By Benjamin Acosta
International Health Writer
When we hear that proper breathing improves health, it might seem exaggerated. But breathing properly is so logical and simple that perhaps for that reason we do not pay enough attention.
Anxiety and insomnia, for example, are problems whose solution can be found in knowing how to breathe. That’s right, knowing how to inhale and exhale and with what intensity and rhythm to achieve a comforting effect on our body makes a difference. And in these times of confinement derived from the pandemic, this knowledge is especially valuable.
Recommendations on how to modulate breathing and influence health and mind appeared centuries ago. Yoga pranayama (retention of breath) was the first doctrine to build a theory around respiratory control.
Ancestral wisdom that points towards increased longevity based on controlled breathing. A fact that now has scientific validation when verifying the way it has a positive effect on a physiological and psychological level. In short: a vital principle.
Contemporary forms of mindfulness meditation also emphasize breath-based exercises. In fact, any relaxation, calm or meditation technique relies on breathing, the common factor in calming the body and mind.
MEDITATION & YOGA
Different slow breathing techniques can be found in mindfulness meditation and yoga. And all this combined with calming thoughts. It is a matter of finding the technique that best suits your condition and needs.
When this happens, wonderful things can happen, since the nervous system sends signals that manage to invade us with calm, regulating the heart rate and blood pressure while the muscles relax. When these changes are detected by the brain, the feeling of peace increases.
This is how a breath to which sufficient attention is paid, achieves positive changes at a neurobiological and psychological level.
So let’s control our emotions and enhance relaxation by breathing slowly and deeply. It is a matter of being focused and being aware that we constantly inhale and exhale.
Effective breathing is a central theme of Global Airway Health Day on Oct. 2, 2021. Get your free tickets today at GlobalO2Day.org.