When you suffer neuropathy by whatever cause, the nerves are damaged. Here at Neuropathy Northshore, at Blomerth Chiropractic our treatment goal is to help the nerves heal as much as possible. When the nerves return to normal function, the reason for the neuropathy symptoms goes away. Part of helping nerves heal is to keep in mind that nerve cells need more oxygen than any other cells in your body.
How do we get more oxygen to the nerves?
- Proper breathing. If you take a deep breath and your shoulders rise, you are not filling your lungs properly. Lungs look a little like triangles with the narrower part at the top of your chest. When using your upper lungs, you are using the smallest area to get in oxygen. When you use your diaphragm to breathe your whole body gets more oxygen, including your nerves. We teach people breathing exercises that within few short weeks can “re-program” their nervous system to breathe using their full lung capacity.
- Gentle body movements with breathing exercises. Qi Gong breathing exercises paired with gentle stretches can be very effective. These movements improve your lung capacity, calm your nervous system and give you gentle joint movement. Dr. Ellen teaches these exercises.
- Yoga or beginning level gentle yoga can aid in improving mobility and balance. Chair yoga is good for those who are unsteady on their feet or who can’t stand. Tai chi is also a very good choice for beginning exercisers. Both forms of exercise include breathing exercises. Deep breathing increases oxygen to your system that your nerves need to heal. Also deep breathing helps decrease pain sensations and calms your nervous system. Learning breathing exercises is a very good idea for neuropathy sufferers. Many of the Councils on Aging offer these types of exercise classes.
- For those who are more active, aerobic exercise is good but it needs to be low impact. Water aerobics, stationary bike, spin class or elliptical machines all offer a good aerobic workout without jarring your feet.
The more you do for yourself, the more you can do. Taking a little time to learn and do breathing exercises every day is a step you can take towards helping yourself.