Breathing. The simplest of activities, and yet so many of us are doing it incorrectly. When was the last time you took a few minutes, sat up straight, and inhaled deeply down into your belly? Deep breathing helps jump start your parasympathetic nervous system and takes a giant load off your heart from the daily grind of circulating your blood.
Now take a deep breath, hold it, exhale and read on….
Here at the Soma Institute our massage protocol contains several steps. Fascial work, joint mobilizations, deeper warming are all essential steps to many treatments, and each and every one of them starts the same way. We walk into the room, we ask if our client is ready to begin, we gently place our hands on our client, and we ask theme to take a few deep breaths.
Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Buddha advocated breath-meditation as a way to reach enlightenment.
Science is just beginning to provide evidence that the benefits of this ancient practice are real. Studies have found, for example, that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder.
Read more about breathing techniques here.