How do you breathe?
It's a simple idea, but one that is seems horribly neglected.
Most will feel that breathing is a non issue basically because it's happened automatically since birth, but again, we need to evolve past this thinking.
The way we breathe counts.
For the majority of modern humans, we are surrounded and engulfed by "stress". Stressful situations come with "stress breathing patterns" - a way of breathing the body adopts to help meet the demands of that situation.
The problem today is that because our stress is no longer fleeting, we find a lot of our patients are more inclined to still breathe with a stress-related focus.
Traditionally we should breathe day to day through our noses. Our nasal cavity is lined with filters and processes that optimise the breathing process. It allows us to best access our most important breathing muscle - the diaphragm. It's aligned with our Parasympathetic nervous system, the one charged with the responsibility for down-regulating and relaxing bodily processes.
Stress breathing aligns more closely with mouth breathing. It lines up with upper chest breathing - similar to that of someone at the end of a run or a dog panting. This process aligns itself more with the Sympathetic nervous system - the one which ramps us up when engaged in "fight or flight" moments.
By leaning more towards nasal, belly breathing we can cue our body into a down-regulated state.
Give the following a try:
Commit a period of time to nasal breathing. Get a sense of how your nasal passages react? How hard is it? Can you exercise and just nasal breathe? At what point do you feel yourself kicking over into the need for mouth breathing again?
This is a very important idea because the way we breathe has strong links to our pain response, mental health, stress resilience, snoring, sleep quality, etc etc.
For such a simple idea, it's ramifications can be life-changing. - Grant
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