Do you really know how to breathe?

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We sometimes take our breath for granted. When we breathe properly, however, there can be multiple health benefits such as stress reduction, insomnia prevention, emotion control, improved attention and even better cardiovascular health.

Breathing is so vital to life that it is no wonder humankind long ago noted its value—not only to survival but to the functioning of the body and mind—and began controlling it to improve well-being. As early as the first millennium BC, both the Tao religion of China and Hinduism viewed breathing as one of the manifestations of primal energy. The Chinese call this energy qi, and Hindus call it prana (one of the key concepts of yoga).

In the 1920s, German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz developed “autogenic training” as a method of relaxation. The approach is based partly on slow and deep breathing and is probably still the best-known breathing technique for relaxation in the West today. A close look at one popular technique—cardiac coherence— offers more detail about the ways that breathing exercises promote relaxation.

This technique attempts to coordinate breathing with heart rate, slowing and steadying the breathing to slow and stabilize the heartbeat. The method was developed based on the understanding that as the heart rate slows and becomes regular, blood pressure decreases and muscles relax, increasing feelings of peacefulness. Thus the technique works through both neurobiological and psychological mechanisms.

Here is a simple breathing technique that you can use daily to help you better manage stress: at least three times a day, breathe six times per minute (inhaling through your nose for five seconds and exhaling through your mouth for five seconds each time) for five minutes.

To your health, Jessica et Bruno enerj.ca

Sources: Suzanne M. Bertisch PhD of Harvard Medical School, 2015 Cheryl Yang PhD of National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, 2012

 

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Jessica Humphries Bruno Saint-Hilaire70 Posts

Jessica Humphries est entraîneuse certifiée, coach santé et conceptrice de programmes d’entraînement physique en plein air offerts à longueur d’année. Diplômée de l’Université McGill, elle détient un baccalauréat en éducation physique et kinésiologie. - Bruno Saint-Hilaire est un professionnel de la santé qui a fait ses études universitaires en médecine sportive et nutritionnelle et administration des affaires. Ce qui le passionne depuis plus de 20 ans est d'accompagner sa clientèle très variée (enfants, adolescents et adultes) vers l'optimisation de leur santé afin de les aider à vivre au quotidien avec plus d'énergie et de vitalité. / Jessica Humphries is a certified natural trainer in functional fitness, yoga instructor, healthy lifestyle coach and the designer of year-round nature fitness training programs. She graduated from McGill University with a BEd in physical education and kinesiology. - Bruno Saint-Hilaire is a health professional who completed his university studies in sports and nutritional medicine and business administration. For more than 20 years his passion has been to accompany his wide range of clients (children, teens and adults) in the optimization of their health to help them live their daily lives with more energy and vitality. enerj.ca

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