Do you have trouble with insomnia, anxiety, or lack of concentration? Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. You inhale through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, then exhale (audibly and forcefully) through your mouth for 8 counts. Do 4-8 rounds of this breath and see how you feel.
This technique draws on the relationship between breath and the nervous system. When our inhalation is longer than our exhalation, our nerves send a signal to the brain that we need oxygen in order to fight or flee. This turns up our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), which increases heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. In the 4-7-8 technique, our short inhale and long exhale turns up our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). This technique helps to calm our heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels and helps to induce sleep, relaxation, and focus.
Speaking personally, this technique helps me shut off the world around me and brings me into my body. I also use it with clients who struggle with anxiety and have trouble relaxing.
Empowerment beyond the massage table...
As a bodyworker and teacher, I love helping to educate people about their bodies. I think our relationship to our bodies is vitally important to our mental health. This blog features a few tools, articles, and fun facts to help you empower your body :) -Emily