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Your Road to Wellness

Breathing

Do you want to react less to anxiety provoking stimuli?

Posted by on 1:55 am Anti-Aging, Blood Pressure, Breathing, Happiness, Meditation, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

The world can be a stressful place, and that is most likely not going to change anytime soon.

The solution is to get to a state where we are not affected much by things that cause most people to react with anxiety.

Is that possible or just wishful thinking?

According to the following research it is possible with practice.

In this study, participants who practiced Loving-Kindness Meditation were compared with a group new to meditation (Chen C, et.al., 2018).

Both groups were exposed to anxiety provoking images as well as images to evoke happiness. They had their anxiety scores assessed and their amygdala scanned for a reactivity response.

This is what the researchers found.

The participants that had practiced meditation longer had a weaker amygdala response to fear and also lower anxiety scores.

The same group also had a stronger positive functional connectivity with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to happiness.

The vagus nerve may be a part of the neurophysiological response to meditation (Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, 2018).  It is well worth it to take time to regularly practice meditation.

References

Chen C, Chen YC, Chen KL, Cheng Y. Atypical Anxiety-Related Amygdala Reactivity and Functional Connectivity in Sant Mat Meditation. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Dec 4;12:298.

Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Oct 9;12:397.

 

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What are the benefits of breathing through your nose?

Posted by on 5:42 pm Breathing | 0 comments

 

A large amount of nitric oxide (NO) production takes place in the epithelium of the paranasal sinuses.

Why is that important?

Nitric oxide is mostly known for its ability to induce vasodilation (opening up of blood vessels).

For that reason, nitric oxide is important for cardiovascular health. There are, however, many other reasons why nitric oxide is important.

The high local nitric oxide concentrations in the nasal airways and the sinuses may help to protect against airborne infectious agents (Lundberg JO, 1996).

Thus, airborne nitric oxide may represent the very first line of defence if we breathe through the nose, possibly acting on pathogens even before they reach the mucosa.

This nitric oxide may also enhance blood flow in well-ventilated areas of the lung, thus optimizing ventilation and oxygen uptake.

This study demonstrated that transcutaneous oxygen tension increases during nasal breathing compared with oral breathing in healthy subjects (Lundberg JO, et.al., 1996).

Transcutaneous oxygen tension is a measurement of oxygen delivery to the tissue.

Just by breathing through the nose, we can increase oxygen availability to the tissue with all the benefits that come with it.

References

Lundberg JO.Airborne nitric oxide: inflammatory marker and aerocrine messenger in manActa Physiol Scand Suppl. 1996;633:1-27.

Lundberg JO, Settergren G, Gelinder S, Lundberg JM, Alving K, Weitzberg E. Inhalation of nasally derived nitric oxide modulates pulmonary function in humans Acta Physiol Scand.1996 Dec;158(4):343-7.

 

Are you feeling stressed?  With the Stressed to Relaxed in 60 Seconds program, you will learn how to literally feel more relaxed and also feel less pain and stiffness in your neck in just 60 seconds

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Feel more relaxed, improve your focus and be more stress resistant by controlling your breathing.

Posted by on 8:43 am Blood Pressure, Breathing, General Health, Happiness, Health, Pain, Research, Stress | 0 comments

The way you breathe has a strong effect on how you feel and function. Research has shown that the amount of times you breath and also how you breathe is important.

The following study included 47 healthy college students which implemented different breathing patterns (Lin IM, et., al., 2014). Anxiety and relaxation levels were measured as well as heart rate variability (HRV).

The reason HRV was measured is because research has shown a relationship between low HRV and worsening of depression or anxiety. A low HRV has even been associated with an increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease. People who have a high HRV may have greater cardiovascular fitness and be more resilient to stress.

In this study the researchers showed that breathing at a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute and with an equal time used to breathe in and out resulted in a higher HRV and an increased feeling of relaxation. The other breathing patterns were not as effective.

A breathing frequency of 6 breaths per minute has been the frequency found to be most effective in most of the studies.

Using your diaphragm when breathing is also important. Implementing that with slow breathing increased sustained attention and lowered cortisol levels–cortisol is a stress hormone– in another study (Ma X, et.al., 2017).

When you use your diaphragm in breathing, you will see your abdomen raising when you breathe in.

This type of breathing has even shown to improve sleep when practiced before bed time (Tsai HJ,et.al., 2015).

 

References

Lin IM, Tai LY, Fan SY,Breathing at a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute with equal inhalation-to-exhalation ratio increases heart rate variability, Int J Psychophysiol. 2014 Mar;91(3):206-11.

Ma X, Yue ZQ, Gong ZQ, Zhang H, Duan NY, Shi YT, Wei GX, Li YF, The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults,Front Psychol. 2017 Jun 6;8:874. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874.

Tsai HJ1, Kuo TB, Lee GS, Yang CC,Efficacy of paced breathing for insomnia: enhances vagal activity and improves sleep qualityPsychophysiology. 2015 Mar;52(3):388-96. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12333.

 

 

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This is not difficult and it does not require expensive equipment. You can, without a doubt, do this. 

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