Decompression

Did you know that your spinal column's spongy intervertebral discs (IVDs) comprise 25% of this segmented structure's entire length? Did you know that an adult's spinal column is approximately 24-28 inches in length? A little quick math shows that the total height of your spinal discs is approximately between 6 and 7 inches. But most of us don't get to enjoy the maximum height, springiness, or shock-absorbing capabilities of our spinal IVDs.

Why is that? Another fact known to anatomy students is that IVDs begin losing their total water content at the early age of 2. If you're a young adult, that water-losing process has been going on for 20 years. If you're older, tack on a couple of decades. But this is a natural process. Whether we like it or not, our body parts are not built to last forever. They are designed to keep us healthy and fit for about 150 years (another little known fact). What's not natural is the sedentary lifestyle associated with living in an economy driven largely by the service sector.

Until very recently (75 years ago or so), most adults worked at jobs which required physical labor. Employment in agriculture and industry required actual work using one's body. Those jobs had a built-in exercise component, all day, every day. In contrast, 21st century jobs require a lot of sitting. For many jobs, workers are sitting all day, every day. When you're sitting or standing in an unchanging position, the relentless force of gravity bears down on your spine at a steady, never-changing rate of 32 ft/s2. The long-term result on one's spinal column is compression. Natural water-losing forces are unopposed and your spinal discs just keep getting thinner.

We need to reverse these trends. We need to find ways to pump our discs back up. We want to regain the health of our spinal discs, regain lost stature, and be able to stand up tall, achieving our full physiological height. We need to identify and engage in decompressive activities, activities that will restore fluids to our IVDs.

Fortunately, a highly decompressive set of activities is readily available and has been in use for thousands of years. Yoga is a system of exercises that provides a broad range of health benefits including spinal decompression.1,2,3 In fact, done correctly, all yoga exercises (known as postures, poses, and asanas) result in spinal lengthening. The key is to make the yoga posture active, constantly engaging, working, and lengthening your core muscles while you're doing the pose.

Regular yoga classes (even once a week may be sufficient) will lead to noticeable benefits, including a sense of being taller. The spinal decompression obtained through regular yoga practice will help increase your flexibility, balance, and coordination. Yoga can be done at home. The only equipment needed is a rubber mat. The long-term payoff is big, in more ways than one.

1Jeng CM, et al: Yoga and disc degenerative disease in cervical and lumbar spine: an MR imaging-based case control study. Eur J Spine 20(3):408-413, 2011
2Williams K, et al: Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine 34(19):2066-2076, 2009
3Goncalves LC, et al: Flexibility, functional autonomy and quality of life (QoL) in elderly yoga practitioners. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 53(2):158-162, 2011

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Monday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

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  • "I’m so glad I found Natural Life.. I just wish I would have during my pregnancy. They have been so beneficial for myself post pregnancy and for my newborn. The whole team is so passionate, thorough and caring and that’s hard to come by. It’s so good to find a place that takes such good care of children, too! I'm glad to refer my friends here so I had to share a great review, too."
    Phylicia via Google Review
  • "I have been under Dr. Carri’s care for 10 yrs. She’s been wonderful through all 3 of my pregnancies and has adjusted and cared for all my babies and husband. (Branching out into lots of my family members and friends becoming patients of hers as well)

    Her staff is lovely and kind and the office is such a relaxing environment. It’s a family friendly place and children are ALWAYS welcomed with smiles and excitement. Dr. Carri is thorough and patient. I would recommend her care to anyone and everyone. Also, there is an amazing masseuse on staff and she is worth every penny!"
    Molly S. via Google Review
  • "This review is long overdue. Dr. Sai is truly amazing. She was the first chiro I have ever been to and first saw her when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. She is so down to earth and cool. I was always having back aches and just the normal discomforts of pregnancy. Every time I left I felt re-energized to take on the days to come. I also truly feel all the care I received through Dr. Sai and the "webster technique" led to be being in labor for 12 hours start to finish and pushing baby out in 25 min as a first time mom. Dr. Carri and Natalie at the front desk are also so amazing and welcoming. It makes coming here a pleasure!!"
    Jessica D. Brea, CA via Yelp
  • "I love it here! Very friendly and welcoming to the little ones. They care about all aspects of your life to make sure they give you the best care possible. This practice truly got me through my last two pregnancies! I would not have been able to MANAGE THE PAIN from 5 months until birth and after: Baby was always in correct position thanks to Webster. All their drs are fantastic! They've always been extremely accommodating and understanding. Love them!"
    Chikki F. Anaheim, CA via Yelp