For ten years a well-known Japanese doctor and medical pioneer, Dr. Toshiki Fukutsuji, fought to develop a method to prevent bad posture. She became famous in her homeland, gaining widespread attention after publishing her book on how to overcome bad posture, combat back problems and strengthen one’s abdominal muscles. Her best-selling book has sold over six million copies in Japan and Asia. Dr. Fukutsuji specializes in treating patients with problems in their pelvic bone and her method is also said to reduce fat and promote weight loss.
We tend to take these kinds of “treatments” with a grain of salt. This method, however, has gained such popularity that we felt tempted to try it out. To be honest, enduring those five minutes turned out to be somewhat difficult in the beginning. But you can start small; do just a minute or two, and soon you’ll be able to do all five. Obviously, for serious or extended back issues, see your doctor. Otherwise, after two weeks, we are happy enough with the results to recommend the exercise. After all, it’s very simple and only takes 5 minutes.
How to do it:
- Roll a medium-sized towel to form a thick cylinder not less than 15 inches long and approximately 4 inches wide. Wrap it with a string or tape so it stays put;
- Sit down on a flat and hard surface — the floor, a fitness mat, or a massage table will do just fine. Put your towel roll down;
- Now this is very important: Lie down on your back so that the towel is placed at the height of your navel;
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be touching;
- Stretch your arms above your head, palms down, with your pinkies touching. Make sure your toes and pinkies have found each other;
- Lie still in this position for about 5 minutes;
- Finish the exercise slowly with no sudden jerking motions.
The method may strike you as too simple to produce results, but as we found out, it is a solid exercise with definitive merits. Previously we published two sets of back exercises; the first one to improve your posture and bring relief to your back and spine and the second set to improve flexibility and movement precision. Be sure to check them as well and share with your friends or anyone who suffers from back problems.
Here is a YouTube video from a Japanese TV show demonstrating today’s exercise: