All of us at some time or another are experiencing back pain, even children today are suffering with it. For some the pain can become unbearable and bring a lot of misery into our lives where normal daily things can become very difficult, causing us a great deal of unhappiness and sorrow. And for others it is just that annoying niggle that you just can’t seem to shift, again disturbing every day life.
In modern science it is very easy to pin point where the back pain is, but it is not so easy to cure. And this can be because we are looking in the wrong place for the cause of the pain and hence the wrong solution. Back pain can be physical due to injury, strain on the muscle, damage to the vertebrae or disk, or pressure on a nerve. Also it can be caused by other diseases i.e. kidney or heart problems, cancer or tumours, obesity etc. But quite often the pain is caused by psychological stress. The mind is very clever and the subconscious mind can create the pain to escape reality. For example suddenly before a big meeting you don’t want to attend or an exam or interview you are very nervous about, you get a fever or terrible headache, the subconscious creating these so you can escape whatever it is that is causing you the stress. The pain or the physical problem is being caused by a psychosomatic issue; that of an emotional or mental issue. To feel the pain the prana (energy) has to be disturbed, and when you have the pain you focus on the pain creating tension in the muscles. If it is stress causing your pain then often the treatments you are having will not work as you are only addressing the physical and not the mental issues.
Therefore stress management has a very important role in back pain. Of course there are heat treatments, wearing supports, strengthening exercises, sleeping on a hard mattress and massage,changes to our diet and lifestyle that can help. However by following some simple relaxation techniques you can really relieve your back pain. De-stressing your mind can make the pain vanish.
The practice of yoga can help to both relieve stress to the mind and to the body, in practising meditation, yoga nidra, chanting of mantras, chanalysing your prana lying in savasana and a technique called cyclic relaxation, where the relaxation takes place in a standing position, for those of you who simply can’t lie in savasana.
These techniques are vital for all of us but for those of you suffering with back pain, I believe that this is where you should start to approach the problem by de-stressing.
A simple meditation technique is to simply sit in a comfortable position that you can maintain for some time, place your hands in your lap the right over the left (dhyana mudra) you may sit on a chair as long as the spine is free and straight, or you can do it lying on the floor or standing upright, close your eyes, making sure you are not going to be disturbed for the duration of your practice and begin to watch your breath. Follow your breath from the tip of the nose up through the nostrils feeling all the sensations, keep following deep into your lungs, then follow it back out again from the lungs up and through the nostrils. Become aware of nothing but your breath, the subtle sound it makes and the gentle movements of your tummy as it rises and falls, letting go of everything else going on in your life, just breathe and find your peace. You will naturally begin to release any tension in the muscles during this process. Choose a realistic amount of time that is going to be doable and stick to that time for the practice, it could be just a few minutes or up to half an hour or even longer, that is up to you.
It is amazing how stressed we can become without even being aware of it, so be careful and really take the time for proper relaxation where the whole body and mind can rejuvenate and you can free yourself from the pains in your body.
For now be calm and content and find peace
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May all living entities find harmony and balance
Om shanti shanti shanti
Peace peace and perfect peace
Mangala / Nicky.