It may seem odd to need a lesson on breathing because it is something we do involuntarily 24/7! Learning this breathing technique brings calmness to the body which is something we could all use right now! It’s a free and easy, no equipment required practice that can greatly benefit your health.
Dr. Andrew Weil practices integrative medicine in Tucson, Arizona and uses a healing-oriented approach to healthcare which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. I have been following him for many years and find his preventative approach so inspiring!
He is well known for the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Practicing this breathing method has many health benefits; it lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves digestion and circulation, promotes sleep and reduces anxiety!
Watch this short 2 minute video on how to do this breathing practice!
4-7-8 Breathing How-to:
Breathe in through the nose for a count of 4, hold breath for a count of 7, breathe out through the mouth for a count of 8.
In another short video, Why Breathwork Matters, Dr. Weil also talks about the fact that,
“Breathing is the only thing you can do completely consciously or unconsciously. It’s run by two different sets of nerves and muscles by the voluntary and involuntary system. It offers the only chance to get at and influence the involuntary nervous system. Disturbances in the involuntary nervous system are responsible for a great deal of chronic disease. Of all the methods that I have seen of relaxation, the most time-effective and cost-effective are breathing techniques.”
Here is more support for breathwork as a coping technique for three different situations. In this TED Talk, Lucas Rockwood, a Barcelona yoga teacher and health coach, shows us how three breathing practices – water, whiskey, or coffee – can be used as a tool to help us overcome any situation.
Water – Whiskey – Coffee Breathing How-to:
Water breathing: 4/4 counting (4 breaths in, 4 breaths out through the nose for 1 minute). Balances the nervous system. Always appropriate to use anytime.
Whiskey breathing: 4/8 counting (4 breaths in, 8 breaths out through the nose for 1 minute) Helps to fall asleep or calm down.
Coffee breathing: Forget about the inhale, exhale every second through the nose, using the lower abdomen for 1 minute. Use sparingly – using it too much can cause agitation! Fast, rapid breath stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, cranking up the body with energy for tasks.
I would love to know in the comments which breathing technique you find helpful! I use the 4-7-8 throughout the day when I need to reset, when I’m waiting for an appointment where I’m nervous like an interview or dentist, or driving in the car. I even do it for a minute before checking my blood pressure to make sure I get the best reading!
#breathing #health #inspiration #selfimprovement