Acrosage is a combination of acrobatics, massage and yoga that was developed by Benjamin Marantz. Marantz, a circus performer trained in acrobatics, noticed that certain acrobatic exercises had an effect on acupressure points in his body and developed this new system. Acrosage is considered inversion therapy, and sessions involve the client inverting themselves on the feet of the practitioner. Once inverted, the head hangs freely, and there is no pressure on the neck or spine.
Inversion therapy has a long history in alternative medicine, and acrosage is only one type of inversion therapy in use. The practice of inversion briefly allows the body to be free from the effect of gravity, and improves oxygen flow to the brain. Many people find that it improves their mood, circulation and posture. The procedure is also claimed to improve lymphatic drainage, build trust, and improve hormonal responses. Clients of the therapy do not receive the rush of blood to the head that many participants of other types of inversion therapy experience. This is because the client has their knees bent during the massage, and the practitioner's feet are pressed against the major artery in the lower body, the femoral artery. This slows the blood flow returning to the head, resulting in a sense of calm, and a temporary reduction in brain activity.
During acrosage therapy, the client will perform five different yoga poses, all in an inverted position. While performing these poses, the practitioner, who is supporting the client with their feet, will massage the arms and legs as well. An experienced practitioner can support a client much larger than himself, but the therapy is still very physical. For a productive therapy session, the client must feel comfortable enough atop the practitioner's feet to relax. Choosing an experienced practitioner is the best way to ensure a feeling of confidence.
This therapy is not for everyone. For people suffering from certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma or a detached retina, the risk of increasing the pressure behind the eye is not worth the benefits from acrosage. Also, those that suffer from angina, high blood pressure or other circulation conditions should refrain from participating, as should those with vertigo or hernias. While pregnancy does not automatically mean that this therapy is contraindicated, anyone who is pregnant should speak with their obstetrician before undergoing acrosage sessions.