A recent study from Cell report therapy A process known as “cycling breathing” suggests that stress may be better than meditation—at least for some key benefits.

Work of breathing It’s an ancient practice that hasn’t been studied much in a clinical setting to date. However, the researchers of this study report that their investigation is due to people’s strong desire to control what is associated with the epidemic. Stress. As the authors of the study explained, “Covid-19 Epidemic It highlighted the need for simple, quick-acting and cost-effective techniques to address a wide range of physical and mental health challenges and the limited access to healthcare.

This remote, randomized, controlled study compared three different daily breathing exercises lasting five minutes each to a period of mindfulness meditation over a month. What they found: “Controlled breathing directly affects breathing rate, resulting in immediate physiological and psychological effects.” Calming down Effects of increasing vagal tone on slow expiration.

Adolescent psychology Research Explains what “vagal tone” is: “Vagal tone is a measure of cardiovascular function that is an adaptive response to environmental challenges.

of Cleveland ClinicAccording to Bomar, the vagal nerves (often referred to simply as the vagus nerve), “are the master nerves of your parasympathetic nervous system. This system controls certain body functions, such as your digestion, heart rate, and immune system. These activities are non-consensual, which means that you cannot intentionally control them.

So overall, this study suggests that cyclical breathing, specifically emphasizing fine, slow breathing, affects the vagal nerve in a way that stabilizes respiratory rate (that is, breaths per minute). One of the stress responses is respiratory rate.

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What does cyclic breathing do?

Selena Garefino, MPH, MA, 500 HR ERYT; He is a movement and meditation teacher as well as a scholar. Although the supporter of both cyclic breathing and MeditationPeople see research like this and say, “Now we don’t need to meditate!” She worries that they will think so. But Gerafino suggests that cyclical breathing and meditation do slightly different things.

Garefino says cycling is good for short-term stress reduction — a fight with a co-worker, an insurance provider, unauthorized charges on a credit card — but it typically doesn’t produce long-term changes. Brain In the same way that meditation does. The consensus to manage stress is to do both.

What are the benefits of cyclic breathing?

“Meditation increases anxiety in beginners or experienced people Emotional crisis” says Garefino. This may be one reason why the study’s researchers found that cyclic breathing can help reduce breathing and anxiety and improve mood and physiological arousal.

Research, as A 2012 psychiatric study Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that. This meditation increases gray matter density in five brain regions after 30 minutes of meditation over eight weeks. (The year Mayo Clinic (He explains that “gray matter” is the healthy tissue that comprises a significant portion of the nervous system.)

Improvement in the gray can lead to better conditions Memory, cognitive, emotional regulation and “mind-wandering”. So if cyclical breathing calms the mind over time, while meditation changes the mind physiologically to better manage stress over time, incorporating both practices regularly into your daily routine can be an extremely beneficial strategy for reducing stress.

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How can you practice cyclic breathing?

A common entry point to cyclic breathing in the practice of pranayama yoga, Garefino guides us through the process of box breathing—also known as “square breathing.”

  • “Start by letting all the air out of your lungs,” she says.
  • “Then blow through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold for a count of four.
  • And breathe for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for another count of four
  • And repeat three or four times.

The study’s researchers noted that adding audible breath to breathing helped maximize the benefits for participants. (Shouting out of the breath centers the mind and creates sound vibrations and has a greater effect on the vagus nerve.) Remember, the researchers suggest that just five minutes of this type of breathing exercise can have a profound effect.

Many experts say the key is to make sure you practice this regularly – for example, first thing in the morning or whenever you need to recover from a stressful period. “Don’t be fooled by how easy this procedure is,” says Garefino. “It has an impact, and it can change your life.”

A licensed respiratory therapist recently told us. This type of cycle breathing method It can help you recover from, and even prevent, respiratory infections like Covid-19.

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