As a singular intervention, few things comes close to giving a multiplicity of anti-aging benefits as the simple act of hanging upside down either on an inversion table or, as I prefer, using gravity boots which can be hooked on any pull-up bar at a park, gym or at home.
Inversion decompresses the knees, hips and spine, counters gravity related abdominal distention, (which will result in an age related increase in waist circumference. Independent of anything else), decreases waist size, counters facial aging, dramatically speeds up hair growth, strengthens the core, relieves stress, and enhances mood and cognitive function.
Using gravity boots is infinitely more advantageous than doing headstands. Headstands do not have nearly the spinal decompression benefits, and actually stress and compress the cervical vertebrae on the neck, as all the pressure of your entire body is on the crown of your head. Several advanced yogis that I know actually prefer gravity boots over regular headstands, because in addition to the decompression advantages, they allow one to effortlessly stay upside down for extended periods (20 minutes plus) that are generally not possible with headstands. Prior to my using gravity boots I was doing headstands between 3-5 minutes a day, which is all my neck could really take.
I personally “hang out” after running sprints and/or working out for a period of 10-20 minutes. While inverted I catch up on conversations, texts, or emails, on my phone, so I’m not actually using time that I otherwise be spending managing these things from my desk. I’ve been doing this on a daily for well over 30 years, and almost nothing benefits me as much from an anti-aging standpoint.
When starting inversion my hair growth sped up dramatically, requiring that I get haircuts or at least trims every 2-3 weeks on average, whereas before I would typically wait 6-8 weeks. Although I wasn’t doing anything different in terms of diet or exercise, my waist narrowed and my flexibility was significantly enhanced across most yoga asanas (poses). Best of all, my ability to concentrate and overall mood exponentially improved.
It does take some adjusting to when getting started, (about a week or 2 to get past slight transient headaches, dizziness) and you may want to have an assistant or spotter when hooking on a bar the first few times, but once you do this on a regular basis it is unlikely you will ever want to stop.
When inverting circulation to the scalp is dramatically enhanced. As we featured in prior updates, despite some dismissive conjecture from most Dermatologists in the U.S., it is well established that circulation and tissue oxygen saturation are diminished in hair follicles affected by MPB. There is a fanatical online community that extols the hair growth effects of what is called the “Inversion Method.” Although not controlled in any strict scientific sense, the sheer volume of their positive and often glowing anecdotal accounts are hard to ignore. Oxygen saturation to the scalp can be enhanced supplement-ally by compounds such as Ginkgo Biloba, Bilberry Extract, and Grape Seed Extract.
Inversion is evidently used extensively in the Modeling industry in the Far East for its purported benefits for facial aging.
This video gives a brief overview:
As a cautionary disclaimer you should always get clearance from your physician, before even thinking about trying inversion, as there are certain contra-indications that simply make it too risky for certain individuals. These conditions include, but are not limited to high blood pressure, intro-ocular pressure, glaucoma, cardiovascular conditions, blood thinning medications, and any risk factor for strokes.