The specific mechanisms in which chiropractic care can influence heart health are still being explored, but the practice is thought to have an indirect impact by easing pressure on the whole body, including the heart.

To start, Tho advised finding a pillow that “promotes correct spinal alignment and provides soft, yet crucial support for the head and neck for the entire night’s sleep”. This, he explained, can help relax the body and help you fall – and stay – asleep

He also recommended two simple exercises to try before sleeping:

1. Horizontal Handstand Lion Stretch

Ideal for relieving stress and tension along the spine – imagine your palms and heels having a tug-of-war.

Step 1: Lie on your back on the bed with your palms pressed against the wall or headboard, and lock your elbows straight. You don’t need a pillow for this.  

Step 2: At the same time, press your heels down towards the bed, away from your body. Do not over-arch your spine and don’t allow your shoulders to creep up to your ears; instead, keep them down to create length in your arms and neck.

Step 3: Stay in this “horizontal handstand” for 10-20 seconds, then release the position, bring your arms down to your sides and take some easy breaths. Do this stretch three times.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Step 1: Lying on the bed, begin at your feet by tensing the muscles in the toes, curling them inwards for a few seconds and then releasing them. Inhale as you contract your muscles and exhale as you relax. “Feel the tension build as you tighten your toes and feel the tension melt as you release the contracted muscles,” said Tho.

Step 2: Repeat this process, working your way upwards – ankles, calves, thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, back, chest, arms, fingers, shoulders, neck, face and jaw.

Step 3: Finish by taking a few more slow, easy breaths to continue this sense of calm as you fall sleep.


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