Benefits of Inversion Therapy Part 2

Inversion Helps Provide Care for the Discs
Your discs have three jobs: to separate the vertebrae, provide flexibility to the spine and to act as shock absorbers. Intervertebral separation is especially important since all communication between the brain and the body is via nerves that pass between each vertebrae. Insufficient distance between the vertebrae can result in nerve root pressure and pain. The inner core of your discs is made of a jellylike material that provides the cushioning in your back. You can temporarily lose up to 0.5" - 0.75" (1.3-1.9 cm) in height daily during your waking hours from the compressive effects of gravity. Loss of height is largely due to loss of moisture from the discs, which results in loss of flexibility and cushioning effect. While inverted, you are able to reverse the downward pressure on your discs, helping the discs to recover faster, regaining lost moisture and lost height.

Inversion Helps to Relieve Stress and Muscle Tension
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 restricting blood flow, which reduces the supply of oxygen to the muscles, and reducing lymph flow, allowing for an accumulation of waste chemicals. Inverting yourself to even as little as 25° for 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. Nosse3 found that EMG (electromyographic) activity, an indicator of muscle pain, declined over 35% within ten seconds of inverting.

Inversion Helps Improve Circulation and Accelerates the Cleansing of Blood and Lymph Fluids
The cardiovascular system is your body’s transportation system, carrying food and oxygen to your body’s cells. Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs travels out through the arteries and waste-filled blood comes back through the veins to be cleansed and recharged with oxygen. Because your body must work against gravity to retrieve blood from your legs and lower torso, inversion can help to ease the circulation process by placing your body in a position that utilizes gravity’s force in your favor. Unlike the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no pump. Only the alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles moves lymphatic fluid through capillaries and one-way valves to the upper chest for cleansing. Inverting the body so that gravity works with, not against, these one-way valves helps to push the lactic fluid up to the chest. The faster the lymphatic system is cleared the faster the ache and pain of stiff muscles disappears. In her book Beyond Cellulite4, Nicole Ronsard discusses the role of the lymph system in creating cellulite, and ways in which people can help stimulate lymph flow to reduce cellulite. She explains that when the flow of lymph is slowed down, a stagnation of fluid occurs in the tissues. In areas where circulation tends to be poor and relies almost entirely on gravity to move it back up, as in the hip and thigh area, this stagnation encourages the formation of cellulite. By reversing gravity’s force on the flow of blood and lymph fluids in the body, you can increase the nourishment of cells and accelerate the removal of wastes.