THE HEALTHY WAY TO BREATHE
When faced with a stressful situation, or experiencing pain or discomfort, many people are instructed to take deep breaths to help relieve the tension. The problem is that many people don’t breathe in a healthy way. Taking improper deep breaths can actually worsen the situation. Before attempting to change your breathing and before learning a new technique, it’s important to become aware of the body’s natural tendencies — this is valuable information. Does the breath feel shallow? Do inhalations or exhalations feel rushed or forced? Where does the breath travel within the body? In time, connecting to your breath in difficult situations will become a natural, healthy response, as well as a life-changing tool.
Instructions for Belly Breathing
Bring your awareness to your belly, and if you like, bring your hands to your belly to feel the breath as it enters this area of the body. Imagine that you are slowly inflating a balloon into your belly and diaphragm. Just as slowly as you inhaled, slowly exhale as if you were gradually releasing the air from the balloon (i.e. your belly). Repeat several times, focusing on the inhalations and exhalations remaining consistently smooth, deep and even. When practiced properly, this technique relaxes the muscles of the body, balances the heart rate, provides a thorough exchange of oxygen and CO2, calms the nervous system and relaxes the mind.
To be avoided is taking rapid, short bursts of air into the upper chest. The best way to learn proper breathing techniques is with an experienced instructor guiding you. Contact us to schedule a session and breathe your way to wellness!
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