When Upside Down Is Right Side Up // It was the craziest thing I’d ever heard

As told to Chaya Gross

Holding my measuring cup in one hand, I rang my friend’s doorbell with the other. No answer. There was lots of noise on the other side of the door. I smiled as I kept my finger on the bell. With five kids under the age of seven, the noise in Tova’s home was always on high volume.

“Come in!” I heard someone say above the din.

I pushed the door open.

“We’re in the playroom!” Tova yelled.

I followed the noise to its source. The floor of the playroom was covered with toys, and children were jumping all over the place. Tova was standing in the middle, talking to one of her kids, with her back to me.

“Hi!” I said loudly.

She turned around. “Hey, Shifra. What’s up?”

I gasped.

“Oh, my goodness!” I shrieked as I ran over and grabbed the baby from her arms. “You were holding him upside down!”

I was shaking. My poor friend was obviously so overwhelmed that she was losing it.

“Boy, did you scare me!” I said as I handed the baby back to her, right side up. “It’s a good thing I came when I did. You must really be exhausted.”

Tova laughed. “Don’t you know how good it is for babies to be held like that?” she asked.

“Very funny,” I replied, my heart still pounding. “You shouldn’t make jokes like that. Don’t you know that being upside down makes all the blood rush to the brain? Holding a baby like that is beyond dangerous.”

“That’s not true—it’s a total myth,” Tova replied. “Being upside down is very good for you. I’m not joking.”

I stared at her. “You’re serious?”

“Don’t tell me you thought I was holding my baby like that by accident?” She roared with laughter. “I might be discombobulated sometimes, but not that much.”

“You did it on purpose?”

“Holding a baby upside down is great for the brain,” she explained. “Not that I really do it too often. But my sister Leah does it all the time. It’s called inversion therapy, and she does it for one of her children. His development was delayed as a baby, and she said it worked wonders.”

I was shocked into silence. Holding a baby upside down? Really?
“By the way, why are you holding a measuring cup?” she asked me.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot all about it. I was in the middle of baking a cake and ran out of oil. I came over to borrow half a cup.”

I ran back to my house with the oil and finished what I was doing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about she’d said. I’d always thought that being upside down wasn’t good for you. Was it really a myth? I wanted to find out. It would certainly make a great article.

I sent Tova a text: Could you please give me your sister’s cel #? I’d love to talk to her re inversion therapy.

Sure, she replied, and gave me the number.

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