The magic sock treatment (also known as cold wet socks or warming socks) is a traditional naturopathic hydrotherapeutic technique that can help with a variety of complaints including headaches, migraine prevention, insomnia, cough and nasal congestion from upper respiratory infections like the common cold! It is safe for people of any age, and it works GREAT on kids! Some kids have even been known to ask their parents for their magic socks when they aren't feeling well! Follow this helpful how-to guide and try magic socks at home for yourself! For more tips on using hydrotherapy at home to help you and your family stay healthy, schedule a visit with me in Kelowna at Momentum Health by phoning 778-484-6070.
It might sound weird, but in today’s world, we often forget to breathe. Not just the type of breathing that we do automatically (which keeps us alive), but the deep, belly breaths that fill our lungs completely.
Many common habits lead to shallow breathing, which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. Using smartphones, computers, chronic “busy-ness,” having a sedentary lifestyle--all of that results in us not using our lungs to their full potential. Most of the time, we don’t even notice we’re breathing shallowly. The next time you spend more than a couple minutes looking at a smartphone, try to tune in to your breathing. Do you get really still, taking shallow, quiet breaths? If so, it's due to a mixture of concentration and subconscious efforts to stabilize the tiny screen. The amount of time per day that we all use these devices adds up to hours of breathing shallowly, which can make us feel more anxious and less grounded.
Breathing deeply has measurable positive impacts on our physiology. When we fully inhale and fully exhale, it increases something called heart rate variability. Heart rate variability is essentially a measure of how responsive your heart is to physiological changes, and the more responsive the heart is to those changes, the healthier it is. A person’s heart rate naturally increases with inhalation, and naturally decreases with exhalation. The more often we take big, deep breaths, the better our hearts get at changing rates and reacting appropriately to our environment. If our hearts are responsive to these small changes, that means the heart can adapt to the larger physiologic changes that happen during exercise and stressful situations, which is very important for long-term cardiovascular health.
Another way that deep breathing can positively impact our physiology is to activate something called the parasympathetic nervous system. This part of our nervous system is responsible for the functions of “resting and digesting,” and helps us feel relaxed, helps us properly extract nutrients from the food we eat, and generally helps us feel calm.
Next time you feel stressed or anxious, take a minute to tune into your breathing. Are you breathing shallowly? If so, try taking a few deep breaths and see if it helps you feel a little better.
Give it a try:
If you struggle with anxiety or stress, schedule an appointment today to learn about more natural therapies that can help you feel better.