Re: Back Problems
I used to have back problems, but those are all behind me now. (take *that*, John Matsushima!).
Just to use a piece of some rudimentary qigong therapy, you could try this... it is helpful to me and it's a basic idea that is often used:
Inhale to the lower-abdominal area while slightly pulling in the adomen/stomach-area muscles to conteract the swelling of the belly as you do it. You'll notice an increase in pressure in the abdominal area. Do it a few times and see if you can "focus" the general pressure to various general areas like the front of the abdomen, the side of the abdomen, just under the xyphoid, in the quadratus-lumborum/lower-kidney area, etc. I.e, just play with it a little bit to get some familiarity with maneuvering the pressure to where you want it.
Then inhale again, pulling in the ab/stomach area and try to focus the pressure against the lower lumbar verterbrae and hold it there a few seconds... you may have to very slightly bow the back out in that area to help focus the pressure against the Lumbar-vertebrae. Then slightly lean forward and feel how this will squeeze the pressure against the inside lower spine. Then exhale. Do this daily, about 10-20 times a day. It will begin to assist in the stabilization of the back because it will stretch and contract the tissue structures in that area. Not too hard; not extremes of pressure. Don't let pressure go up into your head. Accept that it takes time to work, so persistence is necessary.