Peace and blessings everyone~ I hope we are all having a great day full of activities!
It was raining today so I've been staying active as much as I can indoors.
In this post I want to share with y'all the benefits of breathing exercises, particularly slow breathing technique.
The importance of breathing has been emphasized since ancient times, especially during meditation.
Impact of Slow Breathing According to Modern Science
Relaxation via parasympathetic response: Dr. Fred Muench says, “Once you go below 10 breaths a minute you start to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body relax when it has been injured. Slow breathing activates the vagus nerve, the primary cranial nerve, which is associated with a recuperative state.”
Enhanced ventilation efficiency & arterial oxygenation: Slow respiration at 6 breaths per minute was found to be optimal for improving alveolar ventilation and reducing dead space (oxygen that doesn’t reach the alveoli properly)
Minimization & synchronization of cardiac work (harmonized pulse with heart rhythm): This is covered in the literature below!
Buffering of blood pressure fluctuations
MORE to be revealed…
Slow breathing: Quoted from holistic medicine literature
The excerpt comes from the same doctor from 16th century who shared his insight on lifespan (is longevity a genetic trait?):
Those who have a hasty personality also have hasty pulse
Those who have a relaxed personality also have relaxed pulse
For the most part, those with relaxed and slow pulse live long
Those with hasty and frequent pulse die early
Here the doctor is referring to the third bullet point above: slow breathing minimizes cardiac work and harmonizes the pulse with heart rhythm. Hence the connection between slow breathing and relaxed pulse. But can we really tell someone's personality by their pulse and, in correlation, their breathing?
Well, can you imagine a slow-breather who’s nervous? anxious? angry?
According to this research, the psychological/behavioral results related to slow breathing techniques are increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor, alertness, and REDUCED symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.
Modern science is confirming what the doctor was observing centuries ago.
In fact, the research is telling us that transitioning to slow breathing can facilitate the development of chill, easy-going personalities that enable us to live longer.
Ancient sages explained that,
Tides of river and sea
Follow the breathing of the cosmos and the Earth
Through day and night
They only breathe in and out twice each time (low & high tides)
Human beings breathe through day and night
Therefore, the lifespan of the cosmos and the Earth
Are long and infinite
This is a timeless analogy comparing the tides to our breathing.
Modern science ALSO uses the symbol of tides to describe respiration:
Tidal breathing is a synonym for breathing at rest Tidal volume is the lung’s capacity to process air during tidal breathing
Low tides and high tides each occur twice during the day. This is what he likened to the Earth’s respiration (inhaling and exhaling the moon’s gravitational energy).
Isn't it such a neat connection of the two sciences? Let me know in the comments if you're geekin' out as much as I am!
Also, let’s address the 13,500 breaths. This is equal to 9.375 breaths per minute, which he mentions as the average human respiratory rate. Go ahead and compare your breathing to this.
I hope this information makes us all inspired (no pun intended) to be more aware of how we breathe.
There's nothing wrong with taking it slow~
Breathe slower and change our lives for the better!
Thank you for reading,
eternal student of life