Read this and learn how to relax, clear your head and improve your overall well being!
Proper breathing is underestimated. Slow, deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean, fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. Proper breathing helps your body eliminate toxins 15 times faster than poor, shallow breathing. You'll be healthier and be able to perform better (mentally and physically) and, of course, be less stressed and more relaxed. To get the benefits of full breathing try this exercise. Not only will it help to calm you, but it will help you develop healthy breathing patterns. It will probably take some practice, but try to take about 10 minutes to complete them. Awareness (2 minutes) Make the room dark, or at least darker. Lie down flat on your back, or sit against a wall. Make sure no part of your body is strained or supporting weight. Close your eyes. Just pay attention to your breathing for a minute or two. Don't try to change it, just notice how it feels. Imagine the fresh blood flowing through your body. Listen to your surroundings.
Stage I (2 minutes) Practice breathing in and out of your nose. Exhaling through the mouth is okay for quick relaxation, but for normal breathing, in and out the nose is best. Take long breaths, not deep breaths.
Stage II (3 minutes) Good breathing is done through the lower torso, rather than the upper torso. Each breath should expand your belly, your lower back and ribs. Relax your shoulders and try not to breathe with your chest. Put your hands on your stomach and feel them rise and fall. If it's not working, push down gently with your hands for a few breaths and let go. Your stomach should start to move more freely.
Stage III (3 minutes) Make your exhale as long as your inhale to make sure all the bad air is gone. Remember, long slow breaths. Most people take 12-16 breaths per minute. Ideally, it should be 8-10. Now try to make your exhale a little longer than your inhale for a while. Pause after your exhale without taking a breath. Focus on the stillness and on not forcing an inhale. Your body will breathe when it needs to.
Most of this exercise can be done anywhere you need to relax or clear your head. For more fabulous health tips and newsletters be sure to "like" Islip Chiropractic on Facebook.
Dr. Laura Bowen, D.C.