Are You Breathing The Right Way? Tools To Oxygenate Your Brain and Body

How often do you think about your breathing? If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well I’ve only done it my entire life, I know how to breathe”, my question to you is, are you sure? I’m not saying there’s a “right” way to breath, but the breathing exercise I will teach you allows you to get a deeper, fuller breath.

First, put your hand on your stomach and push in just a little bit. This is where you should expand as you inhale. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let the air fill your lungs, pushing your hand up. Your entire body, from your point of pressure to your chest, should expand if you are doing the exercise properly.  Then exhale through your mouth for twice as long as you inhaled. You should exhale all the air from your lungs, and your hand should lower as you exhale. Once you feel you have cleared the air, repeat. If you find yourself struggling to expand at the stomach properly, try it laying or sitting down.

Well, I hope you choose to start this or another breathing exercise into your daily routine. Remember, our minds and body’s need oxygen to survive, so be sure you’re getting enough of it. Even a couple good, deep breaths can help you get the oxygen you need.

Here are more examples of breathing exercises. I enjoyed learning about #4:

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: A yogi’s best friend, this breath brings calm, balance, and unite the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or when it’s time to focus or energize. Just don’t try this one before bed: Nadi Shodhana “clears the channels” and make people feel more awake. “It’s almost like a cup of coffee,” Pacheco says.

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Some scientific information on breathing and your brain:

“Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. Over time, our lung capacity and lung function typically decrease slowly as we age after our mid-20s. Some conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can significantly speed up these reductions in lung capacity and functioning. This leads to difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.”   Fortunately, there are exercises that can help support and increase lung capacity, making it easier to keep your lungs healthy and get your body the oxygen.

And last you can use breathing exercises to help you fall asleep.

5 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep –

I hope this information has helped you to Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.

Dallas Cain
March 7, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Health Problems Are Really an Energy Problem!

Everything in the Human Body Runs Off ENERGY

Or at least that’s the first thing to evaluate and fix before moving onto other health problems. The first thing in the body that gets burned into energy is sugar and carbs, followed by fats and then if we have to, proteins. After stating this I often hear people say: “Well I’m not diabetic so this can’t be my problem.” WRONG, you don’t have to be a full-blown diabetic to have energy problems.  Pre-diabetes, hypoglycemia, and issues with fat metabolism could all be issues.  Or, you are lacking the proper cofactors for energy metabolism or have a poor diet causing dysglycemia.  There could be several energy issues going on other than diabetes. Diabetes is just a diagnosis of a process that has been out of control for a while. Of course, it’s one of the biggest energy problems and if you have it you probably already are having other health problems and complications. In which case you need to watch our diabetes video. Regardless, if there is an energy problem, in the body it can lead to other problems and here are a few examples.

Hormone Problems

Guess what?  Insulin, your major blood sugar regulator, is a hormone! Hormones are chemical messengers the body produces in the body that make physiological changes. Hormones are the slower messenger system in the body and your nervous system is the fast messenger system in the body. Your endocrine system is the network of glands that produce your hormones and there is a feedback loop that goes back up to the brain to regulate your endocrine system. Whereas healthcare has separated this into each gland with specialist doctors, the endocrine system is actually a connected system of all the hormone-producing glands, your nervous system, and your immune system as well. This vast interconnected system is your neuroendocrine-immune system.  The operation of the neuroendocrine system requires a lot of energy.   Insulin causes other hormones to work and be produced. Do you think your body is going to think about reproduction if it doesn’t have the energy available to do that? You need energy before your body can send the message to do something.

Brain Problems

The brain, nicknamed the greedy master, uses roughly about 25 percent of all the energy we take in. So it is in constant need of energy. Not just that, it is reliant on the body to supply it with glucose for energy because neurons cannot store its own source of energy. Therefore any dip or spike in your blood glucose levels is toxic to the brain. To top it off any surges or crashes in your insulin affect the pathways for your serotonin and dopamine production. Perhaps you have noticed this after a lunch rich in sugars while attempting to be productive at work during the afternoon.

 Sleep Problems

Even when you are sleeping, your body needs a supply of energy.  Cortisol controls your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.   Cortisol is a glucocorticoid hormone (Gluco meaning glucose/sugar and corticoid meaning produced by the adrenal glands). Your cortisol levels should be low at night and high in the morning. The reason for this is because at night you need stable blood sugars because you will not need as much energy while you sleep. However, when you wake up, your blood sugars are lower because you are not eating while you sleep and you need a burst of energy to get up, so your cortisol levels elevate.  Therefore, a dysregulated energy system is a dysregulated sleep system!

Get your energy levels in check and get your health in check.

Dr. David R.A. Hardy, D.C.,
November 29, 2017

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Hardy, Dr. Joseph Little, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.


Are Your Symptoms Due to a Hormone Imbalance?

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5 Signs That You Could Be Hormonally Imbalanced

We all have heard jokes about someone having a hormone imbalance or have heard someone say that their hormones are “raging.”  But hormonal imbalances are not a joking matter.  Hormone imbalances are often overlooked or sometimes mismanaged, which can lead to unnecessary distress in our bodies.  [Click to Tweet]  I have been a Chiropractor for five years and, in my functional medicine practice, I have directly seen the implications of hormonal imbalances and how these imbalances can affect people’s lives.
So that you can understand the term “hormonal imbalance,” let’s start with a basic definition.  “A hormone (from Greek ὁρμή, “impetus”) is any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs to regulate physiology and behavior. Hormones have diverse chemical structures including eicosanoids, steroids, amino acid derivatives, peptides, and proteins. The glands that secrete hormones comprise the endocrine signaling system.”[1] Most people associate hormones with the male and female hormones estrogen and testosterone.  In reality, a hormonal imbalance is much more complex.
In my opinion, hormone levels and interaction with the rest of the body’s chemistry and systems is often glossed over and not evaluated to the depth that can actually create a positive physiological effect in resolving a true hormone imbalance.  Conventional practitioners that evaluate hormones often only look at such a small percentage of total hormones that they miss some connections.  In my early days of practice, if some one would have come to me and asked how to manage sleep I may have simply suggested natural sleep support supplements, like Melatonin or 5-HTP.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t still recommend such supplements in challenging cases, but I now consider the role hormones play in the sleep cycle.  Whether falling asleep or staying asleep is the issue, I begin to question many other hormonal connections associated with sleep, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone ratios.  I also must consider cortisol and other eicosanoids, which could play a role.  The list goes on and on.  Sleep disturbance is just one example of hormonal imbalance worth mentioning.  From my clinical experience, below are five of the most tell-tale signs that you may have a hormonal imbalance:
  1. Sleep Disturbance
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Lack of Stamina/Energy
  4. Decreased Libido
  5. Intolerance to hot and cold conditions
The days of going to the doctor for an Ambien prescription to sleep better are slowly fading.  The collective thought process is shifting and we all want answers to the question – why do I have associated symptoms that take away from optimized living potential?  [Click to Tweet]  If you feel you are suffering in any way in your life from negative symptoms, take the next step and speak to a qualified functional medicine practitioner who is competent in total body health.
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
August 2, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.