The Japanese Immunity to Back Pain

The world is full of myths, ranging from ancient religions to urban legends. Many of these have been nearly forgotten by time, but reappear occasionally to shock and amuse modern audiences. The only thing more fascinating than learning about an obscure myth is learning about an obscure myth that might actually be true.

A Surprising Truth

This is exactly what happened when there was a myth going around that, before the war, Japanese people never suffered from back pain. They have the exact same spines as everyone else, so why should they be immune to the pain the rest of us feel? What’s the secret?

Well, the key part of the myth is the period when the Japanese were supposedly pain-free, which was before the war. This means there was something people back then did that they don’t do so much anymore, which contributes to their current back pain.

One of the many things that happened to Japan after the war is that they mostly embraced a Western-centric lifestyle. Businessmen wear suits, the government is a parliamentary democracy, and learning English is becoming a more important skill. The trade-off with this exchange is that some of their traditions were put aside, which is what kept them from back pain in the past.

The Seiza and the Obi

One of the oldest Japanese customs that many experts admire was the seiza, which is a uniquely Japanese way of sitting, with their knees folded and feet directly under the bottom. People began sitting this way when they found that it naturally extends the spine, relieving stress off the lower back. Sitting like this also provides strength to the diaphragm and belly, making it easier to speak and sing.

Another old custom that put off back pain is the wearing of the obi, a belt-like garment that women wore around the pelvis over their kimonos. The obi straightens the line from the head, down the spine, all the way to the lower back. Wearing the obi extends the spine, promoting proper posture and when used with the seiza can create a back that can stay straight through anything.

Learning from the past is a great way of developing new techniques that can help with the present. Contact us today for more information on spine alignment and chiropractic care services. We will be more than glad to answer any questions you might have on the subject.

Peterson Chiropractic is led by Doctor Bradley Peterson, who grew up in Davis County and attended the University of Utah.