• Parikrama Wellness

Massage does not only occur when you see your therapist, it is also applied through your awareness of your own body. That is right, you massage your own body. The most important and viable step to becoming aware of your body is through each breath. Taking a few minutes throughout the day to focus on your breath will massage your organs, stimulate your kidneys, strengthen your muscles, and increase the production of saliva and blood circulation. You will increase your overall health to help fight off diseases. Most importantly, you will become unison with your mind, body, and soul.

Before I begin to describe how you focus on your breath, I want to show you the muscles involved and how the inhalation/exhalation process works. Visualizing your body’s movements during your breath enhances your overall experience, making each breath stronger. I want you to keep in mind these videos do not show the abdominal muscles contracting and relaxing which happen automatically with each inhalation/exhalation process.

This first video establishes the muscles used during each breath within the thoracic cavity only.


Knowing the muscles used, you can now visualize these muscles in action with the help of this video.


Let us begin:

1. Get yourself comfortable and relaxed either with a soft stance or laying with your upper body elevated. These two positions are the easiest to get full breathes and to learn the technique.

2. Place one hand below your sternum (the long center bone that divides your rib cage), which is now resting on your diaphragm, and the other on your lower abdomen (lower stomach). Take a moment to feel how your hands are moving. Is your chest and the top hand moving at the same time or does your top hand move followed by your chest? Is your inhalation shallow and short or deep and long?

3. Relax your tongue and jaw by placing the tip of your tongue on the back of your front teeth and your lips lightly touching. Your tongue will naturally arch to the roof of your mouth.

4. Inhale; concentrate taking the oxygen via the throat. You should hear the air entering your throat like hearing a seashell held against your ear. Notice how you can pull more oxygen in and having more control of your breath, exhale. Repeat until you are comfortable with this step.


5. Bring your attention back to your hands. Focus only on your top hand moving while you inhale; it will not be a drastic lift of your hand. Try drawing your lower abdomen inwards with a continuous hold while breathing. Exhale. This is the hardest step to learn and it will take you time to master. Repeat until you feel comfortable with this step.

6. Inhale again, focusing on your top hand moving not your lower hand, expand your chest taking in more oxygen. You should see the front of your ribs expanding as well as feeling the back of your ribs expanding. Exhale. Repeat until you feel comfortable with this step.

Now let us bring a natural flow to your inhalation and exhalation process:

1. Jaw, tongue, and lips relaxed. Make sure the tip of your tongue is sitting on the back of your top teeth.

2. Inhale for a count of 6. Keep lower abdomen drawn, feel top hand lift then expand your chest.

3. Hold for 4 seconds

4. Exhale by relaxing ribs then relaxing diaphragm (top hand). Hold for 4 seconds. Exhalation is the same count as your inhalation.

5. Gradually increase your count as you begin to master diaphragmatic breathing.

  • Parikrama Wellness

Why do we keep spraining our ankles?

Do you remember the first time you sprained your ankle? Well, this is where we need to start!

Did you know when you sprain your ankle, you are stretching the ligaments that support the ankle joint (Talocrural Articulation). Now you maybe thinking who cares if the ligaments stretch, our body heals. I hate to burst your bubble but ligaments do not heal like the rest of our body. The lack of blood flow to them is the reason. Without blood flow our body can not heal; blood carries cells that repair our tissues.

There are 2 types of ankle sprains:

1. The most common sprain is a lateral sprain which is the least severe of the two. A lateral sprain effects the anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and posterior talofibular ligaments.

2. The least common of an ankle sprain is a medial sprain. This is the hardest to occur hence, the severity it can beckon. The deltoid ligaments are the ligaments injured in a medial sprain.

Of course there is complexity to our anatomy and grades of severity for any injury but I just want to give you the basics to help you become aware and become in-tuned with your body.

When treating a sprain, here is what you nee to know:

Day 1-3

1. Rest - Only used short term. Pain free movement while elevated is recommended. Resting too long slows the healing process and cause greater adhesion's

2. Ice - Only use for 2 - 3 days as ice reduces blood flow. Ice for max 15 minutes 3 times per day

3. Lymphatic drainage - Lessons edema a natural occurring fluid that acts like a splint

Day 3 on

1. Contrast therapy - The contrast between two temperatures will increase blood flow (heat) and reduce inflammation (cool). This helps speed up the healing process. Use heat 4 - 6 minutes (use a wet hand towel or tea towel, heat it up in microwave for approximately a minute) followed by a cool cloth 1 - 2 minutes. Repeat 3 - 6 times for maximum of 20 - 30 minutes each time.

2. Pain free active movement - use cane or crutches for support

3. Exercise - A program is designed to stress the injured tissue to stimulate recovery

4. Analgesics - A controversial topic - please use sparingly if you choose to take

5. Treatment

Here are 2 exercise videos targeting the inversion and eversion muscles of the foot that will support your ankle preventing continuous ankle sprains that you may occur.

Eversion - https://youtu.be/x7V2fPbaLX8

Inversion - https://youtu.be/48njNPxPZnk

  • Parikrama Wellness

Here is a great video to watch that explains why treating the fascia does not solve the problem. He does not go in depth to all the muscles that could be causing the issue so, if you are experiencing pain on the bottom of your foot please come see us so we can help educate you. While we are educating you, we will treat those pesky muscles and give you home care to prevent this from happening again.


© 2017 by Parikrama Massage & Wellness Inc. Updated 07/31/2020