Tips For A Healthy Mind And Body

Is it possible to “feel your thoughts?”  The latest research in neuroscience says it is more common than you think! If you suffer from chronic pain, you know how hard it can be to shut off your mind.  Thoughts of pins and needles or lightening bolts hitting you, or the stress of planning your day around your pain can be exhausting.  The more you can clear your mind of these thoughts, the less intense your pain will be.  Here are some simple and easy tips and tricks for understanding how the mind and body interact together through your nervous system so you can take control of how you feel!

 

"Worrying is simply saying prayers for things you don't want."

 

Clear your mind of worry with this simple exercise to get you into the present moment:

 

Identify things in your external environment with your senses.  Keep repeating, if necessary:

  • 5 things you can see (trees, cars, furniture, people, etc.)

  • 4 things you can hear (talking, horns honking, birds chirping)

  • 3 things you can feel (clothes, wind, sun)

  • 2 things you can smell (exhaust fumes, food cooking)

  • 1 thing you can taste (mouthwash, coffee)

 

Work to actively engage your parasympathetic nervous system

 

  • Sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”)

    • Activated by prolonged fear, anger, and/or sadness

    • Activation takes no effort - activated by external triggers

    • Increases blood pressure, pain perception, anxiety, etc.

  • Parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and recover”)

    • Activated by deep breathing, meditation, exercise, yoga, massage, hypnosis, positive social interactions, etc.

    • Dilates blood vessels, lowers heart rate and pain perception, enhances immunity, cognition, and sense of well-being, etc.

    • Activation takes conscious effort

 

Breathing exercises are a great way to calm the nervous system -- our heart rate naturally slows down on our exhalations, and focusing on the breath clears the mind of unresourceful thoughts.  Breathe into your belly, and use your heartbeat as a counter. Repeat for 2-10 minutes, or however long you feel is necessary.

 

 

Breathe into your belly 24/7!

  • Breathing into our chest activates the “fight or flight” part of our nervous system

  • Breathing into our bellies activates our rest and recover system

 

Square breathing (4x4)

  • Inhale for a count of 4

  • Hold for a count of 4

  • Exhale for a count of 4

  • Hold for a count of 4

 

4x7x11 breathing

  • Inhale for a count of 4

  • Hold for a count of 7

  • Exhale for a count of 11

 

Stretching our shoulders and hips will help minimize discomfort from sitting or standing for long periods of time.  Here are stretches you can do at your home or office! Each stretch is held for 20-40 seconds and can be done multiple times daily.

 

 

 

Interested in learning more?

 

Self-empowerment through mind-body education opens up all kind of healing, creative, and productivity opportunities!  

 

Thai massage combines breathwork, passive stretching, and deep compressions -- it is the most effective form of bodywork for treating chronic pain!  Click here to receive 20% off a package of 3!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact me for a consultation!

 

Will Hallett, LMT, CHt.

Chronic Pain Management Specialist

Will@palaquin.com

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