There are many way in which GYROTONIC® training is beneficial to your spine. One of them is imbibition. Of the three definitions for imbibition, the one that most fits our context is “Physical Chemistry . the absorption of solvent by a gel.” (from dictionary.com)
You have 24 spinal vertebrae. Between each one is an inter-vertebral disc. You mostly hear these words when someone herniates one, but they are in every one of us and are vitally important. That’s why it is very important for us to take care of them. Inter-vertebral discs (IVD) have no direct blood flow to them, no arteries or capillaries directly feed them. The only way they remain “juicy” and thick (as padding should be) is the act of imbibition. By moving the spinal vertebrae, we create a pumping action. Imagine two bones with a porous marshmallow in between them. As the discs move, fluids move in and out of the IVD bodies.
From “The Manual of Orthopedic Massage” by Dr. Tom Hendrickson:
“The joint has to be moved to stimulate the secretion of synovia and the joint needs to be compressed and decompressed in order to pump the fluid into the cartilage.”
The rich variety of motions in Gyrotonic training as well as the fluid continuity of the motions allows the synovial fluid and ground tissue to flow in and out of the IVD from every possible direction. In addition to the many muscular-tendinous benefits of the full fluid use of the spinal ranges of motion, Gyrotonic training aids the body in keeping the IVD strong, springy, moist and healthy. Considering that the majority of our lifestyles today, both at work and during recreation, are sedentary (hint hint: you’re probably sitting in front of a computer right now!), the time you spend purposefully moving your spine and maintaining the health of your IVD will have a lasting physical impact.
So come keep those IVD healthy and keep you happy and out of pain!
GYROTONIC is a registered trademark of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and is used with their permission.