Breathing is an essential part of life. Breathing is something you probably don’t think about. However, paying close attention to your breathing can reveal much about your emotional and physical state. You can take steps to more mindful breathing by practicing breathwork.
Breathwork is the practice of intentional breathing patterns to change your state of being. Doing breathwork can boost your energy, relieve pain and clear your mind.
What Do Breathwork and Physical Therapy Have in Common?
Physical therapists are experts on the body’s movements. Breathing is one way the body moves and also fuels other movements. Breathing dysfunction may not be something you immediately think of as a condition that can be helped by physical therapy. However, as breathing involves movement, physical therapists can help you learn to breathe more efficiently.
Why Is Breathwork Beneficial?
Breathing is vital for survival. Breathing brings oxygen into your body and releases carbon dioxide. Breathing can also help you release stress and bring calmness into your body.
Breathwork can provide other health benefits such as:
- Boosting your mood.
- Alkalizing the pH of your blood.
- Communicating to your brain to disengage your fight-or-flight response.
- Reducing the symptoms of anxiety, PTSD and depression.
- Increasing your mental clarity and focus.
- Improving your ability to relax and sleep better.
- Improving your digestion.
- Helping with your awareness and sensitivity to pain and pleasure.
- Lowering your blood pressure.
- Improving your respiratory function.
- Helping to decrease addictive behaviors.
Who Can Benefit From Breathwork?
Anyone can benefit from participating in breathwork training, but it can be more beneficial for those who have certain conditions or who participate in certain activities, such as:
- Chronic pain.
- Athletic competition.
- Public speaking.
Types of Breathwork
Depending on why you are practicing breathwork, you may use one or a variety of breathwork types for the best result. Some kinds of breathwork are designed to relax your body, while others are designed to increase your energy.
Different types of breathwork include:
- Box breathing — Box breathing is also known as 4-4-4 breathing or square breathing. It is a breathing technique to help boost focus and reduce stress by intentionally taking slow, deep breaths.
- Belly breathing — Belly breathing is also known as abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, using your stomach, diaphragm, and abdomen to allow your lungs to fill more fully with oxygen. Belly breathing can help release stress and anxiety and improve your oxygen use.
- 4-7-8 breathing — Modeled after pranayama breathwork, 4-7-8 breathing is a technique to promote relaxation and improve your sleep. It forces your focus on your breathing and away from your worries.
- Breath of fire — Breath of fire is an advanced breathing technique engaging your abdominal muscles to push the air from your body. When done correctly, it can help you achieve a level of steadiness.
- Alternate nostril breathing — Alternate nostril breathing is a controlled breathing practice. It engages crossing the brain’s midline to stimulate the sides of the brain individually. This technique can help reduce stress levels.
If you are interested in beginning breathwork, please contact our team today for more information.