To understand breathwork, you have to know the impact of stress or what is all about. Imagine always coming to work late dues to traffic, or always in a meeting with that one person who will stop at nothing to flag down your opinions. Always this can affect your mental health. When you find your self in these situations, whatever you try to do stop that stressful and anxious feeling is your escape route. Some say drinking a cup of coffee would help, some say a cup of cold water could help too. What if I tell you there is another easy escape route, which is fun, stress-free, effective, and in fact one of the trending stress relief remedies right now. It’s called Breathwork.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is changing the way you breathe in other to change how you feel and improve both physical and mental health. Breathwork is associated with yoga and tai chi exercises. Breathwork is a powerful tool which more people practice in recent times and became popular during the ’70s.
How breathwork works are, put yourself where you are really stressed and feeling anxious, you will realize that you have shorter breaths, fast breath, and imitating the mental state through the breathing.
When you breathe in, you send a signal to the brain, and is the breathing is faster the brain responds in a way that shows something is wrong. When this happens, the brain activates the sympathetic nervous system, this sets the body in a ready mode for both physical and mental activity. The brain does this by increasing the stress hormones, blood rate, and blood pressure, this is when your body is fully ready to respond.
Now, imagine during that period of fast short breaths, you decided to slow down, by controlling your breathing, the signal your brain receives is that everything fine. The brain will now revert the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic system, reverting all those negative responses into a sense calmness and relaxation.
This is where breathwork kicks in, it taps into the parasympathetic system by training the brain to calm down even though the situation is intense.
Types of breathwork
These are the common types of breathwork
1. Pranayama Breathwork
This is the practice of breath control, by controlling your breath you can overcome any emotional hindrance which may stop the flow of life energy (known as prana).
2. Rebirthing Breathwork
This is the use of conscious breathing to gain energy. It usually believed that we will breathe to stay alive, with no choice we just breathe, but rebirthing is a name for conscious breathing. The breath we inhale is now transformed into energy. It started with an idea that we all suffer from birth trauma, and conscious connected breathing is a way to let the mind free from emotional and trauma blockage the mind experience at birth. This idea was created, Leonard Orr.
3. Holotropic Breathwork
This is a way of moving toward wholeness using breath. Holotropic breathwork is when you inhale and exhale for same of time but at a different speed which seeks to alter the state of consciousness. This is more complicated and needs an expert to show you what to do.
4. Transformational Breathwork
This is a way of using breathwork techniques to encourage or introduce healing and personal growth.
Benefits of Breathwork
It helps to relieve stress and anxiety
It helps to improve your mood
It helps to keep the gut running smoothly
Shortfalls Of Breathwork
- Before attempting you should consult a health specialist if you :
- Cardiovascular problem
- High blood pressure
- Psychiatric symptoms or history of aneurysms.
- Some other type of breathwork can cause you to have:
- Hyperventilation (cause dizziness)
- Chest Pain
- Tremendous heartbeat
- Muscle spasms
Before embarking on this journey, seek a break work practitioner and seek advice from your doctor if you had a history of any ill health, and remember because others are doing it does not mean it will work for me. Do what is more comfortable for you.
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