Self Care Series: Lower back pain relief

University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s martial arts master and Chinese instructor, Mr. Felix Fan, held a self-care series workshop showing students how to relieve back pain. There is 70 percent to 80 percent of people who suffer from back pain at some point in their life, but most people have nothing severely wrong. He also discussed the main causes of back pain: poor posture, lack of exercise, muscle sprains and strains. He continued to go into details about each cause.

“Some middle-aged people have a lot of back pain and they don’t know how to relieve it or know how to do self-care. I studied massage in China from my teacher, my mother, so it can help people,” Fan said.

Following these ideas, he expressed the most common ways people from the United States use to relieve their back pain: exercise such as swimming and yoga, watching your weight, checking posture, hot compressing pads and self-massaging.

Fan then introduced the traditional Chinese medicine of self-massaging and what the ten points to message are: yaotong (forehead), yaotong (near the elbow), shenshu (kidney), dachangshu (large intestine), yaoyangguan (on lower spine), chengshan (calf), weizhong (behind knee joint), yanglingquan (cabita fibula), jengu (near the ankle) and waist pain point on top of the hand. While explaining what each point meant, he demonstrated for the audience where it was and went around to each student to help them locate the point on themselves. He noted that the point should be sore while rubbing it, otherwise you are not pushing hard enough, or you are in the wrong spot. Once the audience had rubbed the specific point, he explained how long to rub the point if the audience was doing this on their own instead of during a timed session.

“I get back pain when I’m hunched over textbooks or a lap top, but I have relieved that by standing up. It’s not bad to know other ways to alleviate your pain,” biology major Chrissy Hayes said.

The final topic Fan discussed was different exercises people can do to relieve their pain. One of the main exercises was rubbing your back from top to bottom in a variety of ways, such as using a fist to knead your back, open palm and rubbing, using a fist in a twisting motion and finally hitting your back with your fists. The other main exercise involved a twisting motion of the waist in different positions: a simple twist, holding yourself down with the chair and twisting and stretching from side to side.