Dr. William Tontz explains how spinal decompression works, why it’s good for you and how using a Teeter makes decompression easier and more accessible.
Dr. William Tontz explains how spinal decompression works, why it’s good for you and how using a Teeter makes decompression easier and more accessible.
While we have had many customers tell us that inverting has the frequency of their occasional headaches or migraines, we are unaware of any studies that have been conducted to determine if there is any correlation. However, here are some interesting points worth noting:
According to MedicineNet, the migraine headache results from a decrease in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). In simple terms, migraines are vascular and have to do with the vessels that supply blood to your brain. Although the brain itself is unable to feel pain, the blood vessels within its core are highly pain sensitive. […] Neurons in the brain are very sensitive to changes in oxygen. Because red blood cells carry oxygen to the brain cells, any reduction in blood flow to the brain will result in dysfunction of the nerve cells in that region.
Migraines can actually leave the brain starved for oxygen, causing pain and possible damage. While there has yet only been anecdotal evidence to suggest that inversion helps with migraines, there are signs that point to its ability to help increase oxygen flow to the brain.
We suggest that you not invert if you are in the process of experiencing a migraine, as it could potentially worsen your symptoms. We always suggest that you contact your primary care physician if you have any specific concerns.
Most people, including many doctors, misunderstand what inversion is all about. They either think it’s a gimmick or they don’t understand the benefits of inverting. As a Chiropractor, I want to give you my professional opinion of when and why one should or should not invert.
Most people can safely invert. Inversion is one of those BEST KEPT SECRETS. I have inverted thousands of patients over the last twenty one years of my chiropractic career. These were people who were injured in car crashes, injured due to improper lifting, sports injuries, slips and fall etc. Many of these people had been to medical doctors, but were not getting pain relief through conventional medical treatments. These people were prescribed many different narcotics and injections for pain, and physical therapy provided little to no relief. They thought their next option was spinal surgery or their doctor told them to learn to live with the pain. In desperation to avoid surgery and in hopes to find natural pain relief – this is when most people turn to chiropractic care and/or inversion therapy.
As part of my treatment protocol, I introduce inversion to most of my patients. In my clinical experience, inversion is best for back or neck pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, herniated and/or bulging discs. Inversion helps tremendously and many times will completely get rid of the patient’s pain. When inverted, your spine and discs stretch and open, allowing relaxation of the muscles, alignment of the spine and re-hydration of the discs. When there is a bulging or herniated disc, inverting creates a negative pressure to the disc spaces forcing the bulge or herniation to retract back into its natural position.
When I introduce a patient to inversion, I typically perform a short demonstration on how to invert. Then I have them try it themselves with myself or one of my experienced staff acting as their spotter. It still amazes me how many patients tell me this feels really good, I feel no pain at all, this is so easy, or I’ve always been curious and wanted to try hanging upside down.
Inversion is beneficial to everybody, even if you have not had a back or neck injury. Gravity compresses on your whole body every day as soon as you wake up and get out of bed and will continue to compress your body, specifically your spine and discs, until you go back to bed. Sitting actually causes more pressure to your lower back than standing. This is why people who work sitting have more problems with their low back. Inversion is excellent for anyone who works behind a desk or at a job that calls for a lot of bending, lifting and reaching because it allows your muscles to relax and your spine to realign and decompress. People in these types of jobs often report back that they begin to feel their body is enabled, this is because routine inversion is allowing them to reset their back by re-hydrating their discs and relaxing their muscles, which grants them better flexibility and range of motion. Maintaining flexibility and increasing core strength greatly reduces a person’s chances for an on-the-job back injury.
You should invert on a regular basis, not just when your back hurts or once in a while. Inversion is one of those things that if you just do it on a regular basis and then stop, you will start to feel the difference in a few days. Your muscles will start to tighten up and your body and spine will begin to feel compressed. By the end of the week, you will be saying, I need to get on my Teeter inversion table. Inversion also increases the blood flow to your brain which helps people wake up when they invert in the morning, relax and sleep better when they invert at night, or helps refresh the mind during a mid-day break. This is a fantastic benefit that many people don’t realize.
There are contraindications to inversion. The first thing I evaluate is if a patient is physically and medically able to hang upside down. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and glaucoma are the most common conditions that would signal a red flag as contraindications to inversion. There are other contraindications and you should always check with a qualified clinician who has experience with inversion therapy before inverting.
I personally invert just about every single day usually 2-3 times a day. I no longer suffer from that burning sensation at the base of my neck. My low back rarely gives me any problems unless I do hours of yard work or sit at my computer for hours without taking breaks. If you have ever been curious about inverting try it, you don’t know what you are missing until you know what you’ve been missing. You won’t be disappointed!
For a more detailed discussion on the benefits please visit my website or go the Teeter Hang Ups site. In my opinion, Teeter has the best educational website on inversion and showcases the many different types of high quality inversion tables for the public and for healthcare professionals.
Dr. Carlos M. Gonzalez is a Nationally Board Certified Chiropractor and has been in private practice since 1991. Dr. Gonzalez has produced and hosted live radio talk shows, has appeared on local TV numerous times in El Paso, TX and testifies in court as an expert witness. Dr. Gonzalez has written over one hundred articles on wellness, inversion, fitness, pain relief, preventative care and many more topics. In addition, he has authored Hanging Out Pain Free and has a soon to be released book, Hanging Out For The Health Of It How Inversion Can Cure Your Pain And Change Your Life. Dr. Carlos M. Gonzalez
With the busiest travel holiday of the year upon us, many travelers will be faced with long lines, delays and sitting for extended periods of time. There’s no need to arrive at your destination already stressed and exhausted from the trip. With a few handy tips and the right mindset you can reduce anxiety, pain and discomfort.
Preparation and mindset are the two most important tools in your arsenal when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety as you travel. Prepare for your trip in advance by packing these travel essentials:
You can have as many gadgets to prepare you for your trip as you like, but if you start out your trip with a negative mindset, nothing will get you from point A to point B in a good mood. As you set out on your journey, keep the following things in mind:
Back pain will be experienced by 90% of adults in their lifetime and when it hits, there isn’t anything that one wouldn’t do to get rid of it. When you have back pain everything changes; you get out of bed differently, you feel ridiculous trying to pull that t-shirt over your head, you’re not comfortable standing, sitting or laying down – you simply want it to go away so you can put on your own socks again and get your regular life back.
Your spine is like the Mama of your body, and you know what they say, “If Mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” A common root cause of lower back pain is weak core muscles, which fail to provide adequate support for the discs and vertebrae that construct the joints in our lower back. Combine that with poor posture and the compressive forces of body weight and gravity and your back pain becomes more of a question of “when” rather than “if.”
As promised, here is Blythe’s second video on her Teeter EP-950 discussing what she loved about Teeter and the benefits of inversion.
Hindsight is 20/20 we are all familiar with this concept, yet why do so many of us fail to take preventative measures for our health? Although back and joint pain can come on suddenly, it is typically the result of long-term misuse exasperated by a jarring circumstance, like bending over when sneezing or lifting something incorrectly.
Taking care of your joints is actually something that does not require a lot of time – an average person can decompress on a Teeter in 3-5 minutes at an angle of 60 degrees or more! Like so many other things we do to extend our youth – buying expensive creams and routine dental care – regular inversion sessions will help take care of your joints, promoting better flexibility, ligament strength, alignment, shock absorption and joint lubrication. And better joint health allows us to remain active and enjoy life into our later years!
Shown: Contour Power Inversion Table
Popular blogger, raw food advocate, and healthy living expert, Blythe Metz has been loving her Teeter Hang Ups.
In her Oct. 21st show (watch Blythe live every Friday at noon PST at Ustream), Blythe introduced her audience to the benefits of inversion and some simple instructions on how to get started using the table (time: 31:24 to 34:00). To learn more about the model Blythe uses in her video, check out the EP-950 page at teeter.com.
Blythe has plans to continue to introduce inversion on her Teeter to her audience in future shows, so stay posted to Blythe RAW or right her for future show segments!
Admit it…you’ve tried meditating a time or two. After so many magazines and TV programs have touted the benefits of meditation, you figured it wouldn’t hurt to turn down the lights, cross your legs and take a few deep breaths. Maybe you’ve even chanted Ommmm because it seemed like that’s what you were supposed to do. Perhaps you were even able to achieve a brief moment of relaxation before you fell asleep, your back tightened, your kids needed you or you just got too bored to keep going.
The benefits of meditation and relaxation are many, but sitting with your legs crossed and chanting may just not be for you. That’s okay, don’t give up! There are many ways to achieve many of the perks of meditation while engaging in other activities. Here are six ways to meditate without saying Om.
Walking, running, or cross country skiing are all great ways to engage in a form of meditation. While your body is engaged in a steady form of movement, you can concentrate on your breath and placing one foot in front of the other. During the first few minutes of your walk, you may find your brain circling around the same old worries and events of the day, but as you sink deeper into the movement and notice your breath as you move, you can begin to quiet your mind and relax. Two or three times a week is a great start and as you begin to achieve relaxation, you may find that you want to do it more!
Keeping Your Hands Busy
Monks have been known to make mandalas, beautiful pieces of circular art made traditionally out of sand. Working for hours on a mandala, only to allow the wind to blow it away when finished helps remind them of the impermanence of life and the beauty inherent in things that are temporary. Don’t worry if you don’t have a sandbox handy – you can engage in other activities to achieve the same benefits. Jigsaw puzzles help keep your mind distracted with finding the next piece while the rest of you can relax into the simple task and quiet all distracting thoughts. Other activities can include knitting, crocheting and even getting out a coloring book and coloring for a bit. All of these activities encourage contemplation and relaxation.
Believe it or not, many types of housework can become a form of meditation. Washing the dishes by hand, scrubbing floors and polishing silverware are all repetitive tasks that help quiet the unnecessary chatter in your mind and allow you to sink into the job before you. If you can think of these chores as meditation instead of a burden the next time you do them, you may come to enjoy these moments of quiet.
While it is doubtful that Buddhist monks use the Xbox to achieve a meditative state, some studies have shown that games focusing upon rhythm and repetition can actually induce a state of mind similar to meditation. Classic games like Tetris and Pong can accomplish this, as well as racing games. While these games may help induce a trance-like state, it is important to take regular breaks so as not to induce eye strain.
Taking your dog for a walk and petting your cat have both been shown to lower heart rate and cortisol levels in individuals. Individuals who have pets generally live longer than those who do not, and having a furry companion also has been shown to make people happier in general. If it’s not possible to have a pet in your home, volunteering at a shelter can have similar effects.
We couldn’t wrap this article up without mentioning the relaxation benefits of inverting on a Teeter Hang Ups! A few minutes of inversion at a gentle angle (between 40 and 60 degrees) can stimulate blood flow, give your body a nice stretch and help you relax at the end of a busy day. You can even incorporate a gentle rocking motion as you invert which can feel great.
If you’ve ever searched for a way to get rid of your back pain, you know there is no shortage of products on the market that will promise to “cure” you of what ails you. While some may claim to specialize in lower-back pain cure, upper-back pain cures or those that can do it all, there are many factors to consider when you are looking at options.
Problems vs. Symptoms
Wouldn’t it be easy if we could just take a pill and make our problems disappear? While taking pain medication to ease your back pain may help treat the symptom (pain), it certainly is a long way from curing anything. Masking the source of the problem can not only harm you in the long-run with deleterious side effects, but also cause you to ignore the root cause of the pain. Frequent and repeated use can even create an unhealthy dependency on the medication.
Surgery to remove a slipped disc or spinal fusion are all-too-common solutions to low back pain. Did you know that patients in the United States are 40% more likely to be prescribed back surgery as a cure than any other country, yet some experts estimate that 90% of back pain can be resolved with less invasive options that help the back heal itself?
Why Does Back Pain Occur?
Once you have decided that it is important to treat the root of your back pain, it’s a good idea to learn about the anatomy of your spine and to spend time learning why your back is in pain. The root cause of almost all back pain has to do with spinal compression. The bones in your back are called vertebrae, and they are held in place by a combination of muscles, ligaments and discs (discs separate each vertebra, and are a jelly-like substance that acts as a shock absorber). When your back is in pain, one of these components is the likely culprit. Read more about the anatomy of your back.
When to Try Inversion
So how can inversion help? Using a Teeter Hang Ups can help upper and lower back problems by treating the root cause of your back pain. There are four main ways that a method of regular inversion can help reduce your back pain:
Do you want to learn more about the benefits of inversion? All of these methods help treat the causes of back pain, and when inversion is used regularly, it can help reduce your back pain as a whole.
Another benefit of inversion is that it can be used in your home, at any time of the day or night. While chiropractic care and physical therapy can have tremendous benefits to helping improve back pain, seeing a specialist is not always feasible when you need relief the most. Inversion takes only a few minutes, and can be done in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home.
In order to prevent back pain, it is also important to maintain your core strength and flexibility. Inverted exercises can help build up your core muscles to help keep everything in alignment and prevent future injuries. Stretching while inverted helps maintain flexibility, which is also key in preventing back injuries.
A Natural Alternative
When you are searching for something to help you with back pain, ask yourself the following questions before you consider investing in it:
Note: This is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before trying inversion or beginning any type of exercise program.