In an article written by Jospeh Mercola he says ” breathing is typically an ignored topic when it comes to health, yet breathing properly can improve oxygenation through your body, including your brain, and is a powerful strategy for relieving stress and anxiety.”

Knowing how to use the breath well is a useful, simple and cost-effective self-management strategy to harmonise the nervous system. Breathing at the right rate and depth provides an instant ability to control the autonomic nervous system. A balanced system contributes to well being.

The nervous system

Our nervous system is made up of two parts, the voluntary nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.

Voluntary nervous system: If you choose to move your fingers to pick up an object this is done using the voluntary nervous system.

Autonomic nervous system: Your current heart rate is, say 86 beats per minute ( bpm). This is not under your conscious control and you are unable to make it 82 bpm. Whether you are sweating or not sweating is a nervous system response which is not under your conscious control. Whether your bladder is contracting or not is not under your conscious control. All these processes are controlled by the autonomic nervous system of which there are two parts, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS)
This is the get up and go, fight or flight response part of the nervous system and it vital for our survival.

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)
This is the calming part of the nervous system, relax and recover, that is necessary for us to sleep and for other modulating functions.

In health these 2 systems are in balance. The PNS is activated and act as a brake on the SNS activity.

However…. when we are under constant stress the SNS system does not turn off or the PNS does not turn on and it is these imbalances which creates the circumstances that may result in chronic disease and increased pain.

One way to assess your Autonomic Nervous System is to become aware of your breathing. When you are stressed, your breath becomes faster, deeper, noisier, you breathe more often through your mouth and you tend to breathe with your upper chest rather than your diaphragm.

It is now possible to determine the state of the nervous system using a simple assessment called Heart Rate Variability biofeedback, The testing system uses breathing in combination with ECG monitoring.

Breath awareness

Breathing well at the correct rate and depth gives instant control of the nervous system and contributes to health. There is a simply breathing method for training the breath called the Buteyko Method. This article provides some simple techniques to practise.

Breath Awarenss is on eof the 12 Pathways To Wellbeing and it is for this reason that breath awareness is an essential part of the More than Meditation course.
If you are interested in joining the next course call 95349495 or register here.