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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  • 5 star rating  I have been a patient with Dr Neil for about 2 years now and have definitely noticed an overall improvement in my well being and good health feeling since starting with the adjustments. I can also attribute a successful and remarkable quick recovery from 2 Total Knee Replacement surgeries to having good chiropractic care supporting good health healing! Dr. Neil is not only a caring friendly professional, he is also highly experienced and I wish to recommend him to anyone that needs a boost to daily health.

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    10/21/2019
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    10/31/2019
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    3/15/2020
  • 5 star rating  I have been a patient for about 9 years. My sons, since birth and they 7 and 4 now. I can't say enough about the Ancaster Family Chiropractic team. They are very friendly and accommodating and truly make you feel like part of their Chiropractic family. Our visits have helped keep our immune systems strong and help our bodies heal and stay healthy. Dr. Neil and his team are fantastic with my boys. They fondly call him Dr. Clickers. He is a big part of our health maintenance and we're grateful to have found him.

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    10/31/2019
  • 5 star rating  I have been a proud client of Dr. Neil and the support team since 2016 and wouldn't think of going anywhere else. I tried other chiropracters previously and the experience at Ancaster Family Chiropractic is far superior than any other. The atmosphere is positive, friendly and professional. The set up is great and the organization/structure just makes sense. I love having a key fob...makes me feel important! They actually teach about chiropractic care for a greater understanding of same. The name is fitting as you feel like part of the family. Thanks for everything you do.

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    10/02/2019
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