Analgesic and anti-inflammatory Essential Oils

Analgesic essential oils:

Many essential oils have an analgesic effect. Their action can help to control or reduce the pain, or to act on its causes, for example by fighting against inflammation. The mode of application is obviously important: baths with essential oils help to relieve tensions, while massages activate healing processes by stimulating blood circulation. The active ingredients can also be absorbed by the olfactory route.

Certain essential oils, such as cinnamon, clove or peppermint, reduce the perception of pain by their anesthetic action. Others are interesting because of their decongestant power. It is the aldehydes, the sesquiterpenes, the terpene esthers and the terpenes contained in the essential oils which contribute to their antalgic action. To enjoy a maximum effect, it is better to combine different oils, in order to enjoy a synergy pain, these molecules do not all have the same mode of action.

The 5 analgesic main essential oils:

Peppermint
Clove
Chamomile
Cajeput
Cinnamon


Anti-inflammatory essential oils:

The salicylic acid contained in aspirin and originally extracted from white willow, before being synthesized by the pharmaceutical industry, is one of the best known anti-inflammatory molecules. The molecule has now fallen into disuse for other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. But it is found in the benefits of aromatherapy. If the latter helps fight against inflammation, it is because the components of some essential oils produce salicylic acid. This is the case of wintergreen oil, which is highly concentrated in methyl salicylate. This salicylate is converted to salicylic acid when it comes into contact with the skin.

The essential oils of cajeput, lemon, laurel and clove have an antinevralgic action, while lavender, peppermint or clary sage are anti-inflammatory. Wintergreen is particularly suitable for the management of inflammatory joint pain, such as sports injuries or rheumatism. Against strains, you can also use rosemary.

Compresses, massages in a carrier oil, aromatic baths are the main modes of application. But there are also preparations ready for use, in the form of ointments or ointments with essential oils for joint pain or trauma. These preparations often incorporate a camphor base, traditionally known for its anti-inflammatory action.

The 5 main anti-inflammatory essential oils:

Wintergreen
Clove
Cajeput
Lavender
Clary sage

7 HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR PAIN


Homeopathy can be really efficient for aches and pains so before you reach out for a painkiller you might want to try these remedies first. Take the following remedies every 2 hours until the symptoms subside but if the pain becomes severe you should seek help from your doctor or A&E.


HEADACHES:  Natrum Mur is the main headache remedy and is especially good when the headache comes with eye strain brought on by too much screen time. Headaches are often caused by dehydration so drinking a large glass of water may help.


PERIOD PAINS:  Mag Phos is great for menstrual cramps and spasms. 4-6 tablets of Mag Phos in a bottle of water sipped regularly throughout the day is a good way to take this remedy. A hot water bottle, hot drinks, and hot bath with Epsom salts can also help.


JOINT PAIN:  Rhus Tox can help with any joint stiffness or pains you are experiencing, especially if the pains are eased by moving.


ABSCESS:  take Belladonna at the start when the abscess is red, burning and swollen. You can then follow by taking Hepar Sulph to help the abscess come to a head and break.


MUSCLE SPRAIN:  Arnica will help with the physical trauma as well as the shock. You can take it in pill form and also topically in cream, gel or oil.


EARACHE:  Chamomilla is a great remedy for an earache but do see a doctor or homeopath if you suspect an ear infection. This remedy can also help calm a teething baby (with or without earache).


TOOTHACHE:  Hypericum is our main remedy for shooting nerve pain so ideal for a toothache. Additionally ou can take it in prevention, before a visit to the dentist, in case of drilling or tooth extraction, etc.


From Caroline Harper, Homeopath.

Caroline gives consultations at Make Me Feel on Thursdays.

Breathing Techniques: A Guide to the Science and Methods

Breathing is part of our body’s master blueprint for regulating the body’s rhythms. Yet how often do we take breathing for granted?

Short ragged breath rhythms will both reflect our emotional state and cause us to grow frantic, stressed, and unfocused. Slow, even breathing, on the other hand, will signal that we are calm and relaxed, therefore slowing our heart rate and allowing us to more easily focus our attention.

Due to the record levels of stress and anxiety throughout the developed world, many individuals aren’t living their healthiest lives, even when they work hard at dieting, exercising, and achieving a balance

This stress frequently causes improper breathing. 

However, it’s also something that we can mastered on an individual basis with slow, steady breathing through the nose.

Attentive breathing is one way someone can send signals to their body. With the speed and depth of our breath, we are telling our bodies what we are feeling, as well as what our priorities are at the time. 

This means that breathing affects all the aspects and levels of our mood, from stress level to blood pressure and immune functionality.

As we inhale, we draw in oxygen (O2). As we exhale, we push out carbon dioxide (CO2). 

Our bodies require a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This means that we can also run into problems when our carbon dioxide levels are too low. Proper breathing techniques help us to maintain a proper balance.

gas exchange in humans

There are two major factors that keep our body and circulation in peak condition. 

These are proper breathing patterns and movement or exercise that increases blood circulation. In this guide we will dive deep into the ins and outs of proper breathing and how to get started with a breathing technique that suits your lifestyle and goals.

Where Does Improper Breathing Come From?

bad posture equals bad breathing

Like bad posture, improper breathing techniques come from long days of sitting. Sitting forces our bodies and organs into unnatural postures, which allow our muscles to become stiff and restrict our breathing. Proper breathing is easier when the body is flexible and in a posture that allows the lungs to move.

This means that instead of breathing through our stomachs as we should be, we learn to breathe through our chest. Chest breathing doesn’t fully inflate our lungs and it strains the muscles around our neck and shoulders, making for inefficient and problematic breathing patterns.

Where Does Improper Breathing Come From

This can be exacerbated by learned behaviors and garmentsSome sports, such as weight-lifting, swimming, and forms of martial arts, prioritize long-term improper breathing. These techniques may increase short-term adrenaline by inciting and then utilizing stress responses. However, they aren’t sustainable for endurance sports or healthy breathing outside of the sports arena.

Constrictive straps, such as belts (yes, even stylish belts) or waistbands that lay high and tight on the body, as well as bra straps,  may constrict our ability to breathe to the full extension of our lungs. Finally, sucking in our guts and bracing our middles to look thinner or in response to anxiety will push our breath upward into our chest.

Other reasons for improper breathing may be chronic nasal congestion or a runny nose which causes mouth breathing.

Mouth Breathing Versus Nasal Breathing: What’s the Difference?

mouth breathing is bad

Breathing through your nose is one of our oldest pearls of wisdom. However, does it really make a difference?

Research finds that it does.

Difference Between Mouth and Nasal Breathing

When you breathe through your mouth, you will experience less tissue oxygenation, which causes your heart rate and blood pressure to elevate in an attempt to make up for less efficient breathing. 

An elevated heart rate or high blood pressure can cause fatigue and dizziness. In other words, breathing through your nose allows you to absorb more oxygen with less physical exertion.

Furthermore, children who breathe through their mouths may develop with an altered facial structure that causes their face to be longer, which in turn contributes to impaired breathing patterns.

Breathing through your mouth will make it more likely that you hyperventilate or experience allergens

It also causes you to expel too much carbon dioxide from your body, which can cause fluctuations in your blood’s pH level and limit the hemoglobin from releasing oxygen into our cells. This is called the Bohr effect, which can ultimately lead to hypoxia or low blood oxygen levels that restrict blood flow to vital organs.

This means that even while exercising it is better to breathe through your nose than your mouth. While it can be tempting to exhale through our mouths to cope with heavy exertion, this does us fewer favors than maintaining a proper balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

One way to work through this tendency is to back off the intensity of your exercise routine until you are able to maintain the routine while breathing only through your nose. This is a different kind of training since it trains your body to become more comfortable and tolerant of holding in carbon dioxide.

Additionally, breathing through the nose allows us access to a small portion of nitric oxide that we carry into our lungs. Nitric oxide helps with maintaining the balance of our bodies. It also helps to dilate our lungs and blood vessels, while providing antibacterial properties to clear out germs and bacteria.

How to Assess Your Body’s Carbon Dioxide Tolerance

How to Assess Your Bodys Carbon Dioxide Tolerance

Dr. Buteyko, creator of the Buteyko Breathing Technique, developed a simple test for assessing a body’s carbon dioxide tolerance. This is an easy test to try on your own. To use it with goal-setting, keep a record so you can see improvement as your practice your breathing techniques.

  1. To begin, sit straight (shoulders back, legs uncrossed) and breathe in a steady, comfortable rhythm.
  2. Breathe quietly in and then out of your nose. Then after an exhale, pinch your nose shut with your fingers.
  3. Start a stopwatch and keep track of how many seconds you can hold your breath before feeling a strong urge to breathe again.
  4. Note your time, which is known as your “control pause (CP).” Resume breathing in a calm and controlled way.

Your CP is a benchmark for your body’s tolerance of carbon dioxide. The shorter it is, the more quickly you’re likely to become breathless during exertion. Each addition of five seconds to your CP will make physical activity easier. This is something that you can work on strengthening and increasing over time.

Some health benchmarks include:

1-10 seconds – The Buteyko method considers this a serious breathing impairment. You might experience difficulties while exercising and have some chronic health problems. Tips: Begin strengthening your carbon dioxide and breathing tolerance by breathing only through your nose throughout the day.

10-20 seconds – This is a significant breathing impairment. You will likely experience moderate difficulties while exercising. Tips: Only breathe through your nose during exercise. Scale back on exercises that force you to cope by breathing through your mouth.

20-40 seconds – This is a mild breathing impairment and an average level for most adults. Tips: To increase your CP at this point, you need to engage in physical exercise and cardio, such as joggingcycling, or swimming, which build up an air shortage.

40-60 seconds – This is a healthy breathing pattern that is in peak condition and is unlikely to experience difficulties or get winded quickly while exercising. Tips: Increase your quality of life and mental energies through meditation and mental training and development.

Breathing Techniques

Different Types of Breathing Techniques

It’s easy to take breathing for granted. As part of homeostasis, our body does these simple, though important, functions for us. It allows us to focus on other things: life goals, work, social interactions, and more complex physical movements.

We often don’t pay attention to our breathing until we start exercising. We might find ourselves winded after running up a slope or we might be asked during a yoga session to pay attention to our breathing for the first time that day.

One of the biggest contradictions in our body is the question of why we do get winded. If our muscles are able to do the tasks we ask of them, why can’t our breath?

The answer is that our breathing cycles need specific training as well. Training our breath can enrich our lives in nearly everything we do, whether it’s exercising, socializing or something as seemingly simple as sleeping at night.

The 365 Breathing Method

Best for: Chronic stress, anxiety, phobias, pain management, nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and trauma therapy.

The 365 method utilizes the scientifically proven technique of cardiac coherence. Cardiac coherence uses biofeedback to coordinate your breathing with heart rate. Slow, steady diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the vagus nerve, which triggers the parasympathetic nervous system’s relaxation response.

By stimulating the vagus nerve, people can create calm throughout the body. This calm slows and stabilizes the heartbeat, decreases blood pressure, and relaxes muscles. The brain also relaxes and increases its sense of peacefulness, allowing for positive psychological effects.

This method should be practiced everyday at least three times per day. Each session requires five minutes. The idea is to breathe at a constant rhythm of six cycles per minute for five minutes.

The rhythm consists of five seconds inhaling and five seconds exhaling. Some versions ask breathers to spend more time on exhaling and inhaling, for instance inhaling for four seconds and exhaling for six, to exert a quieting effect on the heart rate. Keep in mind that long inhales with short exhales will speed up your heart rate; whereas, shorter inhales and longer exhales will slow the heart rate and relax the body.

The regularity of this breathing exercise not only causes immediate relief for those prone to stress or anxiety, but the consistent daily approach also makes these individuals less vulnerable to stress in the long run.

The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

Best for: Relaxation and improved sleep, managing cravings, and reducing anger responses.

The 4-7-8 breathing exercise involves you exhaling twice for each time that you inhale. This kind of deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and allows the body to relax.

Since this relaxes the nervous system, it’s best use is right before bed. However, many advocate using the technique to relax throughout the day.

As you start out, begin with a four-breath cycle. You can increase to an eight-breath cycle as needed after about a month of frequent practice.

  1. Sit up straight and relax the tip of your tongue against the back of the front teeth.
  2. Using only the nose, breath in for four counts.
  3. Hold the breath for seven counts.
  4. Exhale through the mouth for eight counts, making a whooshing sound through the mouth as you let the breath go.
  5. Repeat this breathing cycle a total of four times.

Ayurvedic and Pranayama Breathing Techniques

Best for: Mindfulness meditation, focus, good health, and yogic exercises.

Pranayama or Yogic Breathing prioritizes awareness. Yoga seeks to create a combined sense of awareness that includes the breath, mind, and body. This is a good approach for those who intend to pair yoga or mindfulness with their breathing.

This breathing technique will help you pay attention to what your body is doing and how you can train it to be strong and healthy. Yogic breathing supports healing, personal development and mental or emotional transformations, and spiritual practices.

Yogic Breathing uses four primary skills:

  1. Nose breathing.
  2. Focus, in particular, the ability to focus exclusively on the breath.
  3. Breathing through the diaphragm.
  4. Strengthening the diaphragm to allow for more effective, connected, and efficient breathing.

The exercises below are Ayurvedic warm ups. They can be used independently or in conjunction to help you begin noticing, focusing on, and controlling your breath. After such a warm up, you can work your breath into more meditative even breathing. The end result of yogic breathing tends to be quiet without snoring sounds, physically smooth, and located deep in the belly or diaphragm.

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana/Nadi Shuddhi) – Use your right thumb to close your right nostril. Breath in through the left nostril. Then, close the left nostril and breathe out through the right nostril. Reverse the process, breathing in through your right nostril and out through your left. Continue this cycle until you feel that you feel focused and relaxed, or for 5 minutes, whichever comes first.

Uninostril Breathing (Surya Anuloma Viloma/Chandra Anuloma Viloma) – Close one of your nostrils. Then, inhale and exhale exclusively through the open nostril. Try to keep your breathing slow and evenly paced.

Right Nostril Initiated Breathing (Surya Bhedana) – Close the left nostril and inhale through the right nostril. Then close the right nostril and exhale through the left. Repeat this process as desired for mental focus.

Psychic Breath (Ujjayi) – Inhale and exhale through the nose at a steady, comfortable pace. As you do so, partially contract the glottis (the area at the back of your throat). Your breath may sound like light snoring. Remain aware of the breath as it passes through your throat.

Female Honey Bee Humming Breath (Bhramari) – Fully inhale. Then, use your index fingers to close your ears. Exhale while making a soft humming sound, like a honeybee.

Box Breathing

Best for: Slowing the breath for focus and deliberation, physical training, and quitting smoking.

Box breathing is a technique used by retired Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine, to aid slow, calm deliberation and respiratory strengthening. Box breathing is a great way to calm the nerves and work toward physical fitness. It can help individuals regulate involuntary bodily functions, such as body temperature. Additionally, holding the breath allows a healthy buildup of carbon dioxide.

Like most proper breathing techniques, box breathing requires the practitioner to breathe through the nose and expand the breath through the belly or diaphragm.

How to Box Breathe:

  • Inhale for a five-second count.
  • Hold the breath in for another five seconds.
  • Exhale for five seconds.
  • Hold the breath from another five-second count.

Box breathing should be repeated for one to three minutes several times a day or before a meeting or event, when the practicer is feeling nervous or anxious. Individuals can work up to five to ten minutes of box breathing a day.

Buteyko Breathing Methods

Best for: Physical health and exercise training, controlling anxiety and panic attacks, promoting good sleep, and decreasing the effects of asthma and sleep apnea.

Developed in Russia as a treatment for asthma, the Buteyko Breathing Method works to reverse the health problems that come with improper breathing, over-breathing, and mouth breathing. 

Buteyko traces the development back to his own realization one night that his heavy breathing was not a symptom but, instead, the actual cause of his breathing problems. He then worked to slow down his own breath and began to feel results. Reducing how much we breathe increases the oxygen that our tissue, organs, and especially our brain, are able to absorb.

Buteyko reminds us that we breathe more often than we really need to. The average adult takes fifteen breaths a minute. However, for focused, deliberate breathing that slows the heart rate and offers more efficient usage of oxygen, it’s common to slow down to six breaths a minute.

The Buteyko Breathing Method reminds us that breathing less is an indication of being healthier. Additionally, healthy breathing is lighter. Those who are breathing too heavily should take note of the breathing impairment.

The ideal breathing is slow, horizontal (i.e. belly breathing and not chest breathing), and of decreased volume. In this case, having a slight air hunger, indicating a carbon dioxide accumulation, is a healthy thing.

Positive physical effects include increased physical temperature, or less commonly, temperature stability in extreme environments, which is a signal of better blood circulation. Increased saliva is another sign of the parasympathetic nervous system activating and allowing for stress reduction.

Qi Breathing

Best for: Improving quality of life through increased motivation, health, and energy.

Developed from traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine with a modern approach, Qi is a meditative deep breathing technique. It helps to focus the mind on goals to channel motivation. 

How to begin with Qi:

  • State your intention for your breathing session. For example, you might want to find energy and motivation, or you might want focus and relaxation.
  • Inhale and exhale deeply and quickly through the nose in one-second bursts. Imagine your breath moving in a circle through your body, as it flows up the back of the spine and then down the front.
  • Incorporate a rocking movement with the breathing by rocking forward to your knees on the exhalation and the backward on the inhalation. Focus primarily on the inhalation and the ability to draw in energy.
  • Maintain your focus in your breath and keep a quiet mind.

At the end of a Qi breathing practice, you might find deep peace or energetic bliss. Shorter Qi breathing sessions can last for three minutes, but longer meditative Qi breathing can last up to thirty minutes.

Breathing for Stress Management

breathing for relaxation

How Does Stress Alter the Way We Breathe?

In many ways, learning to have control over our breathing techniques means learning to communicate with our own bodies. By mastering certain breathing practices, we are telling our bodies what we need from it. These signals alter its functions.

When we are frightened, tense, uncomfortable, or overwhelmed, we breathe rapidly and shallowly through our mouths, triggering the sympathetic nervous system. This communication tells the body to allocate resources intended for our basic survival functions.

To do this, we abandon the process of allocating resources to higher functions, such as deep focus. Instead, our resources work on self-protection. One of the ways that the body protects us from our own stress is to trigger our appetite and store fats, causing us to gain weight. We might also feel fatigued as our body attempts to save and store our energy.

Our body understands our stress as a survival response. It doesn’t understand that in our modern world we may feel frequent stress when our lives are not in jeopardy.

By learning proper breathing techniques, we can tell our bodies that we need that energy and those resources for mental exertion, not physical. When we breathe slowly and deeply, we feel calm. This uses the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to relax us. Our breathing reacts to our bodies, but our bodies also react to our breathing in a feedback loop.

How Can Controlled Breathing Techniques Help Neutralize Stress?

Breath training is able to combat chronic stress, anxiety, trauma, and phobias. Severe stress symptoms, such as panic attacks, force individuals to hyperventilate and reduce blood flow and oxygen carriage to the brain. This is because it relaxes minor physical tensions around the body that are associated with stress.

When these breathing exercises are done, throughout the day, for example during breaks or transitions between activities, they can provide immediate relief. In the long term, this kind of breath training will make individuals less vulnerable to stress.

Relaxation may also enhance those genes associated with energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, insulin secretion, and telomere maintenance, while reducing the genes linked to inflammatory and stress-related pathways.

In other words, by practicing relaxed breathing, we are able to tell our body to go about doing and improving its most important daily functions. This is instead of constantly telling our body that it needs to protect us by triggering stress and inflammation. The body can, therefore, allocate its resources to keeping us healthy, as opposed to keeping us sheltered.

Breathing Techniques for Asthmatics

Buteyko Breathing has been known to help asthmatics control their tightness of breath and wheezing, and to substantially decrease the frequency of severe symptoms.

However, there are currently few full studies of the Buteyko Breathing Technique to clinically evaluate its effect of asthma patients. The studies that have been done do not show a change in the participants’ pulmonary function. Instead, these studies demonstrate that the Buteyko technique can help to change a patient’s own perception of their symptoms, thus decreasing overmedication and increasing personal motivation.

The method can help to reduce medication intake and improve quality of life. However, it can be difficult for asthmatics to get started with Buteyko breathing techniques, and it requires dedication and discipline.

How to Incorporate Breathing Exercises into Daily Life

How to Incorporate Breathing Exercises into Daily Life

Make It a Coping Technique

Frustration often comes from feeling the limits of our unstructured or chaotic environment. Sometimes all it takes is a little structure and methodic activity to make the stress dissipate. It won’t solve all the problems that caused all the stress in the first place. However, it will give you a fresh frame of mind from which to solve these problems as well as greater control over your own faculties.

One of the best ways to use this to your advantage is to make a firm and structured coping technique or routine. This adds structure and something rote and memorized that you can fall back on for comfort, as well as mental and physical renewal.

Combine Breathing Regulation with Good Posture

Poor breathing and poor posture go hand in hand. Individuals who breathe through their mouths develop a posture with a more forward leaning head, which could cause strain and difficulty all the way down through the body. With good posture, we find the kind of shoulder position and spinal extension that allows us to breathe more clearly and efficiently.

It can be easy to correct these together in our daily lives, since you may be more likely to notice your posture than your breathing. Not only will correcting your posture and breathing technique strengthen your abdominal muscles and back muscles, but it will also heighten awareness about your physical presence.

Over time, these responses and patterns can lead to improved long-term posture and breathing habits that will require less thought and consideration.

Try Out Yoga and Meditation

breathing incorporated into your life

The practice of yoga ties the mind and meditative techniques to physical movements. This is primarily done through an emphasis on breathing (prana) and the practice of pranayama or “yogic breathing”. While yoga and meditation are a traditional Hindu practice, developed before modern science, these practices have been validated in clinical studies. By strengthening the feedback connection between the mind and body, yoga can increase the mind’s influence over the body’s automatic function.  It positively influences the mind and body, allowing for more efficient functioning throughout the respiratory, biochemical and metabolic functions.

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that is beneficial in the long term for its ability to help regulate emotions, through stimulating the amygdala, or pleasure center of the brain. Additionally, mindfulness has shown long term positive benefits, including the ability to alter the development of our brains, to decrease the level of pain that we may feel, and increase focus and mental acuity.

Practice Breathing Before Bed

Twenty minutes of slow breathing exercises before bed can significantly improve sleepStudies have shown that breathing before bed helps those with insomnia get to sleep more quickly and wake up less frequently during the night.

Don’t have time for a 20 minute wind down? You can still benefit greatly from short breathing sessions right before bed. When it comes to relaxing for sleep every little bit helps.

Three minutes of the 4-7-8 breathing pattern can work wonders for slowing the heart rate and relaxing the mind and body before bed. Similarly, bedtime is a great opportunity for a session of the 365 breathing technique using the variation that prioritizes a long exhale.

Breathing Techniques Myths and Truths

Breathing Techniques Myths and Truths

Myth 1: “Deep Breathing” Is Healthy

Deep breathing commonly refers to take big, large-volume breathing. We’ve been told time and time again that deep breathing is good for us, but it’s not the depth of the breath that actually helps us. In fact, deep breathing usually causes us to increase our breath size far above normal so that we lose our carbon dioxide balance.

Truth: Slow, Shallow, Breathing from the Diaphragm Is Healthy

The deep breathing myth comes from a misunderstanding of what’s good about the practice. Deep breaths are usually slow and located in the diaphragm, both of which are good things. In other words, it’s not the depth of the breath that’s good for us. It’s taking slow breaths and using our belly to breath.

Myth 2: We Need As Much Oxygen As We Can Get

It’s commonly believed that we need all the oxygen we can get. If this were true, it would put people who live at higher altitudes at a significant disadvantage to those at lower altitudes. This fails to line up with the fact that elite athletes seek higher altitudes for training.

The average person’s blood is already saturated with about 97-99 percent oxygen (12-14 kilopascals). Recent studies have also shown that the oxygen content of a healthy person’s blood can drop far below what we previously thought (2.55 kilopascals or 80 percent below the normal level), with continued function for some time. Blood oxygen levels are safe to drop like this when we are able to breathe properly and our body is well-trained in efficient oxygen usage.

Truth: Keeping Our Blood Pumping is More Important

It’s frequently more important to keep our blood pumping than it is to make sure that our blood stays oxygenated. In other words, if you’re feeling tired from a sedentary job, it’s more important that you get up and move around so that more blood carries oxygen to your organs than it is to keep breathing and taking in as much oxygen as you can.

Myth 3: Breathing is Automatic and I Don’t Need to Think About It

Our body breathes for us. In fact, if we had to think about it each time we breathed, we would likely lose track and pass out. This has led many people to think that breathing techniques overcomplicate the process and it’s best to leave our bodies to their own devices.

Truth: We Can Improve Our Breathing

While our body does breathe automatically, it can learn bad habits and culturally-developed problems from the way that we breathe when we are nervous or stressed. Working to improve our breathing means retraining better automatic reactions in the long run. Even short breathing practices can help to improve automatic breathing functions through the day and lifetime.

Myth 4: All Breathing Techniques Have the Same Effect

Proper breathing techniques have a lot in common. For instance, almost every technique will offer the positive effect of managing stress throughout the body. This is even true of rapid breathing techniques, as long as they prioritize exhaling. Furthermore, each technique helps us to remain aware of how we are breathing. However, not all breathing techniques affect the body in the same way.

Truth: Different Breathing Techniques Train the Body in Different Ways

Learning a breathing technique can be the equivalent of training your breath to communicate your needs to your body. Each technique may trigger a different response from the body. For example, taking long inhales will raise the heart rate. Long exhales, on the other hand, will lower the heart rate and allow the body to relax. Holding the breath or taking time in between breaths can be a powerful tool for physical training and exercise, but it may not be relaxing enough for bedtime.

The best way to choose a routine is to try out different methods and see what helps your manage your breath. Remember, it takes sixty days to make a habit, so don’t expect miracles on your first day. Some relief may be instantaneous, but other effects will take time and dedication.

Potential Risks for Breathing Techniques

When our bodies are able to use oxygen efficiently, we are able to reduce our breathing rate and even our blood oxygen level. However, we should be aware of developing headaches, fatigue, or shortness of breath, as well as other symptoms such as oxygen deficiency or altitude poisoning.

Blood oxygen levels that are too low can result in dizziness and confusion as well as feelings of euphoria and nausea. If taken too far, the body may, in rare cases normally associated with very high altitudes and mountain climbing, experience seizures or fall into a coma. The heart may be forced to overwork in order to circulate as much oxygen as it can to the body, causing a heart attack or even death. Remain mindful of how you feel and whether your body is trying to send you warning signs.

An intense focus on breathing may not be good for someone having a panic attack caused by anxiety regarding their current physical state (interoceptive anxiety). A focus on physiology and breathing may actually exacerbate these panic symptoms. Treatment should aim for psychological approaches instead.

Individuals who experience respiratory diseases, such as severe asthma or emphysema, as well as other major health problems should consult a doctor before beginning a restrictive breathing regimen. The doctor can help to determine what breathing techniques can safely be taken and how to progress in developing a breathing practice.

Conclusion

Different breathing techniques emphasize different cycle lengths and approaches to regulating the breath. However, two things remain constant when it comes to practicing healthy breathing. These are the benefits of breathing through your nose, and the need to draw breath into your diaphragm and belly, not your chest.

Incorporating these two breathing practices into your lifestyle, as well as a breathing routine in the morning or before bed, can offer a wide array of benefits ranging from stress and anxiety management to better focus and more efficient exercise. Also remember, it’s not just your breath that carries oxygen to your brain, it’s your circulation as well. Proper breathing is a healthy training all it’s own, but it’s not a replacement for physical movement.

Sensitive Skin explained

Almost everyone thinks their skin is sensitive but there is more than one type of sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is generally defined as skin that is easily reactive.

Some people have a genetic predisposition for sensitivity and others because of something they are doing.

There are different types of sensitivity.

Allergic sensitivity occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. Because anyone can have an allergy, all skin types can experience this type of sensitivity. It can be triggered by something you ate and will show anywhere where the allergen touched your skin (mouth, neck, face) but also some skincare components. Allergic sensitivity will show as redness, skin that is hot to the touch, swelling or rash.

Stop using the allergen immediately and focus on calming the skin. Do stick to a simplified skincare routine: cleanse, tone, moisturise.

For instant calming effect to an irritated skin, Dr Marine recommends Avène Skin Recovery Cream, which rapidly calms irritations and gives long-lasting protection to naturally sensitive skin or skin that has become irritable.

Then there is sensitivity caused by skincare products and irritants which lead to breakouts.

Some skincare and makeup can make you pores clogged which turns into breakouts. This type of sensitive skin is characterise by bumpy skin, whiteheads and Milia. You should avoid heavy makeup such as liquid foundation and creamy blushers as well as heavy face oil or water resistant sunscreens. 

Use lightweight skincare products including calming and anti-bacterial products to get rid of any inflammation.

Dr Marine recommends using Avène Cicalfate Repair cream which combines repairing and antibacterial properties.

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Sensitivity activated by heat.


Some people have skin that is sensitive to heat. This is because heat causes an increase in blood flow to the small blood vessels just below the skin’s surface. This causes capillaries to dilate and expand, which makes the skin appear red. 

Unfortunately permanently enlarged capillaries will remain visible on the skin.

Avoid exposing skin to high temperatures. So no hot yoga, very spicy food or very hot water. Use ice compress and put your skincare and tools in the fridge. Use skincare products that has soothing ingredients. We recommend La Roche Posay Rosaliac moisturiser which helps reduce the appearance of redness

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Sensitive skin caused by dehydration 

This is where skin has become fragile as the moisture barrier is compromised. When this barrier is not working properly, irritants can get in more easily which leads to skin inflammation usually such as skin burning or stinging.

That type of sensitive skin will show some flaking and peeling as well as redness and rough texture.

A big contributing factor is changing seasons (winter…) but also drying products such as acne treatments and over exfoliating.

To help with this type of skin sensitivity, Dr Marine recommends using a gentle and hydrating toner followed by a moisturiser with repairing properties such as Institut Esthederm Intensive Spiruline Cream

Cheese salad with goat cheese and walnuts

Whether as an appetizer or to accompany your recipes quiches, puff pastries or pizza, try this delicious salad that will not take you more than 15 minutes of preparation!

The delicate lamb salad is garnished with goat slices, crushed nuts and a honey and mustard vinaigrette.

Number of people 8

Ingredients:

500 g of corn salad

100 g walnuts

1/2 goat’s log

2 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

salt and pepper

Sort the lamb’s lettuce and wash it well. Drain it well and dry it. Arrange it on serving plates. Cut the goat into slices. Crush the nuts roughly. Arrange everything on the salad. In a bowl, emulsify oils, vinegar, mustard, honey, a little salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad when serving.

Best Essential Oils for Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis occurs most often following an ENT (rhinopharyngitis) or dental (caries or abscess) infection. It causes inflammation blocking communication between the sinuses and nasal passages. The mucus can no longer flow and the pressure in the sinuses increases. Depending on the sinuses reached, the symptoms may vary, but in general we can note: • nasal congestion with possibly more or less thick nasal secretions; • pain and feeling of pressure, especially in the area of ​​the affected sinus, these pains becoming stronger when one bends the head forward or in case of effort • headaches, more or less intense depending on the affected area • fever and fatigue Most of the time, sinusitis passes in a few days but sometimes it becomes chronic.

Chronic sinusitis is when the inflammation lasts for more than three months. There are two main causes of chronic sinusitis: on the one hand, infections by bacteria, on the other hand, polyps. Chronic sinusitis can also be related to a deviated septum, an allergy (hay fever), pollution or smoking. The symptoms are mainly a permanently stuffy nose, runny nose, headache and sneezing. In case of polyps or bypass of the nasal septum, surgical treatment may be necessary. HOW TO RELIEVE SINUSITIS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS? In case of chronic sinusitis, a visit to the dentist is necessary to check the dental status and establish a diagnosis of the causes of this sinusitis. Stopping smoking, a dairy-free and gluten-free diet, and liver detoxification can also help prevent sinusitis. In case of acute sinusitis, we have a battery of essential oils mucolytic, fluidifying and decongestant, very effective in relieving sinusitis. We will use the essential oils of Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Niaouli, Oregano, Ravintsara, Rosemary …

RHINITIS / SINUSITIS: J-P. Willem • HE Rosemary 5 ml • HE Eucalyptus Radiata 5 ml Use: To be diffused 3 times a day for 8 days.

SINUSITE / COLD: N. Grosjean • HE Lemongrass: 2 drops • HE Lavender augustifolia: 2 drops • HE Pinus sylvestris: 2 drops • HE Eucalyptus Radiata: 2 drops Use: In a bowl of hot water inhaled.

Pregnancy: how to look after your body & prepare your postnatal recovery

During the 9 months of pregnancy, mothers-to-be will go through a lot of physical, emotional and hormonal changes that will for most of them, have a certain impact on daily activities. A lot of women feel some discomfort or pain because of those changes, which can be prevented & treated.

Some self-care exercises are possible whether it is to help with delivery or postnatal recovery, as well as other tips to go through the less painful pregnancy and childbirth possible:

Low impact activities

Without forcing too much, staying active with low impact exercises such as walking, yoga, Pilates or swimming can have positive impact to your body and also your mind. Poor circulation, especially in legs and feet can happen quite often in pregnant women. You will benefit from exercising a little bit everyday.

But don’t forget that it is also important to relax and look after yourself when you feel too tired. Find the good balance between staying active and taking a rest when necessary. Walk everyday but take a seat from time to time, put your feet up and avoid lifting heavy objects.

Pelvic floor exercises

Breathing and pelvic floor exercises are an important step in pregnancy and postnatal recovery. Not only this will help you prepare for a less painful delivery and might prevent you from getting vaginal tear or episiotomy, but it will also help you avoid postnatal conditions such as urinary leakage, organ prolapse or abdominal diastasis (separation).

Posture exercises

With the weight of the baby growing, lower back pain is the most common issue appearing in pregnant women, which can alter posture en increase pain in the whole back area, spreading from the upper back to the buttock or along the leg. You can benefit from being assessed by a pregnancy specialist, who will help you with back pain and will show you the right posture to adopt in your situation.

Book a prenatal assessment

Find a pregnancy and women’s health physiotherapist or specialist and book a prenatal assessment to be sure about the right exercises to adopt. The therapist will check you up entirely from head to toe, bringing you the most suitable advices on breathing exercises, pelvic floor and abdominal exercises, posture… but will also be able to treat any pregnancy related conditions you may be diagnosed with, whether it is back pain, sciatica, shortness of breath, pelvic pain or else. They will follow you all along your pregnancy and during your postnatal recovery, bringing out the best rehabilitation you will need.

More information

Mummy’s Physio is a team of physiotherapists and osteopaths with years of experiences and qualifications. Passionate and highly trained, they will be able to provide you the best treatments and rehabilitation in London, at the practices or at home.

For further information, visit our website on www.mummysphysio.com or contact us on 0207 125 0262 or at info@babyphysio.com.

Essential Oils to Boost your immune system

Essential Oils to Boost your immune system

 

On the start of sneezing, sniffling and coughing season, it is essential to have a strong immune system.

There are many ways to boost your own protections with vitamins, plants and a healthy diet.

We wanted to focus on a very effective and natural weapon: essential oils which have antiseptic properties and can stimulate the immune system.

Here is a quick review of the most effective oils to boost and protect your natural defenses.

You can use essential oils by:

  • Diffused them to help purify the air and prevent the spread of air borne germs
  • Adding them to cleaning products, disinfectant surface sprays or the washing machine
  • Applying them, diluted to the skin to help support the body during illness

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus globulus is one of the most popular oil to help treat the symptoms of colds. It can be applied diluted to the chest and feet or via steam inhalation it can help clear congested sinuses. It has proven effectiveness against flu, E. coli, some Staph strains and Candida albicans.

Rosemary

Rosemary is another helpful essential oil for respiratory diseases and is a also a great oil that clears the sinuses and shown to be useful treating bacterial and fungal infections and has mild anti-viral properties.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree is an immune stimulant and a very strong antiseptic oil. Tea Tree has been shown to be effective to treat viral infections of the digestive system, Candida albicans and a strong anti-bacterial action against E. coli, some Staph and Salmonella strains.

Cinnamon

is probably one of the strongest anti-bacterial essential oils with some anti-fungal properties. Excellent for adding to cleaning products in small amounts and avoid using directly on the skin.

Don’t forget that essential oils have a synergetic action, that simply means that their properties are getting stronger by using them together so don’t hesitate to mix and play with them!

 

October Salad

OCTOBER SALAD

A very easy, seasonal recipe.

Ingredients (dose according to your appetite, the salad is preserved 24h):

– Quinoa (100gr) 

– 1/4 of pumpkin

 – Feta cheese

 – Roquette

 – Pumpkin seeds

Cut the pumpkin in small cubes and cook the quinoa (follow the instructions on the package if it’s your first time).

Put in the pumpkin for 20 minutes at 200 ° C with a little olive oil.

Let cool and mix quinoa, pumpkin and arugula.

Add a little feta and squash seeds.

Enjoy!

From: https://www.bonjourdarling.com/recette/salade-doctobre/

New Brand Alert: Vitry

We are delighted to welcome Vitry at Make Me Feel as Vitry is a real ironic French Pharmacy Brand.  

VITRY embodies more than 200 years of know-how handed down by generations of highly skilled workers, whose talents contribute to the international reputation of the brand.

Founded in 1795, VITRY is one of the oldest cutlery factories in the world, drawing on its expertise in the field of surgical instruments.

VITRY accessories are synonymous of quality, sold since 1955 in pharmacy, completed in the smallest details, illustrating the refinement of the finishes by hand.