What are things I can do in between adjustment visits to help calm and heal my nervous system?
Breathing techniques are one of our favorite recommendations. Whether we are talking Wim Hoff breathing, crocodile breathing, ujjayi breathing, belly breathing, 4-sided breathing, diaphragmatic breathing or any of the multitude of breathing techniques out there — they all play a big role in helping you calm stress, relax, regulate & heal your nervous system.
If you are new to breathing exercises, coherence breathing is a really simple one to start with:
- Focus on your natural breaths. Count the length of each inhale and exhale to obtain a baseline.
- Find a comfortable position to practice coherent breathing. Place one hand on your stomach. Breath in for four seconds and then out for four seconds. Do this for one minute. Repeat, but extend your inhales and exhales to five seconds .Repeat again, extending further to six seconds.
- During this process, keep your hand on your stomach to make sure that you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest. Try to focus on expanding the front, back, and sides of your belly and also noticing your pelvic floor. If you find that you feel comfortable taking even longer breaths, feel free. Breaths as long as 10 seconds may feel right for some people. It’s also okay to have a longer exhale than inhale.
- Once you’re able to do this for five minutes, gradually work your way up to 20 minutes. You can practice anywhere! In bed at night, or even when driving.
- Do not try to force the breath or try to take in more air. This will happen naturally as you lengthen your breaths and get used to how it feels.