Inversion table

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by IntuneJune, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    *********Caution-------------I am not suggesting or encouraging anyone to use an inversion table. One must check with their doctor first*****************

    I am having increased swelling in my lower extremities, generalized from the knee to ankle. In addition, both knee caps have knee caps of their on situated below and slightly to the inside of the legs. These are soft painful mounds that don't belong there.

    Then I have what look like little puddles here and there.

    While at PT, the therapist wondered whether my lymph system was working well and gave me an exercise to do while watching tv.

    A woman with fibro who works out at my gym likes the inversion table. Says it has helped her.

    I just bought a used inversion table, hoping it will help me with some self help with fascial releases and aid the lymphatic system.

    Anyone have one..... would like to hear your results.

    Thanks, June
  2. TerryS

    TerryS Member

    I have had an inversion table for a few years now. I LOVE it!!! I can't speak of the issues you have, but I used to have chronic lower back pain. It only took getting on the table three times before all my pain was gone!!! Now, if I have a problem, one or two times on the table takes care of me.

    Right now, I have it loaned out to a friend who was in a bad accident and has some bulging's really helping him.

    Another advantage to using it is that it stretches you out and you'll end up TALLER after using it. I am a full inch taller than I was 10 years ago!

    Maybe someone else can give you more information.

  3. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Thanks Terry

    I am having a lot of low back pain right now. I had a virus or infection and broke out the antibiotics ten days ago, it was very bad and I just was not conquering it. I had chills, fevers, trembling, the muscle aching, weakness.

    Well, I have been left with a lot of low back pain which is common when I fight something.... but a lot of other muscle achiness.

    The table does not seem to be helping that yet.

    Thanks again, June
  4. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    I have had mine for about 4 monthes. I like it. It helps for back pain and its supposed to be very good for lymph circulation which I really need.

    My son hurt his back in track practice and it really helps him. I think it has some good health benefits.

    Good luck with it,
  5. DustyCreekMom

    DustyCreekMom New Member

    Funny thing is that I bought one at a yard sale last summer. The boys play xbox while on it or just mess around.... but I never once thought about it helping my aches and pains!

    I'll try it out tomorrow and let you know what I think!
  6. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    The best benefits of the table will be from getting it to balance level when you are horizontal (you do that my adjusting the foot rests) and then gently rocking up and down no more than 40 degrees each direction. That will pump fluid back into disc spaces and hydrate the discs.

    I don't think any of us with muscle or joint problems should ever hang vertically. It's very hard on your ankles and knees and you won't get nearly as much benefit as the rocking.

  7. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    May I ask, what symptoms lead you to say you need help with the lymphatic system.

    Has the inversion had an effect on your symptoms?

    Thanks JUne
  8. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    I am not familiar with xbox. I am not sure how children would play with this either. Its not something I would have bought for my kids...... but now that was some time ago...

    Maybe you could fill me in. :)

  9. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Thanks for that information. I was not aware of that use. We have one at the gym, I have only seen folks invert. So I would look as though I was on a see saw. I must not have this balanced properly as I don't stay horizontal unless I hold myself in that position.

  10. DustyCreekMom

    DustyCreekMom New Member

    X-Box is a TV Video game, very popular w/kids. It's not like they play on the inversion table. They are teens and hang upside down while playing the video game on the large screen tv(makes it more difficult upside down I guess). And they do sit ups, etc.

    I originally bought it for my neck pain not for the kids. But because I've always had bad ankles found it was harder on them (and my hips and knees) than beneficial for my neck.

  11. rockyjs

    rockyjs Member

    June, my table was made by HangUps and had a video showing how to use the table. If the adjustable bar going to the foot clamps is too long, you will tend more toward an upright position when you lie down. If it's too short, you'll tip backward.

    Mine is marked for height and seems to be accurate. If more than one person will use the table, you can get someone to help you balance horizontal (with your arms at your side) and mark it for your height.

    You start rocking by raising and lowering your arms in front of you. It also has the angles marked so you can see how far you're moving back and forth. You'll get the feel of it fairly quickly. If you do accidentally invert and it locks in place it can be a bit scary because it's hard to unlock and get back upright!

    If you point your toes toward you as you're tilting and let the weight be on the top of the foot it will save your ankles. If you're totally relaxed in the foot it can cause quite a bit of pain and probably even trauma if you have problems with connective tissue.

  12. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Thanks for the info.

    My table needs to be readjusted. I have the height set properly but there is another ajustment on this one and evidently it needs to be moved. It will take two of us to change it, it is how the table is put together.

    If I get it balanced properly, I will be able to "rock."
    Thank you for that info. I was only considering hanging, which by the way, I love.

    Minitrampolines are good for lymphatics but I just cannot jump on it for too long, so this will be another way to get it moving.

    Thank you, fondly, June
  13. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    That has to be some feat, UPSIDE down!

    The guy I bought this from bought it for exercising, doing situps and the like at least I think so.

    I am hopeful this will help my back, elongate my body evenly, help release fascial restrictions and help with the lympahtic system. I am hoping someone will drop in with some positive results about that.

  14. vickiw

    vickiw Member

    June, I don't have myofacial pain or or swelling, but I find it useful for my symptoms, so I thought I'd comment for anyone else reading this thread.

    I have CFS and low blood volume which means when upright, my brain doesn't get enough blood flow. I don't hang straight upside down - not a good idea as someone mentioned. I tilt back to a comfortable angle. My inversion table has a strap that can be adjusted so it stops at the length set and that's as far back as it tilts.

    I tilt with my iPod on with relaxation CDs - from 15-30 minutes at a time. I have tried various supplements and drugs for brain fog and more energy (Provigil, Ritalin, etc), but these either don't work or have too many side effects or cause me to crash. The inversion table is the only thing I've tried that makes me feel energized and clear-headed. It's a very gentle lift, not a miracle. Also very short term - maybe an hour - but, hey, I'll take it!

    I also do some gentle rocking in hopes that it will help my lymphatic system. I don't have the energy to do bouncing on a trampoline or exercise ball. BTW, deep breathing exercises also work the lymph system in the abdominal area.

    Some more cautions for any one new at this - don't go on the table right after eating or drinking. Depending on how much I ate, I wait from 1 to 2 hours. Also, be careful if you have a runny nose. I inverted once after a sneezy allergy attack and I guess it backed up into my sinuses. Nasty headache!
  15. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Thanks for the information.

    I was a little concerned about the sinus thing..... one of the warnings was sinus problems.

    So many of us, me included, have frequent sinus infections, sometimes I have one without knowing the source of the infection is in the sinuses.

    What horrible thing would happen????

    Fondly, June
  16. wallace

    wallace New Member


    I have just ordered one with gravity boots. I intend to meditate or even sleep upside down because I think that is needed for the full benefits for CFS. Everyone is different you just start off slowly etc...


    Children of Clay
    by Ed Thomas, Ed.D.
    Iowa K-12 Health and Physical Education Consultant
    Naturam non vinces nisi parendo
    “You will not master Nature unless you obey Her,” said the Ancients. We must conform to Her fixed and indisputable laws to live in harmony with Her. Follow Her rules, and we will grow beautifully formed. Disobey Her, and She will deform us.
    One of our best historical models for living compatibly with Nature is the Ancient Greek. Discipline, symmetry, beauty, strength, endurance, agility, and graceful harmony were admired, sought and often attained. The Persian Wars brought continued urgency and personal responsibility to Greek physical culture, and athletic games provided opportunity to put aside mundane strife in favor of activities more transcendent in form and nature. Thousands of years later, the Ancients still offer us a compelling and rational paradigm for physical education.
    From the Ancient Greeks, we are taught to see the human organism as a temporary vehicle through which divine unity and its subordinate stages can be sought, experienced and celebrated. The beauty of their language frees us from the decay of our own. Their art provides an ideal of the human form. The crumbling statues from their vanished cultures remind us that we too will be dust, and precious life should not be wasted on anything less than the pursuit and love of truth, beauty and wisdom.
    From the historical, linguistic and sociocultural high ground, the physical
    educator’s responsibilities are enormous.
    "Nations have passed away and left no trace, and history gives the naked cause of it,î wrote Rudyard Kipling. ìOne single, simple reason in all cases; they fell because their people were not fit." Physical fitness includes physique, organic function and motor skills. All of these are impacted by posture and body mechanics. Physical educators are the first line of defense against the unnatural influences that would deform our children. We are charged with guiding their motor development across the precarious bridge between childhood and adolescence. By the post-secondary level, we should be helping them add the final touches to their symmetrical, proportional and highly efficient forms.
    This is the ideal.
    Ill-fitting furniture including flat desks
    are a crime against children and youth.
    This is clearly a physical education issue.

    Page 1

    The reality is that postural deformities and poor body mechanics are epidemic. Our precious youngsters are growing steadily more inert, malformed and clumsy. Fortunate are those who survive the education gauntlet with minimal damage and defects. It is not for a lack of historical evidence that we fail to effectively address the importance of good posture and body mechanics. It simply fell off the radar. Throughout the K-12 experience, youngsters fully capable of being taught to move gracefully and efficiently are victimized by an educational system that reinforces poor posture and body management skills. Probably more a crime of omission than commission, it remains to be seen whether the paradigm will shift.
    Posture can be simply defined as, “Any position in which the body resides.” Good posture is a rational adjustment of the various parts to each other and of the body as a whole to its environment, task or work. The complex human organism is constantly in motion, so our posture is continually shifting. Body mechanics is posture’s close relative.
    In 1932, the Orthopedics and Body Mechanics Subcommittee of the Hoover White House Conference on Child Health and Protection defined body mechanics as "The mechanical correlation of the various systems of the body with special references to the skeletal, muscular, and visceral systems and their neurological associations.” In other words, good posture and body mechanics are the foundations of motor development. If we taught nothing else, these would stand first in line for attention.
    Ptosis (drooping or falling) is one of the primary problems associated with poor posture and body alignment. Skeletal ptosis manifests as a forward dropping of the head and variousunnatural spinal curves with rotation and displacement.
    Visceral ptosis is another common condition where an organ or organs are displaced downward.
    The common hyperflexed slump seen among our children and adults displaces the lungs, heart, liver, intestines, and other vital organs. Exterior structural adaptations and indicators often include rounded shoulders, a flattened chest and protruding abdomen. Blood ptosis is a downward displacement and collection of blood in the splanchnic veins of the abdomen caused by insufficient nervous control of the splanchnic veins that must work against gravity to do their job. Weak abdominal muscles contribute to the problem.

    Ptosis is a common, unsightly
    and preventable postural deformity.

    Page 2

    Occupation, disease, poor care in infancy, and malconceived physical education curriculums are a few of the obvious influences that can impair postural development. Other subtle and overlooked factors such as ill-fitting school furniture and extensive practice of specific sport skills early in life have not, in the recent past, been widely acknowledged. Overall, a complex set of issues involving heredity, environment and habits must all be considered, but one of Nature’s most important realities is that gravity molds us.
    We are living clay, and Nature’s gravity is like the potter’s hands molding and shaping us. To exist in harmony with Nature, we must also live compatibly with gravity. One of the most enduring explanations for our troublesome relationship with gravity is that our ancestors were quadrupeds. Somewhere in history, the theory goes, we decided to stand our quadruped skeleton up on its hind legs. With all its benefits, the upright bipedal posture presents some serious kinesiological challenges. Our many moving parts must constantly seek a center of gravity to avoid unwanted stress and strain. This requires tremendous muscular balance and neural coordination. Slight misalignments anywhere in the system create imbalance throughout the organism, and a pernicious cycle of structural and functional defects follows. A return to all fours is not a popular option, and not everyone agrees that postural deformities and the suffering that accompanies them are the price we must pay for walking on our hind legs. Dr. Robert M. Martin challenged the evolutionary theory of postural develop -ment in the early 1960’s, and his insights are still worth considering today.
    Martin was born and spent his childhood in central Iowa during the early 1920s. His father was a chiropractor. Martin began training in the German system of gymnastics when he was around five years old. As a young man, he worked with Bernarr McFadden and taught at Turner Halls in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Martin eventually received degrees in Chiropractic from National College in Chicago, Osteopathy from the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, and Medicine from the California College of Medicine in Los Angeles.
    Young Martin, on top,
    was anaccomplished gymnast.

    Page 3

    Martin began specializing in orthopedics early in his career, combining the healing power of movement to his medical treatments. Martin eventually migrated to Southern California, and was there in the early 1960’s when a new national interest in physical fitness, weight training and gymnastics was ignited under the leadership of President John F. Kennedy. Martin’s ideas began to appear in California-based health and physical fitness magazines. From his clinic in Pasadena, he combined decades of medical studies with the lessons he had learned as an Iowa gymnast, relying heavily on the power of rational movement to heal his patients. In his 1975 book, Cum Gravity— Living with gravity, he wrote, “Being a physician who also practices and teaches gymnastics, one discovery became most pronounced to me. I found that my avocation was often helping people far more, in many ways, than my vocation. It was something of a miracle to see the wonderful transformation of ailing men and women into persons of commanding physique and stamina; some of these were individuals who at the beginning of their exercise programs seemed most unlikely to improve.” Martin also questioned the common mainstream assertion that humankind is ill-equipped to walk upright. He wrote, “Hundreds of volumes (books, newspapers, magazines, etc.) have been published on backache. Almost all authors of these articles have a single premise: an assumption that low-back pain has plagued mankind ever since man assumed the unanimal like posture of the human when he changed from a quadruped to a biped. They relate that at the time this change occurred, man's neuro-musculoskeletal mechanism was that of a quadruped, and that as bipeds, our bodies are unable to live compatibly with gravity to this very day.
    It is declared that because man stands erect, his spine is unstable and gravity has devastating effects - not only on the vertebral column, but also on many other body functions. Thus, gravity is proclaimed to be man's foe.” Martin challenged the notion that gravity is the villain, and humankind is doomed to ultimately be compressed and distorted by its unidirectional force and relentless pressure upon us. He argued that we do it to ourselves because we limit our motion. Martin wrote, “In the development of life on earth, no force is of greater consequence than the force of gravity. This force, without the intelligent use of exchange of postures, can deform, disable, or even destroy your body.
    Gravity applies its constant, relentless force to the pliable, moldable, movable structures of the body, much like a potter manipulates and molds clay. The resulting shape depends on how the force is allowed to apply. In both cases, to produce a shape and form of beauty, intelligent application of force is required.” Martin suggested that there are six basic human postural categories. Three of them are common. Most people spend their lives, twenty-four hours a day, in them. The other three postures are uncommon. The common postures produce compression and shortening of stature while the uncommon postures decompress and elongate. In other words, the uncommon postures are compensatory. They mitigate the wear and tear caused by constantly assuming the dominant common postures.
    Page 4

    Martin’s six basic postures illustrate
    the importance of postural exchange.
    Group I - Common Postures
    Effects: Produce body compression and
    shortening of stature.
    Used: In work, play, rest, etc.
    1. The ERECT POSTURE (Fig. 1)
    (The posture of Dominance)
    a. Sitting
    b. Standing
    2. The HORIZONTAL POSTURE (Fig. 2)
    (The posture of neutrality)
    a. Lying (On side, back, or front)
    3. The FLEXED POSTURE (Fig. 3)
    (The posture of Accessibility)
    a. Bending forward
    Group II - Uncommon Postures
    Effects: Produce body decompression
    and elongation of stature.
    Used: To counter and correct adverse
    effects of gravity produced by the
    common postures
    4. The EXTENDED POSTURE (Fig. 4)
    (The posture of Bending Backwards)
    5. The BRACHIATED POSTURE (Fig. 5)
    (The posture of hanging by the limbs
    - upper or lower)
    6. The INVERTED POSTURE (Fig. 6)
    (The Upside-down Posture)
    a. Hand Stand
    b. Forearm Stand
    c. Shoulder Stand
    d. Hanging by the Lower Limbs

    Martin’s six basic postures illustrate the importance of postural exchange.

    Yogis and Monks have
    inverted for centuries.
    Martin began inventing inversion equipment early in his career, but he was always quick to give credit to others who discovered the principles before him. Yogis and monks have inverted for centuries. Physicians in the Middle Ages used the Scamnum Hippocrates. It was a ladder-shaped bed used to facilitate inverted traction.

    Physicians in the Middle Ages
    employed the Scamnum Hippocrates.

    Page 5

    In the late-1800’s, the great Strongman C.A. Sampson advocated the Roman Column. The famous body builder John Grimek trained upside down in the 1940’s and 50’s. Joseph Pilates also used extension, inversion and brachiation. Many chiropractors and physical therapists have used extension and inverted brachiation for decades. Physical educators are beginning to recognize the value of postural exchange, but mistakes in methodology can be at the expense of students.

    Body Building legend John Grimek
    lifted light weights while inverted.

    The great 19th
    Century strongman C.A.
    Sampson used the Roman Column.
    Page 6


    Once deprived of the uncommon postures over time, spatial awareness deteriorates. Students and teachers must be taught to safely and profitably enter, assume and exit these uncommon postures. Progression, variety and precision are essential, as is correct spotting and instruction.

    LTC William Rieger, Commandant of
    the United States Army Physical
    Fitness School demonstrates horizontal
    extension on a Body Bridge.
    Many physical therapists and physical trainers have also recently rediscovered extension. In the early 1980’s, leaning backward was widely discouraged. Critics frequently called it hyperextension to stress its negative nature. Innovations such as the popular Swiss ball, Body Bridge and numerous other extension devices now provide tools to safely teach and practice it. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon in our universities today to still hear professors of exercise science or physical education warning against extension. Inverted postures like handstands, shoulder stands and forearm stands are also often contraindicated or simply overlooked. Inversion tables and boots were generally ignored or deplored by most physical educators when people across the country started using them in the early 1970’s. Many physical educators based their opinions on 1980’s research that warned against turning the body upside down. Herbert Devries, Ph.D. put the exaggerated risk of increased arterial blood pressure and cerebrovascular damage caused by inversion to rest in 1985 when he wrote; “Considerable valid research data on the use of inversion devices to relieve low back pain have been published in the medical literature. Unfortunately, the information has been distorted and sensationalized in the lay press, giving rise to confusion. With proper precaution, full inversion using an oscillating inversion device probably presents no risk to normotensive healthy persons.”

    Thomas teaching inversion
    to students at The University
    of Iowa in the early 1970s.
    I began teaching decompression and mobilization in physical education skills courses at The University of Iowa in the early 1970’s. Using a device called a Physicare Machine and later Dr. Martin’s equipment, I safely introduced hundreds of students to a variety of inversion techniques. Some faculty members were at best ambivalent about the concept. One anatomy professor wrote, “I doubt this does much good but in all fairness I’m quite sure it probably doesn’t hurt anything either.
    Page 7

    In fact, a little stretching each day undoubtedly feels good, if one wants to do it this way that’s their own business. More power to them—but don’t pay anything for it.” Not all physical educators ignored or rejected Martin’s methods during those years. In a 1986 letter to him, past president of the AAHPERD and a former professor at The University of Iowa B.D. Lockhardt wrote, “If the AAHPERD embraces the concepts you teach and modifies its fitness assessments accordingly, every child in physical education classes throughout America will be positively affected by your ideas. I am hopeful that we will make these adjustments as soon as possible and start on a steady and sensible program of preventing back pain long before it starts.”

    Thomas facilitates
    inverted brachiated extension at
    Northern Illinois University.
    I introduced Martin’s theory of six postures to thousands of students at Northern Illinois University between 1979 and 1993. I taught students in Korea, Germany, Burma and Thailand to invert, extend and brachiate. Most recently, I worked with the United States Army to implement inversion Army- wide. First tested by U.S. Army Rangers in the mid-1990’s, the United States Army Physical Fitness School now recommends inverted decompression and mobilization as an integral part of physical readiness training for all U.S. soldiers. After almost thirty years of teaching people to employ these simple but uncommon postures, it remains for me a mystery that such obvious principles of posture and body management are not widespread and mainstream practice.

    United States Army Rangers practice
    inverted sit-ups at Fort Benning, Georgia.
    Martin’s message is uniquely suited for our time, and we are wise to again consider the complicated notions he eloquently translated into simple andcompelling language. “Examples of the consequences of not living compatibly with gravity and Newtonian Law are found everywhere,” He wrote. “One needs only to look at his neighbor and his drooping, shortening, sagging stature; bulged out mid-section, and unsightly posterior to see the devastating
    Page 8

    effects of gravity, illustrating how important it is to live compatibly with this major environmental influence. Too many of us are models of molding tissue living without concern for gravity's guiding power - a power we must learn to respect and use positively. The body is not only molded by the force of gravity, but it is conditioned by it. Gravity has been cast in the role of a villain instead of being seen in its proper light, namely a servant of mankind. It is the limiting of motion and fixation of posture that allows the force of gravity to warp the body and thus cause common backache.” There is, of course, much to consider if and when the physical education profession begins to rebuild the posture and body mechanics curriculum. Martin’s pioneering work can certainly provide a start point, but many others past and present have dedicated their professional efforts to these issues. If and when we decide to develop posture and body mechanics curriculums that actually make a difference in our students’ lives, we will be pleasantly surprised that much of the work has already been done by those before us who lived close enough to Nature to see the simplicity and logic of Her eternal laws. To reach Ed Thomas, Ed.D. at the Iowa Department of Education, call 515-281- 3933. Website Recommended Sources
    1. Bennett, H.E. (1928). School posture and seating. Boston: Ginn and Company.
    2. Devries, H.A. (1985, October- November). Inversion devices: Potential benefits and precautions. Corporate Fitness & Recreation, 4 (6), 24-27.
    3. Drew, L.C. (1927). Adapted group gymnastics. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
    4. Drew, L.C. (1929). Individual gymnastics. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.
    5. Goldthwaite, J.E. (1934). Body mechanics. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company.
    6. Howland, I.H. (1936). The teaching of body mechanics. New York: A.S. Barnes.
    7. Jacobsen, E. (1929). Progressive relaxation. Chicago: The University Press.
    8. Lee, M., & Wagner, M. (1949). Fundamentals of body mechanics and conditioning. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.
    9. Lippitt, L.C. (1923). A manual of corrective gymnastics. New York: The Macmillan Company.
    10. Lovett, R.W. (1922). Lateral curvature of the spine and round shoulders. 5th ed., Philadelphia: P. Blakiston’s Son and Company Incorporated.
    11. Lowman, C.L., Colestock, C., & Cooper, H. (1928). Corrective physical education for groups. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company.
    12. Martin, R.M. (1975). Cum gravity- Living with gravity. San Marino, CA: Essential Publishing.
    13. Martin, R.M. (1979). The gravity guiding system-Turning the aging process upside down. San Marino, CA: Essential Publishing.
    14. McKenzie, R.T. (1923). Exercise in education and medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
    15. Mesendieck, B.M. (1931). It’s up to you-The Mesendieck system. New York:
    36 West Fifty-ninth St.
    Page 9

    16. Metheny, E. (1986). Movement and meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    17. Pearl, N.H. & Brown, H.E. (1919). Health by stunts. New York: Macmillan Company.
    18. Rathbone, J.L. (1934). Corrective physical education. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
    19. Richardson, F.H., & Hearn, W. J. (1930). The preschool child and his posture. New York: G.P. Putman’s Sons.
    20. Spencer, H. (1886). Education: Intellectual, moral, and physical. New York: Appleton.
    21. Staley, S.C. (1926). Calisthenics. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company.
    22. Sumption, D. (1929). Fundamental Danish gymnastics. New York: A.S, Barnes and Company. 23. Stafford, G.T. (1928). Preventive and corrective physical education. New York: A.S. Barnes and Company.
    24. Thomas, E.J. (1993). Decompression and mobilization-Down but not out of the gymnasium. The Physical Educator, 50, 39-46.
    25. Thomas, L., & Goldthwaite, J.E. (1922). Body mechanics and health. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
    26. Todd, M. (1937). The thinking body. Boston: Charles T. Branford Company.
    27. White House Conference. (1932). Body mechanics in education and practice. Washington: Library of Congress.
    Page 10

    We would like express our appreciation to Ed Thomas, Ed.D for this excellent article and permission to present it on Dr. Thomas has been doing amazing work in the field of health and fitness for decades. If you would like to visit his website please click here:

    Why do some doctors advise against inversion therapy?

    For centuries traction had been one of the primary doctor prescribed therapies for back problems. Recently pain medication and surgical treatments became popular. Even though traction was recommended for centuries sometimes modern doctors will advise against inversion therapy. It has been our experience that one of the main reasons they advise against inversion is because they do not understand that the user has total control over the angle of incline and extreme angels that may concern the physician are not recommended nor are they usually necessary for achieving great benefits. What some doctors need to realize is that a person can set the table for horizontal or any mild degree of incline. When very mild angles are used the stresses on the body are minimal and any risks are reduced. We have heard from people over the years who avoided inversion therapy because their doctors did not understand the potential benefits. Some of these people found a different doctor who did understand how much benefit could be achieved with as little as 15-20 minutes a day of mild inversion and rhythmic intermittent traction. This is achieved easily with the inversion table by creating a rocking motion. Some doctors contraindicate inversion therapy for very good reasons. In some cases they have not taken the time to study this simple therapy that has brought pain relief and a better quality of life to hundreds of thousands of people.

    For anyone about to begin a program of
    inversion therapy we offer a few suggestions.

    Begin slowly: Invert only 15 to 20 degrees at first, and stay inverted only as long as it feels comfortable, which may only be a few seconds at first. Remarkably, you can gain all of the benefits of inversion without ever fully inverting yourself. Most people find 20 to 60 degrees of decline adequate and very comfortable.

    Come up slowly: When you come back upright the pressure is again placed on the discs and nerves. Come up slowly and relax at the horizontal before coming upright.

    Make changes gradually: Increase the angle of incline only if it is comfortable, and only increase the angle a few degrees at a time. The Hang Ups F5000 inversion table has a tether strap to help people stay within their inversion range. People can add rocking back and forth (rhythmic traction) to their inversion program once they feel comfortable.

    Pay attention to your body: You're unique, and your body will tell you what's good for it. You determine the pace when adapting to the inverted world.

    Relaxing after a long day at a 25-45 degree angle for 15-20 minutes can be a great stress relieving & rejuvenating experience.

    Rhythmic Intermittent Traction: Use intermittent traction (pull and release) or rhythmic traction to encourage blood, lymph, and spinal fluid circulation. Moving, twisting, stretching, and light exercise while inverted aids in the alignment of bones and organs while minimizing any increase in blood pressure, but strenuous exercise is not recommended while inverted. Just relax and enjoy!

    Do it regularly: There are a variety of inversion programs and exercises. Trust yourself to find the approach that's best for you, and then do it every day. Two or three short sessions (10-20 minutes) a day seem to work best for most people.

    Inversion is a very dynamic & effective form of traction. Even at a 45 degree angle a person is achieving a greater force of pull on the back than hospital traction. The force of the pull registers much stronger on the body than it does on the conscious mind. This is why it iseasy to over stretch the muscles & nerves of the back and neck & possibly get a spasm. Remember, most adults have not hung upside down since they were little kids.

    After using inversion for a while usually the disc compression and nerve pain is relieved enough to begin an exercise program. Most people suffering disc compression have a problem with pelvic tilt that adds to the malalignment of the spine and nerve irritation. This pelvic tilt problem and some exercises are discussed on this page click here:

    Based on years of research and the testimonials of hundreds of people who have found relief from back pain, inversion is a powerful, natural option for people who want to relieve lower back pain. Sometimes there's an explanation for why inversion works, and sometimes there isn't - it works for some and not for others. We only know that for many people, literally turning their world upside down through inversion therapy can provide an alternative to drugs and surgery in a life filled with daily pain.

    Many people say it is the greatest stretch they have had in years.

    Dr. Bernard Jensen who many consider to be one of the greatest naturopathic teachers and healers of the 20th century recommends using a slant board as part of an optimum health program. This inversion table does everything the slant board does & more!!!

  17. wallace

    wallace New Member

    is similar but explains the benefits of full inversion for boosting the brain to deal with our brain fog.


    Inversion relieves back pain, improves posture and enhances spinal mobility. Gravity assists the body to gently align, adjust, and give traction to the spine more

    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 more

    Inversion promotes lymphatic drainage and blood purification. This healthy detoxification is partly why a great feeling of rejuvenation is experienced when using the OmGym. Immunity is boosted with increased lymphatic cleansing and overall body function happens more efficiently and effectively more

    Inversion improves digestion and elimination. The yogic approach to tone the inner organs and help to overcome constipation is to perform inverted postures more

    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 creates 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.

    In short, inversion reverses the aging force of gravity.
    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...back

    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...back

    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...back

    [This Message was Edited on 07/07/2007]
  18. wallace

    wallace New Member

    is only a problem if you dont get gravity boots. Personally I feel you should go for quality rather than the cheapest price. Not sure whether I can mention brand names here so wont.

  19. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Thanks for the information.

    I am curious as to the table you purchased, it would be ok to mention the name, we are not in competition with products sold here and we are not including web sites.

    Mine is LifeGear. And boy, did I go into this blindly. I am so short on time I did not research as much as I usually do. I teach aquatic exercise at a gym and a member was selling this inversion table. There it was, right in front of me.

    Now 62, I was diagnosed with fibromyalagia (FMS) 30 years ago, yep, rhematologist had just come back from a conference where "fibrositis" was presented.

    But prior to that I always had low back pain. My rheumatologist had me swimming and it helped the FMS symptoms, in that I did not become deconditioned with FMS because of the swimming, and the action of swimming did not rebound on me the next day. (I think it is because the water temperature keeps inflammatory responses from occurring in the muscles, and providing one does not over-do).

    But my low back continued to hurt. I would constantly verbalize "if I could only hang by me feet."

    About seven years ago, I had PT for FMS and in the course of the treatment, my low back pain improved dramatically.

    Now to the present:

    My low back pain is very much improved, but also I have made life style changes, not too much walking and shopping, that kills, standing, kills.

    Life sometimes presents situations we cannot avoid and I had been exposed to standing, walking and my back got a lot worse.

    I was leaving my gym and saw the table for sale. Long story short, I came home with it.

    It really eased my back pain. Was using it regularly for that. I was hoping for help with the puddling and lower extremity swelling also (see initial post), but that has not happened ALTHOUGH when the back pain came into normal baseline, I did not keep up with hanging, due mostly to my schedule.


    Do you have any further information about the lymph system and inversion?????

    You had such a wealth of information. I am going to forward the info to my son in Iraq, he is an Apache helicopter pilot and his back has been bothering him.

    When do you expect to receive your table???

    Thanks, June

    [This Message was Edited on 07/07/2007]
  20. wallace

    wallace New Member

    which is coming in a couple of days. I will try and do a search sometime for you.

    Dan Brown says inversion helped him write the Da Vinci Code so who knows.........

    I have spent half an hour upside down without gravity boots so to be honest I think all the warnings about the dangers of inversion are way over the top but of course we live in a compensation culture..... In India inversion is known as the "elixir of life"

    I should add I dont have a back problem to address.

    Take care,

    [This Message was Edited on 07/07/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/07/2007]