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An easy stretch that quells back pain (video)

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Back pain is among the most common and far-reaching wellness concerns and is one of the leading reasons people visit primary care physicians. Back pain can be caused by many factors, including injury, stress, poor posture and age-related degeneration of the spine. Key factors in back pain stem from muscle spasms or trigger points on either side of the spine and compression of the vertebrae, leading to nerve irritation, inflammation and pain.

Many people reach for over-the-counter analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications or receive treatments at the hands of a massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist. But there is another, more direct way to ease the pain.

Today, I’d like to share with you a do-it-yourself exercise from China that reduces pain and frees restricted motions along the whole spine. It eases pain and stiffness by stretching and relaxing the muscles that maintain

Chinese Therapy

This exercise, known as “rolling the scroll,” originates in Chinese neigong body exercises. It works by treating the spinal column, which is made up of vertebrae, as a chain with links. Rather than rub the muscles that hold the chain in place or press on a bunch of chain links, this technique has the person “roll” into himself to move each individual link within the chain. Each vertebra is stretched individually by moving it away from the preceding one in a manner that allows you to feel the location of the tightness and relax into a place where that space can elongate back to its normal resting length.

By standing upright and extending your arms above your head, you are in effect stretching for the sky and, in the preparatory position, stretching and elongating the spinal column. Then you simply bend forward, one chain link (vertebra) at a time, while exhaling, to release tension as your entire spinal column is stretched — from the base of the skull to the base of the sacrum. The accompanying video walks you through this amazing, yet gentle, stretch that helps relieve neck and back pain by elongating the spine to decompress the space between the vertebrae.

spinal integrity and correct posture.

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