qigong for low back pain

Qigong For Low Back Pain

In this post I am going to guide you through some qigong for low back pain and help you understand why these seemingly simple exercises can have a profound effect on reducing or eliminating your back pain. Watch the video below, or keep reading underneath the video.

What creates chronic pain?

Before we do the first exercise, lets explore what pain actually is in the body and why qigong can help. Apart from the obvious causes of pain such as accidents and illness, when pain is an ongoing issue after an acute condition has passed, according to many ancient traditions and teachings, when we experience chronic pain, it is simply because the energy and informational flow in that area of our body has become stuck or stagnated. Our bodies tissues vibrate with frequencies and energy which acts as a carrier wave of information and it is this information that flows around our body which contributes to the physical structure and function of our body. Now, if you have never experienced what this feeling of energy flow known as ‘qi’ is, I suggest you check out my qigong body tapping video that has popped up just here and this will give you a direct experience of what it feels like to activate and awaken the energy flow in your body. I’ll also leave links below this video so you can check it out later.

So, if pain simply means stagnation of energy and informational flow, we need to find ways to get that energy moving again, and qigong is very effective in reducing pain-especially when practiced as a lifestyle habit.

Stand like a tree-qigong exercise

So lets get to the first exercise. This exercise works on the premise that when we hold certain postures we activate a certain energetic resonance in our body. This is otherwise known as piezoelectricity. Ideally you would combine this exercises within a longer qigong routine, but I want to go into just one exercise that can help with low back pain. This exercise is known as ‘Stand Like a tree’ in qigong, and it is the kind of exercise that you will need to build upon to receive maximum benefits from it. But I want to give you head start today and guide you through it and what sensations may arise when you first do this exercise.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet parallel and hip distance apart
  • Soften your knees
  • Allow the tail bone to drop down
  • Draw back your chin slightly
  • Bring your arms up at heart height with your palms facing towards your chest-as if you are holding a large ball.
  • Sink your weight back into your heels to take the pressure out of your knees
  • Aim to keep your arms and shoulders as relaxed as possible
  • Hold for as long as you can as you imagine you are embracing a tree in a forest and becoming the tree. Feel its strong roots into the earth. Feel the energy tingling in the palms of your hands

Kidney healing sound

The second exercise I want to show you today is a kidney exercise and taken from one of the six healing sounds in qigong. When we produce sound we are literally vibrating our tissues, and specific sounds have a certain vibrational resonance with particular organs. For example, if you make the sound Zzzzzz, you can feel it in your chest, and this sound correlates with the lungs in Chinese medicine. The sound I am going to teach you today resonates with the kidneys and lower back area, and with practice you can become more acutely aware of the vibrations going through your back. Before we do this exercise though, lets talk about the emotions associated with the kidneys.

The Door Of Life

In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are seen as the battery of the entire body. The lower back area is known as ‘The Door Of Life’ and relates to how much energy and vitality we feel on a day to day basis. If you have lower back pain and /or weakened or stagnated kidney energy, it is not unusual for you to feel like you get tired easily, or you feel like you are lacking support somewhere in your life, or having financial struggles and therefore feeling insecure about your position. You may feel fearful about something and be lacking courage to take some kind of action that you secretly know you’d benefit from taking. All these aspects can drain your energy and can manifest as chronic lower back pain which can be a result of sluggish kidney energy, or may have begun with an actual physical injury and manifested into something chronic and has affected the flow of the kidney meridian. So, it can work both ways. But either way, the energy and information is simply not flowing as well as it could.

The kidney meridian and relationship to back pain

It is important to note that just because you have low back pain does not mean there is something physically wrong with your kidneys (however, if you are getting pain specifically in the kidneys and have urinary symptoms you MUST get this checked by a medical practitioner as soon as possible). When I talk of kidney energy, I am referring to the kidney meridian line from Tradtional Chinese Medicine, and it has way more significance than just the function of the kidneys-but that is for another post.

How to do the qigong kidney sound

  • Sit on the edge of a chair
  • Bring your feet and knees together and lift your heels
  • Lean forward and round your spine and clasp your hands around the front of you knees
  • Look straight ahead and take a big breath and chant ‘Chorrrreeee’ for as long as your breath will allow you too
  • Bring the palms of your hands to your kidney area, close your eyes and imagine blue light entering in the crown of your head and filtering down into your arms and out through the palms of your hands and into your kidneys and rest of body
  • Allow yourself to imagine basking in the blue light
  • Repeat at least 3 times

What the kidney sound does to your low back

This sound exercise works to purge negative emotions from the kidneys and lower back area, and replaces the energy through the visualisation of the blue light, as light has its own unique frequency depending on the colour, and this can have a healing regenerating effect directly to our physiology. Once again, I want to remind you that these exercises are best done in the context of a longer qigong routine, however, they still have positive effects even when done as standalone exercises.

So, what do you think? Did you try the exercises? Would you be willing to give Qigong a go for a while to see if you can find some relief from your low back pain? Feel free to comment below and let me know, and be sure to check out the links below this video where you can learn more about some of the best modern technology in relation to ancient energy practices.

 

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Alice A.

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    Having lived in Hongkong for 10 years, I am familiar with Qigong. Just like Taichi, Qigong is a traditional Chinese practice for training and health benefits. I see people, especially the elderly, doing these exercises every morning and I thought it was just a form of recreation for them. It never occured to me that Qigong exercises can actually help relieve or eliminate back pain.

    I have been suffering from lower back pain for more than a week now, I hope it’s not my kidneys though. I guess I hurt my back when I quickly and suddenly lifted a very heavy box while I was cleaning my room. Anyway, I read through the steps on how to properly do the exercise and I think I can do it. I’m just wondering how often I should do this in order to get the most benefits, and for how long? Days or weeks?

    Thank you for a very informative post.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hi Alice, yes I always thought these kinds of exercises were just a form of recreation for elderly until I took a class from someone who was young and a westerner. This changed my perspective completely about qigong and I didn’t realise its depth in terms of a wellness practice and made me think this kind of exercise should be taught in schools!

      In terms of getting benefits from these exercises-it is best done within a 10-20 minute longer routine (try this one -this was the teacher who opened my eyes to qigong), and then tack the above exercises on at the end of the routine. With the standing posture- aim for 5-10 minutes, and with the kidney exercise do a minimum of three repeats, but could be as many as you like until you feel a shift. Qigong is most effective when done most days of the week and could be as short as 10 minutes per day to get benefits.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Jay

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    These seem like really unique exercises and this is the first time I am coming across them. I always thought most back pain problems are supposed to be cured using modern medicine but with this techniques it seems some of them can actually be cured with it.

    I currently have a back pain and I plan to continue this your technique for me to see how it goes. I have bookmarked this page. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Hey Jay, unfortunately we have been indoctrinated that western modern medicine is the only way to go. But I say use both western AND eastern for best results. One focuses on prevention (east) and the other focuses on crisis situations. Both have their place. 🙂

      Reply

  • Avatar

    LearnToEarn Admin

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    Your post on lower back pain makes for very interesting reading.

    From the information you provided I have learnt a bit about what causes back pain, as well as kidney pain.  I think a lot of people experience lower back pain from an injury as you’ve pointed out.  The pain is quite excruciating and any form of relief is welcome, however, for me personally, I’ve found any back exercises unsuccessful as they hurt the back more.

    Thank you for providing this information as a form of a solution to lower back pain.

    Edu

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Have you tried qigong for your back pain? Qigong is a very gentle exercise unlike pilates based exercises for back pain, which is typically prescribed as a solution when you see a physiotherapist. Pain in the body needs to be addressed beyond the local area and lifestyle and emotional make up as well as traumatic life events should also be taken into consideration.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Evald

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    Hey there,

    this article came just in time as I am looking for excercises which would help to relief my lower back pain which I developed due to bad sitting habbits (I used to lean to much forward when sitting in front of pc for many hours). I found You article to be very informative and helpful and I am looking forward to trying out these recommended excercises and strengthen my lower back! I also really admire how You explain the origins of lower back pain, what creates it and etc. Learning about Qigong was very exciting, especially the part about how kidney and lower back are connected, I learned a lot of new things today! Thanks for great article and keep up the good work!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Liz

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      Thanks Evald! I am glad you got some benefit out of the post. Yes sitting for too long and incorrectly is one of the most common ways people get chronic sore backs. Qigong really helps free up the joints and reduce pain especially when practiced first with a warm up, an activation and the a flowing routine and finishing with standing postures and/or the 6 healing sounds. 

      Reply

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