Two Ways to Increase Oxygen and Blood Flow
When the body is properly oxygenated and blood is flowing freely, every organ in the body benefits. Exercise is great for this, but there are also some other alternative methods that can be even more effective for overall health. The two I’d like to share with you today are 1) rebounding and 2) inversion therapy.
If you’ve been to a gym, you’ve likely seen a mini trampoline or rebounder there. However, not many people are familiar with the extensive benefits of rebounding that are obtainable with very little physical effort. Spending a few minutes a day on a rebounder is an inexpensive and low impact form of acceleration training that is particularly effective because of the aerobic and anaerobic benefits it provides for the heart, muscles, organs and internal systems.
There are several ways you can bounce depending on your fitness and health goals. You can bounce gently for a daily lymph system flush and boost to the immune system. If you are interested in gaining muscle strength, you can practice bouncing as high as possible. The time suspended in the air is particularly beneficial to the cells due to the gravitational pull. For fitness, you can do some aerobic activity such as jumping jacks or running in place, which burns equally if not more calories than regular exercise. And finally, for those who want to strengthen their legs and abdominal muscles, you can also bounce while sitting, keeping your legs suspended into the air.
Overall, rebounding is great for increasing blood circulation, supplying efficient oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and organs and increasing overall muscle strength. It also stimulates the immune system, circulates lymph fluid, removes toxins, and creates balance in the overall body.
This type of therapy involves lying in an inverted position. Hanging upside down on a bar by your inner knees or utilizing special gravity boots that clamp onto a bar are two ways of getting into an inverted position. Inversion can also be achieved utilizing yoga positions such as the headstand, handstand, shoulder stand or yoga sling, the latter typically found in Iyengar yoga. For those who would like a less active means of lying at an inverted angle, one can use an inversion table, which automatically rotates you from a standing position to an inverted one.
Inversion therapy has a wide array of benefits for your health and wellbeing. By taking advantage of the gravitational pull that occurs when the body is inverted, blood circulation is improved, the lymph system is drained more rapidly (relieving muscle aches, stiffness and pain) and oxygen flow to the organs and tissues increases. As with rebounding, by increasing blood and oxygen flow, you’ll achieve more mental clarity/alertness (increased oxygen to the brain), slow the aging process, and improve muscle strength and the health of the organs. Other benefits of this increase in the flow of fluids include:
-Reduction in symptoms related to depression
-Increased availability of glucose
-Relief from arthritis and other types of chronic pain
-Stronger joints, which helps to prevent joint injury
-Stimulation of immune system
-Stress relief 
Inversion therapy is also great for improving posture, maintaining your height with age, and realigning your spine after workouts.
Maintaining proper blood circulation and oxygen flow are critical to staying healthy. Both rebounding and inversion therapy offer excellent and easy ways of doing so and are a great add-on to you regular exercise or yoga routine. Also keep in mind the importance of diet for maintaining high quality blood (chlorophyll rich foods) and deep belly nostril breathing for maximum oxygenation.
 Makris, M. (no date). Bouncing on a rebounder strengthens every cell in the body. Retrieved from http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/bouncing-on-a-rebounder-strengthens-every-cell-in-the-body/
 Malinsky, A. (2011, February 5). Exercise your cells by rebounding. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/031213_rebounding_exercise.html
 (n.d.) Retrieved from http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/inversion-therapy-benefits-for-pain#axzz2GbS8Fc2x
 Siegal, B. (2010, August 21). 7 key benefits of inversion therapy. Retrieved from http://www.azbackcenter.com/blog.php
Kara wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Food & Nutrition.