|pic from magnahealthblog|
A few years ago, if anyone had told me that deep breathing would form an integral part of the Physio treatments that I do every day-I probably would have laughed! But as anyone of my patients that is reading this now already knows, I am a big fan of deep controlled breathing as also discussed here.
And I think that with more and more people taking up Yoga and Pilates, where the breath is used in conjunction with many of the exercises, many more of us are becoming aware of the power of breathing.
I have taught it as a technique to Patients who struggle with anxiety attacks, and also to others who have shortness of breath and then are susceptible to hyperventilating due to underlying medical conditions of their lungs. Focus on the breath also forms the basis of learning how to meditate.
I read about a breathing technique that Dr Andrew Weil recommends in his book Spontaneous Happiness a few months ago. I followed it, making a point of doing it twice a day for a few days, and still do it if I need a little 'time out' within myself during the day. I explained the exercise to one of the Midwives that I work with shortly after I had read about it. I saw her yesterday and she asked me to remind her what the number of seconds were to perform it each part, and I couldn't remember!
I think as soon as you have a grasp of it, the numbers don't really matter as much.
So lovely Midwife N, here are the full details. And I recommend that all of you have a try, at least once.
1.Place the tip of the tongue against the ridge behind and above the front teeth. Keep it there throughout the exercise.
2. Exhale completely through the mouth (and puckered lips) making a whoosh sound.
3.Close the mouth and inhale deeply and quietly through the nose, while you slowly count to 4.
4. Hold the breath for a count of 7.
5. Exhale through the mouth to a count of 8, making the whoosh sound.
6. Repeat steps 3,4 and 5 for four breaths.
Do you feel calmer now?
This can be done in any position, and pretty much anywhere. You might want to opt for a more silent whoosh though if you don't want the people next to you to hear you!
Have a happy healthy, deep breathing when you are anxious or stressed day.