What is Zero Gravity and how can you benefit from it? The concept of Zero Gravity was born out of the NASA space program to deal with the problems of large compression forces felt by Astronauts as they launch into space. Astronauts were plagued with fatigue during the launch process because of Gravity's natural compression on the human body, most notably the human spine. After extensive research, NASA perfected the "Neutral Body Posture" which is ideal for evenly distributing pressures on the human body. This position benefits the whole body instead of just the spine and subsequently puts the human body into a heightened state of relaxation. This breakthrough in combating gravitational forces has been applied to many facets of wellness therapy.
The "Neutral Body Posture" is the optimal posture for someone looking to become fully relaxed. The human body takes a reclined position elevating the feet above the heart and creating a torso-to-leg angle of roughly 128 degrees with a variation of +/- 7 degrees. This position has also been referred to as the "Anti-Gravity" and "90/90" position. After extensive research was conducted by the Research Center for Sports and Healthcare Technology at Ritsumeikan University the "Natural Body Posture" position has been proven to be the ideal posture for physical relaxation.
Benefits of Zero Gravity
Zero Gravity Massage Chairs have taken full advantage of the relief and relaxation made possible when the body assumes the Neutral Body Posture position. Through these advances, it has been discovered that many other relaxation and health benefits occur during this position. The human body experiences less pressure on the spine because of the distribution of forces across the body, reduced muscle tension because of the natural relaxation effect of the posture, less pressure on the heart as it has to work less to pump blood through the body, increased lung capacity because of the expanded lungs in the neutral position, and increased circulation and blood oxygen levels because of the ripple effect of greater lung capacity and decreased stress on the heart. All of this is made possible by raising the legs above the heart and assuming a zero-gravity position taking compression pressure off of the spine.
Maximum Relaxation in the Neck and Back
The human spine is designed in an 'S' shaped curve and divided into 3 regions: neck, upper back, and lower back. When there isn't pressure on the muscles of the spine at any curve, we achieve a natural position of the spine. In a Zero Gravity massage chair or lounger, the torso and thighs are in perfect alignment, the feet relaxed above the level of the heart and head, and the hips and the ankles create a 90-degree angle between them. This results in a neutral position of the spine where gravitational forces do not affect it. Its design supports the natural curves of the spine along with the upper and lower back. Thus, the neck and back are completely free of muscle tension and pain.
Relief for Muscles
In a variety of relaxation positions, we unknowingly put pressure on our lower back (think sitting at a desk all day, then sitting on a couch at home.) When a person enters into a Zero Gravity position, the muscles are released from this pressure and oxygen rich blood can relax the muscles completely.
Expansion of the Lung
When an open angle is created between the torso and thighs, more space is created for the diaphragm to expand. This results in an increase in of oxygen from the air and expanded lungs and promotes deeper breathing. All of these things will allow for a better blood flow bringing more oxygen to all parts of your body.
Less Pressure on the Heart
In a zero-gravity position, the blood flow from the heart changes. When a human is in an upright position, the heart is required to work against the force of gravity to pump blood to the extremities. In a reclined position, the situation is reversed. Blood flows into the heart with the support of gravity as opposed to against it, essentially accommodating the heart's natural function.