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Did You Know That Chiropractic Can Help You Breathe Easier?

woman front of computer holding her headThe poor air quality, due to the recent wildfires, coupled with prolonged mask-wearing because of the coronavirus, has made it difficult for many people to breathe easily. We want to help you breathe better and feel your best.

Forward Head Posture & Diminished Lung Function

Forward head posture also is a culprit when it comes to breathing difficulties. Just look around and you’ll see people with their heads looking down at their cell phones or other digital devices more than ever. That specific posture may decrease lung function—what we call vital capacity—by up to 30%.

Correcting the Spine for Better Breathing

Correcting the structure of the spine helps people breathe better. Why? When your head comes forward, it creates decreased motion in the upper six ribs. When that happens, the lungs can’t fully expand properly. Therefore you can’t get the big deep breath that we need to pump oxygen throughout the body.

Regarding sinuses, the upper cervical spine is crucial to the overall drainage and plumbing coming from the eyes, ears, nose and throat. When you have upper cervical subluxation or tension in the upper neck, it can create a backup of fluid in the ears and/or sinus cavities in the cranium, leading to different problems.

We see a lot of patients with sinus and asthma issues because they’re unable to take big deep breaths. Again, wearing the masks for many hours a day also makes breathing a challenge.

Getting More Motion Back into the Spine

In addition to correcting subluxations, it’s important to get more motion back into the spine. You may have heard the expression, “motion is lotion,” so the more motion you have in the spine, the more you’re feeding the brain positive input.

More motion will bring you out of the forward flexion position and back into the extension position. We do some very specific warm-up exercises using a wobble disc and cervical traction before a patient’s adjustment to elicit this very important motion back into the spine.

Roger Sperry, a neuroscientist, won a Nobel Prize in 1980 for brain research he did in the 50s and 60s. His research revealed that 90% of the neurological input to the brain comes from movement of the spine. Therefore, the more motion you can get back into the spine, the better the correction we get overall.

Try Box Breathing

One of the exercises we recommend is box breathing. Here’s how to do it:

Inhale slowly and deeply for four seconds, hold it for a slow count of four seconds and exhale for 7-8 seconds. Then hold your breath for four seconds before repeating the process.

You always want the exhale to be almost twice as long as the inhale.

This exercise effectively “pumps the brakes” in the nervous system, getting the body out of a stress response and back into a rest response. When that change in response occurs, more oxygen will be circulated throughout the body.

Contact Us Today

When your body is able to function optimally, you’re able to take bigger, deeper breaths. You’re also able to have proper sinus function. We want to help you breathe easier and stay healthy. Book an appointment today!

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