Here is an excellent article I came across which talks about the many health benefits of inversion therapy.
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Inversion relieves back pain with better posture and greater spinal mobility. Inversion uses gravity to gently align, adjust, and give traction to the spine.
This healthy traction decompresses the vertebrae, creating space for the discs while straightening and balancing the spinal column. Prime back care results are experienced when the supportive muscles of the spinal column are synergistically lengthened and strengthened from performing inversion and therapeutic movement.
Inversion offers the easiest way to ease strains caused by compression and to lift the weight off the superimposed segments of the body. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the back and torso are all stretched, creating a great feeling of release. Subluxations of the vertebrae tend to correct, helping to diminish back pain. Studies have proven it to be helpful in correcting or greatly improving the condition of herniated nucleus pulposis, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, lumbar osteoarthritis, sciatica, paralytic scoliosis and inclinatory skeletal defects (rib angle changes, thin discs, and compression wedging of the vertebrae). Only when the spinal column is in good health, can the rest of the body function properly. It is normal to see a dramatic change in overall strength, immunity, and emotional wellbeing by toning and taking care of your spinal column.
Inversion boosts brain power. Blood flow to the brain is increased, nourishing the brain cells with more oxygen and nutrients required for optimal brain function. Inverted poses commonly increase concentration, memory, awareness, and stimulate thought.“
We know that the brain is the center of nerve control and that all movements originate in the brain. When this brain mass lacks a sufficient supply of blood the natural results will be slow body reactions and sluggish mental and physical reflexes – a possible for lack of mental alertness and response…When these symptoms appear, it is evident that postures which alter gravity’s effect are vitally needed.”
Dr Robert M Martin, Author of The Gravity Guiding System, Turning the Aging Process Upside Down
Hanging upside-down increases blood flow to the brain, which in-turn increases the bioavailability of oxygen and glucose, the two most important metabolic substrates for the brain. Bathing the brain cells in this vital solution will increase the creation of neurotransmitters (such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin), which are imperative for healthy brain function and tend to decrease with age. Norephinephrine is needed for attention and arousal. Dopamine is needed to accurately assess the passage of time and control movement. Seratonin regulates a healthy emotional state.
Simultaneously, inversions alter the flow of cerebral spinal fluid and relieve compression of the bottom portion of the brain, which could also greatly help to improve overall brain function. Dr. Robert M Martin wrote that the brain operates 14% more accurately when the brain is operating on an inverted, inclined plane
Inversion improves digestion and elimination. The yogic approach to overcoming constipation is to perform inversions.When in the upright position, stool moving from the ileocecal valve through the ascending colon is moving against the force of gravity and may prove to be difficult. When inverted, it is moving with gravity. The pressing of the stool against the intestinal walls also encourages movement. When inverted, the pressure on the walls stimulates a stronger peristalsis.
Variations (such as twists during inversion) are also useful to increase elimination. Relief from constipation can help with general fatigue, tension and anxiety, skin disorders (such as acne), and bad breath. For constipation relief, try gently massaging your abdomen while in a relaxed, inverted position on the OmGym Sling.
Inversion elevates the mood and relieves depression.
With increased circulation and oxygen to the brain, the release of neurotransmitters, the balancing of hormones, endorphin-releasing movement, and therapeutic postural correction, it is normal to feel immediately uplifted after inversion. The effects are a powerful way to counteract depression, premenstrual symptoms, mood swings, and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Inversion enhances relaxation and promotes sounder sleep.
Muscle tension is reported to decrease by 35% while inverting. Anxiety, tension, and insomnia are all treatable with natural inversion therapy.
Inversion can lead to a more beautiful appearance: Good posture leads to statuesque poise, grace, balance and symmetry. Circulation affects the “glow” and tone of the skin. With more blood flow to the head, the facial capillaries and hair follicles of the scalp receive more oxygen and nutrients, nature’s best beauty treatment. With boosted lymphatic drainage and detoxification, visual signs of toxicity (including acne, cellulite, fluid retention, and varicose veins) tend to reduce. The inverted position also helps prolapsed, protruding organs return to their normal shape and position.
Mel Robin, Ph. D, A Physiological Handbook for teachers of Yogasana, Fenstra Books, Tuscon, AZ, 2002
Dr Robert M Martin, M.D., The Gravity Guidance System: Turning the Aging Process Upside Down, Gravity Guidance Inc., Pasadena, CA, 1982
Larry J. Nosse, “Inverted Spinal Traction,” Archives of Physical Medicine, Volume 59: 367-370, August 1978
Amy Weintraub, MFA, RYT, Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering through Yoga, Random House Inc., New York, 2004
Joanne Broatch, Better Back Better Body, STL International, Inc., Tacoma, WA, 1993
Posted under Exercise Equipment, Health, OmGym, inversion
This post was written by David White on November 25, 2008