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As a society, we are actively attempting to unlearn proper breathing technique and it has enormous ramifications on quality of life. If you were only drawing 2/3 of the oxygen you could, and not expelling enough CO2 you would be severely disadvantaging yourself, yet this is what we are choosing to do in the face of air pollution, sit-heavy lifestyles, poor diets and lack of awareness regarding posture. In essence, many of us are only capturing the amount of oxygen needed to plod along, but not enough to prosper and feel great. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we believe in a more conscious way of life, and there is no better, quicker or easier way to practice this than to start breathing slower and deeper.
Taking a deep breath means:
This helps immediately with anxiety or panic, but it can also be adapted as your primary breathing technique. While breathing only 10 times a minute may seem extreme, it is worth trying to reduce your number of breaths per minute, so that you can feel better. Capturing the full amount of oxygen means you will experience a noticeable increase in productivity and mood. We want to see everyone reap their true potential from the respiratory process, so that every cell can function with the full amount of inputs it needs to provide the body with energy to prosper.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
Start the countdown...120 seconds isn't long but it is long enough to refresh your body and mind and return to work with a more positive and productivity-oriented perspective. Stress on the job usually centers around the concept of too much work, too little time, and while there may be various parties responsible for creating this quandary, only you can extract yourself and ensure you keep your sanity along with your job. The reason I choose two minutes is because it is just long enough to refresh, but not long enough to detract from your flow. Many people find it hard to stop when they are on a roll; when they are in the zone and don't want to stop but find themselves slightly ripping at the seams. This is not a healthy way to operate, and sooner or later, it will take its toll. Instead take two minutes and try:
This isn't about finding your happy place, it's about keeping you mentally balanced and resilient in the face of stress. Letting stress pile on until the cow's come home is a great way to feel spun out at the end of the day, and if you are living like this it may be time to pay a visit to your Park Slope chiropractor. We practice natural healing modalities including acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment to help regulate the nervous system and restore your musculoskeletal balance and we follow up with massage that dispels tension and promotes relaxation, improving your relationship with pain.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac.
"Take a deep breath," is an oft-repeated maxim that has lost its gravitas amidst new generations who seem to be spending more time "relaxing" than ever. But I can guarantee you that no matter who you are, stress is still cycling and tension is buidling (albeit at different rates and in differing amounts) throughout the week. Some people happen to be very proactive in their management of it, while some people have developed coping mechanisms that waylay the problem and allow them to work and play despite stress being on the fringes; still others watch their lives suffer at the hands of stress and their bodies suffer from chronically high levels of tension. At Park Slope Chiroractic, we believe that relaxation is a key to finding happiness and we want to offer you all our experience in this endeavor.
Ways to help you relax throughout the day, with your brain and body: Massage your hands and wrists, give yourself a stretch and shake out the tension every once in a while. We can show you acupressure points that can be pressurized by yourself at work to help relieve tension or pain wherever you may be feeling it.
Control your environment: not enough can be said about creating an environment that is conducive to relaxation and productivity, both at home and in the office.
Exercise: During a stressful day at work, try going for a walk outside; the more vigorous the better. eating lunch somewhere outside where you can be under the sun. Bright light and vitamin D are very effective at fighting depression and instilling mental calm.
Creative stimulation: What is your outlet? Doing something that is creative, requires concentration, or both helps you stay centered and focus on something concrete that helps your brain reset, while also bringing you pleasure for whatever you produce.
Everyone could use a plan that helps them manage their own unique blend of stress during the day. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Park Slope we have many years of experience helping people find true relaxation in and outside of our office; give us a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
Acupuncture is a natural and sensible choice when it comes to responding to the symptoms of menopause: from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a momentous natural process requires a natural response to keep hormones and symptoms in balance. Symptoms of menopause that have been shown to respond well to acupuncture include hot flashes, irritability, and improving quality and quantity of sleep.
Rather than treating menopause as one specific syndome, Traditional Chinese Medicine treats its many symptoms with a multi-dimensional response. We seek out acupuncture points that correspond directly to the physical and emotional side-effects of menopause. Furthermore, by encouraging endorphin release, acupuncture helps treat chronic pain and several studies show that acupuncture is linked to an increase in nighttime melatonin production and a boost in total sleep time. While the treatment does involve the insertion of very thin needles into the skin, the effect we produce is one of intense relaxation that overrides the brief moment of discomfort during insertion.
Menopause is unique to every woman, not only because it can occur at any age, but also because the degree of symptoms varies and thus an individual treatment plan is absolutely necessary. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we begin with a conversation regarding your medical and lifestyle history to create an individually tailored plan that accounts for your emotions and needs. Through acupuncture and chiropractic treatment, we hope to promote a culture of relaxation in your life during a time of intense emotional upheaval.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac.
Asthma is a disease with a high prevalence in the population with the standard treatment response being either an inhaler or prescription medications such as inhaled steroids, which help manage the illness but rarely resolve it. While these are traditionally effective tools for providing relief from the different types of asthma, (allergy-induced, exercise-induced, nighttime asthma, smoking-induced and cough-variant asthma), some people are seeking a more natural and alternative mode of treatment that may help them deal with the root cause and ultimately resolve their condition, helping them to move on from relying on inhalers or steroid medication.
A complex disorder that involves inflammation of the airways, accompanied by bronchial constriction of the muscles along the walls of the airways, asthma is often aggravated by environmental factors which leads to the classic symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and can progress to a more serious degree whereby the sufferer may seek emergency medical care.
Chiropractic's role comes in resolving spinal misalignment and determining which external or lifestyle factors may be contributing to the condition. Resolving misalignment of the vertebrae can help improve the function of those nerves involved in the respiratory system, including the ones that influence and coordinate the function of the lungs and diaphragm. By focusing on the region of the spine that corresponds to the chest, we fight back against the constriction of the airways that characterizes asthma and open up the thoracic cavity. If you have asthma, there is a great possibility that chiropractic treatment can help you breathe better. As with almost every condition, a treatment plan should always be individualized to account for your unique needs and desires.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
Sciatica is no joke: the symptoms associated with sciatic nerve compression include stiffness and pain in the lower back and buttocks, tingling in numbness in the lower extremities, hip pain and weakness in the leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and influences many of the muscles on the backside of the lower body. The causes of sciatica are many and varied, including herniated disc and subluxation, degenerative bone disease, piriformis syndrome and even general instability in the sacral and lumbar regions of the spine. Chiropractic is an excellent modality for responding to sciatica because through hands-on adjustment and trigger point therapy we can release the tension and tightness from muscles that may be contributing to irritation of the sciatic nerve. Spinal traction and the associated decompression is good for alleviating the pain and impingement associated with nerve pain from herniated discs.
No matter the cause of your sciatica, almost everyone can benefit from basic strengthening and stretching in the lower back. Simple stretches that can be done from the bedroom, but will make a world of difference in your suffering from sciatica include:
While sciatica is not entirely avoidable, it can be eased by dilligent stretching. Try doing these simple stretches once in the morning and once before bed and feel the tension float away. If you are in too much pain to perform even these motions, it may be time to talk to a health professional about determining the root of your pain; our ears are always open at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.