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How To Use Acupressure For Back Pain:
3 Points and a Mindfulness
Exercise to Move the Stuck Energy
In my practice, I've found that acupressure for back pain can be helpful. From the energy healing point of view, pain is often
caused by frozen or blocked energy, and different forms of energy
healing (such as acupressure) can often get this energy to release and move again.
Emotions are a form of energy, and in the body they seem to relate most closely to the muscular system. When the energy of an emotion gets stuck, it thus often is reflected in a contracted, "tight," painful muscle.
For some reason, the back seems to be one of the primary areas where emotions lodge and cause problems. It has a few of the major "horizontal zones" in the body (lower back, upper back and shoulders) and these muscles seem to be places where the energy collects and stagnates.
But, as I’ve said, energy work seems to be able to help move this energy in many cases. Acupuncture and acupressure offer a couple of time-tested techniques for moving the qi (energy). (See below)
Mindfulness work (mind-body work) can also be extremely helpful, both in working generally with the area that hurts, and in working with trigger points, which are highly localized points of frozen energy within the physical muscles. They can cause great discomfort both at the site and well beyond it. Scroll down the page for a mindfulness exercise you can do for back pain relief.
How To Use Acupressure For Back Pain
- In the lower back, between the 2nd and 3rd lumbar vertebrae (at waist level), two and four finger widths away from the spine on either side, are B23 and B47. Pressing these points can help to relieve lower back pain and sciatica. They can be tender, so a light touch is indicated to begin with.
To work with these acupressure points for back pain, from a seated position put your hands at your waist with fingers wrapped around your sides and your thumbs on the paraspinal muscles, four fingers out from the spine on either side. The pressure should be directed so that it's angling in toward the spine. Hold as much pressure as you can without causing discomfort, for approximately one minute. Then switch to B23, approximately two fingers away from the spine and follow the same procedure.
An alternative way to work these points is to lie on your back with knees up. Place your fists, palm down, under your back on either side of the spine at waist level, so that the knuckles press into your paraspinal muscles. If it feels good, you can sway your knees gently from side to side to increase the depth of pressure to these points.
- Another place you can use acupressure for back pain is in the center of the back of the crease in your knees. This point, B54, is good for relieving back pain and stiffness, as well as sciatica and knee pain.
To work with this point, place your fingertips in the center of your knee creases, applying pressure for about one minute. You can do this either seated, or lying on the floor on your back with your knees bent toward your chest.
You can add some side to side rocking, as well, if it feels good. This position helps to relieve stress on the lower back, so it gives you some added relief.
- Another effective acupressure for back pain point is B48. You'll find it one to two finger widths outside the sacrum (the large bony area at the base of the spine) and about midway between the top of the hipbone and the base of the buttocks.
These points are taken from Acupressure's Potent Points, by Michael Reed Gach. It's an excellent resource book with very clear directions about how to locate the points.
Mindfulness Techniques For Moving The Energy Of Your Back
Mindfulness can be a powerful mover of the stuck energy that is often the cause of a back ache. Our consciousness is a powerful healer and balancer, and bringing it to places in our bodies where we are uncomfortable can be almost magically helpful.
To do this back pain relief technique, you may want to place a hand on the place that hurts or have someone else do it. It can also be helpful to have someone else guide you through this exercise.
- Instead of resisting the pain, just sit with it for a few moments, quietly breathing into it. Notice it and how it feels. Get a feel for its size, shape, intensity, and anything else you notice about it. Notice any emotions you are feeling. Are you afraid of the pain? Angry about it? Sad?
- Try not to resist the physical and emotional feelings. Just accept them and sit with them. Keep your awareness in your body at the place where it hurts.
- Be compassionate toward the pain. Send your body and the discomfort loving-kindness.
- Silently ask if there is any information in the feelings you are having. Often our bodies express feelings and thoughts that we cannot bear to bring to consciousness. Is your body trying to tell you something?
- This may be enough to shift the pain. At the very least it is often enough to "cut it down to size" -- to help you realize that it is not as large as your whole world, or even as large as your whole body--and this can make you feel lots better.
- You may also want to invite the area that is in discomfort to become more fluid and to flow into a state of greater balance. It is important here that you just ALLOW this to happen, rather than trying to make it happen. You just suggest it to your body and allow what happens to happen.
- Close with allowing your awareness to go to the areas surrounding the area of discomfort. Invite them, too, to become more fluid. Then bring your awareness to your entire body, and invite your entire body to be in a greater state of flow.
- Get up and move gently around. Repeat this mindfulness exercise as often as you need to or want to.
Of course, the best remedy is prevention. Try
to get plenty of good exercise, maintain an optimal posture,
keep your abdominal muscles strong, and
Return from Acupressure for Back Pain to Natural Pain Relief.
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