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Breathing for Better Health

There’s powerful scientific proof that the way you breathe can improve your health. Yes, something as simple as your breathing!

As you read this, take a deep breath in and out. Did you notice if you breathed through your lungs or your belly?? Diaphragmatic, or belly breathing, has been proven to lower your the stress on your body.

Effects of Stress on your Body

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When your body is under any type of stress (emotional, chemical or physical) your body engages the Sympathetic portion of our Nervous System. In today’s society, many of us are in a chronically stressed state, or “Fight or Flight” mode. While under stress, your body reacts by increasing your blood glucose levels, heart rate & blood pressure, and you guessed it…having shallow, fast breathing through your lungs.

It also inhibits the other half of our nervous system, the Parasympathetic branch. This is responsible for many important physiological functions, such as optimal digestion, immune system, reproduction, proper rest and recovery. Chronically elevated stress levels keep us OUT of the Parasympathetic state.

90% of all health problems are caused from stress! It is critical to lower the stress load on our body so you can be healthier not only now but also in the future.

Why do Belly Breathing?

Breathing through your diaphragm versus your lungs takes us out of that Fight or Flight response. Just some of the benefits include:

  • Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
  • Normalized blood sugar levels
  • Reduced bouts of asthma
  • Helps to control pain
  • Reduced anxiety & depression
  • Improved moods & sense of well-being
  • Improved sleep & recovery
  • Improved hormone levels

 4-7-8 Technique

The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique is also a very effective way to lower the acute stress response. It is as straight forward as it sounds: Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count 7, then breathe out for a 8 count. And of course, doing this through your diaphragm!

By improving your breathing, it allows more oxygen and blood flow to your brain, your organs and the rest of your body. It reduces the overall stress on your body from the inside out, allowing the nervous system and all of the wellness messages to flow properly. In life, stress will always be there! But we CAN manage our body responses to it!

This deep belly breathing is especially effective in times of acute stress, but also can be a  great daily practice. Try it throughout the day, before meals and before bed to calm your body to a balanced & restorative state.

Watch our video below where our Rehab Specialist Allison demonstrates Deep Belly Breathing on our Video page:

Let us Help You Thrive

Come visit our office for more ways we can help you improve your health from the inside out. Our office is known for helping patients deal with the effects of stress on the body. Contact us at 440-639-1100 with your questions on how we can help you!

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