Skip to main content

Why you should care about relaxation... Pregnant or Not



I have been thinking a lot about the importance of relaxation lately, especially since I just started my maternity leave this week.  I am writing this blog entry for the simple purpose that I DO find it relaxing to write! ;)  Relaxation is something that most of us don't think much about doing in our busy lives or just brush off as a secondary component to being healthy. All the books I have been reading about natural birth, health talks I have listened to recently , midwives I have chatted with, tend to say the same things about it. DO NOT underestimate the power of relaxation. 

One of the books I chose to read to prepare me for my third birth is called "The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing" This book's information was exactly what I was looking for as to WHY relaxation is so important for our bodies on a physiological level. Whether or not we are pregnant, birthing, or non-pregnant, for our bodies to function properly, relaxation is key. The book is written by a Swedish MD, (Kerstin Uvnas Moberg) that has focused all of her research on the hormone oxytocin. She does a  great job of explaining why this hormone is pivotal in the birth process, nursing, and in general healing and health. Oxytocin is secreted most effectively when the body is in a state of relaxation or a parasympathetic state. The Parasympathetic system is the "wine/dine" part of our nervous system as opposed to the Sympathetic which is the "fight/flight." When the parasympathetic/sympathetic  systems are properly maintained and balanced
 (Let us not forget about how chiropractic can play a role in balancing these systems! bone out of alignment in spine= spinal nerve dysfunction)
 the body may manage shunting blood the places it needs to get in order to help one birth or heal efficiently. This is just one very simple example of how oxytocin secretion effects the body. It allows more blood to stay central to the places in the body where it needs it the most. 


 A birth example might be: during labor when a mother is relaxed and oxytocin is flowing, she will have more efficient contractions of her uterus and less pain. When the mother is panicked/scared/stressed, she is not secreting oxytocin. Her fight or flight mode kicks in and blood gets shunted away from vital places and gets transported to places like the extremities. Arms, legs, facial muscles are now tight and contracted. Blood is being taken away from the central vital organs/uterus she needs during this time. This may be a reason for longer labor, inefficient contractions, fetal distress, and increased labor pain. This is simple physiology.

I see the same thing occurring in my pain based chiropractic patients that are highly stressed. They have spinal pain due to spinal misalignment, sprained/strained ligaments, spinal degeneration and a decreased ability to heal because their fight or flight modes are turned on CONSTANTLY. They complain about not getting better very fast because their stress is impeding the body's ability to secrete oxytocin,  the hormone of healing. They instead have stress hormone floating around their bodies ALL the time and their bodies are just trying to keep them alive. This is what we call surviving, not thriving. 

SO remove yourself from SURVIVAL MODE and turn your body on to THRIVE MODE


THREE easy pointers to help you THRIVE

Step one: Get your chiropractic adjustment to make sure bones are aligned and the nerves exiting your spine are healthy and functioning properly. Take a look at the nerve chart above. 

Step two: Get enough sleep. Life will seem so much easier when you are rested! I promise

Step three: Take 30 minutes everyday for YOU. To ground yourself, relax and think about nothing else but relaxation. Turn that oxytocin ON

That is all :) Hope you relaxed a little while reading this :)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Back Labor: Redefining My Life As a Woman

One of Life’s Big Lessons #1   After having labored and birthed three children at home, with each one encompassing all the beauty, passion, and hormone cocktail high that comes with bringing a terrestrial onto this planet, I developed a deep passion and interest in birth. As of now, it has been three years since my last physical birthing of a child. The high intensity, inner and outer struggle and cosmic anchoring that can occur during the process of birth resounds within me from those experiences. With birth, we discover a world that comes to a halt. We find that time can stand perfectly still. Experiencing labor and birth results in a family that is forever metamorphosed.  As a new family, we are then left alone to privately ponder amongst this new unit about how to function as a family. What you are about to read is a story like that.  Struggle, intensity, transformation, and newness, except it didn't come with a baby this time.
      It is quite ironic that this story starts …

Fever!

During the winter season it seems like so many of us fall ill. People used to think this was because they went outside without a hat or with wet hair or got sneezed on in a crowded elevator. The truth is, it really does not work that way. In my professional opinion, winter/holiday illness is caused by the STRESS, the SWEETS and the SUBLUXATIONS!

#1.
STRESS
Holiday shopping, end of the year bills/etc., trying to make everything look perfect... can take a toll on our bodies. With stress hormone being secreted in our body at higher levels causes our immune response to become decreased! Ever heard of the fight or flight response? When our bodies become stressed our nervous system "flips a switch" to become more sympathetic dominant (fight or flight). What this means: our bodies are trying to anticipate the next stressor so it stops putting as much effort into our immune system. When our body is worried about protecting itself from physical or mental stresses that may be at han…

Sit Up Straight Why Don't YOU!

Look Better, Move Better, Feel Better?
Once upon a time, my mom told me to “stand up straight, hold your shoulders back, and stop slouching.” But honestly it didn’t feel right, it felt better to slouch. I thought, maybe I was different and maybe my body was meant to slouch. The reality was that somewhere along the way and probably many times along the way, I had a bump, a trip, a fall, a slip, or some physical event that led to misalignments in my spinal structure. 

Spinal alignment is the structural determination of your posture. Poor posture on the outside will become the norm, based on poor alignment on the inside produced by the spine. Misalignment in the spinal column and pelvis will effect the body’s frame and how we unconsciously position ourselves. Healthcare professionals around the world agree that posture is a fundamental component of health and proper human function. Postural awareness is an exact healthcare strategy that can and will improve how you look, move, and feel. P…