As people grow older, they may experience normal wear and tear of the body. These bodily pains can limit and hinder them from achieving their goals and desires. One of the most common complaints of individuals is low back pain. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2010, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Studies also show that at least 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time. Moreover, it was found out that it is the top reason for absences at work exceeding cases of upper respiratory infections.

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In terms of health care cost, back pains are one of the most cost ineffective conditions. It entails various therapies like occupational and physical rehabilitation. Extreme cases might require expensive surgeries that might not only cost thousands of dollars but also, confine and limit movement and daily activities for a particular period of time.

Eastern Medicine takes on a much conservation approach in dealing with back pain. It doesn’t involve surgeries and rehabilitative therapies. It is more focused on holistic and over all well-being of the individual in relation to its bodily ailments. There are numerous examples of Eastern medicine that can alleviate back pain, but for this article, we will only focus on reiki, yoga and qi gong.

Reiki

With the involvement of touch therapy, scientific studies showed that Reiki help reduces the intensity of pain for patients diagnosed with cancers. There are certain studies that can substantiate this claim. With back pain, reports of individuals have also been gathered to demonstrate they have been relieved of back pain from this healing method.

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Reiki experts explained that the back and spinal cord is like a major electrical line that provides electrical current to travel in the body. With the use of energy coming from Reiki, it is able to promote deep relaxation to the back area and even helps in sciatica problems.

Testimonies from different individuals who have experienced the healing power of Reiki shared their experiences in chat rooms to disseminate information that this traditional treatment really works.

Yoga

Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means yoke or bind. It is also interpreted as “union.” The aim of the practice of yoga is to purify the body, provide strength and toughen the stamina needed for long hours in meditation. The benefits of yoga are endless but according to the American Osteopathic Association, the physical benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved posture and strengthen core muscles.

In line with this, some yoga poses release tight back muscle and alleviate pain. These are Bharadwaj’s twist, big toe pose, bridge pose, cat pose, chair pose, cow pose, crow pose, dolphin pose, downward facing dog, and easy pose.

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Qi gong

Qi gong is a part of traditional Chinese medicine and a gentle form of exercise. It is made of repetitive movements that stretch the body, increasing fluid (lymph, blood and synovial) movements and building the awareness of body movements through space. The main goal of this practice is to build, circulate and direct the flow of chi throughout the body to promote physical and mental well-being. The different styles in Qi gong that focus on the torso are the White Crane, Snake, Dragon, and Taijiquan. Movements in qi gong can be soft, soft-hard and hard.

In soft movements, tendons and muscles are in a state of deep relaxation while doing joint movements. The main objective of soft Qi gong is the promotion of circulation in joints through repeating the movements. In soft-hard movements, joints are gently moving while twisting it or slight tension on the tendons of the joint areas. The main objective of soft-hard qi gong is to strengthen the structure of the joints, ligaments, and tendons. In hard movements, the exertion of tension on the joints similar to weight lifting, however, the use of mind is utilized in Qi gong.