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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Deep Breathing
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

Proper breathing is key in reducing the effects of stress and improving your energy and concentration levels. Every time you breathe in, cells are replenished with oxygen that sustains life. When you breathe out, carbon dioxide and other toxins are released from the lungs. Numerous studies have shown that deep breathing relaxes the mind, calms the nervous system, improves mental focus, and improves energy.

When you look at a young child, you can observe the proper way to breathe. Children breathe from the belly, not the chest. This allows for maximal oxygen intake and carbon dioxide release, because the diaphragm comes into play. During deep breathing, this muscular covering over the top of the abdominal cavity has a massaging effect on the internal organs.

To deep breathe properly, you should first find a quiet, comfortable place. Stand or sit up straight, with your belly and chest relaxed. Breathe in through your nose slowly for a count of five, hold for two seconds, and then exhale through your mouth. Please note that when you inhale, your stomach, not your chest, should expand outward. This is how to assess whether you are breathing deeply and using your diaphragm. As you breathe out, your stomach should flatten.

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