Self Healing for Back Injury – Keeping Your Heavy Tailbone

limin Post in Everyday Life Stories, Qigong Practice, Qigong Principles, Taichi Principles

Since back injury is a such common problem that many people experience in life, I feel that it is worthwhile to take some time and discuss how we can help ourselves when back injury does happen.   To me, comparing with various conventional treatments that are being practiced in our health care system, healing back injury through practicing self awareness is ideal and can be done.

In both Qigong and Taichi classes I emphasize the importance of dropping our body weight and settling down our Qi (energy) in the body.   To achieve the above purpose, we have utilized the image of a ‘heavy tailbone’.   Among the many benefits of doing so, Verna Muraoka has illustrated by her own recent story that the ‘heavy tailbone’, along with the careful awareness, can heal the back injury effectively.  Here is what Verna wrote:

“Hi Limin,

Happy to report that I am recovering nicely from the New Year’s eve back injury.  As I told you, I injured my back because I washed 3 cars on the eve . . . one car had been to the North shore several times and was coated with mud.  On New Year’s day I went to our dojo’s traditional first of the year training at Magic Island but opted to walk along the beach rather than train.  One of the sensei’s questioned me about my injury.  He asked if I “squatted” when washing the wheels of the cars . . . when I said I reached down from a standing position, he said, “That’s how you injured your back”!

I stayed home New Year’s eve with an ice pack on my lower back.  The pain was in my lower back and on the left side . . . I called Nick to get his medical advice . . . he recommended icing, ibuprofen and stretching.  Missed practice the Sunday after New Years because I wasn’t comfortable driving.  Looking back on my recovery, I realize that I incorporated your teachings automatically.  The pain was in my lower back and I immediately adopted the “HEAVY TAILBONE” to allow me to move without causing further injury.  Along with the “heavy tailbone”, I was moving very CAREFULLY because sudden, quick movements caused great pain.  It was as though I was doing a continuous, slow set for 7 days after my injury.  With the “heavy tailbone” and careful movements, I became “fascinated” with what my body could and could not do . . . things that I did without thinking became a tedious task . . . had to sit on a stool and carefully put on my jeans to go to work.  I got up an hour earlier to get ready for work . . . spent a good part of this time stretching and working with my body to heal.

Last Sunday was the first time I practiced since I injured my back.  I was hesitant at first but somewhere in the third set the “heavy tailbone” turned into a feeling of lightness as my body began to move freely and adjust itself after a week of confined movement.  The smile you saw on my face after class reflected the inner warmth I felt as I appreciated being able to do two complete sets with pain free movements.

Thank you for your great teachings,


I am very proud of Verna for what she achieved.   In my view, back injury happens when there is a ‘gap’ of energy flow in the back area.  These types of gaps occur when we over use our body or use the body improperly.  When we place our focus in the tailbone part, it helps the Qi settling down within the body so we have a ‘fuller’ energy pool that is available for different moves and activities.   The persistent carefulness applied by Verna along with her daily movements helped moving the qi in a consistent basis and filling in the Qi ‘gaps’.   The ‘fascinating’ sense that Verna went through enhanced the above process.

Verna’s story is a great example of what Taichi and Qigong practice can do for us.   My hope is that the approach we discuss here can also enable us to prevent back injury and not let it happen easily the first place.   So keeping the awareness all the time, and not to wait until something happened to us, should be a good reminder for all of us.

For people who are not able to attend classes, please know that the training of settling down our Qi and keeping the weight low is part of my Qigong Daily Practice Training Package that is available online.

Questions and comments are welcome.

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