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Pain Management

Walking Backward To Ease Lower Back Discomfort


Ira Wahrman practicing walking backwards in Rego Park.
Ira Wahrman practicing walking backwards in Rego Park.

     If you go to the park in Beijing in the early morning you will see many people practicing many different types of exercises that would seem bizarre to us Americans.  One exercise that most people find bizarre is called 倒着走 the pinyin is Dao zhe zou which is translated as walking backwards in English.  As an acupuncturist I enjoy exercises like this and I often practice in Rego Park.

    So why do so many Chinese people practice this exercise and why do many Chinese doctors prescribe it to their patients as part of their treatment?

    Walking backwards has many benefits for the hips, waist, knees, spine, brain, heart and, sexual function to name a few.  It can also help to improve posture.

    Many people that suffer from chronic back, hip and knee pain or weakness could benefit from this exercise because the action of walking backwards will take the stress off the knees and lower back and engage the muscles in the front of your thighs and abdomen.  As a result this will allow the muscle in the lower back and waist to relax.  This relaxation can over time adjust the alignment of the pelvis and take pressure off of the lower back.  It will also allow the gluteus and hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh to relax as well.  Many people that have back pain and weakness have very poor flexibility and tightness in these areas.

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A Discussion Of Distal Acupuncture For Pain

xin xi
This two point group is called heart knee. It is a very famous point combination from the Master Tung acupuncture system. These points are extremely effective for knee pain.

     When most patients come in to see me in Mamaroneck for an acupuncture session to treat their pain condition they are often surprised to find that I usually do not place the needles in the area where they are experiencing the pain.    For example if a patient comes in for right knee pain I would not needle the right knee .  I might needle the left knee, the elbow or even their hand.  After the needles are in place I ask the patient to move their right knee.  The patient should experience some degree of pain relief.  When patients first experience this they think it is bizarre, but it definitely works.

      Why does it work?  From a Chinese medicine perspective every small part of your body represents the body as a whole.  You can treat every part of the body just by using a single part.  For example you could use the hand to treat back pain, headaches, foot pain, knee pain, shoulder pain etc.  It may sound crazy but I see it working everyday in the clinic.

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