When dealing with back pain, swinging around like a circus performer is probably the last thing on your mind. However, you may be surprised to learn that a yoga trapeze can offer your back immense relief with fewer side effects than conventional treatments.
If you spend as much time around yogis as we do, or are familiar with aerial yoga, you’ve probably seen this contraption. However, if not, imagine a rope swing that hangs from the ceiling; something an acrobat would feel right at home on.
The Back Pain Epidemic
Sitting, although a seemingly harmless practice, is becoming a worldwide epidemic. As we spend time sitting, our spines compress, and too much compression can lead to pain and other complications for our backs. For those reasons, it’s no surprise that 80% of the population has experienced some form of backache during their life. Thankfully, this compression can be reversed with aerial yoga.
Decompressing with the Yoga Trapeze
As pictured above, the yoga trapeze makes it a lot easier to undergo inversion therapy without the need to overcome a fear of headstands. Inversion therapy involves putting your body upside down or at an inverted angle. This practice creates spinal traction, allowing your back to decompress and relieve nerve stress and pain caused by ailments such as herniated discs or pinched nerves.
In fact, practicing inversions is so beneficial that it’s been shown to eliminate the need for surgery in patients suffering from bad backs or sciatica. One study found that 77% of patients with these ailments who practiced yoga and inversion therapy did not have to undergo surgery. This was compared to only 22% of patients who avoided surgery by undergoing conventional physiotherapy alone. In addition to these, working with a yoga trapeze has many additional health benefits.
Practicing aerial yoga is also an excellent way to increase your flexibility. Stretching extends soft tissues and muscles, improves your range of motion, and cuts down on stiffness. Furthermore, as you practice forward bends, you increase the distance between your vertebrae, creating spinal decompression and easing pain.
Easing the Burden on Your Back
Working with a yoga trapeze is not only fun, but also strengthens your core and stimulates your metabolism, leading to weight loss. Thankfully, both of these factors literally lighten the load on our backs, allowing us to feel lighter and giving our spines a much needed break.
In fact, one study revealed that people who engaged in six weeks of aerial yoga showed improvements in their cardiometabolic risk factors, waist circumference, body fat percentage, systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol levels, and body weight.
Furthermore, chronic back pain and depression are deeply linked, for that reason, it’s common for patients to deal with these two conditions simultaneously. While one might think that the former leads to the latter, studies have found that the reverse is true as well; simply lifting our mood can alleviate back pain. Thankfully, yoga is a well known mood-booster that can raise your spirits when you’re feeling depressed. Furthermore, anybody who has ever hung upside-down knows that getting a bit more blood flow to your brain can make you feel great.
As with any treatment regimen, it’s best to consult your doctor before starting an aerial yoga practice, as it may aggravate cases of severe back pain. Furthermore, practicing inversions can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to drop, which may lead to blurred vision and headaches, as well as worsening glaucoma or high blood pressure in those who already have these conditions.
However, with that said, most people will have no problem jumping in and learning the ropes. Our retreat center presents many opportunities to explore this form of therapy, so definitely be on the lookout for workshops or classes. After trying it, you can even invest in a trapeze for your own home to regularly incorporate into your own yoga practice in order to relieve your back pain every day.