Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body’s Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms

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Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body's Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Images © kwikit – fotolia.com (under license)

Breathing sustains life! We take in oxygen, invigorate our red blood cells, expel toxins such as carbon dioxide, and provide our bodies with life-sustaining energy. And according to several scientific sources, deep breathing could offer more short-term and long-term health benefits.

Ever wondered why you’re advised to take deep breathes when you’re stressed or trying to focus? Or why is deep breathing a core part of all meditation techniques? The answers to the healing powers of deep breathing lie in the physiological changes that take place in our bodies. Allowing the rib cage to expand and the diaphragm to drop creates more space for oxygen to flood your body, leading to the following health benefits:

⦁ Lowered heart rate: According to a study in the Journal of Frontiers in Public Health, deep breathing (6 breathes per minute) significantly improved heart rate variability. [1]

⦁ Lowered blood pressure: Meditation techniques, which included deep breathing, “decreased blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension.” This was the conclusion of a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension. [2]

⦁ Helping with sleeplessness: Some studies suggest that deep breathing and mindful meditation could be an effective alternative to traditional treatments for chronic insomnia. [3]

⦁ Relieving anxiety and depression: Providing our brains with a great deal of oxygen enhances our ability to memorize, concentrate, focus, and even relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. [4]

⦁ Improved immunity: The stress response is known to suppress our immune, and increase the susceptibility to illnesses. By enhancing our mental and physical energy through deep breathing, we can promote better immunity.

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Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Steffen, P. R. et al. 2017. The Impact of Resonance Frequency Breathing on Measures of Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure, and Mood https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575449/.

[2] Nidich, S. I. et al. 2009. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19798037.

[3] Ong, J. C. et al. 2014. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25142566.

[4] Lakhan, S. E. et al. 2013. Mindfulness-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Somatization Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071834.


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