How to Breathe and Why it’s Important

When looking at how to breathe properly, there are a few key principles and methods to employ to be efficient, and with practice, ideally proficient. Firstly, you must understand that breathing should primarily be achieved by the diaphragm. You need to become aware of your diaphragm and master that muscle. Now, it is obvious to note that breathing happens naturally…it is not a movement per say that we consciously need to think about in order for it to happen. Nonetheless, we can still be breathing, yet incorrectly. Here is a list of some things you should aim to feel and see happen when breathing correctly:

  • With your hand placed on your side, below your ribs, you should feel your abdomen expand into your hand when you breathe in and relax back in when breathing out. This rhythm of expansion/relaxation is what should be happening 24/7 with casual/tidal breathing.
  • You should feel that expansion happens all the way around your abdomen—360 degrees, so that you are training your diaphragm to move downwards symmetrically—in the same way that when you blow up a balloon every side evenly expands outward as air fills the empty balloon.
  • Ideally, you should feel minimal movement of your chest and shoulders up towards your head, and minimal activation of your neck muscles.
  • This should feel as though you are pulling air deep into your lower abdomen or pelvis, not like you are reaching/gasping for air.
  • Remember to breathe low and slow. There’s no need to try and take large, deep breaths starting out, you’ll wear yourself out and you’ll naturally breathe more with a chest-dominant breathing pattern.

Now that we have discussed how to breathe correctly, let’s go through some of the reasons diaphragmatic breathing is important and why you should care to become a better breather:

  • Breathing properly can aid with:
    • Decreasing stress
    • Decreasing pain (especially in the muscles around the base of your neck)
    • Exercising harder and longer with less fatigue
    • Consistent digestion
    • Equalizing blood pressure
    • Relaxing in order to fall asleep
    • Maintaining proper posture
    • Bracing your back when lifting


Dr. Broom

Dr. Luke Broom

Why did I choose Chiropractic?

Looking back there was a providential process that led me into the Chiropractic profession. Initially, I was exposed to chiropractic at the age of seventeen as a senior in high school. My family had never gone to a chiropractor, and I did not really have an opinion about the profession. At the time of my senior year, I was training for cross country season as well as doing CrossFit, and I ended up with a slowly worsening low back injury. Looking back, I was running quite a bit on uneven terrain, and with CrossFit I was lifting a lot of heavy weight with less than adequate core strength—which could have been the contributing factors to my pain; nonetheless, I was beginning to hurt, badly. Every time I tried to run, I was hurting with the impact of my foot striking the ground, every day sitting in class the pain became more and more nagging, and I even reached a point that deep breathing was uncomfortable.

I had tried ice, ice baths, heat, electrical stimulation, and ibuprofen at the counsel of my school athletic trainer, but with zero progress, so I went to my local primary care provider. He performed no musculoskeletal exam and quickly prescribed me muscle relaxers…which did absolutely nothing. The traditional medical model had failed me.

So…I went to a chiropractor, and he actually examined me and thoroughly explained to me why I was feeling what I was feeling. One of the wise sayings I still remember him telling me was that “no amount of drug or chemical could ever fix your mechanical problem.” After a few adjustments and some therapeutic exercise interventions I had no more low back pain and I was back to CrossFit with a stronger core than ever before.

Going into undergraduate I was a clinical kinesiology major, and I had my eyes set on physical therapy school. Chiropractic was not necessarily off my radar; I just did not know anything about the profession. After much research, I ended up making the switch to become a Doctor of Chiropractic—here are some of the main reasons:

Firstly, based on the results I had with it helping me out of the worst musculoskeletal issue I have ever had. Secondly, I learned that there is a level of autonomy that a Doctor of Chiropractic has, and that was appealing, as well as the benefit of being more of a portal of entry provider. Thirdly and lastly, I knew that with chiropractic I would still be able to do all the physical rehabilitation that I loved and wanted to do, but more so, to cultivate exceptional palpatory skills unmatched by any other profession. I genuinely believe Chiropractors are the greatest in the world regarding manual care skills. And I honestly believe chiropractors are at the front line to be the go-to portal of entry providers for our communities regarding neuromusculoskeletal complaints and preventative care.


Dr. Broom

AR Home Health Insurance

Hey everyone! Today I am writing to you about my least favorite topic… 😮‍💨 insurance 😖
We deal with insurance every single day as a healthcare facility, and it is the WORST. I could rant all day long (and do) about how difficult and complex and rarely good for the patient OR the provider most insurance is.
However, there is a shining and glorious exception: ARHome. 
The state of Arkansas has made the blessed decision to offer a program called AR Home. It is part of the Medicaid program, but instead of a Medicaid policy, the individual can choose a Blue Cross Blue Shield or Ambetter policy as a Medicaid replacement. 
These policies are 👏 AMAZING 👏 and have great chiropractic benefits.
So first of all, if you have Medicaid, I urge you to RUN (to your phone?) To find out if you qualify for this program. If you do, make that switch today! 
This program is also called Worker’s Medicaid and was formerly known as AR Works or Arkansas Works.
You may have this policy and not even know it! If you have Blue Cross or Ambetter through the state, it’s probably one of these policies! Check your card and see if it as the AR Home logo in the corner of the card.
What makes this program so great? Well, in our office, we rejoice when we see one of these policies. Both the Ambetter and the Blue Cross versions of this policy cover a New Patient Exam, X-Rays, any and all types of chiropractic care, as well as Therapies and Physical Rehab. The Blue Cross Policy even covers massage! These plans usually have no co-pay or a $4 co-pay per visit. This is incredible! This means we can give the very best care to these patients without concern for cost or limitations. 
In comparison, Medicaid will not cover an exam or x-rays. It covers 12 spinal adjustments but no extremity adjustments. This means if you need your elbow, knee, toe, TMJ or jaw, wrist, or shoulder adjusted- it’s extra! They do not cover any Therapies, rehab, or massage either.
Now, if you DO have regular Medicaid and do not have the option for the replacement plan: We can help you! We offer discounts to keep the parts that Medicaid doesn’t cover affordable, and we can absolutely get you adjusted and get you feeling better.
If you are pregnant, sometime pregnancy Medicaid is automatically assigned to you. It is worth doing the leg work to see if you can still switch to AR Home! 
I also want to point out that ARKids is great! Most AR kids policy is no cost for adjustment or a $10 co-pay. If your kids have ARkids Medicaid Policies: they have great chiropractic coverage! Bring them on in 😊
We work very hard in our office to be different than many in the medical field. We verify insurance before you come in and make sure you understand and are comfortable with your benefits and cost before you arrive. Now, because insurance is not a perfect system, we do always have the disclaimer that our estimate before billing may not be perfect- but we do our very best to catch any differences quickly and relay it to you!
Please reach out with any questions and we can help! And if you currently have ARHome and are not going to the chiropractor… get in here! Take advantage of your benefits and take care of your health 😉
AR Home logo

Chronic Pain 2

The next thing that I want to say about chronic pain is that people that suffer with chronic pain are much more likely to suffer with depression. That may seem completely obvious. It may not even need to be said. It’s like, of course, if you’re hurting all the time, you’re going to be depressed. But it actually goes beyond the obvious reasons. So it is not just because you are depressed because you’re hurting all the time. It is not just because you are depressed because you maybe can’t accomplish the things you want to, like I talked about last time or you can’t have fun or enjoyed time with friends and family in the same ways as you want to. It’s not even because of those reasons that chronic pain sufferers also typically suffer with depression or more commonly do.

It is because of your brain and the pain centers in your brain, especially the chronic pain centers, those are related to the centers in your brain that are activated in depression. So it’s like you’re a button in your brain that’s being pushed over and over. And every time there’s pain signals being sent to your brain, it’s also activating that portion of your brain that processes depression. So this goes beyond just I’m hurting, so that depresses me.

You need to realize if you suffer with chronic pain, again, bringing from the last post that I made, give yourself some grace, but also recognize that there’s a reason why you’re feeling this way. There’s a reason that you’re struggling with depression. So, that bringing in that mental health aspect and not just chalking it up too well, I’m in pain all the time so of course, I’m depressed. Get some support in that area as well. As most of you know, I’m a huge advocate for mental health support at all times and especially if you suffer with chronic pain, there may be some deeper things there that you definitely need support for. So please take care of yourself. Get some mental health support.