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Twelve ways to heal an aching back

If you were to make a list of the reasons for an aching back, it would be long!  From sitting at a computer in an awkward position, to driving in stressful traffic and not being able to get out and stretch, to sitting in one position at a class or lecture, to overwork, to under-exercising and subsequent weak abdominal muscles, to problems during birth, to giving birth, to spinal abnormalities, to traumatic injuries, the list goes on.

My back started hurting when I was in my mid 20s due mostly to strenuous modern dance, and then from over-doing it giving deep tissue massage therapy. So I am an expert at making my back get better.  Here are a few tips:

1.  Lie down with your knees bent and rest calves on an exercise ball.

2.  Lie down with a tennis ball on each side of your spine, starting at your sacrum and gradually working up the spine to the edge of your shoulders.

3.  Lie on a medium size ball in between your shoulder blades to stretch your upper back.

4.  Lie on your back with your knees curled into your chest and roll around

5.  Lie on a large exercise ball, draped back over it, keeping your balance

6.  Curl up in child’s pose and have some press along your spine.

7.  Strenghten your abs

8.  Strengthen your back (Dog pose is good for this, as are many other yoga poses)

9.  Go for a walk to see if you can help the tight areas release

10.  Relax in a jacuzzi (unless you shouldn’t for health reasons) and let the jet stream massage your tight muscles.

11.  Get a massage from a skilled and experienced bodyworker and encourage your insurance company to cover massage so you can go back on a regular schedule.

12.  If you still are in pain after several massages, look into chiropractic (I like the activator technique because it is gentle) and then acupuncture.

Most of us have the resources to heal ourselves.


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