A primer on inversion therapy for back pain.
In his debut, McKay explains how the low-angle inversion table he invented not only provides back-pain relief—by subtly raising a sufferer’s feet higher than his or her head—but also results in “Wellness ‘side-benefits,’ ” such as clearer thinking or increased energy. It would be reasonable for readers to dismiss this work as a thinly veiled sales pitch for the author’s “Gravity Pal” table; indeed, the product is often referenced in the text. Still, for anyone seeking a clear, readable discussion of inversion—an accepted therapy for treating back troubles—and its potential benefits, this book certainly suffices. McKay starts with the expected personal story of his own back pain and subsequent surgery. After he decided to study back-pain relief therapies, he discovered that inversion was not a new idea, but typically, its approach was “higher angle” inversion, which McKay believed was “too scary and impractical.” This led to his invention of a lightweight, portable, low-angle inversion table. However, the primary focus of the book isn’t the use of that product but rather the notion that one needs to take responsibility for one’s own health care. This broadens the author’s objective considerably; he proposes the idea of becoming a “General Contractor of your own health,” explains ayurveda medicine’s “six developmental stages of disease,” and outlines the “four steps to wellness”: coping, progress, overcoming, and celebration. Eventually, the argument returns to inversion, which, McKay claims, can be used both for compression relief and “as a central Wellness tool.” Perhaps the most practical portion of the book is the author’s “toolkit”—a potpourri of techniques and therapeutic approaches that he says he’s used to improve his own well-being, including weight training, acupuncture, salt baths, transcendental meditation, and, of course, low-angle inversion. An appendix offers specific instructions for some of these modalities as well as additional resources. Some of the book’s claims are unsubstantiated, but McKay offers an open invitation to researchers “to determine through objective testing if these results can be independently verified.”
An intriguing, if sales-oriented, guide that back-pain sufferers may find worth considering.