Take a Deep Breath

Proper breathing goes by many names. You may have heard it called diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, or belly breathing. When you breathe deeply, the air coming in through your nose fully fills your lungs, and you will notice that your lower belly rises. The ability to breathe so deeply and powerfully is not limited to a select few. This skill is inborn but often lies dormant. Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body’s strongest self-healing mechanisms.

Why does breathing deeply seem unnatural to many of us? One reason may be that our culture often rewards us for stifling strong emotions. What happens when you hold back tears, stifle anger during a charged confrontation, tiptoe through a fearful situation, or try to keep pain at bay?

Unconsciously, you hold your breath or breathe irregularly. The act of breathing engages the diaphragm, a strong sheet of muscle that divides your chest from your abdomen. As you breathe in, your diaphragm drops downward, pulling your lungs with it and pressing against abdominal organs to make room for your lungs to expand as they fill with air. As you breathe out, the diaphragm presses back upward against your lungs, helping to expel carbon dioxide.

Your sympathetic nerve system (fight or flight) is suppressed by the expansion of your lungs during inhalation and the parasympathetic nerve system (rest, heal, digest) is enhanced during exhalation as blood returns from your lungs to your body. By slowing your respiratory rate, you allow more time for your body to emphasize self-regulation. And by emphasizing the exhalation you increase the amount of rest/heal/digest activity.

The sum total of slow, deep breathing results in a relative increase in parasympathetic activity. In fact, high parasympathetic tone has been associated with happiness, resilience in the face of stress, and childhood cognitive performance.

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  • I have been suffering with neck and back pain and lack of mobility since my early teens and I am now 27, but I have progressively had a harder time coping with it since I started working in Healthcare in 2019. It had gotten to the point where all I could think about was finding a different job throughout my shift because I wasn't sure how much longer I could handle it. I decided to give Chiropractic Medicine a try and I am so thankful I did! I have been going to Ancaster Family Chiropractic since July 2021 and I have experienced a significant improvement with reduced severity and frequency of pain, better range of motion in my neck and back, and I rarely have to take OTC pain medication which is something I was relying on daily beforehand. I am not even halfway through my treatment plan and I can't wait to continue experiencing improvement in my quality of life. Thank you, Dr. Neil, Sue and Deb!

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    Kyle K.
    11/01/2021
  • Being part of the Ancaster Family Chiropractor was the best decision, my treatment help with my posture and sleeping habits. The team are also very professional and welcoming.

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    Loretta C.
    10/08/2021
  • Dr. Neil does an incredible job at adjusting your spine so your body can heal the way it's made to. He also teaches you how to live your most healthy lives! Dr. Neil, Deb and Sue are all friendly and caring individuals, which makes for a great team of staff!

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    Heather
    10/08/2021
  • Highly recommended

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    jimmy d.
    10/03/2021
  • Dr. Neil and the staff Deb and Sue were very helpful with dealing with my issues. I went in with a lower back pain and has been healing pretty well. I have noticed the adjustments and home exercise not only helped with the pain but also helped with my digestion issues such as bloating. They were very accommodating whenever I needed a change in visits.Overall a great place to get yourself healed.

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    Organic C.
    7/09/2021
  • Great service and atmosphere, staff is friendly. I am always eager for my weekly adjustments, feel so much better after and very energized. Highly recommend the place.

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    Biljana M.
    6/02/2021
  • Their philosophy of health and well being is encouraging, optimistic and realistic. I appreciate the idea of leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing illness rather than simply treating the symptoms of ailments. Also, there are times unexpected benefits to chiropractic care. I wholeheartedly recommend Ancaster Family Chiropractic.

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    Jared W.
    6/02/2021
  • Excellent chiropractic office. Dr. Neil and his team are efficient and effective.

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    6/02/2021
  • I've been seeing Dr. Neil for over two years and consider his care essential to my overall well being. Dr. Neil, Deb, and Sue create a welcoming friendly environment. I greatly enjoy attending at Ancaster Family Chiropractic and I highly recommend them. Thank you for the great care you provide! Julie

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    Julie F.
    5/26/2021
  • Fantastic team who care about the whole person - always.friendly and helpful. Such a difference in my physical well being. My headaches are gone and I know better how to care for my long term well being.

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    5/26/2021

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