When it comes to back pain, some people suffer and hope it goes away, most people will take some form of pain killers, many will go to see doctors who will often recommend surgery, a few may even opt for acupuncture or acu-point water needling.
But what if there was another way? Less invasive than surgery, less scary or threatening than acupuncture or water needling, and in many cases, as effective, or perhaps more so?
Yes, the ancient breathing, meditation, poses, and exercises of the Hindus, the stress-relieving, Gumby-like bending you see lithe women doing in fitness studios around the world, could be the answer to back pain.
From India, the origin of yoga itself, a story: a grey-haired, rounded-belly Indian gentleman in his 60s walks in. He’s the yoga teacher. ’I came to yoga like so many others do–when there were no other options. I had had back pain for many years. I was stressed. My body was stressed. I had pounded my motor-scooter over these terrible roads for many years, jarring my musculoskeletal system. The pressure of my job has manifested as physical pain and high blood pressure. My pain was so severe I couldn’t get out of bed. And then, I couldn’t even walk. That’s when I found yoga–when there was no other way to go on.’ He tells us, then proceeds to sit on the yoga mat, legs in lotus position, before reclining so his spine arched and the crown of his head rested on the floor. (See featured image)
Now, how many of us with no back or knee problems can even do that? Next he proceeds to do a headstand with a slow grace and ease, and practiced flow and stability unimaginable in someone his age. My jaw hit the floor. I was impressed. But perhaps you’re not. Or at least you’re not convinced.
The next story comes from an American women, (presumably) in her 60s as well, whose back pain was caused by self-inflicted jarring: typically called running. The day after consulting with a top surgeon in the USA who told her her options were surgery or complete disability, she found herself in a yoga class. As one who was beyond desperate, anything was worth a try. One yoga class led to less pain, which led to more yoga classes and postponing the surgery. More yoga classes followed and she cancelled the surgery, and has had a pain-free existence for more than 15 years. (Read the full story on Stealthmode.)
And what about younger folk? A good friend of mine in her mid-20s is pregnant. Last week I watched her scream in pain as she tried to stand upright. She is suffering from pregnancy-associated girdle pain, which typically manifests as lumbar pain. After only 1 yoga session in which she was introduced to some stretches, she’s feeling much better and getting rid of the pain. How great is that and a huge relief!
Now I can’t recommend yoga for everyone or every condition, but according to the yoga teacher in the first story, different yoga postures can be used for such back problems as:
- Back pain
- Disc prolapse
And to preserve spine strength & flexibility.
More on yoga in the upcoming posts.
Sorry to the loyal readers for leaving you hanging these last 10 days–my life has been crazy. But World Vitae is now officially a company, i.e. a registered entity and I have been preparing some pretty awesome products to support alternative paths to greater health and wellness, so stay tuned.