September 10, 2013 by Dr. Sana Keller
Check out your breathing right now—don’t change anything—just observe your current breathing pattern. Chances are, you’re a shallow breather (at least for the vast majority of the time), with your chest slightly moving in and out. Breathing obviously takes place whether or not we’re thinking about it, yet greater focus on deep breathing (at least a few times a day) can make a noticeable difference in our health, AND…it’s absolutely FREE!
Deep breathing is sometimes called belly breathing, abdominal breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing. Listed below are some of the many healthy effects of deep breathing. And please don’t think that you have to focus on deep breathing all day long—practicing the exercises twice a day (morning and bedtime) for 5-10 minutes can make a BIG difference in your health!
Positive health benefits of Deep Breathing:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces pain
- Reduces stress levels by promoting relaxation, releasing tension, and calming anxieties
- Raises blood oxygen level
- Promotes healthy detoxification
- Encourages blood flow in the body
- Promotes better sleep
- Improves digestion process and absorption of nutrients
- Promotes increased circulation of lymphatic fluid and blood flow
- Increases concentration and clarity
- Promotes good posture
- Boosts energy levels
Dr. Andrew Weil (University of Arizona-Center for Integrative Medicine) breaks it down so simply:
**Allow yourself to be free of distractions for at least ten minutes–During this time,
**Inhale for 6 seconds–Hold your breath for a count of 18–
**Exhale for 12 seconds–
**Repeat at least 10 times – twice a day–Notice how you feel after deep breathing
This link contains 3 additional simple breathing exercises. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html
?How on earth can a person remember to do this in the course of our crazy, busy day? Set a reminder alert on your phone for sometime during the day—and make a habit of deep breathing as you fall asleep—you can do it!
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