic disorders, injury, poor posture, obesity and stress.
Like everything else in life, our bodies need balance to operate efficiently. Our days are full of standing, sitting, bending over, lifting, squatting and rotating. All of this puts immense stress on our spine. Our backs are loaded up with all kinds of demands and seldom receive the proper rest that is so very necessary for recovery. This is where inversion therapy benefits us.
By spending a few minutes each day allowing gravity to work on our spine in the opposite direction, the stress that is placed on our backs can be somewhat unloaded and alleviated. Think of it as elongating and stretching the spine, allowing the discs and vertebrae to breathe while aligning the back and repairing damage caused by overuse.
Additional Inversion Therapy Benefits
While the main focus is normally relieving back pain, there are many additional inversion therapy benefits.
There is some thought that regularly using an inversion table may have similar benefits to the cardiovascular system as aerobic exercise. Just three to five minutes a day is enough to improve blood flow to the heart and decongest the lower extremities.
Intense workouts place enormous amounts of stress upon the spine. This can lead to back pain, overuse injury and even degenerative disc disease. Inversion therapy benefits our workouts by assisting with proper recovery and repairing potential damage. A few minutes a day spent upside down will help stretch and realign the spine while providing relief to the sensitive discs protecting the vertebrae.
Aging and Degeneration
Believe it or not, inversion therapy may be a great anti-aging tool. This method helps improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn may help prevent many age related ailments while maintaining mental clarity. Keeping our brains active and well oxygenated are crucial if we hope to continue using them as we age.
There is evidence that inversion therapy benefits our mood as well. Supplying increased oxygen to the brain by hanging upside down on a regular basis, improves both circulation and the availability of glucose to the brain. Oxygen and glucose are food for our brains and aid in the creation of valuable neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These are the ‘feel good’ chemicals that are responsible for fighting and preventing ailments like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and many other illnesses that often require medication.
Keep an Open Mind
Maintaining health and wellness both physically and mentally requires setting a balance within the mind and body. This process involves keeping an open mind when it comes to diet, exercise and alternative therapy. Trying new things is the only way to find what really works for you. Think outside of the box and see if inversion therapy benefits your life.