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The Gravity of the Situation
Whenever you’re upright, whether you’re standing or sitting, gravity is tugging at your spine. Your spine contains 26 vertebrae with soft discs between them, acting as shock absorbers. Over time, gravity’s power pulls your vertebrae down and compresses the discs. As a result, your height actually decreases as you age. Proponents of hanging exercises assert that hanging from a bar — either by your hands or feet — helps reverse gravity’s effects and stretches your spine in the opposite direction.
Other Benefits to Hanging Upside Down Therapy
In addition to a healthier spine, hanging upside down also temporarily increases oxygenation of the blood and increases blood flow to the head and organs. This temporary increase in flow helps pull in better blood to feed the brain, eyes, and organs, while helping the body draw out toxins and spent blood. A good side effect is that it also allows your heart a temporary break from pushing blood around and pumping it from the large muscles in your legs.
You know that flushed feeling when you blush? Bet you didn’t know it is healthy for you. Inversion therapy will give you that flushed feeling as well. This improved blood flow to your skin will help rehydrate it, flush out blood vessels, and improve circulation. Over time, your skin will begin to improve and even glow. The tone and color of your skin will improve along with enhanced mental clarity and reduced pain. The temporary increase in oxygenated blood will have a small effect that adds up over time.
Activities That Involve Hanging Upside Down
There are a lot of different ways you can fit inverting the head into regular play with your kids.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Hanging upside down from the couch
- Children’s yoga
- Hanging from the monkey bars
- For younger children, you can set them on your lap facing you and hold their hands while you let them drop back upside down over your knees, and then pull them back up.
- Lean backward over a large exercise ball.
- Gymnastics and tumbling
- Get an indoor trapeze bar – so your kiddo can hang upside down in the house (mounts onto door frame) as much as they like! (Seriously, this thing is AWESOME and will help save your sanity if you feel as crazy as I do when you watch your child leap and roll all over the sofa.)
Cockatiel Owners Who Want To Think Out Loud
There’s one Cockatiel owner who says that her bird goes upside down on a daily basis. She would sit on one of her perches or even human shoulders, and she will bend forward.
After bending, she will do it until she is completely upside down and then spread her wings. She will hold the pose with her wings wide open for several seconds. And then sit upright again.
She does this more often at night before bedtime for whatever reason the owner doesn’t know. She does this habit several times a day.
Now, the bird is 2 years old, and the habit seems to be in no way abating but even accelerating. But the owner thinks it is cute behavior. She’s even more scared when the bird doesn’t do this.
The thing is, the other cockatiels also imitate this behavior but don’t it as spontaneously as this bird on a daily basis.
Other owners reacted to this and said this is mostly female Cockatiel’s behavior. It’s a territorial display of saying, I own this cage.
Some owners with male cockatiels also report this behavior but on a less frequent regularity. Still, others say, they go upside down because they might be asking for a misting or a shower.
Cockatiel Behavior That Needs To Be Observed
But there are instances when you should really take notice with your Cockatiel. But it’s not when they are upside down. You can sometimes see it backing up into a corner.
The bird is doing this because it feels threatened and is retreating. Observe it until it returns back to its perch. Don’t attempt to play with it or handle it when it’s cornered. Most likely you will be bitten.
There’s also another sign that your bird is not happy and it also has nothing to do with being upside down. It sways from side to side. Then it raises its shoulders and also its head and crest will be up.
In addition, it will add hissing sounds which is like the sound that ensues when blowing through the nose. This is definitely a time when your bird is not secure with the situation.
It could be you are physically so close to it so much or something else is upsetting it.
There are also times when your Cockatiel fluffs up its feathers and then shakes its body. In this way, a Cockatiel wants to relax and let out tension. It does this after a preening or after something frightens them.
But if the bird is fluffed up often and looks sleepy, it might be ill. An additional sign is when it is puffy. Fluffing up means the bird wants to retain body heat. It’s a good time to see the bird vet this time.
Dangers of Hanging Upside Down
Whether hanging upside-down stretches the spine permanently may be a secondary question at best, according to critics of the practice. Because humans evolved to live in a primarily upright position, our bodies are built to perform functions such as pushing blood upward from the legs, against gravity. Hanging upside-down may allow blood to collect in areas that aren’t designed to push blood upward, such as the head, eyes and lungs. As a result, the side effects from hanging upside-down for lengthy periods may include damage to the circulatory system, stroke or death. Hanging upside down is particularly risky if you have any cardiovascular conditions, an eye disease or are pregnant. Again, consult a physician before you do any upside-down exercises.