How osteopathy strengthens your respiratory system and boosts your immunity

Respiratory health can be impacted by multiple factors  – some of which are far less obvious than a change in weather or a nasty bug doing the rounds.

Excess weight, posture, a previous injury, for example, can all affect your ability to breathe easy. So too can former traumas, surgical intervention and surgical scars. Why? Because these challenges can restrict the balance and motility in your body.

Something as remote as a former whiplash from a fall or collision may compromise a patient’s neck. According to a review of scientific studies injuries like this can compress nerves which are crucial to the function of respiratory organs like the lungs and heart, or to muscles like the thoracic diaphragm that control breathing. Among these nerves is the vagus nerve that not only helps to connect the brain to the respiratory organs, but also to the organs of the digestive and immune system.

Take Louise*, for example. After reviewing her detailed medical history, asking a series of questions and manually identifying any reactions to pain or density in her organs, our osteopath determined Louise’s breathing challenges and weakened immune system were the consequences of a former injury compromising her vagus and phrenic nerves.

After six weeks of osteopathic treatment, which included manipulation of the neck, release of the nerve pathway and a series of breathing exercises, Louise observed deeper breathing and a reduction in respiratory symptoms.

Focussed on determining the root cause of health concerns, osteopathy endeavours to gently manipulate the body back into its natural balance. One of the core philosophies of osteopathic medicine is the relationship between structure and function:  the structure of the body affects the functioning of various organs and body systems.

If your respiratory health has taken a hit, an osteopath may use gentle manual manipulation and mobilisation to re-establish the balance and motility of bones, muscles, nerves and organs with the goal of releasing tensions and removing any restrictions affecting your lungs, rib cage and breathing muscles.

Techniques might include spinal adjustment, joint mobilization, soft tissue release for muscles, blood drainage and decongestion manipulation.

For overall immunity, an osteopath can also work to

  • Alleviate mechanical restrictions and promote fluid circulation. 

Releasing the restrictions of mobility and tension in muscles, joints and connective tissues allows for a better flow of blood and lymph to circulate throughout the body. Boosting the lymphatic system helps to better regulate the body’s organ functions and strengthen its overall immunity.

  • Support gut health. 

Over 70% of your entire immune system resides in your gut. Your neck and vagus nerve control your digestive organs, therefore it’s important they’re in balance.

  • Address mental and emotional stress.

A triggered sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ system can weaken your immune system. It is therefore important to activate the parasympathetic ‘relaxation’ system.

To book an appointment call 2523 7121 or connect with us here.


*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.

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