Move, Breathe & Sleep Better

It’s all about moving, breathing and sleeping better!

Compromised posture and movement patterns, breathing and airway function, and sleep quality are often overlooked by most parents, doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals.

But if you think about it – moving, breathing and sleeping are the most fundamental physiologic activities that we must all do to survive. Interestingly, these are not activities that had to be learnt or taught to us, instead, they are all meant to occur naturally, automatically and unconsciously from the day we enter this world.

Not surprisingly, moving, breathing and sleeping are often taken for granted. We only seem to become conscious of these areas – move, breathe and sleep, when they do not occur as we would like or they limit our  daily activities and our ability to feel well. When we do move, breathe and sleep well, we are able to thrive in all aspects of life – personal, career, academic and sporting.

We all want to be able to live longer, and enjoy a better quality of life. You are likely here because you no longer feel “on top of your world”, and you’re not sure what is causing your aches and pains or making you sick and tired.  You might be amazed to find that the root cause resolution of many of your health problems may be related to discovering how you can move, breathe and sleep better.

These principles are the foundation for my practice and it may well be your key to a life of pain free living, renewed energy and vitality and good quality sleep.  Lets take a closer look at how these core principles are inter-related…..

Move
  • Movement is life – it is crucial for us to live our lives, escape danger and it is central to how our brain’s function.
  • The skull, spine and pelvis have a powerful relationship with the brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function.
  • This intimate connection means that poor posture and spinal health not only leads to pain and compromised movement, but also to an overall decrease in brain and organ function.
  • This is because the brain does not simply control the body, rather the brain requires constant stimulation to perform well.
  • With over half of all nerve messages being sent between your brain and body relating to the delivery of movement stimulation to the brain, proper movement (especially of your jaw, neck, pelvis and ankles) has been called an essential nutrient for brain function & development.
  • According to the research of Dr Roger Sperry, Nobel Prize recipient for brain research (1982), “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.“
  • Dr Sperry stated that the importance of movement of the spine in relation to brain function could be equated to that of a windmill that generates electricity for a power plant (ie the spine IS the motor that drives the brain.)
  • A windmill does not work well without wind. Likewise, the brain will not work well without movement. Just as a windmill needs to be serviced and maintained, so does the structure of the skull, spine and pelvis
  • He demonstrated that 90% of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body to gravity. Only 10% has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing.
  • Effectively, this means that processing and maintaining the body’s relationship with gravity is our brain’s number one priority when we are awake.
  • Additionally, he stated that the more mechanically (posture) distorted we are, the less energy we will have for thinking, metabolism and healing.
  • So, if you have a forward head posture or scoliosis for example, your brain may very well be compromising thinking, metabolism, and immune function in order to deal with the extra processing required to maintain the body’s relationship with gravity.
  • Research shows that people who do not properly stimulate their brain with movement have learning, memory, emotional, behavioural, and overall health deficits.
  • When it comes right down to it, we are creatures designed for virtually constant movement, but living in a society that involves almost constant sitting and surviving many physical injuries. We are also clearly designed to have properly moving and aligned spines.
  • It should be obvious why it is so important to ensure every child and adult has proper spinal movement and an organised and balanced nervous system.
  • Movement charge’s your brain’s battery  making you able to think better, learn better, feel better, and function better.
  • Movement is life, and chiropractic delivers!
Breathe
  • Breathing is one of the most performed bodily functions – without it we cannot live for more than a few minutes.
  • Breathing nourishes our bodies with oxygen – an essential nutrient for energy production and therefore anything the body does.
  • Every day we breathe in and out without having to think about it, our body simply does it for us.
  • Most of us assume that if we breathe, we’re alive……. so no problem! ….Right?
  • However, HOW you breathe is vitally important to ensuring your body is optimally healthy, especially during sleep (when we are not conscious).
  • At rest, CORRECT BREATHING should be through the NOSE, not the mouth and should be SILENT, without upper chest or shoulder movement (the diaphragm which should do all the work at rest is dependent on good posture).
  • Being able to breathe well through the nose starts with good oral habits. This means lips are closed together with tongue sitting in the roof of the mouth.
  • It is by having correct tongue and lip position/function that proper jaw growth, shape and position occurs. This in turn leads to:
           •  optimal jaw and facial development
           •  optimal airway space
           •  optimal posture (especially the head, neck and jaw)
  • Many studies have shown the airway’s critical role in health, breathing, brain development, posture, performance and well being throughout life, when awake and asleep
Sleep
  • Sleep is the most important biochemical activity you perform in a 24 hour period. It is not merely a break from our busy routines -  it is a time for the entire body to recuperate repair and detoxify.
  • Sleep rejuvenates and recharges the body, assists detoxification processes, repairs damaged tissue, initiates growth and aids in the process of memory – sorting and storing everything we learnt, felt and experienced during the day.
  • Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for good health, peak performance, and proper mental and emotional functioning.
  • During the day we spend 90% of our energy processing and maintaining the body’s relationship with gravity for the purpose of posture and movement. When we lie down to sleep this energy expenditure is no longer required and can now be used for other important processes.
  • Sleep is actually a very busy biochemical activity requiring lots of energy. Oxygen is an essential nutrient for energy production. Breathing through the nose while we sleep is the optimal delivery system for oxygen (as well as assisting good carbon dioxide and nitric oxide levels).
  • There is nothing more stressful to our brain than not getting enough oxygen while we sleep – snoring, grinding teeth, restless sleep and sleep apnea are all external signs of a lack of oxygen reaching our cells.
  • The greatest energy consumers during sleep are the processes involved with detoxification (liver, digestive and kidney systems) and the immune system. By supporting these internal processes via nutritional and herbal interventions we can help promote the rejuvenating process of sleep.
  • Without enough good quality sleep, you’ll suffer from reduced productivity and concentration, impaired memory, poor decision making and decreased learning.  You could also feel more stressed, causing difficulty in all areas of your life.
  • Better sleep naturally leads to better daily energy levels and health as well as better cognitive activity and sports performance.
  • Scientific research has also revealed that long-term sleep debt may also affect a person’s ability to manage diabetes, obesity, cancers or a weakened immune system.