#breathe #stress #management #Knights #Knightsbridge
“Take a deep breath is a last resort to relieve stress and frustration, it is good advice”–Paul Ebeling
Breath work refers to deep, diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, which research suggests may trigger relaxation responses in the body, according to a study published in June 2017 in Frontiers in Psychology. It encompasses a range of breathing exercises designed to enhance physical, spiritual, and mental health.
Within published research, breath work is commonly referred to in terms of “interventions” such as diaphragmatic breathing, breathing techniques, or even breathing rehabilitation.
Breath work includes specific breathing practices like holotropic breathing, which is used more as mind-body therapy, and is associated with particular theories and varying degrees of supportive evidence.
The research shows a variety of health and wellness benefits and quality of life improvements that intentional breathing (including diaphragmatic breathing, yogic breathing, and other breathing exercises) may provide for people experiencing certain health conditions and concerns.
Breath work may:
- Reduce stress and aid in stress-related medical illnesses, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, according to a review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
- Alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study in the Journal of Traumatic Stress
- Improve immune response, according to a study published in PLoS One
- Mitigate asthma symptoms, according to a meta-analysis published in March 2020 in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
- Decrease hypertension in adults, according to a review published in May 2021 in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
- Aid with COPD rehabilitation, according to a review published in March 2022 in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Aid glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the January 2021 International Journal of Yoga Therapy
- Improve the quality of life in people with cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a study published in May 2020 in International Journal of Yoga (IJOY)
Many recent studies, including a systematic review published September 2018 in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, have found that breath work reduces anxiety, sharpens memory, treats symptoms of depression, promotes more restful sleep, and even improves heart health.
By the way, breath work is not new as now “Western science is patting itself on the back for saying breath work works, whereas [some] people have been doing this for millennia.”
A well-researched breath work technique is diaphragmatic breathing. What makes it special is the way it can influence the entire body, especially the nervous system, according to a study published in June 2018 in Cureus.
When we are under stress the brain turns on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which governs the flight, fight, or freeze response. You will notice the activation of your SNS if you have shallow breathing, tense shoulders, increased blood pressure, or an upset stomach.
You Can’t Really Do It Wrong
Whatever technique you use, just the fact that we are paying attention to our breath bridges the gap from the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. At its most basic level, breath work floods the brain with oxygen and removes larger amounts of carbon dioxide, you cannot mess that up.
For a deep dive into it go to Everyday Health and do your research.
“Breath work is the foundation for stress management”
Have a happy, prosperous week, the Chaos is over!