ALL INVERSION IS GOOD
The hand stand, head stand, shoulder stand, Inversion Therapy, hanging over anything you can find or simply bending forward to get your head below your heart....where it belongs! They all work to get the health advantages so choose the one that is easiest for you. For the best therapeutic benefits choose hanging forward comfortably over the arm or back of a sofa or from a sturdy table rather than a yoga balance so you can relax better and stay there longer.
Inversion is the classic yogic way of:
boosting the immune system and balancing the hormone system
reducing pain and increasing movement
increasing oxygenation of the cells and organs
reducing mental and emotional stress
curing depression and neurosis
curing headaches and migraines
Do not use inversion if:
you have ear, nose or head infections ( not really dangerous but uncomfortable )
risk of stroke ( family history of stroke, very high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, over forty, smoker )
glaucoma or detached retina
bad travel sickness ( try it, mostly people do not get a reaction, just sometimes )
obesity ( sometimes the kidneys press on the adrenal glands and set of an adrenal reaction...not dangerous but uncomfortable )
Be sensible in your use of inversion. Take responsibility for your health and the new things you use to create health.
Inversion Tables. Although many people like using them, the pull on the ankles can increase tension in the lower back so take care. The arms hanging down also block release in the shoulders and neck. Many people do not like the big flow of blood to the head which you do not get with Inversion Therapy or forward bending inversion tables. There are ways of using these tables therapeutically with the help of a therapist. The School of I T teaches these methods, "Device Inversion Therapy, DIT".
See below for advice on making your inversion table experience a safe one.
How long do I need to stay inverted?
One minute is better than nothing. Five minutes is better than one minute. Ten minutes is..... Twenty minutes is...Once a day is better then nothing. Twice a day is better than...I think you got it.
I recommend at least 10 minutes morning and evening to begin with to make sure you are getting the best effect ( the yogis say 30 minutes but that is for extreme cases ). 10 minutes will give good effects but , if you want to speed things up, go for 20 minutes. However. Start with a few minutes to see how you get on. When you find it feels good then quickly get up to ten or even 20 minutes.
Once you have achieved high level health and cured your ailments then a few minutes of inversion here and there during the day is adequate.
Some of the benefits of inversion can be felt immediately such as calmness, presence and cheerfulness. Some imbalances take longer to recover. Trying something for a short time and giving up, then saying it does not work, is a favourite tactic of our destructive victim strategy. Please don't do this with inversion. It has worked for thousands of years and it still works now………….but, it needs some patience and perseverance. Some conditions will respond quickly, others need more time.
HOW TO HANG YOURSELF AND THRIVE
THE SOFA OR ARMCHAIR METHOD.
Hang forwards over the arm of your sofa ( or bed if it is high enough ). You can also hang over the back of your sofa if it is heavy enough not to tip. This is better as you get more vertical. Raise the height of the arm or back of the sofa with bolsters or cushions. Put a pillow or cushion on the ground to rest your head on. Standing next to the arm or back of the sofa, put your hands on the floor by the cushion, lift one leg up and over the arm or back of the sofa and then the other one.
Let your body slowly down so that your head rests on the pillow. Make sure you are resting on your thighs and not on your tummy.
Make yourself comfortable, have some relaxing music on, take a deep breath in and let go, just like when you sigh. Rest your arms and shoulders, make them comfortable, perhaps hands behind your head and elbows to the side of your head. Every time you breath out imagine you are gently sighing and releasing, not only the breath but all the old tensions in your body and mind.
At first you will be disturbed by thoughts and emotions and perhaps some physical sensations of discomfort. Watch all these reasons for not doing the inversion and have a good laugh at your ego trying to talk you out of doing something beneficial for yourself. After a while you will experience more calm in the mind and even a sense of bodylessness and comfort. Your thoughts will be slower and different. Enjoy. Every time you let the breath go, let go more in the body, perhaps there is still some tension somewhere, let it go.
Perhaps you need to set your alarm to 20 minutes.
HANGY PANKY........ INVERSION WITH A FRIEND. (WHOM YOU TRUST)
This method does need a bit of practice and you need to look after your knees so start by hanging someone who is lighter than you and work upwards. The basic technique is to find a safe space where, if the person on your leg falls they will have a soft landing and not hit anything hard or sharp.
Find a stool, strong box or chair that is at the height where, when your foot is on it, your thigh is parallel to the ground. Bring you friend to the leg on the stool, the side away from the other leg. Get them to bend forward and as they do so lean over their back, put your arms both sides of their thighs and ease them over your leg until they are hanging all the way down to the floor with their thighs....not their tummy, on your thigh, close as you can to your hips. Relax as soon as possible. Hold their legs lightly with one hand to stop them tipping. Then you can massage down the back with one hand. If you get the balance right you can use two hands. Have a look at the pictures and make up your own session.
Bring them back up by leaning forward towards their shoulders. Hold them under the arm-pits and pull them gently and slowly back up. Sit them in a chair or on the floor straight away without letting go of them. If they have low blood pressure they could faint....so be careful and have fun. This should sort out an aching back or a hangover. Can be used for headache and migraine.
Inversion Machines and Devices.
There are more and more devices for helping people get upside-down coming onto the market. These are some of the usual ones:
Inversion Table, Backswing.
Forward Bending inversion devices.
Inversion Tables. A Safety Warning!
Opposite you can see the usual method of using an inversion table. For sports people, which is a large part of the market, the tables are remarkably safe. There are however some dangers with these devices for those who are not in the peak of health and I would like to point them out here.
1. They can pull very hard on the ankle joint and I have treated clients who have hurt their ankles with regular use. (Pic 12).
2. If you have lower back problems the tables can exacerbate them. The flatness of the table and the pull on the ankle increase the curve in the lower back while encouraging muscles to tighten to protect the ankle from the ankle itself all the way up to the lower back. Having the arms hanging above the head further curves the lower back. Forward bending inversion machines avoid this problem.
3. These devices are promoted as decompressing the spine but unfortunately, when you are inverted with your arms hanging down either side of the head the shoulders block decompression in the upper back and neck to some extent.
3. It is possible to adjust the length of the table incorrectly so that once you get inverted it can be difficult, if not impossible to get back up again without help.
4. Some systems encourage exercising in the inverter which can topple the device if you overdo it.
5. Toppling the machine is dangerous enough but not nearly so much as climbing onto the machine with your feet on the ankle pads.
Please do not leave your inversion table without locking the mechanism in some way so that if someone unfamiliar with the machine, or children playing, stand on the ankle pads and sit back against the table they will not fly backwards very fast and be thrown on their heads with risk of serious injury. I have seen this happen to an unguarded machine at a festival. That the machines do not have automatic locking in the lowered position surprises me. See Pics 13 & 14.