Spinal traction is a form of decompression therapy that relieves pressure on the spine.
Spinal traction is used to treat herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, and many other back conditions. It can cost $100-$200 per visit, and an average of 20 visits to achieve your desired treatment goals, which may not last long term because you haven’t built the muscle strength to hold the decompression.
Insert Bikram Yoga class.
I think, in the last ten years, I’ve probably heard “natural human traction” more times than I really cared to have heard it. I’ve definitely said it more times than the doctor’s recommended dosage. But I really didn’t start “getting” traction until a few years into my yoga practice.
Traction is in every yoga posture. It is the opposing forces that allows you to stretch your muscles and open your bone joints. With every forward pull, there is a backward push. With every press down, there is a stretch up. In essence, you use your own strength to increase your flexibility. Traction is why grandma swears she grew a little taller after yoga class.
I love when Kim Tang demonstrates human traction by stretching up towards the ceiling so much —seriously, SO MUCH. And then turns to ask you if she looks like she’s hanging upside down. Indeed, that’s what it looks like.
When you use your own strength to increase your flexibility, you will increase your strength at the same time. Which means, as you decompress the joints throughout your spine and body, you will strengthen the muscles that will hold the space you created. Which means LASTING RESULTS.
If you’re dealing with chronic back pain and you want to skip the expensive treatments and pain killers, check out a Bikram Yoga class. And when you’re there, stretch up as tall as you can and “try to touch the ceiling.” You’ll create the decompression your body needs, and the strength to hold it up.