Michael McKay presents a new, breakthrough method using Low Angle inversion – for only 1 to 3 minutes – and achieve gentle compression relief plus many side-benefits, including:
The Inversion Revolution presents a deep understanding how inversion can be a central Wellness tool and provides a new method that can take you beyond back pain – to Wellness.
“Michael McKay’s book, The Inversion Revolution, is loaded with practical Self-Care principles. Perhaps the most helpful book that I have read in my twenty-five year history of working in healthcare. All of us can learn from Michael‘s insightful wisdom both as a writer and a teacher. Self-Care is the solution to our struggling healthcare system.”
Dr. Charles Coram, Author
Medical Intimacy: Deeper Understanding Allows for Deeper Healing
The Inversion Revolution, Beyond Back Pain to Wellness, presents an introduction to Self-Care and gives a deep understanding how inversion can be used as a central tool that can take a person beyond back pain - to Wellness.
Millions of people have seen TV commercials selling high angle inversion tables to alleviate back pain. These are so common that many - even the Mayo Clinic - mistakenly equate inversion therapy with going upside down at high angles which is scary and inappropriate for many people.
Presenting the history of inversion the author points out that high angle inversion is NOT necessary. Conservative low angle inversion (aka slanting) can be very effective and can be constructed so the person feels safe and secure to do it alone without a spotter being needed.
What is health? What is Wellness? The book explores these two pivotal questions and presents a large number of practical Self-Care strategies the author has used for regaining balance and overcoming obstacles which has allowed him to live a life in greater freedom from pain and enjoying expanded possibilities.
This book is for those who are in pain or love someone who is in pain; it is for those who want to learn how to become the General Contractor of their own health and how to work more effectively with their chosen healthcare providers.
The book includes bonus material on how to create a Self-Care toolkit and an important exercise program called The 4 Minute Miracle which is suitable for most people whether their health condition is marginal, modestly healthy or athletically fit.
Michael McKay L.M.T. is the author and inventor of Gravity Pal(R) low angle inversion tables which includes the only portable table on the market today. The author chronicles how he overcame crippling back pain and avoided surgery by developing a new, breakthrough method using low angle inversion, for only 1 to 3 minutes at a time, that not only achieves gentle compression relief but also provides many cumulative side-benefits, including improved clarity of thinking, more energy, reduced stress, improved circulation, healthier skin, improved digestion and more.
The Inversion Revolution Starts Here 8
My Story - How I Overcame a Life of Back Pain 20
I Discovered an Empowered Model of Health & Wellness 28
The Machine Model Problem – No Room for Self-Care 38
How to Become the General Contractor of Your Health 42
The Big Secret: How All Diseases Begin and Manifest 50
Desperation to Celebration, Four Steps to Wellness64
Can Inversion be a Central Wellness & Self-Care Tool? 84
The Method Matters:
How I Made Inversion Work Better for Me and My Clients110
How I Built My Toolkit & How You Can Build One That Works130
The Self-Care Revolution is Just Starting182
The 4 Minute Miracle
Drinking Water as a Key to Pain Management & Wellness
The Gravity Pal Inversion Method™
Modalities I Regularly Use and Recommend
Useful Websites & Books
Tools I Have Found Useful
If you’re reading this you’re likely to be either in pain or have a loved one who’s in pain.
What you or they are looking for – first and foremost – is relief.
Relief from pain is what led me to inversion, in my case desperately needing relief from crippling back pain and an impending surgery.
And I found it. Something shifted and frankly I was lucky.
But can inversion offer a broader range of benefits beyond pain relief? Can it offer more?
I initially used my early version Gravity Pal® low angle inversion table and found the pain relief I desperately needed. But then I found more. As time went on I discovered a method of using inversion that improved my quality of life in ways I wasn’t expecting. I now call these Wellness “side-benefits.”
The real surprise was when these Wellness side-benefits started to be reported to me by other people, by those who had purchased my Gravity Pal® low angle inversion tables. These people, also, were not looking for these side-benefits. But they came. Not the same ones to everyone. Some people reported clearer thinking, some improved energy, and so on.
But it was clear that something else, something deeper was happening, a general quality of life improvement seemed to be the consistent report. One gentleman reported a less-droopy eyelid, something that had bothered him all his life. Others reported improvements in their digestion that they weren’t initially looking for.
This fascinated me. My primary motivation to manufacture my Gravity Pal® low angle inversion tables came from my finding relief.
I had found significant pain and compression relief from using them and wanted to share that kind of relief with others. Once my massage clients saw this shift in me, they asked me to make them one. And so we started.
But along the way it became clear that we’d started something that has a larger potential. I now believe we’re at the beginning point of an Inversion Revolution.
The idea behind this revolution is that the method of using inversion is more important than simply looking at inversion alone.
The observation: when the right method is used many additional side-benefits can potentially be experienced. These side benefits indicate a broader impact of inversion than pain and compression relief. They point to many healthful physiological effects happening – all at the same time..
Inversion seemed so intuitive – so obvious to me. Turn myself upside down and let gravity decompress the problem I was having. Obvious. Simple … and incomplete. I never thought to think or ask anyone if there was a better – or best – way to invert. “Give Me Relief” was all I could think about.
Once I achieved a small measure of relief I was still far away from celebrating Wellness in my life. I struggled and along the way I found many tools, each with their own value, but I kept coming back to inversion. And the more I used it, the more I began to appreciate it as a tool that most people simply did not know how to use.
I would talk to people about inversion and they would – over and over again – tell me that they had purchased a high angle inversion table they were no longer using, or had never used! “It’s collecting dust in my garage” was a frequent comment. “It scared me” was the other most frequent comment.
I started researching these tables and found they all had similar instructions and warnings. They commonly told people to start off slowly – at a lower angle and shorter times on it – and to gradually “work up to” higher angles and longer times on it, most commonly 15 or more minutes. I asked myself the question – “what would be the lowest angle and the shortest time where inversion might be useful?”
I researched the history of inversion and found that it crosses cultures and can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Greece and India. Throughout the centuries inversion has been used for pain relief as well as for training elite athletes in modern-day gymnastics.
It is said that Hippocrates, circa 400 BC, witnessed two people lashing some poor soul to a ladder and turning them upside down. Inversion was obvious – and primitive – then, so much so that these people didn’t ask Hippocrates for “a better way to invert.”
Neither is there a record of Hippocrates volunteering them any advice as to how to – maybe – make inversion more effective.
Amazingly, even to this day, there has been virtually no research on a method that can more effectively use inversion to bring relief. Also, there has been zero research on the other potential Wellness side-benefits that can come from a proper method of inversion.
No one has taken the time or put forth the effort to look deeply into the human physiology and ask the questions that could hopefully make inversion a more effective Self-Care tool.
This book about the Inversion Revolution is a starting point that hopefully will spur objective scientific research on inversion. You’ll hear me invite researchers over and over to “look here” and I’ll present why they should do so.
We want more than relief. We want more than just getting our heads above water and feeling grateful we haven’t drowned. However, if relief was all that inversion delivered that would be just fine.
But what if inversion can deliver more? Can inversion be useful as a
tool for a better state of health and Wellness?
I believe it can.
I have experienced that people using the right method of inversion may also notice a number of “side-benefits” they weren’t looking for. The proper method not only can provide relief for many people but can add significant other health benefits, such as:
Enhanced Mental Clarity
Faster Recovery from Exercise
… and even Healthier Skin
The Inversion Revolution looks beyond simple compression and back pain relief to celebrating Wellness, to using inversion as a key Self-Care tool to achieve improved overall health.
We will examine a method where we can harness gravity to not only assist healing – and bring relief – but to potentially be a central Wellness tool. Inversion is only one tool, but I believe it can be as important as nutrition, exercise and good sleep. Inversion – done properly – can be a basic part of living better.
I believe there will come a day when inversion tables – used properly – will be as common as chairs and people will routinely use them for Wellness and regaining balance.
Over the past thirty years millions of people have sought relief and thought inversion was a way to get it.
Every one of these people was presented the obvious: gravity might help them. I contend that none of these people were presented two fundamental things that would allow them to discover how to best use inversion. And it is the lack of understanding of these two things that has kept inversion – until now – an incomplete tool. Inversion alone is not enough.
Up until now our natural “Startle Reflex” has been ignored. Unless done properly, the human nervous system may think that inversion is a threat. The body’s natural reaction to instability is to tense up in readiness to defend itself!
A method of inversion had to be developed to keep the body from reacting in that protective way. Inversion alone may trigger the body to actually tense up more – precisely the opposite of the first goal of inversion: to release tension.
Inversion is not one of our normal “vector relationships” with gravity. Normally we have four: Standing, Sitting, Walking and Lying Down. Three of these relationships with gravity are vertical and one is horizontal. None of them are at an angle and none of them are lying backward with our head at a downward angle.
The body has a natural reaction when it encounters fear, pain and instability. It is alternatively called both the “Startle Reflex” and “Muscle Guarding” and both mean the same thing – the body tenses up automatically and involuntarily.
As you will learn, what is of key importance is to NOT trigger this reflex during inversion. Fortunately, I have created a way to invert so that the nervous system feels safe and secure, which allows inversion to provide the relaxation we are seeking.
This natural tendency that we do NOT want to trigger is totally overlooked in the general discussion on inversion. The other most overlooked aspect of our human nervous system is the role of “Balance” in our Health and Wellness.
Balance and regaining balance, as we will discuss, is fundamental to our health. It is why we sleep and why we take in nutrition. Balance and regaining balance is how we both avoid disease and heal from disease. If inversion is used properly it can be a godsend to helping us gain and regain this most essential state on a daily basis.
In presenting these two points it is obvious we need to cover some basic groundwork and agree on some basic terms. We can’t just bandy about the terms Wellness, Health and Balance.
We have to agree about what “Health” is and what “Disease” is. You will come to understand that this has been the subject of considerable controversy. We will resolve this by presenting a practical definition of “Health” and “Disease” that is empowering to us and each member of our Self-Care team.
I will present to you the “Six Stages of Disease” which will explain the vital role of “Balance.”
You will learn the Wellness Dance. There are four dance steps to Wellness. You’ll learn what they are and how to flow between them.
Based on this you will get a historic perspective on inversion and, most importantly, a beginning appreciation of why and how the Gravity Pal Inversion Method™ works.
Once you have this background you’ll be ready to build your own tool-kit which is one of the most important parts of this book.
As mentioned earlier, inversion has caught the attention of millions of people, many of whom swear it helps them.
Yet the Mayo Clinic has chosen, so far, to only evaluate high angle
inversion as a method for back pain relief and has – appropriately –
said it is not safe for everyone. I support the Mayo Clinic’s warning to the public that high angle approaches may be unsafe. This is simply being responsible about it.
It is obvious that many people are intimidated, even scared – for good reasons – of high angle inversion options and yet, until this book, there has been no public discussion of what constitutes a more responsible approach to inversion.
But this is not a book to completely bash high angle inversion as an option. Many people find great value in using the higher angle inversion tables – in spite of the appropriate warnings presented by the Mayo Clinic.
I am the developer and manufacturer of Gravity Pal® low angle inversion tables and have an admitted prejudice that low angle inversion is a better option than high angle inversion tables for many – and perhaps even most people.
I’m obviously committed to this view and am “all in:” putting my money and my family’s financial future where my beliefs are. And I speak from experience. Daily sessions of low angle inversion on my Gravity Pal® are central to my pain relief and management process and have literally changed my life. In this book I will make my unapologetic case for why I believe our low angle approach is better than higher angle options for many reasons.
However, let me be clear, it is the proper method of inversion itself that I believe will assist people to live better. Some people can tolerate higher angles and some people may even prefer them. Discovering a responsible way and method to invert has never before been discussed.
The unique method of inversion I’ve developed, the Gravity Pal Inversion Method™, including the angle, the duration of a session and the frequency of sessions – will be presented as well as why this method dramatically improves the effectiveness of inversion.
The book concludes with a discussion about the Self-Care Revolution that has already arrived and I believe will only become a stronger force in the years to come.
Western medicine, in particular, has a wonderful opportunity to partner with each individual’s journey even as more and more responsibility transfers from the physician as “Health Care Provider” to the individual as “Self-Care General Contractor.” This transfer of responsibility from doctor to patient is at the core of the Self-Care Revolution and will be expanded upon and discussed throughout the book.
Inversion, responsible inversion, I believe will be appreciated in the years to come as a central component of Self-Care. I believe that low angle inversion, experienced in 1 to 3 minute increments and repeated 2 or 3 times per day can have a wide range of positive impacts for a broad range of the population whether young, old, infirm or in great health.
The testimonials and stories from enthusiastic Gravity Pal® users I will share are only a small sample of those regularly received.
Not only do we hear claims of relief from back, hip, shoulder and neck pain, we consistently hear from people who report what we can only call Wellness benefits. These include thinking more clearly, having more energy, sleeping better, enjoying better digestion and several other happy results.
These additional benefits – leading people toward a greater experience of Wellness – have been a major inspiration for writing this book.
Why do these reported results happen? Is it a placebo effect? Certainly one cannot dismiss that possibility out of hand since some studies on placebo effects have shown positive results in up to 30% of control groups who receive nothing at all.1
But what if these positive effects from our unique method of using low angle inversion are not a placebo effect? What if these effects are due to physical reality – as I believe they are – rather than psychological beliefs?
Personally, as you will read in my story, I don’t think I avoided an imminent back surgery because the relief from crippling back pain I obtained from using my low angle inversion table was “all in my head” – or even potentially in my head.
Neither do I believe that people tell me they “miss their daily Gravity Pal® sessions” when they have to be away from them – simply because they have been experiencing a placebo.
Nevertheless, we live in the scientific age and anything that is good and repeatable by most people should be able to withstand the critically harsh scrutiny of objective scientific testing.
I believe there are sound scientific reasons why people are experiencing the many positive results using Gravity Pal® low angle inversion tables presented here.
1The placebo effect is a controversial subject where some researchers argue it does not exist at all. The best article I have found discussing this subject is by Brissonnet, Jean, Placebo, Are You There?, February 24, 2015, https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/placebo-are-you-there/
Throughout the book I repeat an invitation to researchers to objectively evaluate these reports, and outline reasonable scientific theories I hope will assist serious researchers in those efforts. I want to encourage objective scientific research on inversion and its effects and it is my sincere hope that professional researchers will respond, obtain the funding, conduct the studies and publish the results.
I’m well aware it’s not valid to say that science has “proved” this or that, in the same way that physics can never reach Absolute Zero. Mostly, science tries to disprove a thesis. If it cannot disprove a finding one way then it tries to disprove it another way. The more times science fails to disprove something the more “certain” science – begrudgingly – allows there to be, maybe, a cause-effect relationship.
Ironically, even though there is a very long history of inversion going back to before the time of Hippocrates, there are very few scientific studies on inversion in general and there are none I know of on low angle inversion that can be found. Also, completely missing in the scientific literature are any studies of the long term cumulative effects of regular, short duration sessions of high or low inversions.
I say to the (appropriately) skeptical researchers – “Bring it on – please.”
To the public I offer a suggestion: give low angle inversion with a Gravity Pal® a try. It’s a low cost option that may take you, like it has for me and many others, beyond back pain to Wellness.