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May 2024



Breathe for…….


Immunity...

Slow nasal diaphragmatic breathing expands the lungs, increasing efficiency in oxygen absorption, lowering cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby enhancing our immune response.


Stress...

When we are stressed, we tend to take faster shallower breaths that limit the diaphragm's full range of motion. However slower breathing that engages the diaphragm is the number one tool to increase your body's relaxation response.


Next time you feel stress levels rising, place your hands on your belly and keeping your mouth closed, take a slow inhale for the count of 4 and exhale even slower for the count of 6 (still through your nose).


On the inhale, make sure you're not bracing in your core and notice as your belly pushes your hands out. Exhale long and release any the tension as you empty your lungs.

Keeping your jaw, neck, shoulders and core relaxed, breathe mindfully in this way for up to 5 mins and notice how effortlessly you can bring your relaxation response online.

PS: focusing on your breathing in this way has the added benefit of getting you out of your head so you are actually achieving 5 mins of meditation at the same time… so its win win!!!


Digestion...

Slow diaphragmatic breathing, supports the digestive system in several ways:

It stimulates the vagus nerve, which plays a crucial role in regulating digestion. Activation of the vagus nerve helps promote peristalsis (the movement of food through the digestive tract), enhances digestive enzyme secretion, and increases blood flow to the digestive organs.


Slow deep breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the "rest and digest" system. This promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which can improve digestion by reducing the likelihood of experiencing digestive issues like indigestion or acid reflux, which can be exacerbated by stress.


Slow diaphragmatic breathing increases oxygen supply to the digestive organs, which is essential for optimal digestive function. Adequate oxygen levels support the metabolism of nutrients and the production of energy needed for various digestive processes.

Slow deep breathing helps improve blood circulation throughout the body, including to the digestive organs. Improved blood flow facilitates the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to these organs, promoting their health and function.


So why not try incorporating 2 mins of slow diaphragmatic nasal breathing before each meal as part of your daily routine and support your overall digestive well-being


Clarity...

Interesting fact:  When we SLOW DOWN our breathing and focus on gentle diaphragmatic breathing, we actually absorb MORE oxygen at a cellular level….

This might sound counterintuitive but when we slow our breathing we retain more carbon dioxide in our bodies.


The is good because despite it's bad reputation as a "waste gas", CO2 actually plays a CRUCIAL role in efficient oxygen delivery to our tissues and cells...

This is because Haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying superhero in our blood, only likes to let go and release oxygen into our cells when there is an adequate level of CO2 about.

So, by practicing slow diaphragmatic breathing, we're essentially fine-tuning our body's oxygen delivery system. More oxygen gets to our tissues, cells and even our brain.

This helps to clear brain fog, bring clarity of mind, boost alertness and increase energy levels.


It's like giving our brain a refreshing oxygen bath, leaving us feeling sharp, focused, and ready to tackle whatever challenges come our way!

So try this 5 minute breathing technique / exercise to find some clarity amidst the chaos:

Find a comfortable position, sitting tall whilst maintaining the natural curve in your lower back. Try to keep your jaw and shoulders relaxed throughout...


* Gently place one hand on your lower belly and one hand on your chest

  •   Slowly breathe in through your nose for the count of 6 seconds

  •   Imagine that you are breathing into your stomach rather than your chest: as your lungs inflate, feel your belly expand into your      hand

  •   Once you reach 6 seconds, exhale and allow your lungs to deflate for the count of 6 seconds - feeling your belly return back towards your spine again

  •   Note - your lungs do not need to completely full or completely empty each time - just keep the breath comfortable, it should feel quite relaxing (try about 80% in/out)

  •   Repeat the 6 sec inhale / 6 sec exhale for 5 mins.


Enjoy

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