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Nine Reasons to Belly Breathe

​When I was in NP school, if someone told me how much I would be talking about breathing every day, I would not have believed that person.  I probably would have laughed outright.  Yes, I’d heard the statistic that 90% of appointments in family practice can ultimately be traced back to high stress, but breathing?  Really?  That’s something we do all day and all night without even thinking about it.  But here’s the thing—we SHOULD be thinking about it.  And even more importantly, we should be doing it with intent.

 

Deep belly breathing can drastically improve your health.  In fact, recently a patient told me, “Belly breathing has changed my life.”  That is exactly what he said to me, word for word.  No paraphrasing needed.  I even asked him if I could quote him, which I have done to many of my patients and now to all of you reading this.

 

If you’re wondering what belly breathing is, click HERE to my blog post about how to perform belly breathing.  But today we’re looking at WHY we should belly breathe.

 

Here are nine ways you can benefit from belly breathing…

 

  1. Increased oxygen.  When you breathe deeply, you deliver more oxygen to every cell of your body.
  2. Physical relaxation.  It’s hard to keep your muscles tense when you’re taking deep belly breaths.
  3. Increased endorphins.  With belly breathing, you produce more endorphins, which help feelings of well-being and decrease pain.
  4. Decreased blood pressure.  As physical tension decreases, the blood vessels also relax, which can lower blood pressure.
  5. Decreased mental stress and anxiety.  Belly breathing can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the sympathetic nervous system.  This is medical speak for telling your body that there are no tigers hunting you and your family, and that everything is okay, resulting in lessening anxiety and stress levels.
  6. Improved detoxification.  Your lymph system and liver work better under less stressful conditions, improving your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.
  7. Improved digestion. With better oxygenation, your digestive organs work better.  This means more regular elimination and you absorb nutrients better too.
  8. Improved adrenal function.  In my clinical experience, belly breathing is the best thing you can do to heal your adrenal glands.
  9. Better sleep.  By turning down your stress signals, relaxing your body and your mind, increasing the oxygen in your body, it helps you sleep, too, especially by doing some deep belly breathing before bed.

 

And if you need more reasons, here are two more: 

  1. It’s free.
  2. You don’t need any special equipment.

 

So start today, right now would be even better.

 

Posted by Karole Beck at 10/25/2018 2:54:00 AM
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