Paced breathing beats normal breathing when it comes to managing many common health conditions or just feeling more energetic. Something as simple as lengthening each inhalation and exhalation can help you feel fitter and more at ease.
Benefits of Paced Breathing
1. Reduce hot flashes.
Changing the way you breathe affects your body’s autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system helps maintain your body temperature, so changing over to paced breathing minimizes hot flashes.
2. Tame anxiety.
Anyone who is prone to panic attacks knows what it’s like to be short of breath. If you’re being treated for anxiety and depression, ask your doctor about using paced breathing as a supplement to conventional care. It’s also great for ordinary daily challenges like traffic jams and lost luggage.
3. Boost your mood.
Most people feel a little lazy or blue from time to time. Delivering more oxygen to your brain will make you more alert and cheerful.
4. Manage stress.
Modern life is full of pressures and demands. Getting stress under control with paced breathing helps to prevent chronic inflammation as well as emotional distress.
5. Cope with pain.
Childbirth is one of the most obvious occasions when patients use breathing techniques. You can apply it to any kind of pain. Experts debate exactly how it works, but it seems to provide a distraction and helps you to loosen up.
6. Sleep better.
Get relief from tossing and turning until dawn. Fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently during the night.
7. Promote healing.
Studies show that skillful breathing can help recovery times. If you have major surgery scheduled or you injure your knee jogging, you may be able to get back in shape faster than you think.
8. Strengthen your immune system.
The quality of your breath plays a big role in keeping you fit and strong. You’ll find you catch fewer colds and you’ll increase your resistance to more serious conditions.
Training Yourself in Paced Breathing
1. Understand your hormones.
Stress triggers higher levels of adrenaline, which is associated with short and shallow breathing. When you relax, your brain produces more choline, so your breathing becomes deeper and more leisurely.
2. Slow down. Gradually work your way down to 5 to 8 breaths a minute.
The average rate is about 15 to 20. When you get down to about 5 breaths, stay there. Otherwise, you may get dizzy.
3. Inhale deeply.
Breathe in through your nostrils. Slowly draw air up from your diaphragm. Experiment with going deeper each time.
4. Exhale fully. Pay equal attention to exhaling.
Let all the air out gently. Match the length of each exhalation to the length of each inhalation.
5. Aim for two sessions a day.
Some studies show that you get the best results when you practice twice a day. Brief sessions of 5 to 15 minutes are fine. You can even make progress in as little as two minutes.
6. Pick a focal point.
If you have trouble concentrating on your breath, use an aid that works for you. Count your breaths or silently repeat an inspiring word or phrase to yourself. If you prefer visual images, look at a candle or a pretty flower.
7. Continue your education.
There are many variations on breathing mindfully. Once you’ve mastered paced breathing, you may want to go on to learn other styles. Sign up for a yoga or meditation class or browse through your local library for books and CDs.
Paced breathing is a safe and natural method that anyone can learn. It helps eliminate anxiety and hot flashes. It’s free and simple and you can take it everywhere you go. Start living better with every breath you take.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health, your environment, and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them), and can even help you with detoxification. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
But it is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 30 or even 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Wellness and Immune-Boosting Supplements to use! This MaxHealth Total Wellness Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency.
For best results make sure you use the supplements with dietary changes including a whole food plant-based diet, regular exercise (at least 2-3x per week), regular sleep (8 hours per night), and intermittent fasting (at least 1-3x per week).
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help you maintain a healthy weight, and is a great way to detox your body!
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
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