5-Minute Health Tip: Snake Exercise for the Spine

Eight out of ten people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives…and doctors fail to diagnosis the root cause of the problem 85% of the time! Keeping the spine limber and strong can help you be among the 20% free of back problems. Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) is an ancient Chinese healing modality that combines physical postures with breathing techniques to help you:

  • Correct posture
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve balance
  • Prevent falls
  • Shed pounds

iStock_qigongSnake Exercise

Snake exercise is one of several qigong exercises for spinal conditions. Practicing snake exercise for five minutes a day can help counter the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle. During the 8 to 10 hours we sit on average per day, our energy (or qi) becomes blocked and accumulates as tension. Snake exercise releases this tension and fortifies whole-spine coordination.

How to Perform  

Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Keep your posture tall and relaxed and your weight distributed evenly.

Simultaneously bring your right hand forward and your left hand back as if drawing a circle with each. Lunge your right foot out into “bow stance” while sweeping the left hand to the right side. Catch the left hand with the right palm up, and then turn the right hand over so your palm is facing down.

Sink the body low into “snake creeps through grass” pose while moving your arms down low.

Staying low to the ground, shift your weight to the left side, being sure to lean your entire body to the left. Move your right hand behind your head and over to the left side over the left hand. Hold for three to nine seconds, keeping your gaze focused on the right hand.

Drop the right hand and repeat the movement on the other side.