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Breath as Medicine: Relieving Stress, Anxiety and Sleep Issues Through Guided Breathwork

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

Making Every Breath Count Toward a Stronger, Healthier Mind and Body

Are stress relief and better health just a breath away? While the concept of using breathing for health and wellness may seem impossibly simplistic, every system within our bodies relies on the oxygen we take into our lungs to function. Yes, that means that how we breathe impacts everything from cognitive ability to digestion. Why wouldn't you want to invest time into learning how to breathe for optimal function?

Intentional breathing allows us to use our breath to improve physical and mental function by ensuring that the diaphragm can enjoy a full range of motion. Unfortunately, most of us have trained ourselves to breathe improperly over the years. That means that we're unwittingly throttling our oxygen levels with dangerous implications for our health and well-being. The good news is that simply learning how to breathe intentionally can boost how we feel, react and perform. Take a look at the benefits of using breathwork techniques and strategies for achieving better health!

Many of Us Are Breathing Incorrectly

Breathing is something that we do on such an automatic basis that few of us ever stop to be conscious of our breaths. This is a big mistake! As researchers note, shallow breathing dramatically reduces the diaphragm's range of motion. As a result, oxygenated air doesn't have an opportunity to reach the lowest parts of the lungs. What people don't realize is that these "incomplete" breaths lead to feelings of being short of breath and anxious. Many people experience a spiraling effect when this happens because shortness of breath during a stressful situation can increase anxiety. Shallow breathing is linked to sleep disturbances, chronic anxiety, muscular tension, headaches, depression, fatigue, panic attacks and persistent illness. However, the antidote to shallow breathing is not necessarily overcompensating in the reverse way. Overbreathing can also have profound health implications.

When we overbreathe, we end up ventilating out more carbon dioxide (CO2) than we should. As a result, our levels of CO2 are depleted. This robs our tissues and organs of the energy and glucose they need to function. People who chronically overbreathe are at risk for dangerous electrolyte imbalances that impact muscle and brain function. The symptoms of over-breathing can mimic a panic attack. It's very common for people who overbreathe to experience increased heart rate, chest tightness and hyperventilation. Also, physical symptoms like headaches and gastrointestinal distress are common among people who over-breathe. Many people who suffer from mood issues, anger and panic attacks are also unknowingly suffering from the effects of over-breathing.

Improper breathing can also set us up for long-term health difficulties. In many cases, people cannot make the connection between chronic health issues and improper breathing due to the lack of visibility regarding this connection in the mainstream healthcare industry. Improper breathing can cause us to enter the flight-or-fight state designed to keep us on "high alert" in the face of danger. Everything from traffic jams to negative news cycles can trigger this flight-or-fight response, creating an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood.

When the flight-or-fight response is perpetuated due to shallow breathing, we then enter into a cycle of being in a constant state of distress without "coming back down." This can be extremely toxic for our health because remaining in a state of being primed for confrontation like this suppresses the immune system, increases blood pressure, sets the stage for heart disease and contributes to anxiety and depression.

Is there a "hack" for getting out of this cycle that so many of us are trapped in without even realizing? Many people find that they can "snap out" of stress-response cycles that leave them unhappy and sick using breathwork. What's more, there's strong evidence that practicing breathwork techniques can prevent us from falling into stress-response cycles in the first place! Next, explore how controlled, intentional breathing can help anyone enjoy breathwork health benefits.

What Does Healthy Breathing Look Like?

Many people have been breathing incorrectly for so long that they aren't aware of what healthy breathing feels like. However, people who learn diaphragmatic breathwork techniques see a clear night-and-day picture regarding their physical, cognitive and emotional health. When moving from shallow or exaggerated breathing to properly balanced breathing, the goal is to provide the blood with optimal CO2 levels by building a proper exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. We're also focused on releasing oxygen to foster tissue and organ health. Lastly, properly balanced inhale-exhale patterns also increase energy through the release of nitric oxide (NO).

Learning to Breathe Again: Accessing Your Own Breathwork Health Benefits

People around the world are embracing breathwork as a way to overcome environmental stress, build up cognitive resiliency and feel better.

“Mastering breathwork can be a life-changing thing for anyone suffering from anxiety, stress, mood issues, exhaustion or sleep issues” - Ed Harrold.

For people who are feeling "off" without explanation, learning to take control of their breathing patterns can create the balance and clarity they've been lacking. You don't have to try to do this alone. Using Ed Harrold's Basics of Breath course, you're able to learn the keys to breath regulation for better health with expert guidance. The secret to feeling better is already alive within your own body. Breathwork gives you the power to wield your most crucial natural life force to optimize how your body uses oxygen! Sign up today to learn the method for breathing your way to health and wellness!

See Original Post @ Thrive Global


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