Seeing The World Upside Down: 6 Benefits Of Inversion Table
A feeling of calm washes over you when you drop your head below your heart. Worries quickly melt away. Time ceases to exist. You have nowhere to go. You are present with yourself.
The stillness and tranquility you feel almost immediately after turning yourself upside down is perhaps the most apparent benefit of an inversion. A 2013 study by Swedish scientists had 12 healthy men and women take part in an 8-week yoga program. They discovered that inversions fired up the parasympathetic nervous system – part of the involuntary nervous system responsible for slowing down the heart and lowering blood pressure – and produced feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Strictly speaking, an inversion is when you hang yourself upside down. However, for health purposes, one doesn’t have to make a complete 180-degree flip. Making sure your head goes below the heart is good enough.
Yogis have long believed that inversions protect the body by ridding it of toxins. It is said that these impurities are amassed in one’s lower abdomen. When you invert, gravity will pull them toward the digestive system, allowing the toxins to incinerate away. As a result, you feel stronger. You become calmer. You achieve mind-blowing clarity.
From a scientific and alternative health perspective, here are some other incredible benefits of inversions:
Superb for your back. When used with an inversion table, inversion stretches out your back, unwinds its muscles and increases the distance between vertebrae. A 2012 UK study on patients with back problems found that 77% of them escaped surgery after 6 weeks of physiotherapy combined with inversions.
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Excellent for your brain. Your brain consumes three times more oxygen as the rest of your body. Inversions increase blood flow to the brain, feeding it with more oxygen. More oxygen to your brain equals better memory, state of mind and concentration. You also avoid mental deterioration.
Wonderful for sleep. Decompressing the neck and extending your back not only washes the day away, but also helps you sleep better. Renowned physiotherapist, LJ Nosse, conducted a study on muscle tension in 20 men. In his paper, Inverted Spinal Traction, Nosse reported that those who inverted received a 35% reduction in muscle tension, contributing to better sleep.
Immunity booster. Your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating waste from cells. It is also in charge of regulating the immune system. Many a time, the lymphatic system becomes jammed due to our unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Inversions help “unclog” the lymphatic system, enabling it to remove waste efficiently. This, in effect, boosts our immune system.
Natural skin care. Your face benefits from loads of oxygen-rich blood when you hang upside down. Add this to a smooth-flowing lymphatic system and, over time, you will notice your skin becoming firmer, clearer and more radiant.
A word of caution, though; because an inversion causes blood to rush to the head, if you suffer from high blood pressure or glaucoma, you need to consult your healthcare professional before performing this feat.