How to Use a Gravity Inversion Device

1.

Check for contraindications to inversion before using any device. According to the Healthy Back Institute's website, obesity, eye issues such as conjunctivitis, glaucoma or detached retina, certain hernias, recent back surgery, pregnancy, high blood pressure, history of stroke and more could all be contraindications for inversion. Check with your doctor about the safety of inversion for you.

2.

Use the device that is best for you. Athletes can handle inversion with gravity boots, but a less fit individual would be better off using an inversion table. Those with scoliosis or spinal instability need an inversion device to support the spine like a table or chair. A person who has practiced yoga might prefer an inversion sling. Safety, comfort and fitness levels are important factors for choosing your device.

3.

Start with partial inversion. Some sites, such as Back Designs Incorporated, advise against full inversion at all. Start with a 25- to 40-degree inversion. If you are using gravity boots or slings, however, this is not possible. For those devices, practice headstands against a wall or inversion on a bar without a device to see how you tolerate being upside down.

4.

Watch for side effects. Blood pressure can increase, headaches or eye pain can occur with inversion, according to a study published in 1985 in "Physical Medicine Rehabilitation." If you experience unpleasant physical or psychological side effects, avoid inversion devices and consider gentler options to practice inversion, such as the downward dog pose in yoga.

5.

Invert for a limited time, such as a minute or two as a beginner. Work your way up to longer time intervals by adding a few minutes to each session. Your body can still get the benefits of inversion in only a few minutes. With an inversion table, you can invert for longer periods of time because you can adjust the angle of inversion. Starting with 10 to 15 minutes is ideal for a table. Inverting for 10 to 30 minute in one session is more than enough for the health benefits.

6.

Be safe. If you are using gravity boots or an inversion sling, have someone close by to help you get back up if needed. With an inversion sling, put a pillow underneath you in case you fall off. Do not invert if you feel sick to your stomach or have a cold with congestion.

Gravity boots, tables, chairs and slings are all devices for inversion. Being inverted for limited periods of time might improve back pain, decompress vertebrae, lower heart rate and aid relaxation. Yet, these devices are not for everyone. Those with certain medical conditions are advised not to use them. Additionally, which device you chose will depend on factors such as your fitness level. For all devices, you must use them correctly and safely to reap the health benefits.