Helpful Advice

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Helpful Advice

Post  Anna's Mom on Fri 06 Jan 2012, 8:52 am

A medical professional shared this with me, and I wanted to share it with you.

How to improve autonomic function:

"Autonomic function is sympathetic / parasympathetic and involves some fairly complex neuronal and endocrine pathways but basically, the stress response increases sympathetic tone (think increased heart rate and BP, dilated pupils, slower gut function), while the relaxation response increases parasympathetic tone (think slower heart rate and BP, allows digestion). It is far more common to have excessive sympathetic toneā€¦. We live in a world full of stressors, there is no one in this world who cannot benefit from improving the ability to induce the relaxation response more readily. Pain is a pretty big stressor.

Anything that reduces the stress response and/or induces the relaxation response, will result in an increase in parasympathetic tone, which balances out excessive sympathetic tone. The balance is orchestrated in complex ways, which is why we can have various levels of "autonomic dysfunction", when some aspects of the orchestration are not working together optimally. Like POTS and neurocardiogenic syncope. But regardless of how well things are functioning, we all need to relax more and stress less.

Mind-Body Techniques are all intended to induce the relaxation response and build on that. Massage, yoga, Tai Chi have mind-body components but are not actually defined as mind-body techniques.

Below are the common categories of mind-body techniques. The trick in to find what resonates with each person and finding several techniques that work for that individual.

BREATHWORK
Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 breathwork is a very rapid way to induce the relaxation response
Do with tongue behind upper incisors
Breathe in deeply thru nose for count of 4
Hold breath for count of 7
Exhale thru mouth (around tongue) for count of 8, squeezing as much air out as possible
Do 4 breath cycles, do in morning and at bedtime, anytime you feel stressed

MEDITATION
Many types, takes time to learn

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

HYPNOSIS

GUIDED IMAGERY

BIOFEEDBACK (such as HeartMath)

MUSIC THERAPY

CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY

SOCIAL SUPPORT
Source ~ Sources are where the support comes from. Sources might be friends, family, individuals in the community, groups in the community and professionals, or even pets.
Type ~ Types are broken down into instrumental support, emotional support, and informational support. Instrumental support is when people do things for you. Emotional support is when people listen and validate your emotions and informational support is when people teach you things that help you.
Satisfaction ~ Satisfaction with emotional support is the most important when it comes to health. The only person who can decide how much support they have is the person receiving it. It is assessed by personal satisfaction with support.

DISCLOSURE
Blogging (to the universe), disclosure (to oneself or others), therapy (individual, couples, family, groups), chat lines (phone, internet), confession in religious organizations, journaling."

Anna's Mom
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Re: Helpful Advice

Post  Porsche Fan on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 3:07 am

wow cheryl, lot's of information there.

it would be nice to incorporate that all into real life.

unfortuneatly, the only way to put all of that together for me for a parasympatheic and sympathic way was a pacemaker. the heart and vascular system which controlls bloodflow to the essential organs can only be substainted by constant blood flow--i think there are a lot of us that aren't being properly controlled by our own mechanicas and biochemical systems.

i can say without my pacemaker i'd be out, physically near or totally unconscious without the aid of a pacemaker. this is a tough process to diagnose and even tough process to get someone with the brainpower and gumtion to place a pacemaker which aimes to keep a constant pace or increase heart rate at times of need for the patient. deep breaths and relaxation take a back seat when someone needs an augmentation of heart rate by electrical impulse driven by a pacemaker. very tough concept to understand and tough to implement.

it's sad in our environment that a lot of doc in the neuro and even the cardio field aren't up to par on this serious issue.

still, i thank you for posting! very important and intersting topic.

thanks,
mgb
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Re: Helpful Advice

Post  Migrainegirl on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 12:07 pm

Cheryl,

Indeed a very interesting way of looking at it. There are many physical effects of stress and relaxation. It is not all psychological. I'm sure we can all benefit for this in addition to whatever else we are doing in the way of meds, devices or exercise. I found that yoga does make me feel better overall and is something I can do even when I have not been able to exercise for a while.

MG
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Re: Helpful Advice

Post  Cluelesskitty on Sat 07 Jan 2012, 7:47 pm

How very interesting info, thanks again, Cheryl!

I probably can do the breathing exercise if someone taught me how to that,
but anything like imagery, meditations I find very hard to do.

I do have imagination, but of certain type only, I find it almost impossible to do autohypnosis
also a meditation is very hard for me.

Art- is more possible, but then I am a talentless dufus What a Face

Still, is is valuable info. People can use in so many ways.

Risa

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Re: Helpful Advice

Post  30yrsofheadache on Sun 08 Jan 2012, 7:08 am

Cheryl, Thanks for that post. I used the breathwork last night when my heart was racing(from triptan use) as I tried to fall asleep. It was really relaxing. Here is a guided imagery I have developed for my self. It helps me fall asleep about 80% of the time. Start with the top of the head. Imagine the midline of the skull.

Feel relaxation spreading from midline to the ears, like the scalp is melting down. Then soften the forehead in the same manner. Go down the body parts using words like soften and melting, spreading warmth. When you reach the toes you will be very relaxed. i sometimes fall asleep before I get to the chest!If you have trouble with this, you can tape record yourself saying this in a quiet voice and play it until it becomes second nature.
Happy relaxation!
Cindy



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