I’m often asked which is the best Qigong for back pain. There are a number of exercises that I teach any of my Shiatsu clients who have chronic back pain, each tailored to the individual, and always with the advice that they are practiced to the easy motion barrier (To the point BEFORE it becomes painful). I have listed three of them at the end of this article but first let’s look at the lower back and one of the common problems associated with it.
Your back is more, much more, than just your spine. It is an evolutionary marvel that works 24 hours a day, all year round, even when you sleep, to support your upper body.
Flaws and Problems
However it is a marvel that is prone to flaws………… One of those “flaws” being hyperlordosis, commonly referred to simply as lordosis. The S shape of the lower back, known as the lordotic curve, is natural in humans and it is this curve that aligns the upper body so that its weight is carried evenly by the pelvis. It allows humans to be truly bipedal and upright.
If the lordosis becomes exaggerated it can cause excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments as well as tilting the pelvis forward and placing more pressure on the discs. This leads to weakness and the possibility of chronic lower back pain.
Using Qigong to Treat Lower Back Pain
Using almost any Qigong exercise that utilises Wuji stance can help alleviate lower back pain. However for them to work the stance MUST be correct so that hyperlordosis is reduced through relaxation and not through additional tension to allow the coccyx to tuck/roll under. It is fundamental that Wuji is learned and used before the real benefits can be found.
Very often, when the lower back becomes weak, there is a knock on effect and the upper back, the shoulders and the neck tense up as they try to lend support.
Recommended Qigong for Back Pain
This list of Qigong exercises is far from comprehensive but each of them is extremely beneficial in relieving lower back pain, including chronic pain. They work with the meridians and acupuncture points that are associated with lower back pain as well as releasing tension in the muscles while simultaneously increasing their tone.
- Rowing a Boat, from the Taiji Shibashi Qigong.There is also a seated modification for this exercise that is extremely beneficial.
- Hold the Toes and Strengthen the Kidneys, from the Ten Fundamental Treasures.
- Folding over, from the Embroidered Brocade.
Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.