What are the Benefits of Hanging Upside Down?

Benefits of Hanging Upside DownBefore you buy an inversion table, it makes sense to find out the actual benefits of hanging upside down, right?

Hence, I decide to pull together data from well-respected resources to find out exactly what they think.

Inversion Helps with Joint Health, Flexibility & Posture

Jeff Sanders, a marathon runner and cyclist, experienced significant relief from hanging upside down using an inversion table. In fact, this form of therapy worked for him when nothing else would.

He explains the benefits of inversion in his podcast, as well as the drawbacks. In addition to pain relief, he believes that hanging upside down helps improve joint health, flexibility, posture and lymphatic system drainage.

Hanging Upside Down Can Improve Disc Health

Dr Carlos M Gonzales, D.C. says that some of his patients report having immediate relief after using an inversion table. However, others need to undergo several sessions before feeling any change.

Consistency is key. He states, “Continued and persistent inversion corrects disc herniations of both the neck and low back. It helps prevent and slow disc degeneration.”

Before starting inversion, however, he recommends talking with a chiropractic doctor, especially if you have questions. He also provides more information in his book, Hanging Out Pain Free: 105 Natural Pain Relief Techniques

Spinal Disc Decompression Comparison Chart
courtesy of www.allthatshealing.com.au

According to Evolution Health and Fitness, inversion can help repair/dissolve bulged discs by increasing blood flow and waste elimination in the area. They suggest shorter, more frequent sessions for best results. For example, 3 sessions per day at a few minutes each.

Inversion Increases Blood Circulation and Detoxification

Another factor to consider is that blood does not naturally flow upwards. Angelic Wellness says that the head is the hardest place for blood to reach. Hanging upside down can help improve blood flow to our eyes, brain, teeth and more.

Rachel Hector, Yoga Instructor with a Masters in Kinesiology, says that inversion gives a big boost to our immune system. How? Because it helps increase the flow of lymphatic fluid, which transports infection-fighting white blood cells. It also stimulates detoxification.

Potential Downsides to Inversion, and Alternatives

Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. explains that for some people, the risks may outweigh the benefits of inversion therapy. People with high blood pressure, heart disease or glaucoma might want to avoid inversion altogether.

He says that hanging upside down doesn’t provide long-lasting relief, even though some people find that it helps lower back pain caused by spinal disk compression. However, while inverted, the blood pressure elevates while the heartbeat slows and pressure in the eyeballs grows considerably.

Dr Andrew Weil says that little medical research exists on inversion therapy. It’s hard to know where the advertised claims we read are true.

He recommends reading the book by John E Sarno, MD titled Healing Back Pain: The Mind Body Connection. I have actually read this book myself, and I agree that this book is worth the read for anyone experiencing back pain or other forms of chronic pain.