Is Your Breath Helping or Harming you?
“Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly.” – Dr Andrew Weil
Stop and take a moment to observe your breathing at this very moment.
Are you inhaling through your nose or your mouth?
Are you breathing into your chest or your belly?
Can you hear the sound of your breath?
Were you holding your breath?
How you breath has impacts on every system in your body, your mood and your health.
Breathing is an involuntary process that occurs automatically, thanks to the autonomic nervous system. While this is remarkable, it also means that we tend to overlook it and develop unhealthy breathing habits that can be more harmful than beneficial in the long run.
This is where breathwork comes in. Breathwork is a technique that involves purposeful and controlled breathing aimed at enhancing physical, mental, and emotional health. New research has shown us that you can stop the feelings of stress, in real-time, by changing your breathing. The positive health impacts of breathing optimally are numerous and include reduced stress and anxiety, improved cardiovascular health, improved digestion, increased energy, improved sleep as well as improved lung function.
BREATHING TECHNIQUES, HEALTH, AND BRAIN FUNCTION
You have the ability to choose how you breathe. This is different from automatic or reflexive breathing, which is the kind of breathing that happens without you having to think about it. Volitional control over breath gives you the power to change how your body functions simply by changing your breath.
There is a direct link between brain function and breathing. The way you breathe can influence the way your brain works. Ultimately, changing your breathing can change neural circuits, which can alter brain function. This means that you have the power to change your brain and how your body works simply by changing your breath.
Different breathing techniques can be used for different purposes, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Inhalation-based practices are often used for things like relaxation or stress relief, while exhalation-based practices may be more beneficial for things like cardiovascular health or to address fatigue. Breath holds and other techniques may be useful for things like meditation or mindfulness. The Buteyko method and Wim Hof breathing are two specific techniques that have been shown to be particularly effective for certain health conditions. The best breathing technique is the one that suits you and your body. Boundless Breath utilizes different techniques to serve the goals of each individual.