Using Ayurveda to Ease Back Pain: Process

Here are the items (mostly from Dr. Lad’s book) that I incorporated into my experiment, along with a few notes on the experience:

– Herbal Remedies – Valerian  (muscle relaxant) – took in the form of a capsule each evening for one week before bed; slept noticeably better and woke feeling more rested, although I was concerned about continuing to take Valerian since I’ve heard it’s habit forming, so I didn’t continue to take it daily after the first week. I may try one of the other recommended remedies in the future, including yogaraj guggulu, kaishore guggulu, musta, or tagara, but I haven’t been able to track those down yet.

Abhyanga (massage with sesame and mahanarayan oils) – aimed to do a self-massage before showering each day, giving special attention to my mid and low back; the combination of the oil and the hot shower did relax my muscles, at least temporarily, although the moment I walked outdoors for work and the cold wind hit, I felt them tense right back up.

Dashamoola Basti (enema) – did this once; no noticeable changes in back pain, though digestion was improved temporarily.

–  Meditation – aimed to do this daily; allowed myself to lean against a wall to give my back extra support and found I was able to maintain a comfortable seat for longer than usual.

Mantra – aimed to recite Mahamrtanjaya (Healing) Mantra daily; I had a hard time initiating the tune on my own, so I just spoke the mantra.

Recommended Back Pain Asanas (from Lad’s and Iyengar’s books) – I aimed for 30 minutes of asana daily, first thing in the morning to stretch my back, which provided noticeable relief throughout the day. I incorporated standing Poses, backbends, twists, forward folds, and  inversions.