While breathing is generally seen as an involuntary function of the body, controlling breathing through techniques like breathwork and meditation has shown to have beneficial effects on health.
Medical Benefits of Breathwork
Commonly referred to as paced breathing, scientific studies have unveiled many benefits to breathwork including reduced anxiety, depression, and stress. Practicing breathwork through mindful meditation helps bring awareness to their thoughts and observe them as they arise and fall away without attachment. As a result of this process, calmness and stillness follows. Regularly practicing mediation allows individuals to react to their environment with more calm and equanimity. When you take a deep wholesome breath in, you fill up your body with precious oxygen and as you breathe out, you release toxins and stress. By regulating your central nervous system in this way, you receive the benefits of:
Alkalizing blood PH
An elevated mood
If slowing down your breath frequency can improve your overall well-being, how can we accomplish such a task? During stressful moments, try the alternate nostril breathing method. Simply apply pressure to your right nostril with a finger. Breathe in deeply using only your left nostril and then slowly release. Take another deep breath in, release, and then alternate nostrils. This breathing technique can help slow panic and excessive thinking by encouraging balance in your mind and body.
Attentional Practices for Paced Breathing
Attentional practices for overall well-being are those that require more focus to accomplish. Meditation and mindfulness are often used interchangeably as attentional tasks, but there are subtle differences between the two. Meditation usually refers to a formal practice that can calm the mind and enhance awareness of ourselves, our minds, and our environment. With traces back over a millennia ago in Eastern culture, meditation has recently been adopted by Western societies as a therapeutic modality. Mindfulness is simply the practice of being more aware. There are multiple forms of mindfulness that can help individuals practice their paced breathing and achieve more regulated breathwork such as mindful walks, taking mindful body scans, or listening to a mindful meditation online.
Goals of Controlled Breathing
The goal of breath control is to slow breathing down to less than 10 breaths per minute. The average adult breathes at a rate of 16 breaths per minute. While breath control has a general goal of 10 breaths per minute, scientists have seen significant physiological benefits achieved by breathing at 6 breaths per minute. Studies conducted in recent years by the American Journal of Cardiology showed a short-term reduction in blood pressure in people with hypertension who performed guided breathwork exercises. The list of psychophysiological benefits of controlled breathing continues to increase.
Limitless Benefits of Meditation
One of the greatest benefits of meditation and breathwork is that they can be performed anywhere. Not only can you attend a class in person, but this practice can take place in the comfort of your own home if you feel more comfortable doing so. Meditation is a practice with health benefits for people of all ages, limitations, and backgrounds. Some breathwork practices may cause individuals to feel dizzy or lightheaded, so seeking a certified teacher is best if you’re unfamiliar with how to safely slow your breathing during your breathwork practice.
Aspen Ketamine Center’s Services
Aspen Ketamine Center is dedicated to practices that improve the mind, body, and spirit. One way that we are proving our commitment to providing resources to help our clients achieve overall wellness is by continuing to widen the scope of services that we offer. Nicole Lindstrom is an incredible yoga and meditation teacher that has partnered with Aspen Ketamine Center to offer her services. Her classes have a large focus on applying yogic technology (breathwork, kriya, asana, meditation) for self-transformation in mind-body-spirit.
Scheduling Meditation Sessions
Increasingly backed by scientific research, it is clear that there are many psychophysiological benefits of breathwork and meditation. Reach out to Nicole Lindstrom by email or phone (720.841.3431) for a free consultation. Her classes fill up quickly, so don’t wait to book!