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Inversion Tables

Marie
Marie Bild
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08/31/2010 - 3:21pm
Inversion Tables

I notice the emphasis on stretching the spine, and I've been considering buying an inversion table for that purpose. Do you have any thoughts on the value of inversion tables? I would certainly appreciate your opinion.

Esther Gokhales Bild
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09/10/2008 - 8:36pm

They certainly don't do any damage and can be useful to jump-start the lengthening process. I generally prefer to show people stretchsitting and stretchlying, which together can provide over 15 hours of gentle traction a day. This is what it takes to make a lasting difference to your spine. And if you are doing these measures, hanging on an inversion table becomes a drop in the bucket. So it's beneficial, but if you are doing everything else you want to be doing, it becomes moot.

That said, for the occasional person with a super-stuck spine, or the person who hasn't learned stretchsitting and stretchlying, I recommend an inversion table. Otherwise, spare yourself a couple of hundred bucks and an ugly and unwieldy piece of furniture!

Marie
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Thanks for the advice. I realize that my gym has one of those contraptions with big round pads that one can hang over, hooking the feet, hinging at the hips, and hanging upside down. I did it twice for 5 mins. It's not terribly comfortable (blood goes to my head), but I think it might accelerate things, especially since my back seems like it is indeed super-stuck in one place in particular that's been hurting for a while. Best of all, it cost nothing extra and isn't in my house!

You don't see any problem with hanging straight upside down hinged at the hips, right?

Esther Gokhales Bild
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In yoga, being upside down is contra-indicated if you have high blood pressure (as you note, blood rushes to your head), and you should check with your medical doctor, but otherwise, can be a great way to not only stretch your spine, but also get a little extra blood circulation going in the brain.

I wouldn't  rely on this measure for stretches at particular spots, however. It's okay, but it provides a general stretch, not a specific one. For specific stretches I like using a roller, but I don't teach people that until they have learnt the equivalent of the Gokhale Method Foundations course. I first want them to have good habits in place before I teach them to mobilize their spines in ways that could be counter-productive. More mobility, after all, gives you the option to distort your spine even more than usual. You want to have some good habits in place so that when you mobilize your spine, you will use it to improve your structure rather than further distort it.

Marie
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08/31/2010 - 3:21pm

Thanks very much for the response. It's very helpful!

Hapargo
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01/13/2015 - 9:02pm

Body Power IT9910 Seated Deluxe Inversion System is the latest best inversion table known to me so far.. I recommend if you have any kind of back issue that an inversion table would help, buy this one, it is worth every penny!. It is very sturdy and quality parts... The only drawback that I saw with it, is that it takes quite a bit of space. Otherwise, it's has a very solid construction. The time it took to put together was minimal. Enjoy!

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