Whenever I see a client who suffers with sciatica I immediately check their neck. Usually, it is very tight. It is important to keep our necks free of tension for many reasons, one of them being to prevent sciatica! In this post, I share some self help for sciatica pain using a Jin Shin Jyutsu hold (or two).

It might sound strange, but disparate parts of the body are connected by energy pathways which I liken to rivers. These ‘rivers’ can get dammed up in a particular spot, and this can cause pain and discomfort in other areas. 

Flows For Life Self Help Sciatica Pain Jin Shin Jyutsu

What is Sciatica?

The MayoClinic says the following: “Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.

The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.”

Clear the neck

There is an energy site on the back of the neck that is available for us to use to release tension or ‘stubbornness’. So when we are determined not to change our attitude or position on something, that stubbornness might just manifest as sciatica.

When we LET GO of the tension in the neck we are able to surrender to the Universal mind: the effort of DOING becomes effortless BEING. It’s great to know that we can use our hands to help bring about that change.

Not only for sciatica

Clearing this energy site (or Safety Energy Lock as it is officially called) on the back of the neck also helps eliminate toxins from the body. It helps us embrace the FUN of life – it keeps us young! Also great to relieve tension down the arms.

Exercises to clear the neck

Self help for Sciatica pain with Jin Shin Jyutsu hold.

Simply place your hands on your neck. Place your left fingers on the left side of your neck so that the fingers touch the (cervical) spine and then pull the fingers back so that they rest next to the left side of the spine. Do the same for the right side with the right hand.

Flows For Life Self Help Sciatica Pain Jin Shin Jyutsu

Key for sciatica: Go to the opposite side neck

When you have sciatica down the right leg, you want to make sure you clear the left side of the neck, and vice versa for the other side.

The key thing to remember when you have sciatica and you practise this exercise, is to release the opposite side of the neck to where the pain is. Practise the self help for a few minutes, until there is relief.

For pain down the left leg
Place your left hand on the right side of the neck (see image)
Place your right hand, palm up, on the coccyx, or as far down the spine as is comfortable.

For pain down the right leg
Place your right hand on the left side of the neck
Place your left hand, palm up, on the coccyx.

Flows For Life Self Help Sciatica Pain Jin Shin Jyutsu

Please note that these exercises might fully alleviate sciatica or you might need to use them as part of a programme which includes other therapies.

When to see a doctor

From the MayoClinic:
‘Mild sciatica usually goes away over time. Call your doctor if self-care measures fail to ease your symptoms or if your pain lasts longer than a week, is severe or becomes progressively worse. Get immediate medical care if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain in your low back or leg and numbness or muscle weakness in your leg.
  • The pain follows a violent injury, such as a traffic accident.
  • You have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder.

You may also like: Jin Shin Jyutsu Guided Practice Hour for the Immune System

See also an exercise to Reduce Inflammation

See also: How to release back tension

Sources: Mayoclinic.org