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4 Breathing Techniques for Better Health

Breathing Techniques for Side Pain

Practicing deep “belly breathing” can reduce the stress on the supporting ligaments of the diaphragm and can help relieve side stitches. 

Belly breath: Lie down on the floor and place a hand on your belly. Breathe deeply. If you feel your hand rise and fall slightly with your breathing, you’re belly breathing. If your chest is moving instead of your stomach, you’re not breathing deeply enough, and need to adjust.  

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4 Breathing Techniques for Better Health

4 Breathing Techniques for Better Health

https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/4-breathing-techniques-for-better-health

nm.org

4

Key Ideas

Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief

  1. Stand up straight and bend forward at the waist. Bend knees slightly, letting your arms hang limply, close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, and return to a standing position by slowly rolling your body up, lifting your head last.
  3. Exhale slowly as you return to your original position.
  4. Stretch your muscles a little, and repeat.

Try this breathing technique first thing in the morning. It can help minimize muscle tension throughout the entire day.

Breathing Techniques for Side Pain

Practicing deep “belly breathing” can reduce the stress on the supporting ligaments of the diaphragm and can help relieve side stitches. 

Belly breath: Lie down on the floor and place a hand on your belly. Breathe deeply. If you feel your hand rise and fall slightly with your breathing, you’re belly breathing. If your chest is moving instead of your stomach, you’re not breathing deeply enough, and need to adjust.  

Breathing Techniques for Increased Energy

  1. Sit up tall, and relax your shoulders. 
  2. Keep your mouth closed and inhale rapidly through your nose with quick, short breaths (exhale quickly as well). 
  3. Try doing that for about 10 seconds
  4. Take a 15-30 second break and breathe normally. Repeat several times.

Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

Focused, abdominal breathing (belly breathing) 20 to 30 minutes each day is a great way to achieve a natural relaxation response. 

The point of focused breathing is to feel connected to your body, and be present and aware of the feeling of your worries drifting farther and farther away. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a c...

Abdominal Breathing Technique
How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.

When it works best: Before an exam, or any stressful event.

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.

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Breathing exercises

Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.

However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from...

Deep, controlled breathing

It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.

It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.

Breathing and yoga
Belief in the benefits of controlled breathing goes back centuries.

Central to ancient Hindu philosophy was prana, described as vital “airs” or “energies” flowing through the body. Stemming from that belief, yoga was built on pranayama or breath retention. 

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Shallow breathing

We loose the ability to breath deeply naturally as we age: deep breathing comes naturally to children, but we lose the ability because we’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight, low-level str...

Controlled breathing

... is the fastest, most effective way to trigger the relaxation response, enabling you to think more clearly and perform better under pressure.

Navy Seal tricks

The Navy SEALs use 2 breathing techniques that force the body into a more relaxed state when they’re in a high-pressure situation:

  • Tactical breathing
  • Box breathing.

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Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, ...

Breathwork

Breathwork is not the same as mindfulness. Mindfulness involves passive observation of the breath, whereas breathwork requires you to actively change the way you breathe.

Breathwork includes ensuring you breath with your diaphragm, rather than the movement of your chest. It will fill your lungs with more air while also slowing the pace of your breathing.

Speed ramp to relaxation

Right breathing can have a profound effect on calming the mind quickly and can act as a speed ramp into the meditation practice by getting you to that place of no-thought.

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Mindful Wakeup
Mindful Wakeup

First thing in the morning:

  • Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body.
  • Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths—breathing in through your nose and out ...
Mindful Eating
  • Breathe before eating. 
  • Listen to your body and measure your hunger.
  • Eat according to your hunger. You can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. 
  • Practice peaceful eating. It’s not easy to digest or savor your food if you aren’t relaxed.
  • If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Make a mindful choice about what to eat based on what you really enjoy.
Mindful Pause
  • Trip over what you want to do. If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor.
  • Refresh your triggers regularly - add variety or make them funny so they stick with you longer.
  • Create new patterns. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to create easy reminders to shift into slow brain.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

A health condition that affects an individual’s ability to breathe well, often associated with other conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Symptoms include: wheezing, c...

Pursed lip breathing
  1. While keeping your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose, counting to 2. The breath does not have to be deep. 
  2. Put your lips together as if you are starting to whistle or blow out candles on a birthday cake. This is known as “pursing” your lips.
  3. While continuing to keep your lips pursed, slowly breathe out by counting to 4. Don’t try to force the air out, but instead breathe out slowly through your mouth.
Pursed lip breathing benefits:
  • It’s been shown to reduce how hard a person has to work to breathe.
  • It helps release air trapped in the lungs.
  • It promotes relaxation.
  • It reduces shortness of breath.

Practice it 4 to 5 times per day, daily.

Pursed lip breathing is best for performing strenuous activities, such as climbing stairs.

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Benefits of meditation

...include stress reduction, sharpened concentration, and improved circulation to start.

Once you begin to practice, you'll soon experience a quieter mind, a more open heart, and a sen...

Be comfortable in a quiet place

To get started, it doesn't matter whether you sit or lay down as long as you are comfortable. 

You can sit cross-legged, on the floor, or on a chair. Then have the palms of your hands face the sky.

Become "present"

Become totally aware of your current surroundings. What do you hear? How does it feel to sit? Do you feel tension? Where are your thoughts?

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Breathing: The First Act Of Life
Breathing: The First Act Of Life

Breathing is the first basic act of life and we take about 670 million breaths in a lifetime.

Breathing is so natural to us that very few scientists have studied it in deta...

How To Breathe Right

A perfect ‘slow’ breath that creates profound effects in our body and mind is this: 5.5 seconds inhaling, followed by 5.5 seconds of exhaling. This can be practiced for a few minutes, or even an hour.

The heart, lungs and other organs benefit greatly, and the imbalances are restored to an extent.

Control your breath to better control your anger

When you feel anger, try controlling your breath. This will result in your entire body instantly calming down. Remember, anger can never prove productive.

Magical phrases to fight your anger

Whenever you feel angry, try repeating certain phrases that you know for a fact that will calm you down. If you do not have them already prepared, take a few minutes during a normal day to think about what these phrases could sound like.

Fancy a happy place to keep your anger under control

Fancying a happy and calm place whenever you are angry helps you deal better with the negative feeling. Furthermore, focusing on both your breathing and your environment has a positive effect on your mood and allows you to relax.

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4-7-8 Breathing
Created by Dr. Andrew Weil this is breathing exercise to help you relax: 
  1. First, let your lips part. Exhaling completely through your mouth.
  2. Next, close your lips, inhaling sil...