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 Back Pain  Holistic-online.com

Bodywork

Bodywork includes all the various forms of massage, deep tissue, and movement awareness therapies that can be applied to the treatment of back pain. There are several techniques of bodywork available to choose from for back pain.

Some of the more common forms of bodywork used for back pain and the postural problems that can cause it, include Rolfing and Hellerwork. Both of these techniques involve the strenuous manipulation of the muscles, connective tissues, and joints in order to allow the body, muscles, and connective tissue to realign themselves. Movement awareness therapies such as the Feldenkrais Method and the Alexander technique have also proved effective for realigning and correcting the body's posture. These methods use light touch as well as visualization and suggestion in order to reprogram the body's ingrained image of itself. By relearning proper posture and movement with these techniques, one is often able to alleviate a lot of unnecessary back pain.

Other hands-on techniques that effectively treat back pain through energy healing include acupressure, shiatsu, and reflexology.

The following exercise is a variation of Feldenkrais exercise that can greatly benefit an aching back.

Lie on your back and take a few deep breaths. Notice how your spine is resting on the carpet. Do all the vertebrae touch, or are there spaces between your back and the floor? Does one side of your back touch the floor differently than the other? Does one side feel heavier than the other?

Send both legs, putting your feet flat on the carpet. Gently drop your knees to one side, noticing how far down they seem to go. Bring them back to center and drop them once again to the same side noticing any differences. Repeat this twenty-five times and then rest, stretching your legs back out. How does your back now touch the floor? Does your breathing seem any different than before?

Bend your legs again and drop them to the other side, noticing how far they seem to go. How does this side compare to the other? Bring your legs back to center and rest. Now imagine doing this movement in the most relaxed and fluent manner. Do this in your mind ten times, and then actually bend your knees to that side. Is the movement easier and fuller than before? Do this movement another twenty times, paying attention to how it makes your head move. When your legs drop, does your chin move toward or away from your chest? How does this movement affect your breathing?

Now stretch your legs back out and rest, noticing how your back now touches the ground. What differences do you notice in your breathing, neck, and head? Stand up, and walk around slowly, noticing how your body moves and feels.

Many people will notice surprising differences in their movement and posture. Indeed, some people find that their backs now lie completely flat on the ground for the first time in their lives and those with chronic pain may find the problem completely alleviated from this simple five- minute exercise. 

(Source: Alternative Medicine: A Definitive Guide by The Burton Goldberg Group)

See Also: The Alexander Technique, Reflexology, Acupressure

Next Topic: Chinese Medicine

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