Creating the Relaxing Breath
Breathing is natural and automatic so therefore we do not have to consciously take in a breath.
We can turn a deep chest rising breath into a gentle relaxing abdominal breath.
Simply follow these directions:
Gently push your stomach out. One way to do this is to place your hand on your abdomen and gently push your hand out using the abdomen. As you do, you will notice that you automatically breathe in. This happens because as you push your abdomen out you pull down the diaphragm which creates a vacuum sucking in air.
You will experience the following steps:
1. The diaphragm drops down and the two lower lobes begin to open up filling with air containing oxygen.
2. The diaphragm stimulates the vagus nerve which travels through the diaphragm. The vagus nerve then activates anti-stress hormones which create relaxation and comfort.
3. Now gently take that abdominal breath again, but this time hold your breath for about three slow counts. By holding your breath you create a more efficient gasexchange between the carbon dioxide, a stimulant, and oxygen a relaxant. The breath out is twice as long as the breath in.
The count: Breathe in for a count of three to five, hold for a count of three to five and out for a count of six to ten. A normal exhalation is twice as long as inhalation.
Why hold the breath? Holding the breath allows for a more efficient gas exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen, a key factor in decreasing anxiety attacks.
Using this type of breathing may result in the following changes:
Trouble sleeping? Three breaths at bed time and you can fall asleep easily as you say to yourself “I am asleep” repeatedly.
Tension headache? Take the prescribed breath and imagine the oxygen flowing into your head. Breathing in relaxation and breathing out tension.
Improve your immune system? Research has shown that relaxing breaths decrease Cortisol (stress hormone) and activate the immune system.
According to the American Pain Society (APS), pain is defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”
Pain can be sorted into three main types:
Acute pain alerts you that something is wrong with your body. Infections, injuries or cancer are common causes of acute pain. A variety of treatments are available for acute pain. Acute pain generally is relieved when the problem causing the pain is treated medically or surgically.
Chronic pain is a long-lasting discomfort that has no relation to warning of danger and leads to a major change in a person’s ability to function. Arthritis pain and low back pain are examples of chronic pain.
Cancer pain is a side effect of cancer. Cancer pain should be aggressively treated whether the cancer is treatable or not.