Does Meditation Help Pain?

 

Does Meditation Help Pain?
Tom Hall/WikiMedia

This is a topic that has come up time and again in my research. I have avoided it because I know so little about it. I know it is time to buckle down and learn about it. Especially if it helps my pain management. And yours!  Does Meditation Help Pain?

What is Meditation?

The dictionary defines meditation as the act of meditating.  Oh that’s helpful isn’t it?  Synonyms are: contemplation, thinking, musing prayer.  I like the example used that it is “cultivating the presence of God in meditation and prayer”.

Because I am a Christian, and I have been taught that meditation is from Eastern religion, I have avoided this topic. The eastern form of meditation calls for emptying the mind to gain oneness with the universe.  This is very antithetical to what the Bible calls me to do.  I am to meditate on God and seek to abide in Him.  So can I safely and honestly practice meditation to manage my pain?  How would that look?  And would it help my pain, or only focus my mind and soul on God?  Not that that is a bad thing!  Because it isn’t.  That is my chief aim in life; to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  That said, can I combine meditation with my Christian beliefs?

I think so.  And you can continue reading if you don’t practice Christianity.  Because the same principles apply in practicing meditation.

Before I move on, I see the term mindfulness associated with meditation.  Mindfulness is being aware of something.  I think of it as disciplining my mind to focus on a certain thought.  Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand.  Meditation is the tool, mindfulness is the path.

Does Meditation Help Pain?
vjgalaxy/Pixabay

How Does Meditation Help to Relieve Pain?

When we experience pain, our body releases hormones that magnify the pain, called stress hormones.  Our mind focuses on the pain.  We tense our muscles.  Meditation can reverse that by releasing calming hormones.  The calmer state of mind not only stops the body from releasing stress hormones, but also starts the body to release endorphins, i.e. feel good hormones.  These hormones can be released other ways also.  Some practices that release endorphins which I have used were exercise, laughing, caring for someone else.  See my post here for more information.  This calms the body, relaxing the muscles and joints.  With that comes less pain.  So meditation packs a one two punch, lessening stress hormones, and releasing endorphins.  This is accomplished by refocusing the mind.

How Can You Practice Meditation to Relieve Your Pain?

There are many websites that walk you through the steps to meditate.   From my research I have gleaned the basics.  They are

  1. Sit or lie comfortably in a quiet place.  You don’t have to sit in the classic cross legged position that you see in so many images.  Get comfortable.  Quiet is vital as it sets the environment for peace and uninterrupted concentration.
  2. Close your eyes.  It may help to be in a darkened room, if at all possible.
  3. Concentrate on breathing.  Simply breath normally.  But notice the effects your breathing has on your body.
  4. Practice this for just two or three minutes.

Easy, right?  The results should be that you will find you are more relaxed.  As you grow comfortable with this practice, you should be able to increase the time spent.  As you increase the time, you should reap more benefits.  From my reading, the research says that the longer you practice meditation, the more benefits you gain.  I have found this to be true with the stretches that I do.  Some of these natural remedies take work and discipline and time.  But I can testify that they produce results.  And if I can avoid medication and surgery, then I am motivated to practice them.

I found two apps that were recommended on this website, Meditation: An Opioid Alternative.  The apps are: Back Doctor and Stop, Breathe and Think.  They are both free.  I haven’t tried them long enough to know how effective they are, but I plan to give them serious trials.

As a Christian, my focus while I practice mindfulness and relaxing through meditation, will be to meditate on a verse in the Bible, or on a characteristic of God.

Here’s an easy 5 minute video to get you started.

Other Helpful Practices

Posture

Most of us tend to sit in a slouch position.  It is the natural way we sit.  But maintaining a straight spine position is helpful to relieving back and buttocks pain.  Challenge yourself to maintain good posture when you are walking, standing and especially sitting.  It does take practice.  And it is another example of mindfulness.

Heat and Cold Pack

I have discussed this before.  For temporary relief of pain you can try heat or cold.  The difference is that cold reduces inflammation and heat assists in blood flow.  They both act to deaden the pain.  You may want to try doing both; cold for a few minutes, nothing for a few minutes, heat for a few minutes.  Do not leave either one on for more than 20 minutes.  Use a towel to protect your skin from the cold or heat source.

Conclusions

I believe meditation is a valid alternative as a pain remedy.  If practiced on a regular basis, a person should find relief from their pain.  I welcome your comments and questions.  I am especially interested to know those of you who practice meditation and what your results are.  I am also open to suggestions and corrections, as I am not familiar enough with this practice to feel I the final authority.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.  I hope it is helpful and that in practicing meditation, you will find some relief from your pain.

For those of you who desire to practice Christian meditation, I recommend you start at this website.  I found this helpful and challenging and plan to add it to my daily Bible study.

And if you’ve read this far, I bet you are wondering what that picture has to do with meditation?  The original caption was 3 turtles relaxing on the beach in Hawaii.  I don’t know, but it seems to me those guys (or probably girls, exhausted from the journey to lay their eggs) look like they know how to chill.  It’s a fabulous photo, and I feel the photographer got a great shot.  I want that picture in my mind; how totally comfortable they are and in the beautiful sunset of God’s creation.

Does Meditation Help Pain?
qimono/Pixabay

Disclaimer

I am not a health care professional, merely a pain sufferer.  These recommendations are made from my research.  Talk to your health care professional before you try anything new.

I sometimes have affiliate links in my posts where I recommend products and then receive a fee if you buy that product.  I do not have any such links in this post.

I do however receive a referral fee should you want to become an affiliate marketer by joining Wealthy Affiliate, which is the program I use to build my sites.   Click here to get started with a free trial.  If you end up joining I earn a referral fee and will become your mentor.  Thanks in advance!

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Can CBD Oil Help With Pain?

CBD Oil

Can CBD Oil help with pain?  I have had a few people ask me about this.  Even my grown son, who knows I suffer from chronic pain.  So I did my due diligence and researched the question.

The last thing I thought I would be posting about is CBD oil.  I am not a proponent of legalized marijuana.  Having worked in support services for law enforcement we do not need more reasons for people to drive under the influence and create traffic hazards.  That said, I felt it was necessary to address the popularity of CBD oil.

Some Background

CBD stands for Cannabidiol.  It is available in the states that have legalized medical marijuana.  I live in California, a state that has done so.  So I had a friend ask me if I would recommend CBD oil as a natural remedy for pain. I told her I didn’t know enough about it to recommend it.  But with it’s popularity I figured I needed to be better informed.  Hence the reason for this post.

In fact, through the program I am using for ads to be posted to my site (and thus getting a small percentage of the cost if a person purchases through the link), I see that there are ads for CBD.  This is another reason for me to research this topic.  I hope to answer these questions.  Is it safe?  What research has been done?  Is it effective?

Can CBD oil Help with Pain?
WildOne/Pixabay

First, What Is It?

The oil is made from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants.  It may or may not contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that causes the high one gets from marijuana use.  Some sites I researched said it didn’t contain THC, but some sites said it did.  (See VeryWell Health.) Popular claims are that it can help ease pain and inflammation, ease anxiety, help you sleep better, and have some effect on epileptic seizures.  An article in WebMD states that there isn’t much evidence or studies to back up these claims. (This is an excellent article and I recommend you check it out if you want more information.) Furthermore, there is currently no regulation for the oil, which means that the product quality is very questionable.

Is It Safe?

So, is it safe to use?  Some sources say it isn’t.  Some say it is.  Apparently the World Health Organization weighed in on November 2017.  That link is the report from Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in Geneva .  Now what I read on page 31 of this report is that there doesn’t seem to be a relation between use of CBD and dependence.  So, we can say that use of CBD oil doesn’t cause dependence on the oil.  But I didn’t find information on research about whether or not it is safe to use.   Shouldn’t we all want information about the safety of something we put in or on our bodies?  I couldn’t find anything that addressed this.

And what about side effects?  The main side effects appear to be light headedness, drowsiness, dry mouth and a lowering in blood pressure.  It is recommended that pregnant women not use the oil.  That’s enough reason for me to conclude it just isn’t safe.  And for the time being CBD oil is not regulated.  This means you don’t really know what you are getting or what the quality is.  These are good reasons to be cautious in using this oil.

Can CBD Oil Help with Pain?
jarleeknes/Pixabay

What About Research?

A study that stated there were benefits to Multiple Sclerosis patients from use in a nasal spray (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals), states that it may have some positive effect on certain symptoms.  But there is no data if used alone.  This particular product is also not available in the United States.  Other limited studies have been done regarding issues such as social anxiety, bipolar disease, Parkinson’s, and insomnia but the results are not conclusive. (See this link.)  Most of these studies are from animal testing.

However, I did see more positive studies that stated that cannabis was effective for pain and inflammation treatment.  (Go here for more information.) These studies report that marijuana can actually help with pain relief.  But that is another topic.

Given my objections to any substance that impairs my brain, I am not willing to recommend marijuana use.  There seems to be scant information regarding studies on humans and the use of oil. I am also concluding that more testing and research needs to be done to decide if there are actual benefits from the oil.  The studies just don’t exist.  The proponents of CBD oil are quick to say there are so many uses for the oil, but I just can’t find the data to back that up.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness has not been proven either.  The use of cannabis has been studied and conclusions are that it is effective.  But there just isn’t information about the effectiveness of the oil.  Further studies are needed.  Why put something on you or in you that may not be effective?  Or even spend money on it?

Here’s a short video sponsored by AARP. The professor says it concisely and clearly.  Check it out.

Conclusions

The reason I am writing this article is because I have chronic pain.  I am always researching natural remedies for my pain.  The popularity of this product forced me to research it.  Normally I want nothing to do with marijuana or anything related to it.  I confess a strong bias.

Because the oil isn’t regulated and because there is hardly any data on the oil’s effectiveness, I am choosing to not use or recommend the oil as a natural remedy for pain.  My anti-drug philosophy also strongly influences my views.  I continue to search for natural remedies, and have posted on this site regarding some of the modalities that have helped me.  See my posts: Pain and suffering; is there hope in a natural remedy?  or Other Natural Pain Remedies.  I am also in the process of checking out filters for the ads on my site so that I do not promote CBD oil.

Can CBD Oil Help With Pain?
7921333/Pixabay

If you do choose to use CBD oil, there is strong recommendation that you consult with your primary care physician.  I hope they are better informed about this topic.  I intend to ask my doctor the next time I see her.

I am open to discussion on this topic and welcome comments.  Tell me what you think about this article.  Should I do more research?

I would especially appreciate information regarding studies of the effectiveness, safety, research and regulation of CBD oil.  Please leave your comments below.

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional.  Please speak with your doctor before you try any new treatment or product.

I will receive a small percentage from ads on my website, but I do not have any affiliate links in this post.

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Gentle Yoga Video – A Review

Are you looking for an easy yoga program to practice yoga?  Do you want a gentle yoga video to follow?  Then check out this review.

Review of DVD Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams

Format: DVD
Rating: I give it 5 stars

Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams

Introduction

Following is a review of the DVD Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams – Strength, Balance, Flexibility. This program has made a huge difference in my pain management.  I am finding it is vital to stretch my body on a regular basis to lessen my pain.  And this program is very easy to follow and use.

Do you have questions about yoga?  Don’t worry, this DVD doesn’t go into any Hindu practices.  As a Christian, I worried about that when I first began investigating pain management options.  Yoga’s original purpose appears to be to balance the mind and body.  Originally it combined meditation, deep breathing and various postures.

But this series only concentrates on the postures and relaxed breathing.  It is surprising how we forget to breathe properly when we are exercising.  In this presentation, Jane reminds us constantly to breathe, coordinating the inhale and exhale with the movements.  This is helpful because it does force the body to relax.  And when our bodies are more relaxed, the pain doesn’t seem as bad.  Also, while concentrating on breathing, we focus less on our pain.

Apparently with the stretches, practiced on a regular basis, we can experience more flexibility, increased muscle tone, and increased strength.  So many benefits from simple stretches!

What Subjects are Covered?

The DVD is divided into six sections.  The first one is the Introduction.  In the introduction she talks about the series and states how easy it is to start.  She even has a disclaimer that tells you to go easy on yourself and not attempt any stretch that hurts.   She is very engaging in this and it is an encouragement to start the program.  The next five sections are actual yoga exercises.  They are;

  • Lying Warm-ups (20 minutes)
  • Balancing and Standing Poses (33 minutes)
  • Upper Body (13 minutes)
  • Torso and Leg Strength & Flexibility (20 minutes)
  • Relaxation (7 minutes).  

Depending on which sequence you are using you will need a yoga mat (#2,5 and 6), a chair (#4) and maybe a blanket.  So thankfully your expenditures are only the DVD and a mat.

Gentle Yoga Video
Peggy_Marco/Pixabay

Why I Like This DVD

Jane has a sweet calm spirit.  Her voice is very relaxing.  But what I particularly like is how specific she is in her instructions.  She tells you exactly how to move each part of your body that is involved in that particular pose.  She takes it very slow.  She is very deliberate.  She is so considerate in explaining the exercise that you don’t even have to look at the screen.  This is vital sometimes if your head is turned away or you are lying on the floor.  I found it very helpful because I had not done yoga before.

I am 69, and was afraid I was too old to start something new like this.  But because the back cover of the DVD states that it is “perfect for mid-lifers”, I thought I would give it a try.  I am so glad I did.  It is some of the best money I have ever spent.

These regular exercises have helped me manage my pain in a natural way.  My pain is less than when I first developed the problem.  I believe it is from the stretches I do.  I have noticed that if I skip a couple of days (usually because of a busy morning) that I pay for it in pain.  And I have seen other benefits from the stretches.  They include, less pain overall, more flexibility, better balance, feeling younger, and a calmer mind.  Also, if you are afraid of some “spiritual” emphasis on yoga practices, you won’t find them in this video.  I steer clear of mysticism so I was happy to see that Jane didn’t include that in this video.

How I Use This DVD

I make it a regular practice to use this DVD.  My goal is to do it five days a week, but if I can do it more than that, I will.  The benefits are worth it.  I combine it with another DVD that I reviewed.  It is Back to Life by Emily Lark.  Go here to see the review.  I use the first section of Emily’s stretches, which takes about 10 minutes.  Then I use the Torso and Leg Strength & Flexibility in this DVD for 20 minutes.  One of THE BEST uses of 30 minutes that I can think of!

Since I am fairly new to yoga, I am not familiar with all the other benefits, but I am sure more experienced practitioners could add more comments.  I hope anyone that wants to comment or add wisdom will do so.  Your involvement will help us all.

I like to start my day off with these stretches.  I find if I don’t, I get too busy and forget about doing it.  I’m sure you’ve heard that you must schedule exercise into your daily routine.  I agree.  That’s why one of my philosophies is to be proactive about my health.  Nobody knows my body like I do.  And no one can take as good care of it as I can.  Isn’t your good health your responsibility?  And don’t you want to do something about your pain?  Then, if it is at all possible for you to stretch, I recommend you try this.

Here is a clip from another DVD.  Although it is a different one, it shows how gentle she is and how easy it is to follow her.

Jane Adams “Gentle Yoga: 7 Practices for Your Day”

Conclusions

I highly recommend this DVD.  It has helped me to feel better!  I hope that it would do the same for you.

You can assist all of us in the pain community by posting your comments.  Can you recommend something that has helped you?  I would be glad to investigate it.  Perhaps it will help others.

If you want to start out slowly with an easy DVD, this is the one to use.

Thanks for reading this review.  Please leave comments or questions below.  I will respond to all comments in a timely manner.

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional, so I recommend you speak to your health care provider before you start any new exercise.

Sometimes I have an affiliate link to products that I recommend. Even though I think this is a great product, I do not have any affiliate links at this time.  You can follow this link to Amazon to check out the format and cost.  (It appears to have a new cover from the one I have.)

Before you Leave

If you are looking for a way to build your own website, check out the program I am using, called Wealthy Affiliate.  If you end up joining, I will receive a referral fee and become your mentor.  But you can sign up for free for a week to check it out.  Click here to get started.

 

Can Acupuncture Help Back Pain? What’s Involved?

Can acupuncture help back pain?

Introduction

In my continuous search for relief from my pain, I keep coming back to how helpful acupuncture has been for me. Can acupuncture help back pain?  In this article I will discuss some history about acupuncture and my experience in this alternative treatment. Hopefully you can then decide if acupuncture is a helpful remedy for inflammation and pain. Please note that I am not a medical professional and therefore these findings are based solely on my experience and research. Please see your primary care physician before you make the decision to visit an acupuncturist.

Brief History

Acupuncture treatments have a history dating back to 100 BC in China, first appearing in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) according to Wikipedia. However, throughout China’s history, it became less practiced and was outlawed in 1929 (See A Brief History of Acupuncture). It gained popularity again around 1949.

In the US, it has only been popular in this last century. I still remember myself thinking that it was an odd and mysterious practice. But my pain drove me to look for any and all alternatives to find relief. It is recorded that a US press corps member was treated with acupuncture while recovering from an emergency appendectomy in China. This lead to US physicians investigating it’s reliability. However, acupuncture became acceptable in the US when a NIH conference reported positive evidence for its effectiveness. (See A Brief History of Acupuncture.)

Can Acupuncture Help Back Pain?
Bekaschiler/Pixabay – Illustration of Meridians

How Does It Work?

Chinese medicine is based on the flow of yin and yang, or qi in the body. Qi is the flow of energy within the body. The hypothesis seems to be that pain and inflammation can interrupt that flow. Acupuncture works at the neurohormonal level, adjusting the qi to stimulate the nerve. This then helps the nerve to function properly, to function healthfully.

It can apparently stimulate the hormones to function better as well. In fact it causes the body to release neurotransmitters that act as a natural pain killer, more powerful than morphine. So the results can be twofold; healthier body function and pain reduction. All of this accomplished without medication or surgery. The needles are placed along meridians in the body to affect the related painful areas. These meridians are a system that is part of acupuncture.

What’s Involved During a Visit?

You will be in a private room, like in a regular doctor’s office. You will most likely lie on a narrow table/bed on your back, side, or tummy. Or you may sit in a recliner. Depending on what part of the body receives the needle insertions, you may have to pull up your pants bottoms, pull down your pants or pull up your shirt. I never have to take off my clothes.

My doctor asks me about my pain, and treats me according to my response. I have been treated for colds, coughs and bouts with diverticulitis. But mostly I see him for my buttock pain. He then puts needles in my lower back, my right buttock (where the pain is) and my neck. Mostly all I feel is a slight tap; nothing painful. But to be honest, once in awhile it does hurt.

Not pain that is intolerable, but stinging enough for me to say something. That usually subsides within seconds. If not, he removes the “offending” needle. Once he has the number of needles he deems necessary (about 15) he attaches electrodes to four of them. These are attached to a machine that delivers an electric current. I concentrate on relaxing, and 90% of the time, I fall asleep.

I spend about an hour in the office including the preparation, the treatment, the resting during treatment and payment and making my next appointment.

You may or may not have electrodes attached. Cupping is another treatment that acupuncturists use. This involves placing a dome with an open end on the skin and creating a suction, either with heat or a hand held device. The cupping stimulates blood flow. My acupuncturist uses this occasionally, but not lately. I think that is because I am better, having less pain. He does do “scraping” which doesn’t feel too good, but is tolerable. I think it also stimulates the blood flow, bringing natural warmth to the painful areas.

A friend of mine who sees him for edema, diabetes, and glaucoma says he feels no pain at all. He too is able to nap during the treatment. He has seen reduction in his edema and with proper diet and medication is keeping his diabetes within a healthy A1C range. So you see that acupuncture may be used to treat many complaints. Talk to your doctor first. And call the acupuncturist to see if he treats your complaints.

Can acupuncture help back pain?
Alterfines/Pixabay

Other Concerns

Cost

My doctor charges $45.00 per visit, but takes insurance. In California you need to get a referral for insurance to cover it. But thankfully most insurances do. Otherwise, see what payments you can work out. I found that most acupuncturists are kind and caring people and want to help you feel better. Charges do vary so be sure to check that out before you get a surprise after your treatment!

Make sure your doctor is a certified acupuncturist.  Here in the US you can contact American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.  Find a doctor that takes time to listen to your complaints. It is my belief that no one knows my body better than I do and if the doctor isn’t willing to listen to me, then they don’t know how to treat me.

Side Effects

Not only does acupuncture have few side effects, but it is common knowledge that it has fewer than the common treatments for back pain.  This factor is huge for me because I dislike taking medication of any kind. 

 

Conclusions

You may also be interested in my other posts regarding acupuncture. See them here.

My doctor says that he wants to make me younger! Ha ha. But visualizing a younger healthier body is a good picture to have. Because of the whole body philosophy involved with acupuncture, it makes sense to have the brain on board too. He encourages me to stretch at home and to walk. I have found that the combination of his treatments, stretching and walking are my prescription to feeling better. And all natural! So yes, acupuncture is a helpful natural pain reliever and inflammation remedy.

Your treatment plan may be a bit different. I welcome your comments, questions and treatment plans. We need to help each other!

Disclaimer

I am not a health care professional, only a fellow pain sufferer.  Please speak to your primary care physician before you try an alternate treatment like acupuncture.  

Affiliates

Sometimes I have links to products I recommend.  I have no such links in this post.

However, I can recommend a link to Wealthy Affiliate, which is the platform I use to build my websites.  If you are interested, click here.  You can sign up for free for a week and experience it to see if it is what you are looking for.  If you do join, I receive a referral fee and become your mentor.  Thank you in advance! 

 

 

 

Back To Life by Emily Lark – A Review

Back to Life by Emily Lark
Bob_Dmyt/Pixabay

This will be a review of Back to Life by Emily Lark The subtitle is; The Complete Healthy Back System.  

Back to Life DVD

This review will include the benefits of the program, issues I had with the program and where to purchase it.  Read further to find out if this program is for you.

Benefits

I have been using this DVD for several months now.  It has helped me manage my pain, and I highly recommend it as a natural remedy to people who suffer from back pain.  I actually suffer from pain in my hip, but these stretches have helped me find relief.  She specifically talks about sciatica pain in the first level.  The same exercise that helps with that pain, helps me with my hip pain, so I can attest to it’s effectiveness.  She also addresses neck and shoulder pain.  And provides stretches for those areas.  Remember that I am not a medical professional, so please check with your doctor before you start these exercises.

Apparently Emily has had severe back pain and her search for a healthy way to deal with it resulted in this video.  I admire her for being a fellow pain sufferer and being proactive in her search for a solution.  She understands our struggles.

I have also noticed a general loosening of my body.  I can tell I have more flexibility.  Bending over doesn’t hurt as much.  I can sit on the floor with my legs crossed; something I couldn’t do a year ago.  I can sit in a chair for a longer period of time as my pain isn’t as intense as it once was.  I can walk easier because my pain is less and my movements are easier.  And of course I sleep better because my pain is less and I can move more.

What the Program Includes

The cover of the DVD says; The 3-level Healthy Back Video Series, Companion Manual and Healthy Back Checklist.  That said, the manual covers the exercises in the first level.  The checklist is a two page list of practices to help your back.

Ben_Kerckx/Pixabay

The series is 3 different levels of stretches.  Level 1 is about 10 minutes, level 2 is about 20 minutes and level 3 is about 30 minutes.  You sit in a chair for level 1.  You will need a yoga mat for levels 2 and 3.

Because the manual covers the stretches in the first level, you are not getting any new information.  But it is helpful to have if you don’t have access to a player and you want to be lead through the steps.  The checklist provides practices that we should all be mindful of as we seek to relieve our pain.  In fact while I type this, I am keeping my elbows next to my ribs so that I am not reaching forward and straining my back and shoulders.  This is just one of her suggestions.  I’m challenged to integrate them into my daily life.

My routine is to do the first level on this DVD, and then follow it up with a segment from Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams.  (Click here for my review of Jane’s DVD.)  The two segments take me about 30 minutes.  These are 30 minutes well spent as I know it will help me lessen my pain.  Sometimes I hardly have any pain thanks to the stretches.  There are other benefits as well.  Practicing the deep breathing while doing the stretches helps to calm me and bring clear thinking to my mind.  It sets a great tone to the start of my day.  It provides a positive outlook and hope of productivity.

Issues

There are two issues that I feel are important to note about this DVD.  Emily moves at a steady pace through the stretches.  My friend who did this with me commented that it was too fast for her.  I guess I hadn’t noticed since I’d been doing them so long.  So I suggest you preview each segment at least once before you practice it.  This is especially important for level 2 and 3 because you are on the floor (with a mat) and it is sometimes hard to look at the screen.

The other issue is that I can’t do all the stretches, especially in level 3.  As a 69 year old, I am not as flexible as I would like to be.  I think if I had been practicing these stretches and yoga when I was younger, I would be more flexible.  I do note that I am able to stretch further than in the past, and I believe I will find further improvement, but for now, not all of the stretches are accessible to me.  She does caution you to use care as you move into more difficult positions.  Especially on level 3 where you do the neck and shoulder stretch.  Good advice.

How to purchase

As far as I can tell you can only get the DVD from her website; thebacktolifesystem.com.  I contacted them for a link to provide you, but I didn’t get a response back.  (These links usually give me a small percentage of the sale.) The system lists for $25.00.  This also comes with a money back guarantee.  But from the reviews I have seen, everyone is happy with the video.  There is a paperback of the system at Amazon for $14.39, but I can’t review that since I haven’t used it.  It appears to have the different levels included, and the checklist and some smoothie recipes.  I prefer the DVD because I like following along as I do the stretches.  I have trouble sometimes in motivating myself, so by using the DVD I feel I’m not alone.

Here is a demo of her doing a stretch.  You can get an idea about her teaching style and give the stretch a try also!

Conclusions

Speaking of doing this alone, I asked a friend to help me be accountable to her so that I will remain motivated.  If she lived closer I know we would do these together, as she has pain issues too.  So I recommend that if you can, find someone to do these with you.  You won’t regret it.

I think this video would be a great asset to your search for natural pain remedies.  It has certainly changed my life for the better.  I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

Your comments and questions are welcome.  I would like to hear how this video has helped you.  Or if you have questions, please leave them in the comments.  Have you found a different program to help your pain management?  I’d like to know about it.

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