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How One Simple Breathing Technique Can Induce Better Health

There are different ways to breathe which have different effects on the body and health. Let’s look at the two though. Nose breathing includes relaxation, calm and improves health. Mouth breathing that is what most of do by default, because of the lives we lead, which does contribute to many health concerns like elevated blood pressure and increase in resting heart rate.

“Breathing is something that is all too often overlooked but is of the utmost importance in correct biomechanical function. The human body will sacrifice everything to maintain respiratory function, and this includes posture. Nasal breathing is the way we are pre-programmed to breathe, and mouth breathing is triggered by stress. Interestingly, when posture is poor, it is easier to breathe through the mouth and harder to breathe nasally. The reverse is also true, illustrating the close relationship between breathing and posture. Additionally, mouth breathers often breathe much less deeply, only using the upper chest, whereas nose breathers tend to use the diaphragm making full use of the lungs, oxygenating the blood and brain. If the diaphragm becomes inhibited through poor posture, stress or bad habits, the inhibitory accessory muscles will overwork, becoming overactive, leading to trigger points and chronic tension.”

“There are many different yoga breathing exercises. Pranayama breathing, which is the practice of voluntary breath control, when practiced slowly has been shown to have positive effects on immune function, hypertension, asthma, autonomic nervous system imbalances and psychological or stress-related disorders. It has been hypothesized that voluntary slow deep breathing functionally resets the autonomic nervous system. Investigations have demonstrated that slow pranayama breathing techniques activate the parasympathetic (inhibitory) nervous system. This type of breathing employed with deep stretching will have a combined effect on stimulating parasympathetic activity while concurrently decreasing sympathetic activity. This will lower the heart rate, blood pressure and induce relaxation.”

Lie down or sit with a lengthened spine to open the airways. Close eyes and mouth and place the hands on the stomach and inhale slowly and deeply through the nose feeling your stomach rise as you breathe in. Move the hands to the base of the ribs and then continue the inhalation into the mid-section of the lungs and feel the ribcage expand laterally.

Move the hands to the upper chest breathe into the top of the lung and feel the chest rise. Hold the breath for a moment before slowly exhaling from the top, then the middle and lastly form the base of the lungs. Do this breathing exercise for at least five minutes. Focus on this and think of nothing else; give the breathing your full attention.