Gardening brings the joy of connection to the earth and the rewards of nutritious vegetables and beautiful flowers. It offers a meditative quality to our minds that teaches us patience and concentration as we sow our seeds, weed, amend the soil, prune and water. These gardening tasks demand that the body stoop, squat, bend, kneel and that can create lower back pain, soreness, stiff achy muscles and joint pain as we toil away to nurture our garden and forget to nurture ourselves. What to do?
ACUPRESSURE TO THE RESCUE
Acupressure is about bringing harmony and balance into our lives. So when the results of our gardening make us feel out of balance our bodies may feel tension, soreness, pain tighteness in the knees, hips, back and hands. Self-care acupressure points are an easy, immediate and effective g0-to remedy. So instead of reaching for the advil or tylenol reach for an acupressure point. Here are my favorite points for the lower back aches.
The garden day is done and here I am relaxing my back on the grass. Bending and lifting has me drained and so I start with just bringing my knees up to my chest, taking some deep breathes, enjoying the sun on my face and stretching out my back. I roll my hips back and forth and just continue to breathe deeply and know that all my work will later be enjoyed.
I then place my curved fingertips in the center of the crease behind my knees to a point known as B54 (Commanding Middle) and rock my legs back and forth. This point is particularly good for back pain, sciatica, knee pain and stiffness. When held on an ongoing basis this point can strengthen the back and knees and support the gardener in the next round of planting or pulling weeds!
Two other very special acupressure points are B23 and B47 known as Sea of Vitality. After a day of gardening, my energy level can get zapped. The rolling and stretching out on the ground also stimulates these two lower back acupresure points. When standing I press my fingers into these points and breathe deeply and then add my fists to rub them.
Voila! my stiffness goes away and my reserves of energy get replenished so once again my “Sea of Vitality” is ready to take on the adventure in gardening!
So the next time you find yourself with the grand plans of redesigning a garden, be good to yourself. Try some stretching, deep breathing, press and rub these acupressure points and your body will forever thank you for taking the time to care for yourself. And if you have some other thoughts on great natural ways to lessen the pain of gardening, please send them along to me. Happy Gardening!