Stress and Low Back Pain
Today’s tip is on stress and low back pain. I want to give you a brief overview to help make you aware of the adverse impact stress has on your body and particularly low back pain. It’s obvious that physical stress such as bending or lifting heavy objects can wear on the back over time, but mental-emotional stress, which is not so obvious can weaken and tire out the back as well.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine and the practice of acupuncture emotions have a strong effect on our health. In health we need to find balance in our expression of emotions but when we get stuck in the same old emotions day after day this becomes extreme and problematic. Small doses of stress can be healthy and challenge us to grow stronger but constant stress cannot be sustained for too long and eventually something has to give. I like to describe stress as a tension in the body. Breathing is constricted, the mind is racing and the body becomes more ridged. Like a child, you want to scream but as a grownup it’s not appropriate so you hold it in like a pressure cooker ready to explode. This tension or pressure becomes a destructive force in the body. As I said in an early tip good health is about good circulation. Tension will block circulation and tension day after day will eventually lead to health issues. Now emotions such as anger, irritability and frustration can often be present particularly when it comes to low back pain. Anger is like a fire excessively burning up the body’s energy. Stress tends to tie in with frustration and irritability and have a more stagnant and stuck feeling – the energy is not able to flow smoothly. These pent up emotions or excess emotional expressions can drain the body and can lead to weak and tired low back that is already burdened carrying the body’s weight. Some folks struggle with stress and self-medicate by eating too much which leads to weight gain which again will put a higher strain on the back over time. All of these factors need to be considered especially when low back pain has been chronic for a long period of time.
As a means of prevention or support for your low back pain you may need to consider stress management techniques such as tai chi, chi kung or meditation. They can be helpful. When I teach meditation or stress management techniques I like to make it practical and simple. You don’t need to cross your legs and get into an uncomfortable position. You just need to find times in your day to explore deeper levels of relaxation in a comfortable way. You can find more articles on my website that explores these techniques much deeper. You can so contact my office if you are interested in learning these powerful and rejuvenating stress management techniques.
As a safe and natural treatment along with acupuncture – herbal formulas and whole food supplements offer much needed support to help promote circulation, reduce inflammation and revive the low back from the chronic daily drain of tension and stagnation due to stress. These are all-natural solutions to healing that you should consider between stress and low back pain.