Gentle inversion counters the drag of gravity on your body, eases the stagnation and stiffness of sitting and is a simple platform for recovery from exertion, stress and fatigue.
The literal reorientation of the body causes a surprising shift.
Like restarting your computer.
Lying back on the Incliner in a straight body position, with feet above the level of the hips, and hips above the level of the heart, is where the magic happens. Couch time, zero gravity chairs and Lazy Boys get you part way there but not all the way.
Eight health benefits of gentle inversion
- Reduces back & neck pain. Lessens spinal disc pressure and relaxes the muscles to help naturally decompress the spine.
- Eases hip stiffness. Elongates the hip flexors which is especially needed after sitting. Opens up the joints & alleviates pain.
- Facilitates good posture. Restores proper alignment and the natural curves of the spine. Resets our stance after slouching during work hours.
- Improves circulation. Reduces inflammation and swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet. Conservative management for varicose veins, much as postural drainage is with injury recovery. Improves oxygen transport to the skin and subcutaneous tissues to decrease edema.
- Boosts lymphatic flow. Accelerates the cleansing of blood and lymph fluids.
- Relieves stress. Calms the nervous system. Allows for deeper, more relaxed breathing. Creates balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest, digest, calm-down-and-heal system” to quiet the nerves.
- Brings oxygen to the brain. Altogether fascinating possibilities...
- Enhances athletic recovery. Works like the common yoga pose and runners recovery method of “Legs Up The Wall”
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.
Following a demo of our InclineRx prototypes, he wrote the following observations about the healing qualities of 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."
A powerful statement yes?! He goes on to say:
"People with neck or back pain from spinal stenosis, herniated disc disease, osteoarthritis of the spine, osteoporosis, or sciatica almost always get huge improvements in pain and function with this simple regimen. 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."
-John Hibbs, N.D.
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 now, try a makeshift approach - lay back on a carpeted floor, prop your legs up on a wall 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, (and safer than the ironing board!). Outstretch your arms, close your eyes, and let go. Try it every day for 5 or so minutes and increase the time slowly to around 15 minutes a day or more depending upon your experience. Let us know how you do!
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