Age is a funny thing. You’re skipping through your days quite happily,and as long as your health isn’t disastrous I don’t think you tend to give the mechanics of your body a second thought, do you?
And then one day you notice you’ve started to “ooh!” when you sit down suddenly. To gather yourself before you stand up from a low seat. To think twice about carbs in the evening (and Gaviscon makes a mysterious appearance in your medicine cabinet). Climbing the stiles on the dog walk isn’t hard, but it’s suddenly a bit.. noticeable.
For me, it was the stiff creaking first thing in the morning. After carrying four babies on the inside, and then four babies-through-toddlers-through hefty 5yr old who-still-need-a- Mum-carry-sometimes, my lower back is not the sprightly power house it once was. And after a bout of bad back that my lovely Chiropractor fixed I was left with a permanent painful ache when I get out of bed. It wears off after around 40 minutes after getting out of bed, but every morning I hobble stiffly to the loo, and picking up yesterday’s jeans off the floor requires a skilful toe-grab-and-flick manoeuvre (that I’m justly proud of), as there’s no way in hell I can ease my way down to the floor to pick them up.
It can be fixed for a few days with chiro treatment, but it always comes back. It’s actually better if I’ve spent the evening working – sitting in my office chair is clearly better for my spine than slumping sideways on our saggy old sofa. Who’d have thought?
So when Teeter got in touch, I admit my ears pricked up. Inversion Tables – they were definitely A Thing, right? I knew – I’d seen them on late night TV Shopping-channel-hopping (what? It’s totally a valid hobby. And keeps us amused for half an hour before bed. In between the astonishingly tasteful rubber shoes, the gloriously over-sized rings in gems-you’ve-never-heard-of and the awesome kitchen gadgets you never knew you needed there are some real gems of genuine brilliance. We bought a staple gun years ago which is still in frequent use and never fails. The Aston Wrenches in the tool box are perpetually reliable. I still sleep on the extra-deep memory foam pillow I bought).
In case you’ve not had the pure joy of watching Roger Teeter, here he is for you…
Roger Teeter from Wade F. Jackson | Manor House on Vimeo.
Completely Inspirational, right?
Who doesn’t want to be THAT active at 77? If the Teeter Inversion can help give me that, then I’m in.
I read a little more – and everything I read sounded great. This was in no way a cure for all ills. But what it does do is help the body fix itself – and to stay healthy. It literally lets you ‘take the weight off’. And you don’t need to swing upside down like a bat, either – hanging upside down at as little as twenty degrees or as much as ninety for just a few minutes allows the spine and weight bearing joints to decompress. On the Teeter table there’s a padded ‘ankle clamp’ system, which allows you to really relax and stretch; and since the traction applied is your own body weight, the stretch is personalised for your body!
The big day arrived and a big (and heavy) box was delivered to my door. You have to construct the table yourself – but the instructions are clear and it’s a pretty simple process which I managed solo. The first thing I noticed was just how big and heavy the table is – I was genuinely surprised by it… but then quickly followed the thought with the realisation that if I’m hanging from my ankles and twisting, I really don’t want the thing keeping me in the air to be wobbling around.
So Does It Work?
We’ve only been using for a week, and as the benefits grow with time it’s still early days.
I volunteered Mr LittleStuff for Test Dummy #1, adjusted the table for his height (dead easy) helped him strap his feet securely in place (just as easy) and made sure the security strap was set to the lowest 20º inversion (in the picture Mr LittleStuff is enjoying 30º’s). He raised his arms and squawked a little as he rotated backwards… and then he went quiet. A minute or so later he exclaimed that he’d felt a distinct gentle ‘pop’ up near the top of his spine. After just a few minutes he rotated back and stood up – and he couldn’t stop the grin as he walked a weirdly loose floaty walk around the room – exclaiming that the niggly pain in the top of his back that had bothered him for weeks was gone.
Having watched him and noted that he suffered no dangerous injury from collapsing tables or detaching body parts, I adjusted the table for my height, secured my own feet in place, rested back, took a breath and raised my arms to tip slowly backwards.
And it feels… frankly weird.
The first time you rotate, you think you’re going to just fall.
And then you lie tensely, nervous that it’s all a bit odd.
And then you… relax.
And it starts to feel pretty nice, actually.
I hung there for a few minutes, enjoying the sensation, and once I relaxed I was aware that there was definite stretchy-type sensations all along my back.
Upon getting back to my own feet, I was also unable to stop the grin as I walked a weirdly loose floaty walk around the room. You just feel… taller. Looser. Free-er. Nothing dramatic, just a weird and unique feeling.
A few days later I spent a long lovely evening slumped in an unhealthy sideways scrunch on the sofa – naturally the next morning I was so stiff I was in trouble moving, and thought it was along shot but that I’d give the table a try, seeing as Mr LittleStuff had left it up from his evening hang the night before.
I strapped in, and eased myself upside down for a bare two minutes…. and when I was upright again, my backache was gone.
I’m not kidding.
I know my particular pain is caused by the build-up of fluids overnight – and clearly a quick two minute inversion is all it takes to clear it and straighten me out instantly for the day. No more slow staggering for an hour as it slowly dissipates, no more wincing as I try and pick up laundry or sort the chickens water bowl in the mornings.
Honestly? I was really keen to disprove the hype, and say ‘yeah, those inversion tables are okay but they’re nothing special”.
But I’m glad to say I was proved totally wrong.
They’re quite big, and though it folds up it’s still not a tiny piece of kit – you need to make sure you have house room for it. But the pay off in terms of small-niggle-body-fix, and the emotional space you create for a 2 or 3 minute slot of peace is astonishing.
It’s still early days – we’ll report back in a couple of months and let you know what prolonged use does for us. But for now – we can’t recommend a teeter inversion Table highly enough.
With over 2 million users, Teeter Hang Ups leads the inversion market as the definitive inversion products brand. Founded in 1981 by Roger and Jennifer Teeter, Teeter is the longest continuous manufacturer of inversion products in the world. Teeter Hang Ups are rated by Dynamark Engineering as the “best inversion table” for endurance, strength, function and ease of assembly, and only Teeter tables are quality-assurance tested to UL’s inversion table safety standard.