The vast majority of us will, at some point in our lives, have to deal with the excruciating reality of spinal and neck pains, and for many of us, this sort of pain is an everyday reality we believe we simply have deal with and work through. Stiffness, aching, burning sensations and momentary stabs of discomfort are all things we know will come and go as we proceed through life, yet few of us really look at either the causes or solutions to these problems. Typically, we are quick to reach for the medicine cabinet to relieve such pains – painkillers, anti-inflammatory pills, lotions and tinctures are often used for mild back pain, whereas more severe problems can lead to trips to physiotherapists, chiropractors and even surgeons in the search for relief. However, such steps generally deal merely with the symptom, and not with the cause. Back pain is an unpleasant thing to have to deal with, but what does an aspirin do other than relieve the pain for a relatively short period of time, before it returns again and again?
One of the most common misconceptions about back pain is that it is merely a physical complaint, usually put down to pulled muscles or poor sleeping position. Occasionally, we are aware that we’ve strained ourselves by lifting something heavy, or undertaking some sort of strenuous activity we were not sufficiently prepared for. In these instances, the cause is generally quite obvious. But how about all of those times back pain appears to come from nowhere at all, and simply turns up like an unwelcome guest who is difficult to avoid or shoo away? More often than not, these issues come about as a result of stress, worry and anxiety creating pressure in our bones and muscles, and blocking the natural energies which pulse and spiral their way through our bodies. Stress is an unpleasant but almost unavoidable reality of everyday living – we are all working harder and longer than ever before, and worrying about a wider range of things than people have ever done in the past. Money, work, relationships, family, the future… all are subjects of great anxiety for the modern man or woman, and such worries are beginning to manifest themselves in a range of physical complaints, one of the commonest being back and neck pain. Indeed, we can see this to be true: we are all normally quick to dismiss back pain as being something that has arisen through poor sleep or sleeping positions, but why are we all sleeping so badly? Mostly because we are struggling to put our minds at rest, or let go of many of the anxieties we are plagued with.
Using Meditation and Yoga to Relieve Pain and Stress
The solutions to stress-related pains and aches are actually quite simple, and stretch back through history for several thousand years. Simply by working as little as twenty minutes of daily meditation into your routine can massively reduce stress, and certainly can help you sleep more peacefully and comfortably. By allowing your body to relax and benefit from stillness, quiet and deep breathing, we can ‘pull back’ from the material world and all its stressful situations, and remember that the reality of our bodies and minds is something far simpler, far more beautiful and serene than we are perhaps led to believe. Regular meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety dramatically, and also reduce things like high blood pressure – again, something linked with muscular pain and neck and spine problems.
Another great way of tackling back and neck pain is by practicing yoga. Yoga is an ancient technique practiced for thousands of years in India as part of a devotional and healthy lifestyle, and has the unique ability to both stretch, tone and release tension from the physical body, as well as encourage positive energies and meditative states with which to enrich the mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves. Regular yoga exercise can dramatically improve one’s mental and physical health, and your back and neck pains can quickly become a thing of the past once you begin implementing a regime of yoga and meditation into your daily life; you’ll even find that meditation can help cure insomnia. You’ll be learning to relax and let go of the stresses and pressures of your day, and at the same time improving your suppleness, stretching out your muscles and allowing your body to become loose and comfortable in itself. Indeed, modern health professionals are beginning to highly endorse yoga and meditation as part of a healthy, happy and long life – why not try it for yourselves and notice the difference first hand?
- Raleigh Durham Chiropractor Incorporates Yoga Into Back Pain Relief Program (virtual-strategy.com)
- How Yoga Can Help Alleviate Back Pain (healthygreenguide.wordpress.com)
- Back and Neck Pain (mycerebellarstrokerecovery.com)