Meditation & Health No 13 - Table of Contents



Healthy Bones Part I:

Healthy Spine, Healthy Body

                                            By Tian-ge




         Apart from the cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes, which are classified as me ‘big three” killers by the World Health Organization, spinal and other bone conditions pose the most harm to a human body.

         Bones, In particular the spine, support many aspects of the body, including sensory and metabolic functions. Even sweating is controlled by the spinal nerves. The spine Is the “second lifeline’ of The body.

         A relaxed spine contributes to a relaxed, healthy body. Spinal core is an essential port of overall wellness.



How Healthy Is Your Spine?


           At the end of a day’s work, do you have blurred vision and shoulder pain? DO you have the habit of supporting your waist with your hands when rising from a chair, and the need to stretch your body to loosen up all your joints? Get a sense Of your spinal health by answering the following questions: 

1. Do you suffer from deteriorating vision, eye pain, light sensitivity or tearing?

2. Do your bones make cracking sounds when you turn and move your neck, bock or  joints?

3. Do you often experience headaches, a stiff neck or discomfort in your lower back?

4. Does your neck have good range of motion?

5. Are you able to breathe deeply without discomfort in your back?

6. Is your Immune system weak?

7. Do you often feel fatigued and lack concentration?

8. Is one of your legs shorter than the other?

9. Do you walk with feet turned out?

10. Do the heels of your shoes wear down at differing rates?

11. Do you regularly work more than three hours in front of a computer?

12. Do you exercise less than three hours per week?

       If your answers to half of the above questions are ‘yes,’ Then you need to start focusing on your spinal health.



Why Do Spinal Problems Develop?


          Spinal problems develop over a period of time. In addition to long-term work-induced exhaustion and incorrect posture, aging is another factor that affects the useful life of our spine. People who work at a computer for long hours and those with jobs requiring repetitive physical actions are particularly susceptible to spinal issues.


An Infant’s Delicate Spine


         Recently, a friend of mine, on orthopedic doctor, and I visited a mutual friend who has a baby. When we saw her cute 10-month-old child standing In o walker and playing in the living room, my doctor trend recommended letting the baby crawl and sit more instead of learning to walk. He said: The shape of the pelvis and lumbar greatly impacts a person’s life. Nowadays, a lot of children don’t crawl enough: crawling In fact helps the development of a child’s spine. The walker helps him to walk and run without fear of falling, but is damaging to the baby. The baby’s pelvis is very soft. Sitting or standing in the walker may cause deformation of the pelvis.” Spinal problems not properly addressed during Infancy are likely to affect a child’s spinal development.



Incorrect Posture


          Bad posture causes a bad Spire. Chronically straining the neck and shoulders while staring at a computer screen, standing or sitting with hunched shoulders, tying on your side to read, napping at your work station with your head on the desk, or using your neck and jaw to hdd o telephone are bound to damage the neck and back. Good posture is essential to keeping your spine healthy.


The S Curve


          Students spend hours hunching over their desks and carrying heavy bags full of books. Many kids prefer straining their necks toward a computer to surf the Internet or play computer games rather than getting proper exercise. Spinal abuse is a common problem among office workers as well. According to surveys, the probability of white-collar workers experiencing neck and back pain is more than 60 percent. Spinci daze can result n a scoliosis-type S curvature of the spine, resulting in chronic pain and Compromised organ function.


Chilled Spine


           When the weather is scorching hot, everyone likes to stay inside an air-conditioned environment. We often see people wet with perspiration happily enjoying cold air blowing directly of them from an air-conditioning However, this can damage the spine. Damp wind, coldness and moisture cause poor blood circulation. Excessive reliance on air-conditioning causes the body to perspire less which means inefficient detoxification, and it increases the likelihood of spinal issues and frozen shoulder.



Proper Care of the Spine


           Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to the spine as She sea of positive pulse.’ Protecting its well being is considered fundamental to a healthy body. The vast majority of spinal diseases do not require surgical treatment; however, nonsurgical treatments are often required. Here ore some ways to maintain spinal health.


Spend a Few Minutes a Day:


Performing Neck Exercises


           Rotate your head In gentle circles to relieve fatigue and enhance the flexibility of your neck muscles. Stand and stretch out both aims to the front and draw circles by rotating them backwards and then switch direction.


Massaging the Vertebral Point


           The vertebral point is at the top portion of your spine. It you lower your head to feel your cervical vertebra, you can find a slightly elevated area. that is the vertebral point. Massaging the vertebral point can treat and prevent headaches, as well as a cold or flu. Rub your hands together till they ore warm, then massage the point. Alternatively, you con clench hands Into fists, stretch both arms over your head, and then with both thumbs together knock the vertebral points with appropriate intensely; this can improve the circulation therein.


Stretching the Spine


           Stretching can loosen tight muscles and enhance the flexibility of the spine. In a standing position, breathe in, stretch both arms above your head breathe out, bend forward and try to grasp your ankles with both hands. Try to Stretch till your body touches your thighs and hold for a few seconds. Regular stretching is a key to good health.



Five Spine-Friendly Habits


Tips on Spine Care


          Do you know how to move heavy Things the safe way?

          In fact, moving heavy objects Is not really that simple; It requires a special technique. Most of us are accustomed to moving heavy objects by bending over, not knowing that this can easily strain the waist muscles. The correct posture is to first squat and bend your knees, hug the heavy abject, then use the strength in your legs to lift up the object. Avoid using the strength from your waist to carry heavy objects, and start walking only when you are standing upright and hugging the object.


Is your sitting posture correct?


           For office workers who have to sit for long hours every day, posture Is dependent on the postlioning of the desk, computer and chair. Be mindful of adjusting these things to the correct height.

           Check that your seat is at the same height as your knees so that you con bend your knees nicely at 90 degrees to achieve the most comfortable position. And, to reduce the burden on your waist, always choose a seat with a backrest and try not to cross your legs. A desk of correct height should have ample space for your legs to stretch underneath. The computer monitor should be high enough that you con look at It without bending your head.

          If you have to work in front of a computer for more than an hour, remember to take regular breaks to stretch your back, rotate your head and walk around.



Do you keep your spine warm?


           Avoid drafts Of direct contact from an air-conditioner. At times, you may have to stay in an air-conditioned room where the temperature is too low. To prevent your neck and shoulders from getting cold, carry a scarf or shawl. Collared shirts are good, as the collar can be flipped up to protect the neck.


Do you have the right pillow?


            If your pillow Is too thick or too Rot, It WM affect the quality of your sleep. Use your left hand to measure the width of the right shoulder from the side of your neck to the Joint of your arm. This width is the ideal height of your pillow. The entire head and neck should rest on the pillow; do not let the neck go without support.


Do you exercise?


            Walking, swimming, cycling, etc. are all good exercises for the spine. Swimming enhances the strength of the muscles without Jarring the body. It is good for bock, neck and shoulder pain. Other recommended exercises are ball games and yoga.


Are your Kidneys nourished?


            Of the five main Internal organs, Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the kidneys support the growth and development of bone and marrow. Hence, it is important to nourish the kidneys by consuming Chinese wolf berries, chrysanthemum, sesame and long an. Tea is also beneficial for spinal health. It contains alkaloids and polyphenols which can eliminate muscle fatigue and promote new bone growth. However, drink tea h moderation. Foots on Wing adequate minerals in your diet, inducing calcium, magnesium, silicon, strontium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and boron. Get plenty of vitamins D and K2.



Special Exercises for the Spine


        The spine Is the coordinating center of your organs and tissues: a central system that acts on the brain’s commends to deploy resources to the rest of the body. Prostration is an exercise that Is not only good for slimming, but can also correct spinal problems. 

        The body’s bones and Joints are In fluid motion during prostration, especially the neck and lumbar Joints. through raising the two arms, stretching the body and knocking the forehead on the ground, coupled with the energy gained through meditation, we can speed up The metabolism of the blood. Prostration can thus improve blood circulation and bring nourishment to the spine. Prostration can be done indoors or out.

        Practice prostration in the morning to awaken your body so you feel light one active for the day. In the evening, it can relieve fatigue in the neck and spine. Continual practice wit significantly improve many common spinal conditions.

        The walking meditation Energy Bagua focuses on the movement of the spine. When you practice, the cervical spine, lumbar spire and muscles stretch naturally and become flexible and powerful. Energy Bogua Is easy to learn and the movements are gentle and suitable for all ages. Many people who had back problems, after a regimen of daily Energy Bogua practice, have reported that their pain has diminished.

        To have a healthy body, you must have a healthy spine. Nourish and protect you body’s “second lifeline.”



Meditation & Health No 13 - Table of Contents