INVERSION TABLE BENEFITS
Inversion Table Use FAQ
Inversion Therapy - Inversion Tables for Back Pain Relief - FAQ
Inversion Table Exercises
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Hanging Upside Down For Health
Many health benefits have been suggested with the use of an inversion table or the practice of inversion therapy --
An Inversion Table May Help to Relieve Many Forms of Back Pain
Inversion Therapy Helps Provide Care and Feeding for the Discs
Inversion Therapy Helps Improve Circulation and Accelerates the Cleansing of Blood and Lymph Fluids
Inversion Therapy May Help Increase Oxygen Flow to the Brain
Inversion Therapy May Help Reduce the Effects of Aging Caused by the Force of Gravity
Decongests Internal Organs:
Relieves Varicose Veins:
An Inversion Table Enables the Body to Stretch and Re-Align
Inversion Table Therapy Strengthens Ligaments
Inversion Therapy Can Help to Relieve Many Forms of Back Pain
There are many causes of back pain, including poor posture, weak back and stomach muscles, and muscles spasms to name a few. Many of these causes can actually be attributed to one force we must all battle: gravity.So how can an Inversion Table help you to relieve your back pain?
Quite simply, inversion therapy puts gravity to work for you by placing your body in line with the downward force of gravity. Inversion elongates the spine, increasing the space between the vertebrae, which relieves the pressure on discs, ligaments and nerve roots. Less pressure means less back pain.
Every nerve root leaves the spine through an opening between the vertebrae-the size of this opening is largely controlled by the height of the intravertebral disc. Discs that are plump and contained in their ligament "wrappers" are necessary to keep the nerve roots free of pressure and your body free from pain.
Stress and tension can cause muscle spasms in the back, neck and shoulders, as well as headaches and other problems. Tense muscles produce spasms and pain by reducing the supply of oxygen and by reducing blood and lymph flow, allowing the accumulation of waste chemicals in the muscles.Using an Inversion Table to invert to as little as 25° for even a few minutes
can help relax tense muscles and speed the flow of lymphatic fluids which flush out the body's wastes and carry them to the blood stream. The faster this waste is cleared, and fresh supplies of oxygen are introduced, the faster stiffness and pain in the muscles can disappear. A study conducted by physiotherapist L.J. Nosse found that, "EMG (electromyographic) activity, an indicator of muscle pain, declined over 35% within ten seconds of assuming the inverted position.1 See Medical Studies
Inversion Therapy can also help to encourage good posture. When inverted, your body is in line with gravity. Your spine wants to naturally go to its proper form (a gentle "s" curve). A regular program of inversion table use can help you to maintain proper posture and keep your body in balance. Let's face it-poor posture is not only unhealthy, it's unattractive.
Your Inversion Table can help to Relieve Stress
Your body will let you know when you are stressed out - back and neck pain, headaches and muscle tension is your body's way of protesting against stress and forcing you to slow down.
If nothing else, Inversion (hanging upside down) is a great way to take a break and relax. The full body stretch can be rejuvenating and can also help to reduce muscle tension. A study conducted by physiotherapist LJ Nose found that EMG activity (a measure of muscle tension) declined over 35% within ten seconds of inverting. An Inversion Table, therefore, is helpful in relieving tension and pain in your muscles that may have been caused by stress.
In fact, for centuries yoga practitioners have recognized the concept of turning the body upside down to find relaxation. The head stand position is a form of "postural exchange" (reversing the direction of gravity). Not everyone wants to do headstands, so inversion on Hang Ups equipment creates an easier alternative with the added benefit of joint decompression.
Most users find an Inversion Table easier to use than yoga swings or yoga slings and simpler to perform than yoga head standing postures. (View Yoga HeadStand Bench
Some inversion table therapy practitioners find inversion therapy improves mood. There is anecdotal evidence of the positive benefits of inversion therapy on depression. A small clinical study -- Yoga as a Complementary Treatment of Depression: Effects of Traits and Moods on Treatment Outcome
-- demonstrated that yoga, including headstand postures, appears to be a promising intervention for depression.=====================================The Comfort Store -- The largest Inversion Table & Therapy Equipment dealer in the USA offers Free Quick Shipping and a Low Price Guarantee. Shop online, call toll free 1 888 867 2225, or stop by our Central Ohio Showroom.New to Inversion Therapy?
Take a look at the Inversion Table Instructional DVD
- Teeter Hang Ups Inversion Table Instructional Video & Bonus Healthy Back Exercise Classes
Inversion Therapy FAQ
How long should I invert?
This is probably the most commonly asked question about the use of an Inversion Table. The answer really varies with different people. For the most part, we recommend beginners to start slowly: invert for only 1-2 minutes during the first week or two until you become comfortable, and then work up to longer periods of time as you feel necessary. The angle of inversion also affects the length of inversion time that is comfortable. The shallower the angle, the longer the time. Most people will invert for 5 - 15 minutes once or twice a day. There is no real time limit-the important thing is to listen to your body. If you are at all uncomfortable, simply return upright.
Virtually all issues of discomfort that occur with new invertees is due to going too far, too fast. You are wonderfully designed to be upside down, but if you are like most people, you are detrained to be inverted. Just listen to your body, increasing the duration of inversion on an inversion table only as you feel comfortable.
To what degree should I invert?
Again, the answer varies with different people. Beginners should start at a mild inversion table angle (approximately 20-30 degrees beyond horizontal) for the first few weeks until you become comfortable with the operation of the inversion therapy table and are able to completely relax while inverted.20 - 30 degrees:
At this angle, your body begins to experience mild stretching to your muscles and joints, while benefiting from stimulated circulation, improved oxygen flow to the head, and repositioning of internal organs.60 degrees
(parallel with the rear legs of the table): This is the angle to which the average person experiences virtually all the benefits of inversion. Your spine receives the amount of traction it needs to completely decompress (once you are relaxed). Most people don't really need to go beyond this angle.90 degrees
(full inversion): In full inversion, your body hangs freely to be able to perform inverted exercises and stretching. You never really need to go to full inversion on an inversion table if you are not comfortable with it. Of course, those using the EZ-Up Inversion System
or the Inversion Bar
will only be able to fully invert. You may need to alternate between inverting and resting with your hands on the foam grips until you are used to the feeling of prolonged inversion. You may also want to hang for short periods of time to begin with until you become more comfortable.
Top athletes are one group that may enjoy the extra traction from full inversion. Strong muscles and ligaments need higher loads to decompress.
Intermittent traction / Oscillation Intermittent traction (alternating 20-30 seconds inversion with returning upright) or oscillation (rhythmic rocking back and forth) are actually the "preferred" methods of use of an Inversion Table, recommended by many doctors, for stimulating circulation and waste removal in and around injured discs.
Virtually all issues of discomfort that occur with new invertees is due to going too far, too fast. You are wonderfully designed to be upside down, but if you are like most people, you are detrained to be inverted. Just listen to your body, increasing the angle of your inversion table only as you feel comfortable.
How do I focus on the lower back / upper back / neck region?
Inversion is a natural form of gravity-assisted traction. This means that the amount of traction applied to various locations of the body is exactly the right amount! Every vertebra and related disc is just the right size to support the weight above it. The large discs in the lower back are the right size to support the 60% body weight that is above them. The small discs in the neck are just the right size to support the weight of the head. When inverted, the weight normally supported is just the right weight to apply traction.
Gentle stretching and exercise is beneficial to help decompress and mobilize the spine:Lower back
You may perform gentle stretching exercises on your inversion table to help move the muscles and connective tissues in the lower back area. In partial inversion, try rotating gently from side-to-side, or slowly rocking your pelvis forward and backward.
If you have worked up to full inversion, abdominal exercises (sit-ups, crunches) can be beneficial to the lower back, since strong abdominal muscles are key for proper posture. On the inversion table, you can try a gentle back extension by placing your hands behind your head on the bed frame and pushing your body in an arch away from the table.Upper back
Many people experience upper back pain as a result of stress and muscle tension. The key to relieving this pain is to totally relax while inverting. Try deep breathing exercises on your inversion table. Also, partner work can be beneficial-nothing is more relaxing than an inverted back and shoulder massage!
Movement is also very beneficial. Try rounding your shoulders forward and pushing them back. Also, stretch one arm at a time across your torso to extend those upper back muscles.Neck
Again, movement can be beneficial. Try rotating your head from one side to the other. Partner massages to the base of the head and back of the neck are very relaxing (do not apply pressure to the front of the neck). You can also add gentle inverted traction to your neck by resting your arms behind your head at the base of your skull (don't pull, just add the weight of your arms).
What exercises can be performed while inverted?
Gentle stretching can be performed while partially inverted by crossing one arm over your body, gripping the opposite side of the inversion therapy table frame, and rotating up on one shoulder for a stretch. You can also arch the torso from side to side to loosen muscles and to help the mid- and lower spine to stretch.
Similarly, stress in the neck can be relieved by gently rotating the head to either side, plus lifting the head (do not sit up, only lift the head) or pushing back against the nylon cover while lifting the shoulders off the cover for a stretch in extension.Full inversion.
Only perform these exercises on your inversion table when you are comfortable with being fully inverted. Do not overdue it-as with any exercise to which your body is unaccustomed, you may experience sore muscles if you do too much too fast.Inverted crunches.
While on your inversion table place your hands on your chest or behind your head and lift your torso half way to your knees.Full sit-ups.
This is the only way to perform a full sit-up that is safe for your back. Your spine is in line with gravity, so the full sit-up does not place harmful loads on the back. Place your hands behind your head or on your chest. Sit up all the way to your knees. You may need to place your hands behind your knees to help pull yourself up to a full sit up. Some people claim that 1 full inverted sit-up is as difficult as 10 regular sit-ups (without the strain on your back!)Inverted squats.
On inversion tables and racks, you are able to exercise your legs as well! You may want to steady yourself by placing each hand on the rear legs of the A-frame. Bending your knees, lift your entire body toward the sky. This action is similar to a standing squat, except that you are utilizing your leg muscles to pull your body weight up instead of resisting your body weight.Rotational stretching.
You can use the inversion table A-frame, support structure or door frames to aid with stretching. Reach with one arm to the opposite side of the structure and pull, rotating your torso to one side. Do the same with the opposite arm.Back extensions.
From the inversion table, reach your hands over each shoulder and grab onto the bed frame. Push your body out away from the bed, arching your back out. (Do not use the rear legs of the A-frame for extensions, as that may place your body weight outside the safe support area of the A-frame).Added traction.
On the inversion table, reach your hands forward and grab onto the crossbar of the A-frame. Pull gently to feel added traction to your lower back.THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS NOT TO OVERDO IT. INVERSION IS NOT A "NO PAIN, NO GAIN" SITUATION. AS SOON AS YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH, STOP!The Comfort Store
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Check it out! the innovative HealthMark Pro Max Inversion Table featuring face down & face up inversion positions, offering stretch & exercise positions like no other inversion table! ----and the versatile DEX II Inversion System -- The Teeter Hang Ups DEX II Inversion Machine - Back Machine is a terrific piece of back inversion & fitness equipment. Makes inversion therapy simple as well as back flexion and strengthening exercises. The bent-knee back traction position is perfect for those who find ankle discomfort with the use of inversion tables or do not like the backward "head over heels" movement of traditional inversion tables.
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Also of interest - selections from our Body & Back Stretching Tools and Abdominal & Back Exercise Equipment
Inverstion Table Benefits - Inversion Table FAQ - Inversion Table for Back Pain Relief - Inversion Table Exercises