I LOVE a good sigh.
Especially after good news or I’ve just finished something stressful. It can feel so good, hhhaaa.
Did you know we naturally sigh about 12 times an hour? You’re probably not aware of it because it’s an automatic mechanism of respiration. And because they are usually pretty quiet.
Physiologically they are used to increase lung volume and to exercise alveoli in the lungs. The alveoli are the small “air sacks” in the lungs where oxygen is exchanged with the blood capillaries. So sighing is pretty important for the physiology of breathing.
Sighing also plays an important role in psychological health. They are unconscious outward expression of emotions and automatic reactions to stressors. For example, a big sigh before speaking to a group of people.
It is also a response to changes of the autonomic nervous system, when a body goes from sympathetic to parasympathetic, or vice versa. A sigh can be your body’s way of revving up for a stressful event or your body’s way to down regulate your body’s stress response. It can engage your parasympathetic nervous system.
So why not turn this non-conscious reaction into a purposeful little treat for yourself?
Click Read More below to learn how to start your own sigh practice.
Dealing with depression or anxiety can be hard. Exhausting. Frustrating. Isolating. I think so often our society doesn't view depression or anxiety as a medical condition. But they really are chronic conditions. There can be good days and bad days. Or there can be bad weeks and months. Just like flare-ups of chronic conditions like chronic fatigue or IBS.
But it's a disease, an illness. And yeah, exercise and diet, CranioSacral Therapy, meditation, relaxation methods, these all help. They can make a real difference. But there will be times they are not enough. All these things are great to do when your feeling good. They can help those good days last longer. That's why they are complementary.
I've recently discovered different kind medical option to help the fight with depression and anxiety that is not a drug. And bonus, it also helps with physical pain and headaches. It is called ALPHA-STIM and it is a cranial electrotherapy devise. Yes, I am a CranioSacral Therapy and I endorse using electrotherapy, on your cranium. And it feels great. Well, actually it doesn't feel like anything except dizzy if you turn it up too high. If you get dizzy or loopy, just turn it down till it goes away. Less is more.
I have been using mine for a couple months now. And it has been much more effective for me than any medication I've tried for depression or anxiety.
I have experienced better sleep. Slower thoughts. More command over racing or negative thoughts. I have more energy. Overall, I just feel better. My husband says I've gotten my playfulness back! It's been wonderful for me, and us. Life is easier.
The technology behind Alpha-STIM is starting to gain exposure. It is a low level electrical stimulation that puts your brain into an alpha state. Like meditating, but easy and painless. There are two clips you put on your ears and it fits easily into my back pocket. I wear it while cooking or getting ready for the day. I don't feel anything, except after a few minutes I notice I'm more relaxed and my mind is clear.
What I love about using this is you buy the device and that's it. No prescriptions each month. It wasn't exactly cheap, but it's a one-time cost. So the potential to save is big over the years.
I don't have anything to gain for promoting this device. I just want more people to be aware of this option. Check out their website to learn more! https://www.alpha-stim.com/
Have you 've tried it out or are you interested in getting one for yourself? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let us know.
What is self-care?
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Janet Crow MS, CMT, CST-T
557 West 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102