Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

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.

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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:

“BREATH” IS AT THE CORE OF ALL TAI CHI & QIGONG

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

TIP OF THE TONGUE LIGHTLY TOUCHES THE ROOF OF THE MOUTH. WHY?
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.

November 15, 2017

What We Know Verses What There Is To Know

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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.

 

January 20, 2016

BUILD on a FOUNDATION

Filed under: Uncategorized — doctordilday @ 1:19 pm

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In the Tai Chi Hand Form we start in a position of standing up straight, facing forward. There are specific instructions regarding alignment: of the feet, the knees, the lower back/pelvis, and the chest, shoulders, chin and crown of the head. The arms are hanging at the side, and the wrists are extended so that the palms are facing the floor.

From this position we learn, if we don’t already know, how to breath naturally (abdominal breathing). Because we breath naturally and our attention is on our breath, we relax. (I thought that I could find a picture of it, but I found this instead.)

This is the foundation from which we begin the the Form. Throughout the form, everything learned and done at the foundational level is carried forward and maintained: neutral spine alignment and breathing naturally, for example. As the Form progresses we add to it – immediately upon moving there are elements of alignment and timing that come into play. Each time that happens things get more complex. And as the Form continues movements become progressively more difficult and complicated. But, because we have a solid foundation it is possible to do the new, more difficult, things.

It is the same in all aspects of health. When we talk about 5-6 foundational health choices, discussed this evening for example in our One Simple Change  wellness presentation, we are describing choices that lay a foundation for other choices. As you add healthy choices together, the benefits of each is leveraged: the total is greater than the sum of the parts.

Tomorrow I will be helping a patient get a Kangen Water machine. That is a foundational move: every aspect of her health will be affected in big ways. From that one decision she can up the impact of many other decisions (the benefits of her JuicePlus+ supplements will be amplified, for example).

December 5, 2015

It’s Happened Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — doctordilday @ 2:26 pm

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A new patient was in today (New? She’s been a patient just over two months). She reported her original complaints (hip and knee pain) were “doing great”. Soon she will be running again in preparation for a half marathon. She is already doing a half dozen exercises designed to help her adjustments hold so she can go longer between visits.

She reported being quite surprised how good her neck and everything else felt: she didn’t realize until after she was adjusted that they didn’t feel so good before!

We are used to this but can’t predict necessarily how it will express itself. There is a long list of potential side benefits to chiropractic care. The most common are GI tract related (lots of patients mention something has improved). Also common is breathing better, sleeping better, more energy, better mental clarity and attitude, etc. It’s always nice when these show up and the patient gets to tell that as part of their chiropractic story.

 

November 20, 2015

Every Exercise Has A Purpose: Figure 8s & CAT/CAMEL

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People often have no idea what effect the exercise that they are told to do will have. I am not talking about the reason most often given by people who are in the gym or “working out” (that answer is “To loose weight and get in shape”.). No, I am talking about exercises given by health care providers to patients who have conditions for which the exercise is suppose to be helpful.

I think it’s important to know both the cause (the exercise) and the effect (the result).

Yes, it’s also true: almost every exercise will have a list of effects. It’s also true that for the most part we give someone an exercise because we want a specific effect.

(It’s also true that many health care providers don’t have intimate knowledge of exercise in general and are not very thoughtful about giving exercises that are specific.)

CAT/CAMEL

The CAT/CAMEL isn’t even really an exercise. It’s a mobility maneuver or, more simply, a way to keep the joints (that we’ve just adjusted) freed up and moving properly. Patients get the CAT/CAMEL (usually) first; it goes with bracing and breathing as something they can do while still in acute pain. But, it’s primary purpose is to keep joints moving.

Figure 8s

Same thing, and then a little more. The figure eights will keep the joints moving (primary goal); they will also re-train the reflexes, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

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