Qigong For Back Pain
Feeling stiff and inflexible, or even worse, feeling pain in your back is debilitating and can be a source of misery and depression for many people. Back pain is extremely common. If you are an office worker sitting at a desk every day or have ever been pregnant then the chances are you have experienced back pain at some point! The website goodbody.com reports that 8 out of 10 Americans will experience back problems at some point in their lives. In my experience the similar statistics must also apply to Ireland, where I live, and many other countries too. The good news is that there are many practices and methods we can adopt to help minimise back pain and manage it so that it doesn’t limit our lifestyle. In the video on this page you will learn how to use Qigong for back pain management so that you can regain strength and flexibility in this very central supporting area of your body.
Janice Tucker is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong, and the founder of the Space To Relax online programme of Qigong video lessons.
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The Impact Of Back Pain On Our Lives
In my Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinics I have observed an increase in back pain over the years. I’m sure that we all know someone with recurrent back pain, even if we ourselves are not sufferers. Perhaps this is because of the increasing number of people sitting at their desks working.
In addition to the misery that back pain brings, it can also negatively impact our lives:
- We may not be able to go to work and so lose financial security.
- The ability to carry out our daily tasks may be limited.
- We may not be able to exercise and therefore put on weight which may lead to further health complications.
- Our sleep may be interrupted as we can’t find a comfortable position in bed. This can result in us waking up exhausted.
- Any pain medication that we may take for back pain may have side effects which create further health problems for us.
Back pain can be a recurrent problem because often the cause is never identified. If the cause cannot be eliminated then your pain is more likely to recur. This is why the appropriate management of back pain is crucial in preventing the problem developing into a long term, chronic one.
The Solution – Qigong For Back Pain
Qigong for back pain methods in general involve movement. They are perfect for dealing with back pain as they smooth the flow of energy (Qi) and blood flow through the area. In Chinese Medicine terms, a stagnation or blockage of the flow of Qi and blood can cause pain. However there are a couple of methods which are particularly useful to help you regulate back pain more specifically.
1. Watch my previous video on “Qigong Standing Posture“.
This method of Qigong for back pain is exceptionally helpful as it provides you with a standing posture which will avoid any obstruction in the flow of Qi and blood through two areas which are particularly prone to stagnation and pain, the lower back and neck.
2. For morning stiffness and pain
If you feel especially stiff in the mornings and it takes you a while to get going then it will be very helpful for you to start the day with a few gentle movements. This will help you to loosen up the back in the mornings! My perfect Morning Qigong Routine is shown here.
3. Looking Back Over Shoulder Method
This exercise is one belonging to a series of 8 called the Ba Duan Jin. It regulates everything, especially the spine and the thighs. It is useful in the prevention of twisting of the spine.
Qigong stance. Stand with neck stretched straight, arms hanging down freely. Bring hands into position with palms facing down and pressure on heels of hands, fingers spread wide. With chest projected out and shoulders squared, slowly rotate head to left (men) or right (women) with eyes looking backward over shoulder and move hands to sides of body, palms facing ground. Keep arms close to sides of body and chin parallel to the ground as you turn the head. Then slowly rotate head back to starting posture and bring hands back to in front of body. Repeat to right side. Repeat several times.
Finish the exercise by placing one hand (right for women, left for men) flat over Dan Tian (lower abdomen) with the other hand on top. Circle a few times in one direction and then the other to seal in the Qi. Allow the hands to drop down by the sides of the body and observe any sensations or changes
Exhale as head and hands turn to side. Inhale as body returns to starting posture. Exhale as palms press to ground. Inhale before starting the movement again.
Focus of Mind
Imagine Qi travelling down side of the leg to the sole of the foot) on side you are looking towards. As head returns to centre make Qi come back to coccyx in the lower back.
What Do I Do Next?
If you would like to start using Qigong for back pain then:
- Head over to my Space To Relax homepage. There you can sign up for a free 3 part video series of Qigong lessons. These three lessons, in addition to the videos referred to above, will give you many useful Qigong for back pain relieving methods to help improve any problems you have with your back. Once you’ve been through that series you’ll have the opportunity to join my Space To Relax online membership programme of Qigong video lessons. This will allow you to take your practice to a whole new level where you will learn many exercises to relieve pain, calm your mind and eliminate health issues before they become a major problem. In this programme you will also learn the other 7 exercises in the Ba Duan Jin to complement the “Looking Back Over Shoulder” method you just learned in this video. This is a fantastic, comprehensive series of exercises which will elevate your health to a whole new level.
- Go to my YouTube channel by click the red “Subscribe” button. That way you won’t miss my regular videos which are full of useful health enhancing tips. Also please give this video a “Like” and share with me in the comments box what you do to manage back pain if you are one of the many sufferers around the world.
- Join my free Facebook group, “Space To Relax Free Group” and leave any comments or questions for me there. I’ll be happy to answer them. Also, by joining this group, you will receive regular posts of Qigong articles and videos with really useful tips about how to use Qigong to improve your state of health.
- Take a look at this very useful guide on Home & Office Modifications To Help Relieve Back Pain as often simple changes to how your environment is set up can make all the difference.