Breathing Exercises to Reduce Inflammation
Being in a condition of stress for an extended period of time can be pretty detrimental to one’s health.
In today’s world, there is hardly a moment when you aren’t stressed out by something or someone.
Consequently, the same fight-or-flight response, which has helped people survive and thrive for the past 100,000 years, can now cause long-term health problems like inflammation.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises to Reduce Inflammation
Suppose you practice breathing for just a few minutes a day. In that case, your stress levels will go down dramatically, your physical and mental health will improve, and you may even be able to keep chronic inflammation under control.
It may be challenging to imagine that basic breathing exercises may provide a wide range of health advantages.
Using breathing techniques can aid in reducing inflammation by promoting relaxation and healing at the cellular level. In your nervous system, the vagus nerve connects your brain to your large intestine. It is in charge of regulating processes like digestion, the rate at which your heart beats, and your immune system. When you engage in deep breathing exercises, you stimulate the vagus nerve in your body, producing a sense of inner calm and reducing inflammation.
And yet, it’s highly likely that many of our physical, mental, and emotional diseases may be made worse or extended by incorrect breathing, so it’s important to make sure you’re practicing healthy breathing exercises to reduce inflammation in your body.
By concentrating on your breathing, you can reduce feelings of stress, worry, and even your heart rate. Your blood pressure returns to normal, the quality of your sleep improves, your immune and respiratory systems get stronger, and your digestive system gets better. The release of happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine is another benefit of practicing certain breathing techniques.
Three Breathing Techniques to Reduce Inflammation
Relaxation and visualization techniques calm the body and reduce stress which is a key trigger for inflammation in the body. To maximize the benefits of breathing techniques, Wilkins advises practicing them daily. You can drastically improve your overall health by spending as little as 2 to 5 minutes a day on these techniques.
We recommend doing these breathing exercises to reduce inflammation and stress in your body.
1. Diaphragmatic Or Belly Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing (also known as belly breathing) can aid in the proper use of the diaphragm. Perform belly breathing exercises when you are calm and well-rested.
It may also help reduce stress and make it easier to deal with eating disorders, constipation, inflammation, high blood pressure, migraines, and other health problems.
Try breathing with your diaphragm for 5 to 10 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.
When you first start, you may feel tired, but as you keep doing it, it gets easier, and you feel more comfortable.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent a little and a pillow under your head.
- If you need additional support, you can put a pillow in between your knees.
- Put one hand on the top of your chest and the other just below your rib cage to feel the movement of your diaphragm as you breathe.
- Inhale slowly through your nose while feeling the pressure of your tummy against the palm of your hand.
- Maintain as much stillness as you can with your other hand.
- While contracting the muscles in your abdomen and maintaining total stillness in your upper hand, exhale through your mouth while pursing your lips.
To make the workout more challenging, you might put a book on your stomach. After you have mastered the technique of doing belly breathing while lying down, you can challenge yourself further by attempting to do it while seated in a chair. After that, you can put the technique into practice while going about your regular tasks.
2. Focusing On Your Breath Technique
This method of deep breathing involves imagining specific scenes or using certain words and phrases to focus attention.
You have the option of picking a focal word that either makes you smile, puts you in a calm state of mind, or is simply neutral.
- To do it, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down.
- Bring your attention to how you’re breathing without trying to change it.
- Several times, switch between normal and deep breaths. Notice how when you take deep breaths, your stomach gets bigger.
- Observe the difference between shallow and deep breathing.
- Perform deep breathing exercises for a few minutes.
- Keeping your tummy relaxed, place one hand below your belly button and observe how it rises and falls with each inhale and exhale.
- With each exhalation, let out a deep sigh.
- Combine this deep breathing with imagery and a focus word or phrase that will help you relax as you start the breath concentration practice.
- Imagine that every breath you take sends waves of tranquility and peace coursing through your entire body.
- Imagine that every time you let out a deep breath, your worries and stress are carried away on the wind. Say to yourself, “I am releasing stress and worry.”
3. Sitali Pranayama or Cooling Breath Technique
This yoga breathing technique can help you lower your body temperature, relax your mind, reduce inflammation, and bring about a sense of serenity and harmony.
To accomplish this
- Sit in a position that is comfortable for you.
- Your tongue should be sticking out, and you should curl it so that the outer edges come together.
- You can purse your lips if your tongue does not do this.
- Take a deep breath through your mouth.
- Exhale through the nose.
- Continue to breathe in this manner for up to 5 minutes.
You can start practicing these breathing exercises to reduce inflammation as soon as possible.
You can view the Exercise Move to get a demonstration of several breathing techniques.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to try out a variety of different breathing methods. Dedicate some time to it at least a few times every week. These exercises can be done throughout the day.
If you have any medical issues or take drugs, consult your doctor. You can learn more about breathing methods by consulting a respiratory therapist or a yoga teacher who specializes in them. Further, if you feel any discomfort or agitation, you should stop practicing.