More and more studies are coming out about the power of breathing correctly. Due to our everyday stresses, we have a tendency to breath from our chest. This causes a decrease in oxygen to the right places and untimely increases stress to our body. This type of chronic stress will affect your overall health and decrease your immune system.
What to do?
Practice! Practice! Practice!
You can do this either sitting or standing. You will place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. When you take that nice deep breath in, I want you to focus on pushing the hand that is on your belly out first. As you exhale, make sure you release all the air that you took in. People, who take deeps breaths in but don’t let all the air out, will increase carbon dioxide in the body. Counting while you do this will be helpful. If it takes you 3 seconds to breath in, make sure you exhale for 3 seconds as well. The goal is to get to 10 seconds each way! As you are practicing this exercise you want to make sure that the only hand that is moving is the one on your belly. Try to not move the hand that is on your chest at all.
Consciously practicing your belly breath will increase oxygen through out the body, decrease stress, and increase your health!
For all of you that still have some money in your flexible spending accounts, it is a good idea to make your appointments now. Most Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) and Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA’a) have a use it or lose it policy. This means that any funds you have left in the account at the end of the year are lost if they are unused!
You can use your FSA’s or HSA’s at The Spine and Health Center of Montvale for anything from; copays, coinsurances and deductibles (for anyone who has not used their insurance this late in the year) to products such as Vitamins, Pillows, Backrests, Support Belts, Biofreeze, Stretch Straps, etc.
The Spine and Health Center of Montvale would like to make it easy for anyone to get the gift of health at our office, be it Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture or Massage. Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment and let us know about any funds left on you Flexible Spending Accounts that you would like to utilize in our office before you lose it! If you have any questions about your accounts we will be available to talk.
I saw this from a website that I subscribe to (bonfire health) and I liked it so I am going to share it with you:
Critical Concepts: Lack of movement promotes stress. There are many well-understood benefits of movement and activity, including improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, lean muscle mass and strength, balance, tone and appearance. Science is now grasping the depth of the role of exercise in the realm of prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, CVD and obesity. The latest research is now painting a broader picture for the benefits of movement in the realm of neurology, development and optimal health.
The primary purpose of movement and activity is to develop and condition the brain (Dr. John J. Ratey, Spark).
Our nervous system is an incredibly complex network of communication fibers and junctions that allow us to relate and adapt to our internal and external environments. The nervous system, made up of the brain, the spinal cord and miles of nerves, depends on movement to restore the body to homeostasis – or a state of general balance and equilibrium.
This resting state is critical to health and healing. Our lives have become frantic. We rush through our days, seemingly never having enough time to complete tasks, slow down to eat, or relax and unwind. So often we are stressed out in traffic or sitting in front of a computer or on the phone. Most people spend far too much time in the “Go State” – fight or flight. This constant Sympathetic Stress State keeps stress hormones coursing through our veins, wreaking havoc on our health.
One vital function of movement is its ability to “re-set” our nervous system from a “stress state” to a “rest and repair” state.
The cerebellum is the area of the brain that monitors movement. The “body sense” that is derived from movement is called proprioception. This body sense provides more data to our brain than all of our other incoming senses combined. It is described by Nobel Prize Winner Roger Sperry as a brain nutrient. The information is derived from the compression of spring-like mechanoreceptors in your joints. When you move, they send signals to your brain.
This cerebella stimulation from movement of our joints will actually drive the body away from a stress state and back toward a rest and repair state. This critical homeostatic mechanism is responsible for returning your body to a state of equilibrium. In other words, movement reduces stress.
Lack of movement promotes stress.
If you live a sedentary life, you miss out on this effective “stress-buster.” People who exercise regularly report less stress in their lives and experience fewer stress-related health problems. Exercise has the additional benefits of increasing neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that promote happiness, better sleep and increased sex drive.
Poor posture and fixed positions can create stress in the body. Toxic and deficient movement patterns promote core weakness, muscle strain, inflammation and structural dysfunction. When joints do not move properly, they create irritation to the nervous system that acts a lot like “static” or noise in our communication network. This noxious stimulation or nociception changes the brain’s function and influences the body’s chemistry. This type of joint dysfunction and associated nerve irritation is called “subluxation.”
Subluxations can occur in any joint, but the most devastating are found in the joints of the spine. These spinal misalignments can be caused by trauma or bad habits (or both), and their ill effects on your health can be profound. A distinctive quality of subluxation is joint fixation. When a joint is fixed or “stuck” and not moving through its normal range of motion, a host of problems can arise. Joint decay and degeneration (arthritis) occurs when a joint is not moving properly. If a joint is fixated, proprioception (Body Sense) is reduced and nociception (noise) is increased – both of which promote stress in the body.
Healthy people practice regular spinal hygiene by utilizing the Life Extension Exercises. A Bonfire best practice is to implement these into your daily routine to combat stationary work and postural stress. Best results are achieved if you do this one-minute routine at least once every two hours at the computer or work station. Nudge yourself into better habits by auditing your workstation for postural stress (read more here). Make it a regular habit to get up and walk during your day. It is very unnatural for you to sit for extended periods of time – no matter how important the project. Dr. James Chestnut suggests a brilliant nudge: position yourself perfectly while sitting at the wheel in your car and then adjust your mirrors. If you slouch during your drive, the mirrors will remind you to sit up.
A vital behavior for optimal health and function is to have your spine and nervous system evaluated regularly by a qualified chiropractor. These doctors have a unique training and specialization in locating and correcting spinal misalignments that contribute to spinal stress. This safe and effective method has been practiced widely for over one hundred years, and is now the second largest form of health care in the world.
Your brain and body expect and require movement for health – for life. Get to it.