Healing the spine

The goal of this article is to provide people with a powerful tool to heal their spines, or to keep their spines healthy.

The long title of this article is: Healing the spine through spinal waves.

I am writing this article because I've had the opportunity to observe over the last few years how much potential these movements hold towards healing the spine. Thousands of people globally who have been taught the spinal waves have already healed their spines and are finally pain free again. I constantly mentor people who have back problems, and the waves are pretty much always our first measure to reduce the pain and heal the spine. 

For whom are the exercises suitable?

The waves are suitable for most people, except for difficult cases where surgery is necessary. For such cases I don't presume to have enough experience and to know whether the spinal waves are appropriate, and thus I say:

Carefulness and self-responsibility need to be applied in difficult cases of spinal issues. For everyone else I trust that the waves can be helpful - in many cases, it will be one of the most helpful things that people can do for their spines. I've often seen the pain disappear completely within a short timeframe. That's precisely why I am writing this article. It's basically not my free decision to write this article, but rather my moral duty. The purpose is to make the spinal waves available to as many people as possible, so as to help the people.

Countless people today suffer from spinal problems. The usual approaches to resolving these are mainly focused on strengthening the spine. These approaches, however, completely ignore the fact that joints need to move in order to remain healthy. Mostly, only the surrounding musculature - like for example the erector spinae - is strengthened, and preferably with a straight, non-moving spine. This can even exacerbate the problem! Most trainers, therapists and doctors are apparently completely oblivious to the idea of moving the spine! Healing doesn't necessarily require strengthening of the musculature, but rather the nourishing of the joint through the right dosages of movement! The movement apparatus is kept alive by means of movement. Strength training is an add-on, which must come AFTER this step, not before! This is a big methodological error committed by many trainers and therapists, which I hereby hope to correct.
For some reason people nowadays believe that moving the spine is dangerous, and that it should be kept as still as possible. We all know that it's not optimal to lift heavy things with a rounded back instead of with the legs. Although, here it should be said: the dose makes the poison or the healing. The reason I shouldn't move my spine when it's not loaded, however, seems to me cryptical, and I consider it erroneous. These days, the human body is frequently likened to a car, which simply wears down with time. The human isn't however made of metal and rubber, but rather of living cells. The body reacts - as we all really know but often forget - positively to the right amount of movement. NOT moving in most cases renders the body weak and sick.
In summary: The spine should be moved, and in the following text I will present the spinal waves as a great solution to that.

I ask you to consider the following: I am a sceptic when it comes to sharing too many things for free on the internet. Our society is at an unresolved point where the future of occupations, income and money is unclear. My observation is the following:
A lot of people these days take, but do not give. People consume, and in their view, everything should preferably be cheap or free. I hand out this following program for free because I believe that it is my task. My moral duty. That's how firmly I believe in this program. The program, however, also has a high value. If it heals you and frees you from pain, how much would you normally value that at? 10€? 100€? 1000€? 10.000€? I ask you not to forget the value of things. Just as one wouldn't walk into a supermarket and expect to receive everything for free, one should assume that it is not normal that the information here is presented for free, especially since it is so immensely valuable. One thing I ask - or even expect - in exchange:
If this program helps you, then share that with me. Share the story of your spine with me and share how you've used the program. The more data I can gather, the more accurately I can help people. If people around you could benefit from this program, share it with them. If you need more direct and thorough help, or if you want to delve in deeper than this article allows for, we offer workshops and online support.

Thanks:

I thank the dancer Shai Faran, who taught me the exercises presented here.

Now, on to the program:

Spinal waves

The program presented here runs over the course of six weeks. That doesn't mean that you stop doing the waves afterwards. Whoever has understood the waves will be able to use them throughout their entire lives. For those who have time and desire, the times given can be doubled. For those with spinal injuries, it is however better to stick to the program as it stands, and to communicate with us if need be.
The linked videos contain descriptions of the exercises, but these descriptions are also provided here in writing:

Week 1
In the first week, we start with only one exercise: the frontal wave on the wall, version one. It doesn't matter at what time of day the waves are performed. Those with very little time can also divide the ten minutes into smaller segments to be performed throughout the day. The wave is done 3-5 times per week.

Program:
10 min frontal wave on the wall version 1

Frontal Wave on the Wall Version 1 - Description
Start with the whole spine pressed lightly against the wall.
The cervical spine (neck area) will not be able to touch though.
Tuck the chin.
Now move up vertebrae by vertebrae until you are at the back of your head.
Once you get to the upper thoracic spine (chest area) the cervical spine will be able to touch the wall.
When you reached the top, go back down until the full spine is on the wall again.
Move slow. Especially in the beginning.

Week 2
In the second week we add two exercises, sticking with the frontal wave. The two new exercises lead us towards the free-standing frontal wave. The exercises can be performed one after the other or be divided up throughout the day. Those who choose to do all the exercises in one block can take a break between the exercises, but this is also not necessary. The program is done 3-5 times per week.

Program:
A) 5 min Frontal wave on the wall version 1

B) 5 min Frontal wave on the wall version 2

C) 2,5 min per direction Frontal wave on the wall version 3

Frontal Wave Wall Version 2 - Description
Start with the pelvis touching the wall, but the rest of the spine away from the wall.
Move slowly up vertebrae by vertebrae. Ideally only one vertebra is touching the wall at a time.
Move all the way up into the back of the head and then back down into the pelvis.

Frontal Wave Wall Version 3 - Description
This version is very similar to Version 2, but you move either only up or only down during a set.
If you move up, start at the pelvis, go until you reach the back of your head and bring the pelvis back to the wall and start again.
If you move down, start from the back of your head, move all the way down to the pelvis and bring the back of the head back to the wall to start again.
Ideally the wave connects the upper part and lower part, so if you move up, by the time you reach the back of the head, the pelvis is already touching again.
If you move down, by the time you get to the pelvis, the back of the head is already touching again.

Week 3
In the third week, we begin the transition to the wave without a wall and leave the exercise from week 1 behind. The exercises can be performed one after the other or be divided up throughout the day. Those who choose to do all the exercises in one block can take a break between the exercises, but this is also not necessary. The program is done 3-5 times per week.

Program:
A) 3 min frontal wave on the wall version 2

B) 5 min per direction frontal wave on the wall version 3

C) 3 min per direction frontal wave (free standing)

Frontal Wave (freestanding) - Description
This is similar to Version 3 on the wall.
Since you are not touching a wall anymore you will gain some additional freedom in your movement, make sure you use this freedom.
Go as much back as you go to the front.
Slow movement.
Aspire to have a continuous speed throughout the wave without glitches, jumps and accelerations.
Do not go sideways to increase the size of the wave.
Make sure that both ears are visible in the mirror.

Week 4
In the fourth week, we leave the wall completely and introduce the second of the three planes we will be using: the sideways wave. The exercises can be performed one after the other or be divided up throughout the day. Those who choose to do all the exercises in one block can take a break between the exercises, but this is also not necessary. The program is done 3-5 times per week.

Program:
A) 5 min per direction frontal wave

B) 5 min per direction sideways wave

Side Wave - Description
Hip leading

Start moving the pelvis up and down on the side.
Imagine you push something away on your side with your pelvis.
Start to press with one foot into the floor to bring the pelvis to the other side.
Then press with the opposite foot and vice versa.
Imagine that your pelvis is creating a horizontally lying figure 8 in space.
Let the spine follow the movement of the pelvis.
If you keep the spine soft it will be much easier.
The end of the wave is the tilting of the head.
Imagine the ceiling is a bit too low for you to keep your head upright.
Aspire to have a continuous speed throughout the wave without glitches, jumps and accelerations.
Get constant feedback by a mirror or video camera as this is a very difficult wave to get done well.

Head Leading
Start moving the head, tilting it sideways,
The sideways tilt is leading the movement, imagine someone is pulling you at the top of your head.
Once you get the head movement properly you can let the wave go down into the chest, then lumbar spine and hips, knees and feet.
Aspire to create a continuous wave, once the pelvis arrives on the side the head must be gone to the other side already.
Imagine someone is pulling you at the head but the rest of the body doesn’t want to follow to create the delay.
Aspire to have continuous speed throughout the wave without glitches, jumps and accelerations.

Week 5
In the fifth week, we add in the third and final plane. The exercises can be performed one after the other or be divided up throughout the day. Those who choose to do all the exercises in one block can take a break between the exercises, but this is also not necessary. The program is done 3-5 times per week.

Programm
A) 3 min per direction frontal wave

B) 5 min per direction sideways wave

C) 5 min per direction rotational wave

Rotational Wave - Description
Hip Leading
Stand shoulder-width apart.
Start rotating the pelvis around its vertical axis, make sure you don't tilt.
Keep the shoulders and head still.
Rotate vertebrae by vertebrae until your shoulders then up the neck and only in the end let your head follow.
From this rotated position start again with the pelvis, keeping shoulders and head still. 
Then, as above, follow with shoulders and head. 
Make sure you don't tilt front/back or sideways but keep the vertical axis.
Aspire to have a continuous speed throughout the wave without glitches, jumps and accelerations.
If you get a feeling for the wave, aspire to create a continuous motion.
Once the head arrives, the pelvis must have started rotating in the other direction.
Imagine your spine is a towel that you wring out with every wave.

Head Leading
Stand shoulder-width apart.
Start rotating the head around its vertical axis, make sure you don't tilt your head.
Keep the hip and shoulders still and rotate all the way until the end of your range.
Then start rotating from your shoulders but keep the hips still.
Rotate vertebrae by vertebra and only in the end let your pelvis follow.
From this rotated position start again with the head, keeping shoulders and pelvis in place. Then, as above, follow with shoulders and hips.
Make sure you don't tilt front/back or sideways but keep the vertical axis.
Aspire to have a continuous speed throughout the wave without glitches, jumps and accelerations.
If you get a feeling for the wave, aspire to create a continuous motion. Once the pelvis arrives, the head must have started rotating to the other direction.
Imagine your spine is a towel that you wring out with every wave.

Week 6
In the sixth week we reduce the time frames slightly in order to make room for other things in life. From here on, the program can be performed daily if so desired. The exercises can be performed one after the other or be divided up throughout the day. Those who choose to do all the exercises in one block can take a break between the exercises, but this is also not necessary. The program is done 3-7 times per week.

Programm
A) 3 min per direction frontal wave

B) 3 min per direction sideways wave

C) 3 min per direction rotational wave

We hope that this program and the ideas in this text will make the reader and the people in general healthier and more painfree and thank you for the attention. 
Our seminars and trainings are the place to deepen the practice shown here.

We are available for questions:

Joseph Bartz.
With the help of: Annika Dörr, Christian Neppls, Oskar Henke.

2019