Updated: Dec 26, 2020
You probably know or even love someone plagued by persistent back pain. It is a nationwide epidemic! Over 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. A lot of times it goes away on its own.
Many times, it comes back.
After working with countless patients with back pain as a physical therapist, living with loved ones with back pain, and recovering from years of back and leg pain myself, I have found a way to eliminate back pain in 4 simple steps.
Although I believe these tips will help many people get started on the right path, I always recommend consulting a healthcare professional first if able.
Secret #1: You Can Break the Pain Cycle with 1 Exercise!
I know what you’re thinking… “there’s no way!” You’ve probably tried dozens of exercises with no success.
The fact is, if you find the right exercise and do it the right amount of times, you can eliminate your back pain and get back to doing the things you love with the people you love.
There are so many different methods out there that it can make your head spin. In my previous post, The 7 Components of MindBody Wellness, I discuss several methods to deal with pain: Maybe you’ve even been to physical therapy and still had little to no success.
If this is you, then you are in the right place. The combination of eastern and western healing approaches can help you heal your pain and your suffering!
So, which exercise is for me?
The #1 exercise that helps the most people that I have worked with is:
Standing Back Bend
· Stand with your feet hip width apart
· Place your hands on your lower back or top of your buttocks
· Lean back as far as you can go while maintaining your balance (have a chair, bed or couch behind you if you are having difficulty with balance)
· Return to the starting position
· Repeat 10 times
This is usually the starting point for healing your back. However, it is not right for everyone so discontinue if it starts to make your symptoms worse. You also may need to progress to the next level if this doesn’t create the desired result.
In my e-book, Modern Pain Relief Secrets: Back, Hip and Leg Pain, I go into more detail on how to figure out if this is the right exercise for you or not.
It may seem simple but it has helped me heal countless people with back pain, including myself.
Why doesn’t everyone know this then?
Well, this exercise often hurts the first few repetitions if there is a lot of stiffness in the back. This causes people to drop it in its tracks.
However, it often starts to feel better after several repetitions. If it does, then this is a good sign.
Secret #2: Yoga Breathing Can Release Tension and Stress
When it comes to reducing tension and stress, yoga breathing techniques can be the easiest and most effect method you can use.
When feeling stressed or anxious, simply taking a slow deep breath might be enough to feel a release. However, when you’re flooded with emotion and the nervous system is in flight/flight, it can be hard to remember to do even that!
Therefore, starting a daily breathing practice can not only prepare you to be more resilient during stressful times, but it can also make it more likely that you’ll actually apply a breathing technique when you actually need it.
Here’s a sample from my FREE ebook, Modern Pain Relief Secrets: Back, Hip and Leg Pain:
Dirgha Breath (The Complete Yogic Breath)
· Lie down on the floor or sit with the spin tall. Soften the abdomen, face and jaw. Place your hands on your lower abdomen.
· Now begin to breath into your lower abdomen feeling your hands rise up with the inhale, and lowering towards the spine with the exhale. Repeat for at least 3-5 breaths.
· Place your hands on the sides of your torso over your lower ribs and begin to breathe into your hands in this position. Feel your ribcage expand out to the sides during the inhale and returning back with the exhale. Repeat for at least 3-5 breaths.
· Now place your hands on the upper chest with the fingers touching the collar bones. Breathe into your hands filling up the upper chest and lungs. Slowly exhale. Repeat 3-5 times.
· Combine all 3 breaths to make a complete and full inhalation. Slowly let the breath out. Repeat 3-5 times.
· Return to your normal breathing pattern and notice the effects of the complete yogic breath. Perform 3x/day
Practice this technique 3 times per day if you can and notice how your relationship with stress changes over time. You can always start with 1x/day and build from there as well. The key is to do at least a little bit everyday.
Secret #3: Qigong Movements Can Increase Your Energy!
So what is Qigong (Chee-Gong)? According to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Qigong is translated as “vital energy cultivation” or “mastery of your energy.”
This “Energy Exercise” has been practiced for thousands of years. It originated in China but is now practiced by millions all over the world.
The purpose of the exercise is to cultivate energy, calm the body and mind, and optimize health to prevent sickness and disease and improve vitality and longevity.
It consists of gentle movement, breathwork, meditation and self-massage. The gentle movements are often coordinated with the breath and can be done sitting, standing, or even lying down. It is very accessible to anyone regardless of your beliefs or religion.
Qigong has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is one of the 4 pillars of TCM:
1. Qigong: gentle movement, breathwork, meditation and self-massage
2. Acupuncture: inserting small, hair-thin needles into various parts of the body to effect change
3. Herbology: using raw herbs that are ingested in teas, ground into powders, taken as pills or delivered through a tincture, balm or compress; may also include nutrition counseling
Qigong vs. Tai Chi
You might be thinking, “What’s the difference between Qigong and Tai Chi?”
Well, although the two are often thought of as distinct practices, Tai Chi is actually a form of Qigong.
Lets take a look at some of the similarities.
But, keep in mind that these are just generalities because of the many different varieties of each practice:
· They both are ancient Chinese traditions that relieve stress and increase energy
· They both use slow, deep breathing coordinated with the movement of the body
· Meditation is the foundation of each practice although they are thought of as more of a “Moving Meditation”
· Both can be used for healing the mind and body
Now let’s look as some of the differences:
· Tai Chi is generally more complex because it often consists of learning a series of movements that can take months to learn
· Qigong is often performed by doing one movement over and over again and sometimes just focuses on breathing techniques
· Tai Chi is technically a martial art
· Qigong is a system of healing and wellness (although there are some forms of martial Qigong)
· In Tai Chi class, instructors often teach with focus on proper execution of form
· Qigong can be more free-form, more adaptive, and can be done sitting, standing, or lying down
Overall, Tai Chi and Qigong are both healing practices that can be integrated into modern life to help with many various health challenges of for fitness.
The latest research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) states:
“Practicing tai chi may help to improve balance and stability in older people in those with Parkinson’s disease, reduce back pain and pain from knee osteoarthritis, and improve quality of life in people with heart disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses. Tai chi and qi gong may ease fibromyalgia pain and promote general quality of life. Qi gong may reduce chronic neck pain, but study results are mixed. Tai chi also may improve reasoning ability in older people.”
The best way to get started with Qigong is to watch our FREE Qigong Recorded Video Classes.
Learn these ancient practices tailored to fit our modern lives to tap into unlimited energy and vitality. It can also improve mental health, emotional disturbances, and alleviate pain.
Start gaining all the benefits of these healing exercises from the comfort of your own home.
Secret #4: Mindfulness and Compassion Can Reduce Suffering!
Mindfulness has become a household word nowadays. From Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to Mindfulness for Golfers, and everything in between.
Its interesting to see so many eastern traditions making their way into our mainstream culture. Actually, its really no surprise if you look at all the benefits they provide and all the suffering in this country that needs to be healed.
There are technically 4 foundations of mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness of Body
2. Mindfulness of Feelings
3. Mindfulness of Mind
4. Mindfulness of Dhammas (phenomena)
People spend their whole life studying and practicing these four foundations. The Buddha said that everyone “should be exhorted, settled, and established in the development of these Four Foundations of Mindfulness.”
But, even if you don’t follow all of the buddha’s teachings, you can gain many of the benefits from practicing mindfulness. Here are some of those benefits researched by the American Psychological Association:
· Reduced rumination
· Stress reduction
· Boosts working memory
· Less emotional reactivity
· More cognitive flexibility
· Relationship satisfaction
· Enhance self-insight, morality, intuition and fear modulation
· Increases immune function, improved well-being and reduced psychological stress
· Increase information processing speed
· Decreased task effort and having thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand
For even more benefits on mindfulness, visit here: 42 People Comment On The Benefits Of Mindfulness
As I said, these are just some of the researched benefits. However, I have experienced an overall decrease in my suffering in life form years of mindfulness meditation. It has helped me change my relationship with pain, my emotions, and even my relationships!
Compassion is like the other side of the same coin of mindfulness. It can be thought of as an “antidote” to your perceived low self-worth, failure, or any other form of suffering.
I had a very transformative experience when I attended a Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop.
There was an exercise where we were to imagine ourselves as the toddler or child version of ourselves. It was very powerful as I tend to be so hard on myself all the time.
By regarding myself in this way, I was able to soften, be kind, and allow myself to be just as I was. It helped increase a sense of love for myself in the moment.
Best of all…
I started to imagine other people in my life this way, especially those I was having some difficulty with. It transformed my relationship with many people that were very close to me and allowed my heart to open in a whole new way.
By letting go of mental, emotional, and physical tension, we can allow all of our painful areas to heal. But, better yet, it can help reduce our suffering even when the pain is still there.
One of the best places to find some short mindfulness meditations to get you started is from:
And here is where you can find some great self-compassion meditations: Self-Compassion
For even more details on the specific ways you can eliminate your pain and tap into unlimited energy, get my FREE ebook below:
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