wellness supporter 706: lower back

While acupuncture soon to be covered by Medicare for chronic lower back pain is an exciting development in the integration of traditions, we would also want to be concerned about yet another repetition of our error in treating the symptom (however effectively) but leaving the root untouched.

In general, health is a product of several factors–not unlike a rich stew being the result of various ingredients cooking and melding over time. Exercise and nutrition are indeed valuable, but for those who are serious about proactively protecting the health of the lower back consider the following:

angst gives rise to agitation

agitation gives rise to non-clarity

non-clarity gives rise to poor judgment

poor judgment gives rise to error

error gives rise to worry

worry gives rise to fear

fear gives rise to tension (including muscle tension)

tension gives rise to inflammatory signals in the neuro-endocrine-immune (NEI) complex

inflammatory signals in the NEI complex give rise to pain–including lower back pain

pain gives rise to suffering

Action items/points to ponder:

  • does the above chain of arising resonate as true to you?
  • the mind and body are inseparable, as are the coin’s heads and tails
  • the word angst is etymological cousin to the words angry and anxious
  • angst expressed vs angst suppressed/repressed
  • suppressed/repressed angst energy is like a build-up of pressure that can suddenly or unexpectedly explode; pain is one manifestation of that explosion
  • angst expressed constructively vs destructively; one contributes to health, the other to suffering
  • if you don’t already have one, begin a daily practice of meditation or meditative exercises like qigong to cultivate deepening self-awareness
  • practice checking-in daily with yourself; review your experiences, interactions, words and the different levels of mental/emotional reactions/responses; what do you feel good about? what do you feel bad about?
  • Truth neutralizes angst like acid neutralizes base like water neutralizes fire
  • there is Greater Truth which flows through us if we are receptive, teachable
  • there is lesser truth which is us leaning on our own understanding
  • internal states (mind-heart) give rise to external states (food choices, eating habits, postural tendencies, self-medicating habits, activity)

Featured image: acupuncture and cupping on a patient with chronic lower back pain, from the author’s practice

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