How mindful breathing can improve our health ?

by: Jomel Bajar, PT,DPT, MS

The coronavirus outbreak did more than spread sickness to a lot of people. This pandemic has filled the world with fear and anxiety. With hundreds of people getting infected by the day and with several hundreds of thousands of people dying, it is no surprise that it can be overwhelming.

In times of distress like this, people could use an active meditation practice called breathwork. Unlike other forms of meditation, breathwork focuses on the connection between emotions, and the physical body rather than focusing on the mind where people usually get themselves stuck into. It has only been gaining attention for a few years, but in fact, it has been helping people manage their stress and anxiety for centuries in other cultures. Also, unknown to many is that breathwork takes in many forms and is done in more than one way.

Breathwork, in its most basic form, refers to any form of breathing technique that involves guided breathing inhaled and exhaled out of the mouth consciously and systematically. Usually when a person is in fear or stressed, they take increased shallow breaths which affect clarity and concentration. Through deep intentional breathing, it counters the parts in the body that produces fear and stress which suppresses immunity and can make the person more susceptible to illness. Intentional breathing regulates stress response and relieves anxiety. It also regulates the nervous system and balances oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH levels in the blood. As said by doctors Patricia L. Gerbarg and Richard P. Brown in their book