Monday, May 28, 2012

Deep Breathing - A Simple, Drug-Free Antidote to Stress




"Deep Breathing - A Simple, Drug-Free Antidote to Stress"Luckily, relief can be as easy as a deep breath away.
 It can help calm you, refocus your energy and actually change your body chemistry.

Shallow, fast, upper-chest breathing is a classic sign of the fight-or-flight stress response, while slow, deep abdominal breathing can provide ""instant stress relief.

Do you have heart problems? Deep abdominal breathing brings the diaphragm into play far more than upper chest breathing and helps to gently push blood throughout the system, taking a load off the heart.

Nervous? Diaphragmatic breathing activates the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, calming every nerve in the body.


ANCIENT BREATHING TECHNIQUES FOR MODERN STRESS

Piko-piko is a Hawaiian breathing technique I learned at a Hawaii Health Getaway that simultaneously relaxes and energizes the body.

 The act of centering the attention and moving the attention automatically results in a deeper than normal pattern of breathing, increasing circulation and relieving tension.
 To add visualization to the method, imagine breathing in energy from the sky above on the inhale and breathing out any stress below the feet into the center of the earth on the exhale.
 A simple pranayama exercise is Three-Part Breathing.
 On the next inhale, when the belly is full, draw in a little more breath and let that air expand into the rib cage.
 On the exhale, let the breath go first from the upper chest, then from the rib cage, then from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine.


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