Gentle Inversion is a self-care practice that when used routinely, bolsters our own body's ability to heal.
Gentle-inversion counters the drag of gravity on our body, eases the stagnation and stiffness of sitting and is a simple platform for naturally optimizing our health.
Lying back at a low angle on an inclined platform, is known as gentle-inversion.
The literal reorientation of the body causes a surprising shift. Like restarting our computer.
Positioning the body in a straight line, with feet above the level of the hips, and hips above the level of the heart, is where the magic happens.
Couch-time or putting your feet up with recliners, and zero-gravity chairs are relaxing, yes, but gentle inversion done consistently, can have a significant positive impact upon your overall health and wellness.
Gentle Inversion fosters the health of our body's systems: Cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, and endocrine.
Eight reasons gentle inversion is good for your health.
- Facilitates spinal health. Lessens spinal disc pressure to help naturally decompress the spine. Restores proper alignment and the natural curves of the spine.
- Reduces back and neck pain. Relaxes the muscles. Resets our stance after slouching or holding tension in our day to day.
- Eases hip stiffness. Elongates the hip flexors which is especially needed after sitting. Opens up the joints & alleviates pain.
- Improves circulation. Reduces swelling and fatigue in the legs, ankles, and feet. Conservative management for varicose veins. Improves oxygen transport to the skin and tissues.
- Boosts lymphatic flow. Stimulates the lymphatic system responsible for waste removal, fluid balance, and immune system response.
- Relieves stress. Calms the nervous system. Creates balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest, digest, calm-down-and-heal system” to quiet the nerves. Also contributes to sleep quality and being able to fall asleep.
- Breath. Allows for deeper, more relaxed breathing. Helps to encourage more efficient oxygen-to-blood exchange and healthier lung tissue.
- Athletic and injury recovery. Postural drainage for injury recovery. Works like the common yoga pose and runners recovery method of “Legs Up The Wall” to help circulate lactic acid and fluids.
Dr. John Hibbs, a practicing naturopathic physician for 30 years, naturopathic educator for 27 years, in private practice for 25 years, and clinical supervisor with Bastyr Center for Natural Health, is a proponent of the therapeutic benefits of gentle inversion and shared the following observations with us following a review of our product:
"People with neck or back pain, and those with spinal stenosis, herniated disc disease, osteoarthritis of the spine, osteoporosis, or sciatica almost always get improvements in pain and function with the simple regimen of daily strengthening, stretching, and gentle inversion. I observe that most lumbar, thoracic and cervical back and neck pain is caused by narrowing of nerve outlets between our vertebrae, and that the single best therapy for nearly all degenerative back conditions is regaining dimension in these outlets with daily strengthening, stretching, and gentle inversion. The spine can regain height and hold it. This is accomplished, patiently and slowly, by increasing core muscle strength (our backs' natural "splints"), and using gravity to traction the spine through gentle inversion."
The benefits of gentle inversion as a practice, extend well beyond the physical and weave into the fabric of our overall well-being.
The experience can bring a sense of balance to our lives, ease the transition from work to relaxation, from office to home mode, plugged to unplugged, and connect our minds to our bodies so we’re more centered, grounded, and in touch with our inner self.
For a free, makeshift approach, try this - lie back on a carpeted floor, prop your legs up on your couch with your hips elevated on a firm pillow. It won’t be the ideal structural support or the straight body position we’ve described, but it’s a start.
Outstretch your arms, close your eyes, and let go. Try it every day for 5 to 10 minutes and increase the time slowly to around 15 to 20 minutes a day depending upon your experience during use.
For more of the backstory on inversion as a therapy see our earlier blog - What Is Inversion Therapy Anyway?).
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.