History of Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy is a time honored method for rejuvenation, and has been around for thousands of years.
Yoga, ancient and modern can teach us much about the value of inversion. Legs-up-a-wall is viparita karani, which literally means “inverted in action” in Sanskrit. The ancient yogis called gravity “the silent enemy.”
As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the father of medicine, developed the first known gravity boots.
Norwegian military troops, far back in history, are reported to have used inversion as a rejuvenation tactic. The soldiers were known to lie on hillsides with feet on the upside to re-energize & prepare for battle.
Fast forward to around the 1940’s where they were termed “slant boards” and touted as a beauty secret by Hollywood starlets.
Until the early 1980’s, Slant boards were commonly used, manufactured by several different companies, and sold in the Sears Catalogue, among other places.
Bernard Jensen, a pioneer in alternative medicine from the 1940's to the 1970's, dedicated much of his life promoting slant board use with his patients to help improve their health and wellness, and wrote a book titled Slanting Board, A New Slant on Health and Beauty. He incorporated use of them at his wellness workshops held at the Hidden Valley Ranch in Escondido CA.
In the 1980's full inversion tables, the type where one straps their feet in and tips upside down, gained popularity and gentle inversion slant boards went out of production.