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Top Breathing Techniques for Better Health

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

breathing techniques

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  • The way you breathe — fast or slow, shallow or deep — sends messages to your body that affect your mood, stress level, blood pressure, immune function and more
  • One of the most basic of all breathing techniques is to make sure you’re always breathing through your nose. Mouth breathing decreases tissue oxygenation, elevates your heart rate and blood pressure and has many other adverse health effects
  • Most people chronically over breathe. Breathing less is a sign of better health. Conversely, the more you breathe, the more likely you are to experience significant health problems
  • Another near-universal breathing abnormality is breathing vertically rather than horizontally, which triggers your sympathetic nervous system and makes you feel stressed
  • Several breathing techniques are reviewed, including proper breathing basics, a technique to improve your body’s tolerance to carbon dioxide, the 4-7-8 breathing method to improve sleep, the Buteyko Breathing Method to ease stress and anxiety, and many more

Breathing wields incredible power over your health, as it supplies your body with oxygen and removes excess carbon dioxide (CO2) to keep you alive. However, the way you breathe — whether fast or slow, shallow or deep — also sends messages to your body that affect your mood, stress level, blood pressure, immune function and more.

What's interesting about breathing is that it's both a voluntary and an involuntary process. While your body breathes automatically, you also have the ability to consciously control your breathing — the speed, the depth and whether you breathe through your mouth or your nose.


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