How do I practice deep breathing?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Lie flat on the floor, with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in slowly—it should take about five seconds for you to inhale (imagine your lungs filling up with air). As your diaphragm pulls your chest cavity down, your belly button should move away from your spine, filling your lungs. Your chest will also widen and perhaps rise. When your lungs feel full, and you even feel a tiny bit of discomfort in the solar plexus, just below the breastbone, exhale slowly (taking about seven seconds). Pull your belly button to your spine to get all the air out.
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

More About this Book

You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

International bestselling authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet give you all the tools and know-how to stay young and defy the ageing process. Drawing lively parallels between your...
Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Deep breathing can be done anywhere, anytime. Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down.

Close your eyes and make sure your body is relaxed, releasing all tension in your neck, arms, legs, and back. Inhale through your nose for as long as you can, feeling your diaphragm and abdomen rise as your stomach moves outward. Sip in a little more air when you think you've reached the top of your lungs. Slowly exhale to a count of 20, pushing every breath of air from your lungs. Continue for at least five rounds of deep breaths.

1. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.

2. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Breath of Fire, you can increase your time by 5 seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

3. If done properly, you will feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest, and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.
Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged

More About this Book

Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged

       From celebrated dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness trainer to the stars Kathy Kaehler comes Mom Energy, an exciting new way for moms to tap into their own natural and renewable sources of...
William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
In some ways, practicing the elicitation of the relaxation response is like learning how to swim. You don't learn how to swim in a stormy ocean. Likewise, don't try to learn the relaxation response during very stressful times. I recommend learning to elicit the relaxation response under calm conditions. Later, it will help calm you under adverse conditions.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

More About this Book

Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the Mind-Body Brain-Gut Connection: 8 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functiona (The Mind-Body Connection Series)

One in five people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or other functional bowel disorders. As a result, irritable bowel syndrome is the second leading cause of worker absenteeism. This...
Go to a quiet room where there are no distractions. Let your family members know you are taking a time-out, so they do not disturb you. Take the phone off the hook, and close your door to block any disturbances. Lie comfortably on your back, and place your hands on your abdomen. Close your eyes, calm your racing mind, and then take in a slow, deliberate deep breath, counting to five as you do so. Make sure your hands rise, so you know your abdomen is expanding. If your hands do not rise, yet you see your chest rising, you are breathing incorrectly.

Inhale to a count of five, pause for three seconds, and then exhale to a count of five. Start with 10 repetitions of this exercise, and then increase to 25. You might find deep abdominal breathing helpful when you are experiencing increased pain and are waiting for your pain medications to kick in. The slow deep breathing can interrupt a cycle of rapid, shallow breathing and result in a more comfortable state of mind.
The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

More About this Book

The Women's Guide to Ending Pain: An 8-Step Program

Are you one of the 80 million North American women suffering from the chronic pain of:* Menstrual cramps* Fibromyalgia* Headaches * Carpal tunnel syndrome* Back or neck pain?Starting today, you can...

Continue Learning about Breathing Exercise Techniques

Breathing Exercise Techniques

Breathing Exercise Techniques

Your breathing pattern is often disrupted by changes in emotion. If you're anxious, you tend to hold your breath and speak in a high-pitched voice as you exhale. On the other hand, if you are depressed, you tend to sigh and speak ...

in a low-pitched voice as you exhale.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.