November is here and for many that already starts the business of the holiday season. Shopping, get togethers, plans, decorating, family… the lists are endless. There is a reason that people tend to get sick this time of year and STRESS has a huge component of that.
Think of how you feel when you are stressed or anxious. What happens to your breathing? For most, breathing becomes quicker and shallower. You breathe mostly from your chest. This further signals your body to stay it its flight or fight response (sympathetic response).
The best way to combat this? Mindfulness. Realizing you are IN a stress pattern is the first step to helping your body to relax. Take some deep long breaths from your belly. Sometimes it helps to place on hand on your belly to make sure you are breathing deep. Breathe in. Hold. Slowly breathe out. It is the slow breath out that activates the parasympathetic (think healing/rest/digestion) nervous system. It also helps to utilize visualization while you are breathing. You can visualize being somewhere peaceful. Where is your happy place? You can also visualize breathing in peace and breathing out stress. What can you let go of in that moment?
Also be aware of your posture. Try taking a breath with your shoulders slumped forward. Next try taking a breath with you shoulders back and down (good posture!). Can you feel the difference? When you open your chest you can get a much deeper breath.
One way chiropractic can help with breathing is by helping the thoracic spine (the base of neck down to the low back) moving well. If the vertebrae and ribs are able to move freely, you will be able to take those deep breaths easier. Chiropractic care can also help with the connection of the brain with the lungs. Optimal connection = Optimal function.
Chiropractic care can also help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of your nervous system so you are not stuck in the stress pattern. Dr. Keppy knows specific techniques that will help your body go into the healing state!
Be sure to make sure to take care of YOU during this busy time. Health is your greatest wealth! Happy Thanksgiving!