My last post about eye health got me thinking about some of my favorite remedies for back and neck pain:
1) herbal packs, or as we lovingly refer to them in my house, herby things. After a couple minutes in the microwave, the herby thing will cure what ails you–migraine, neck or back pain, menstral cramps, etc. I’ve literally bought one for almost everyone I know.
2) I just discovered a new exercise that helps my back. It’s billed as a “wait whittling exercise” on fitsugar.com (there’s a version in the ab and waist videos on their page), but I’ve found it helps the muscles parallel to my spine, in between my shoulder blades. Basically, you stand with your feet shoulder width apart. I think it works best with my elbows pointed out (parallel to the floor). Then I twist back and forth slowly, keeping my hips still. In other words, try to keep the movement in your ribs. Suck your stomach in a little. I do it 50 times (25 on each side). It feels good on my back in the moment, but I’ve also noticed a decrease in back pain generally since I’ve made it a daily habit. Actually, I do the exercise while holding a warm compress over my eyes because I’m efficient like that.
3) bikram yoga. I’m sure all kinds of yoga help backs and necks get stronger, but bikram yoga has been particularly effective for me. It lasts 90 minutes (and always consists of the same series of exercises) in a 105 degree room. Bikram yoga also helps me sleep better and it helps all kinds of body aches. It’s also very challenging, so can make you feel good about yourself in spite of any work problems you may be having. Because it requires a lot of physical and mental focus, it’s helps ease anxiety, too.
4) another stretch that feels especially good to my body is to lay with my back on the floor, pulling my knees toward my chest. I hold my knees by crossing my forearms over them and then rock from side to side.