Peter Pan Breathing
Our autonomic nervous system is divided into two branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. When someone has persistent concussion symptoms, their nervous system can be hanging out in the fight or flight/"I am in danger" state, known as the sympathetic state. While they are safe now, the brain didn't get the memo and is having a hard time processing the world around them. It is difficult for someone in the sympathetic state to learn, heal, and feel connected to themselves and the world around them. In fact, they often feel endagered and hyper-vigilant. While our sympathetic nervous system serves us when we are in danger the goal is to create flexibility within the nervous system so that once the danger has passed our body can then settle into the parasympathetic state. This is the, "I am safe state" and where we need to be to facilitate healing. Introducing the Peter Pan Breathing: Shift your nervous system into the healing (parasympathetic) state in just 5 minutes! Want to Optimize your concussion recovery? Do the Peter Pan breathing technique right before your treatment sessions or prescribed exercises for home. That way you are in the optimal state for your brain to heal and relearn.
This Treatment Suggestion was given by Molly Parker
Prep: Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor and your eyes OPEN. If you are unable to sit you can lay or be semi-reclined.
-Take a breath in through the nose for 5 counts and out through the mouth for a count of 5.
-Pick your happy thought! It should be a time you felt safe and happy. Incorporate as many senses as you can...smell, temperature, sight, touch, etc.
-Avoid chest breathing. Focus on sending the breath down into the lower rib cage and belly. The rib cage should EXPAND 360° (avoid just pushing the belly out)
After 5 minutes you will be in a parasympathetic dominant state for approximately an hour. Once you have been doing this regularly the effects can last for a few hours.