Have you been feeling anxious or stressed lately? Or have you been breathless despite taking multiple breaths? Learning a couple of deep breathing techniques with us might just be what you need to feel better. Here’s what you should know about the different types of deep breathing techniques.
What is Deep Breathing Therapy?
Deep breathing therapy is a highly relaxing technique that involves the voluntary control of your breath in and out of the nostrils. Also known as pranayama, deep breathing exercises are all forms of yogic breathing that help improve your mind-body connection by bringing awareness to the normally unconscious act of breathing.
What are the Different Types of Deep Breathing Therapy?
Deep breathing consciously activates the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavity, resulting in a slower and more efficient way of breathing. There are many different types of deep breathing exercises:
- Breath awareness, where the focus is placed on each inhale and exhale. This can be done for several minutes
- Abdominal breathing where you take a slow, deep breath in through your nostrils until your belly is full of air before slowly exhaling the air out your nose
- Alternate nostril breathing, also known as Nadi Shuddhi pranayama, is a popular yogic technique used to cleanse the energy channels that exist in the left and right nostrils
What Are the Benefits of Deep Breathing Therapy?
Recent studies indicate that deep breathing therapy can not only reduce the effects of stress but:
- Improves brain function
- Improves lung capacity
- Results in a relaxed state
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increase in activity of the parasympathetic nervous system
- Enhances alertness
- Decreases the symptoms of anger, depression, and confusion
A single deep breathing session can improve your overall emotional wellbeing, while a ten-minute practice can result in a decrease in anxiety and fatigue in patients with cancer.
What to Expect During Deep Breathing Therapy
Regular practice of deep breathing techniques can make all the difference in your daily life. A certified yoga teacher will have experience teaching the different deep breathing techniques and will best know your capabilities and limits. If it’s your first time trying out a deep breathing exercise, here’s what to keep in mind:
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing
- Find a comfortable place to sit, free of distractions. You can practice yogic breathing while seated on a chair, cross-legged on your yoga mat, or lying down
- Start small. Even five minutes a day of deep breathing can make a big difference. It’s important to slowly work your way up towards longer breathing holds.
- Should always be done on an empty stomach to avoid a full stomach putting pressure on the diaphragm and chest cavity
For more information about deep breathing therapy, contact Panhandle Counseling and Health Center at (580) 338-4638.