Flossing is a term you might usually associate with oral hygiene as a way of getting to the bits that get stuck in-between your teeth. In this video I’m using the term spinal flossing to describe a helpful daily sequence of movements that we can do to release the bits in-between the boney vertebrae of the spinal column. Maintaining good spinal hygiene is something we should be integrating as often as brushing our teeth…in other words it can become a regular habit. If you are wanting to maintain a pain-free back and to practice easeful postural habits it is vital to be taking care of your intervertebral discs. These discs function as shock absorbers and provide us with a sense of fluidity and ease when we walk, run, jump, dance and move. The longevity and health of the spine relies on the discs staying hydrated and mobile which we can do by ensuring we move in a variety of ways.
About the video
The video offers a 10 minute sequence that will take your spine through all it’s planes of direction:
- Flexion – forward bending
- Extension – back bending
- Lateral flexion – side bending
- Rotation – twisting
- Axial extension – lengthening
Continuing with my unashamed use of dental metaphors, I have invited my partner Rob, who is a dentist, to demonstrate the sequence. His job involves a huge amount of time either sitting at a computer or peering into people’s mouths whilst sitting or standing in a slightly rotated, side and forward bend for hours at a time. As you can imagine he has regularly experienced neck and back pain. This sequence in combination with a core based, strengthening yoga practice has been a huge help in managing the muscular tension, thoracic rigidity and core instability that builds up through his vocation. Most jobs these days involve some kind of compromised postural stance and this in combination with general stress and inactivity will lead to weakness through the core as well as muscular tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back.
This video will take you through a sequence that can help maintain ease of movement, comfort and fluidity through the spinal column. It’s a preventative practice that addresses the build-up of muscular tension and rigidity especially of the upper spine which can lead to back pain. It also offers some light stabalising of the lumbar spine. Do this sequence in the morning before going to work or as a warm up for a longer yoga practice, and/or in the evenings as a way of releasing your spine at the end of a long day.
It may take a few go’s for you to find the movements feeling natural and integrated. After a while you won’t need the video anymore. I encourage you to approach the practice with a sense of self-care and kindness that is led by curiosity and being with the sensations in the body. Most of all enjoy it!
Please consult with your health professional if you have chronic back pain or a slipped disc before taking participating in this practice.
You will need a yoga mat and a blanket and begin in child’s pose.
Biggest thanks to my brother Tim Loe for editing this from afar and making the beautiful guitar tones at the beginning of the video. x x