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FMCDPHYSIOTHERAPY
Fiona McDevitt MISCP, MCPA, CST-T, MIACST
Chartered Physiotherapist, Craniosacral Therapist
Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator

 

TECHNIQUES TO FEEL SAFER:
LOWER THE FIGHT/FLIGHT RESPONSE, BE IN SAFE MODE & IMPROVE SLEEP

 

  1. Apps on phones – Headspace/Insight Timer – find what suits you
  2. A gentle 10 min walk shortly before bed calms the body and mind
  3. Breathing techniques
    a. Buteko Breathing: Calm
    i. Breathe in through the nose, breathe out for longer and then pause after out breath until feel hungry for air
    ii. Then breathe in through nose again
    iii. Repeat pause after 3-4 regular breaths. 
    iv. When walking use paces for counting breaths in/out/pause (nose produces a gas (NO) which when inhaled has been scientifically shown to lower the tone of the sympathetic nervous system-Fight/flight). 
    v. (Note: low volume of air generally better than large volumes of air with each breath)

    b. Alpha brainwaves breathing:
    i. Breathe in and out through the nose, breathing out for longer than breathing in, each time gently filling the tummy with air,
    ii. keeping the eyes closed or soft focus {this switches off visual cortex which in turn decreases beta brain waves (logical/analytical/planning brainwaves)}.
    iii. Be comfortable and focus the mind internally e.g. on how breath in/out feels/listen to own heartbeat etc.
  4. Focus on 1 part of the body each day e.g. finger and be grateful for it
  5. Spend time in nature
  6. No screens up to 30 mins before going to bed. Reading before sleep stimulates alpha brain waves (relaxed state ones).
  7. Use 2 tennis balls tied into a sock, place just below occiput at top of neck. Lie on them for no longer than 10 mins. Do not use pillow.

 Also here is a helpful breathing technique from Don Ash to aid with stress and anxiety:

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