Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

April 21, 2018

Breathing through the nose…

There are more Posts on this Blog about breathing than I can count, but here is new research with interesting linkages to our tai chi practices (basic breathing to relax instructions take place in the first session). In particular, breathing through the nose. This study may add more to the emotional connection. Whatever the scientific details and revelations, nothing could be more basic, more simple, or more profound than correct breathing (and using correct breathing to manage stressful situations).

One way to get a sense of the significance is to look at the Post on mouth breathing. Learning the implications of the extremes in one direction will help impress you of the importance of proper practice.

Summary: Olfactory system neurons appear to play a role in the connection between rhythmic breathing and emotional regulation, researchers report.

Source: University of Pennsylvania.


June 11, 2017

Priority #1 Video (Breathing!)

It is amazing where and from whom you learn the most important stuff: in this case it was while having my teeth cleaned.

What I like about this video is that, first, tai chi is never mentioned one time. And second, all of this wisdom and life-changing advice flows naturally in the learning and practice of… tai chi!

The last thing about this video that makes it priceless is that you are not hearing any of it from me. If you have heard it all from me in the past, perhaps this video will impress upon you the value of the information. If not, please take every word seriously – she makes one technical, little tiny, mistake, but the message is huge and everyone needs to hear it. You especially need to hear it if you plan to deliver via C-section, plan not to breast feed, or plan to feed your baby cow products… or if any of the above happened to you. (I know, you are wondering how and if all of those things are really related. They are.) Enjoy this amazingly important presentation.

March 31, 2017

How Slow Breathing Induces Tranquility

Filed under: Exercise, General Health & Wellness, Meditation, Tai Chi Chuan, Wellness care — Tags: , , — doctordilday @ 12:02 pm

This is from Neuroscience News…

Breathing is basic. Better breathing is healthy. Access to breath control through training is access to relaxation. (We could go on all day about that by itself, and on this Blog I have – if you search the terms you will find many Posts). And relaxation is key to stress management on many many levels. (Right now I am reading The Unthinkable, where the importance of breath control is highlighted as the primary means of controlling fear in an emergency situation.)

July 11, 2014

Breathing and Bracing

Core Work

Core Work

(The context here is back pain… I haven’t considered whether every word here applies to every type of pain.)

I’ve mentioned before that we now know exercising while you are in pain is not a good idea. The thing is, “exercise” and “in pain” are experiences that follow a broad spectrum. It’s subjective.

New patients are usually clear about being in pain. But while real exercises begin once a person is out of pain, breathing and bracing can begin right away.

Being in pain alters breathing. In fact astute personal trainers all look for what is called “stress” breathing when their clients are performing exercises. When a person is in pain, they are under stress. They often display stress breathing. Sometimes that altered breathing becomes a habit: like the pain, and like all the other things that are altered by pain and become habits.

I mentioned it yesterday to a patient who was often dizzy after getting up off the table. In pain, he would brace himself as I had recommended, but then he would hold his breath while getting up. Then, when he was on his feet and relaxed, he would get dizzy and have to wait a while to walk away.

So we notice and we teach. Then we notice again, and teach some more – learning along the way. And on it goes.

By the time many people are adults normal abdominal breathing is not their habit, so we begin by teaching basic abdominal breathing.

When a patient learns to brace themselves to support their back while in the relief, rehab, or recovery stages of care, they also have to learn to breath at the same time.

Bracing involves tightening the muscles of the gut, the butt, and the ones that stop defecation and urination (the Kegel crowd). By doing that all the muscles of the “core” are activated, the spine is stabilized, and injury is less likely to occur with movement. (To experience bracing put one hand on your back and the other on your stomach. Now cough. That’s a sudden brace.)

Combined with proper breathing, bracing can shorten the relief stage of care. It’s also a fundamental part of proper bending and lifting technique so it’s worth knowing. A great deal of re-injury is prevented because patients in the early stages of care – who still have to go to work and perform as an industrial athlete – know how to brace properly.

Learning to breath and brace are an integral part of tai chi practice and these techniques are also taught in my courses on Preventing Back Pain Injury if you want to know more.

August 12, 2011

Tai Chi and Breathing (Andrew Weil)

According to the World Tai Chi & Qigong Newsletter, best selling author, Dr. Andrew Weil, says that Poor Breathing Habits are at the Core of Most Illness. I would agree. Here is their tip of the week:


Tai Chi is a form of Qigong. QIGONG means BREATHING EXERCISE

Students ask, why does the tip of the tongue lightly touch the roof of the mouth when doing tai chi and qigong breathing.

Two reasons:

1) It changes the throat structure, so that your breaths become longer breaths. Research shows this is the most effective respiratory beneficial type of breathing.

2) The tongue connects the Governing Vessel, which is the energy meridian running up your back and over your head, with the Conception Vessel, running from the perinium up the front of your body to the lower jaw.

These tips are excerpts from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to T’ai Chi & Qigong, and the DVD Anthology of T’ai Chi & Qigong: The Prescription for the Future.

March 28, 2018


Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


January 19, 2018





“Hello. I’m Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

In patients with asthma, breathing exercises are known to help. But training patients in breathing techniques takes time and expertise, so it’s not often utilized to manage uncontrolled asthma.

A recent trial[1] compared two methods of breathing retraining: self-taught, using a video; or three face-to-face sessions with a respiratory therapist. The training focused on diaphragmatic breathing, nasal breathing, and slow breathing, as well as controlled breath holds and simple relaxation exercises.

Compared with usual care, both methods of breathing retraining improved asthma-related quality of life. Although the interventions didn’t change measures of airway inflammation or obstruction, patients reported increased control over breathing and reduced need for medication. They also felt more relaxed.

So, for your patients struggling with their asthma, consider adding breathing retraining to their treatment. Even patients who don’t have easy access to respiratory therapists can benefit from the self-taught video training. It’s a simple, low-cost option.”

The emphasis above is mine: this is all taught in your first tai chi class, and constantly repeated, and re-enforced, throughout each and every tai chi class. Most people, asthmatics or not, will benefit from learning diaphragmatic breathing, through the nose in a mindful way that produces relaxation.

January 20, 2018

Big News From the Blue Zones: Best Exercise

“The one you enjoy most, but also the one you can easily incorporate into your daily schedule and the one you can keep doing up to your hundredth birthday and beyond. Many Okinawans practice martial arts, especially a dance-inspired version of tai chi. The type of exercise you choose isn’t important. What’s important is working all your body parts with rigor—meaning to the point of breathing rapidly or sweating—for five to ten hours a week.”

Wait! “News” would be if it were NEW – Not new!!!

November 15, 2017

What We Know Verses What There Is To Know



Here research is cites which sheds even more light on the value and importance of breathing as it relates to health.

It is thrilling to learn more and to know; it is humbling to realize that no matter how much we know, we know very very little.

July 29, 2017

The Importance of Breath

“For many people it seems difficult to believe that changing breathing patterns can have such significant impact on mental and physical health. Not to mention performance and recovery.
It is the lowest hangning fruit and very few poeple are picking it. Instead many are looking for complicated methods or become dependent of pharmaceuticals.”

– Paul Silfverstrale, Wudang Practical Tai Chi Chuan

Here is his recent Blog Post entitled Nasal Breathing: https://wudangtaichichuan.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/tai-chi-chuan-qi-nasal-breathing/

It compliments, perfectly, all that I have said on this Blog on the subject, including the very recent Post on mouth breathing (the problem).

January 24, 2017

She couldn’t wait to tell me…

The first patient in the office this morning said that she was amazed at what happened when she practiced the breathing exercise I gave her on her last visit.

Patients show up, usually, with some ache or pain. Once that is dealt with there are often underlying or other issues that come up; stress-related tension is common.

For that and many other reasons we often teach people how to breath, if they are interested. How to breath, so you can relax, so you will be less tense, so you can hold your chiropractic adjustments, so you will feel better: it all goes together.

Anyway, I gave her the most basic of breathing instructions; the same one I give every patient, every tai chi student, and anyone else that cares to listen (It is probably on the Blog somewhere in fact.). She tried it, and…

Almost immediately fell asleep.

(She was pleasantly stunned and amazed.)


October 1, 2016

Now That Your Are Up

I recently wrote about stretching briefly before getting out of bed in the morning; then I talked about how to safely get out of bed. Now, that business of putting on socks, pants and shoes: the reported cause of so many episodes of lower back pain.

This is about how to move. How to move properly is basic new patient stuff: what we talk about in those first half dozen or so visits. It’s about bracing, and about breathing. It’s about bending and lifting (you don’t think that you are lifting much but the mechanics are the same, and the forces in your low back when you bend to do shoes or socks would shock you. And it’s about knowing a few tricks.

Here is one trick and I know that for some folks, when I talk about the stretch or lifting you foot onto your knee while in the sitting position and putting on socks or shoes from there, it is already too late: they have lost that level of flexibility and can not do it. Sorry, that is a different level of intervention and not Blog Post stuff.

If you can grab your feet then do it sitting down; bring that foot all the way across so that you are not bent over at the low back just to deal with feet: the flexibility should be in the hip. Use the shock and shoe opportunity to stretch out the hip a little, in sitting position. And it’s the same with pants if you know putting them on standing up is a challenge (remember ‘challenge’, ‘struggle’ and easy from earlier Posts? If not search those terms.)

Most important, probably, is that just like older folks may have to ‘gather’ themselves (be mindful) when they get upright or they could fall down faster than they got up, it is important for you to be paying attention to each step in the process and move deliberately.

May 4, 2016

May Is Posture Month: Awareness

It’s been said on this Blog many times and this is a chance to repeat it: it all starts with awareness. Put another way, if you knew – what would you do?

I mentioned back pain as a cause or effect of poor posture before; think in terms of 7.6 million adults disabled! One out of four adults have suffered with back pain in the past three months. (The implication is that you could be next!)

Here some other numbers (facts that may sway): College students are cellphone addicts – they spend 8-10 hours per day on their phones. This creates neck pain and lost mobility. People who spend 12 hours per day or more sitting are at greater risk for diabetes, heart disease, and life threatening falls.

(But, if we just looked at a tiny piece – a huge tiny piece – of sitting: there is the pressure on the pelvis that distorts the scare-iliac joints, which then become locked in a dysfunctional restricted pattern – think of all of the implications of that (back pain, hip, knee, leg and feet pain, for starts). Then there is the slump, with it’s attendant stress on the mid back spinal joints, the compressed chest breathing, and all the compressed internal organ issues that that implies. That slump leads to a third issue: Forward Head Posture – it’s not good, it get worse with time, and it causes all sorts of nasty problems that you don’t want – including degenerative joint disease (sometimes leading to neck surgery, and often leading to arm and hand symptoms). All of this because of a choice to sit in a certain way for a certain amount of time per day; and not do anything to offset that choice.)

Simple choices. Make them conscious choices. Make them informed choices. Make healthy choices.


Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: