The picture illustrated here is a Japanese actor, Miki Ryosuke who invented a famous exercise program called “Long Breathing Diet.” After suffering from lower back pain for years, he started doing breathing exercises recommended by his doctor. After a few weeks, he discovered that not only his lower back pain diminished, his weight went down rapidly. In 50 days, he lost a whopping 28 pounds and 5 inches around his waist line. He fine-tuned these techniques to maximize the fat burning process, while toning the entire body.
Similar exercise programs based on breathing such as Oxycise have been around in the US for some time. All of these breathing exercises rely on the one principle– Oxygen is the key to burn fat, not humping and pumping. Since fat is made up of oxygen, carbon dioxide and water, when the oxygen we breathe reaches the fat molecules, it breaks them down into carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide–the waste product of the bodies– is then picked up by the blood stream which returns to to the lungs to be exhaled. Therefore, the more oxygen our bodies use, the more fat will be burned. Long breathing exercises are especially helpful in burning stomach fat.
Just like all other physical exercises, this exercise program needs consistency and persistence. In the beginning, some pain and uneasiness are expected, especially when you have tight sacrum and shoulders. If you cannot withstand for five minutes, it’s OK as you can gradually increase the length of time. Do not continue if pain persists, but the level of uneasiness will decrease dramatically as the spine adjusts itself during the course of 5 minutes. Chronic neck pain can be reduced by placing the towel underneath the cervical spine. You can also put the towel under the upper and mid thoracic area to release tightness on the upper spine and shoulders.
Do not rise up quickly as this exercise. After the exercise, roll to your side, and sit up slowly to make sure your “adjusted” spine position will withhold.
The developer of this exercise claimed that this exercise will optimize one’s metabolism by letting the spine adjust itself to an optimal position (hence losing weight), strengthen one’s core (lose the belly fat), improve digestive functions, calm the central nervous system, and strengthen one’s hormonal production. In a nutshell, there’s no reason not to do this exercise if you have lower back pain.
Please share with me about your experiences with this exercise program. I am particularly interested in the effects of this exercise in weight control.
Things You Need for This Exercise
- A large towel
- A strong string, rope, or sturdy rubber bands
- A flat surface
- Five minutes of your day (three times a day for acute lower back pain)
Here’s How It Works
- Roll the towel as tight as you can so that it is 15 inches long and 4 inches thick
- Tie the towel with the string or rubber bands to keep it well-wound
- Lie on a flat surface (hardwood floor is best, a yoga mat or blanket on the floor is OK; not on a bed or a mattress)
- Place the towel in the lower part of your back, below the navel line
- Align your legs with your shoulders and try to touch the big toes together, looking inward
- Stretch your arms upward and downward by placing your pinky fingers together
- Close your eyes and relax for five minutes. The position looks like this.
Last week, after an 11-hour flight from South America, I had such an acute lower back pain that I haven’t experienced in a long time. Since I was too tired to do anything to relieve the pain, I tried Japanese towel method that I use occasionally. The results were so astounding that I am compelled to share this method.
Japanese 5-Minute Exercise
This technique, pioneered by Dr. Toshiki Fukutsudzi of Japan, became extremely popular in Japan and other parts of Asia about 10 years ago. More than 6 million copies of his book was sold. Originally promoted as a fast way to “lose weight without diet,” this exercise protocol has been catching up in the western world for the last few years. I cannot testify anything about how effective this exercise is with regard to “weight loss,” although I can personally vouch for the efficacy of this program in lessening acute/chronic lower back pain associated with herniated lumbar disc, sciatica, sacrum and pelvic tightness. Those who suffer from chronic neck pain can also benefit from this simple, easy method. The beauty of this method is it requires almost no effort from participants, except lying flat on the floor for 5 minutes.