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Why it works

A little bit
of science...

Physiologically something important is happening during breathing exercises. The autonomic nervous system is deeply involved, which is the division of a nervous system that deals with every day functions like breathing, heart rate and workings of the gastrointestinal tract. 


The two main and opposing branches of the system are called the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS gets turned on when we are scared or under threat and the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) pours out from the adrenal gland, causing the heart rate to increase, the eyes to dilate, and sweat to rush out. This is the so-called “fight or flight” mechanism. 

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The PNS produces the opposite effect on the very same organs with the hormone Acetylcholine - it calms heart rate and breathing rate, opens up blood vessels to the stomach, and provides a sense of well-being, and is known as the “rest and digest” mechanism. 


Slow functional breathing is a potent inducer of the PNS. The release of Acetylcholine not only calms our organs, it also stimulates the release of serotonin, dopamine and prolactin, the feel good hormones targeted by antidepressant medications.


Breathwork exercises however, produce this affect naturally, and without side-effects.

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