Just Breathe For Stress Relief (in Blaine, MN)
The Key to Health and Wellness?
Why Your Breath is Important:
The importance of keeping a balanced life involves one’s body, mind and spirit and is at the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Licensed acupuncturists who practice under TCM often treat patients using acupuncture treatment along with TCM Food/ Diet Therapy and Lifestyle coaching which may include recommended movement/ exercise therapy.
Breathing Exercise Benefits:
When you breathe from your diaphragm, which is located under your ribcage, it pushes down on the liver, intestines, uterus, etc. This has the effect of massaging your abdominal organs from the inside. Body fluid movement in turn moves the lymph, resulting in oxygen-rich blood passing to your internal organs.
Breathing from the belly has the benefit of helping build muscle tone and strength in the abdomen.
Practicing daily deep breathing can help you get through some tough times when life turns into a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. It is another FREE tool to add to your tool box. It is drug-free and natural. You can access it at anytime. It is up to you. You have to breathe either way.
So, are you breathing just to survive or are you really breathing DEEP down to your CORE and feeding your Mind, Body and Spirit?
Shallow Chest Breathing vs. Deep Diaphragm Breathing:
Breathing in a shallow (chest-only) depth tells your body to turn on the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) or the Fight-or-Flight responses.
These come in handy for survival purposes when our lives are threatened. This response is the opposite of relaxation and floods your body with cortisol, a stress hormone. Over time this repeated or constant stress response drains your adrenals, potentially damaging the adrenals. This can lead to adrenal insufficiency or adrenal burnout with severe fatigue and low stress tolerance. Other hormones may also be thrown out of balance.
Breathing in a deep (full-belly) depth by filling the diaphragm tells your body to turn on the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) or the Rest & Relaxation/ R&R response.
This creates full body relaxation to help improve digestion, hormone balance and overall health.
Lie down face-up with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands resting on your abdomen. Focus for one minute directing your breath deep into your belly by filling up your diaphragm (you should feel your hands move up while it expands). Feel expansion in your belly, your back and lower belly. Try to keep your shoulders from shrugging. Slowly breathe out. Repeat 3 times or until you feel relaxed.
Breathing Exercises I use:
Breathe in on count of 1, out on count of 1.
Then in on count of 2, out on count of 2.
Repeat several times. If you forget which number you were on, simply return to 1 and continue.
If you find yourself having to return to 1 often, that is okay, too. Do not berate yourself. This is for healing purposes so be gentle with yourself. Always be a good (kind) friend to yourself-this is the healthy, natural way of being!
Breathe in for a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, and then breathe out for a count of 5.
If you cannot count to 5 on the in breath, hold or out breath, do what you can. This may be something to work up to. Eventually you may be able to build up to holding it longer with practice. I am now able to hold the breath in for a bit over 30-seconds.
Of course, check with your doctor before doing breathing exercises if you suffer with any breathing difficulties such as COPD or other breathing/ lung capacity issues or if you have other issues of concern.
Other Mind/ Body/ Spirit Movement Therapies:
- Body Scan Meditation
- Chi Gong/ Qi Gong (TCM)
- Tai Chi (TCM)
- Kung Fu (TCM)
- Walking Meditation
- Walking Labyrinth Meditation
- Slow, short walks- can be better for adrenal deficiency than vigorous exercise
Thanks for Reading!
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This article is not intended to replace any health care.
No information on this site should be relied on to determine medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. As with any health concerns, always be sure to consult your health care provider with any health concerns.