Breathing is an important tool in moments when you feel overwhelmed.
When you are stressed, your breathing becomes more shallow: the kind of quick, panicked breath that sees your chest expanding. With this kind of breathing, you are not getting nearly enough oxygen to nourish the cells in your body and brain, and stress escalates quickly. The solution is to first realize this is happening in the moment- you are overwhelmed and you need to regain control. A signal way to do this is to make a conscious effort to slow down your racing brain by breathing slower.
Breathing slower helps you achieve:
A reduction in blood pressure
A healthier circulation of oxygenated blood to the cells of the body and brain
Less tension in muscles
These qualities translate to you feeling:
Clearer in mind
Less pain in the body
Step up the relaxation one more notch with balanced breathing
A deep, diaphragmatic breath is one that contracts the diaphragm, draws air in through the nose and fills the lungs to the very bottom, where the blood is circulating; this kind of breath is characterized by the abdomen expanding rather than the chest. In moments of stress, take a minute to focus on breathing.
- Close your eyes to block out extra stimuli
- Breathe in for four seconds and out for four seconds evenly
- Link your breaths together in one fluid cycle
The rhythm does wonders, as does the influx of oxygen rushing to cells in need. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we believe that breathing is a powerful way to influence relaxation. At our office in Park Slope, we encourage a lifestyle that keeps stress at bay through chiropractic adjustment, attention to chronically tense muscles and the use of acupuncture to heal pain and fight anxiety.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.
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:
- In through your nose
- Breathing into the lower belly, which should expand
- Holding for a few seconds
- Exhaling fully and slowly (think 4 seconds)
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.
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.
Athletes regularly demand their bodies perform above and beyond the standard call of duty. The difference between a split second on either side of your personal best can often be determined by the tiniest intangible: in this world of fine margins, chiropractic gives you the edge every time.
Simply regulating the nervous system is the most tangible benefit we have to offer: if spinal nerves are pressurized due to subluxation, the brain and body suffer communication breakdown, a condition which can affect all of your anatomical systems, including the ones most often used in athletic endeavor: the respiratory, cardiovascular and muscular systems. Here are some ways that we boost athletic performance from our office at Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture:
- Increase lung capacity and breathe more efficiently. We offer advice on proper breathing techniques to make sure you are getting the most out of every breath. If subluxation is impinging on nerves that power the breathing muscles, we correct this situation to be sure you can breathe effectively.
- Enhance muscle tone by improving blood flow with trigger point therapy and massage.
- Build muscle more efficiently: when the body is misaligned, muscles contract and release over a shorter or longer meridian, meaning you may not be getting the most out of every lift or muscle building movement.
Another huge benefit of chiropractic is keeping the body flexible and resistant to injury. When you kick a ball, swing a club, or slam-dunk a basketball, muscles are strained; the level that they can be strained without incurring damage is an important factor in determining your success and enjoyment of sport.