Sometimes it feels like the whole world is in a race – but to where? There is so much hustle and bustle that surrounds us that it can be hard to remember to slow down and just be still. While we know that it is important to be still while having an acupuncture treatment completed, there are a lot of benefits to making stillness a part of your daily routines.
"Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself." – Hermann Hesse
If you can feel your tension levels rising and the rush of the world taking over your energy, you may want to consider retreating into a sanctuary of stillness. Below we will outline the two techniques to assist in your efforts to find stillness.
Step 1: Vagal Tone Breathing
Vagal Tone Breathing is deep, slow breathing that stimulates the vagus nerve and lowers the heart rate. To do it, you breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, feeling your belly fill up with air. Then tense your core muscles as you exhale twice as long through your mouth.
This creates a rhythmic rising and falling of the belly as you continue to breathe in this manner. Just 5 minutes a day can make a huge difference.
Step 2: Stretch your Neck
Many people will feel their stress in their neck and shoulders. With more and more of us spending hours in front of a computers, posture begins to suffer and many will find themselves getting closer and closer to the monitor throughout the day. What instinctually happens next is that you'll tilt your head to see the monitor better. And, our posture follows our eyes which leads to forward head postures and then rounded shoulders.
Forward head postures can cause chronic shortening of the suboccipitals, the muscles at the base of your skull, whose primary function is to rock and tilt the head into extension. Tightness in the suboccipitals can lead to a lack of blood flow and can even cause headaches. Deb often treats clients who have muscle tension headaches from mountains of stress, coupled with bad forward head posture.
There are four super easy yet effective neck stretches for tension headaches, that you can see in this video created by Morgan Sutherland, the owner of Morgan Massage.
Sanctuary of Stillness
By combining the Vagal Tone Breathing technique and the neck stretches demonstrated in Morgan Sutherland’s video, you should be able to access a "sanctuary of stillness."
Acupuncture to Relieve Stress
Along with working to find the “sanctuary of stillness” in your own home, another way to slow down from the rush of the world around you is to seek out acupuncture. Acupuncture works to ease stress by releasing endorphins, which are natural pain-killing chemicals in the brain.