With an urban lifestyle pushing youngsters to unhealthy habits and chronic diseases, inversion therapy has come as a godsend to India.
Shilpa Raman, a 28-year-old Bangalore-based software engineer, had to undergo several physiotherapy sessions for her severe backache before she finally found respite in inversion therapy. She tried the newest entrant in Indian healthcare industry in June after a friend suggested it to her. “All I did was give five minutes to the therapy and there I was, relaxed and rejuvenated,” she says. Shilpa and many urbanites like her have attributed relief from lifestyle diseases such as sciatica, osteoarthritis, posture correction, stress management, spondylosis, hypertension, blood sugar and varicose veins to this new therapy.
According to the World Health Statistics report 2012, 11.1 per cent of the adult male population and 10.8 per cent of the female population have raised fasting blood glucose. In addition, the Global Atlas on cardiovascular disease prevention and control in 2011 released a report which places death rate due to ischemic heart disease (a condition which is characterised by reduced blood supply of the heart muscle) in India at 165.8 per 100,000. Around 116.4 per 100, 000 people in India die due to cerebrovascular diseases. Experts suggest that very few workable techniques take care of all these problems together and the inversion therapy tops the chart.
Dr K S Bhawish, practicing physiotherapist, Bangalore, says that inversion therapy is beneficial to all such problems, simply because it hits the root cause of the problem. “Medical studies have shown that even while lying down, there is residual pressure inside the discs which is equal to 25 per cent of the standing pressure. This leads to several problems such as sciatica, osteoarthritis, stress, spondylosis, and hypertension. By undergoing an inversion at 60 degree, this pressure becomes zero or near zero, and provides maximum relief to spinal discs. It also infuses around 25 per cent of blood back in to the brain,” he says.
The inversion therapy requires the patient to simply lie on the inversion table which is tilted at 60 degrees and provides a natural form of gravity-assisted traction. “This helps relax the body and helps decompress the spine. Benefits of this therapy begin from 30 degree angle. It works by rehydrating the spinal discs which lose fluid content with age,” says Dr Bhawish.
A chance encounter with the technology in the US gave entrepreneur and engineer Arvind Agarwal the idea to bring it to India. “I have a history of back-pain and after trying several alternate treatments, inversion therapy offered me by far the maximum benefits. I decided to introduce it to India so that others could also benefit from it,” says Agarwal. He started India’s first inversion therapy centre called Backproof in Bangalore, in June. “We have had 40 patients within the age bracket of 30-40 years since the centre started,” says Agarwal.
Dr Bhawish says most urbanites with sedentary jobs especially those in the IT sector are the worst-affected. “This age bracket is the most vulnerable to lifestyle problems and must be more cautious. Inversion therapy is beneficial if started by the age of 25.