A sense of overwhelmed will often follow us after a period of cumulative stress or life-changing experience. We've all had those moments in life. So many thoughts, so many feelings, so many sensations in our bodies, all at the same time. It can be very difficult to Just Breathe.
This, is in part why I named my business Just Breathe. We all need to be reminded to inhale, and to exhale. Best done without having our shoulders hugging our ears!
Connecting to our breathe is not simply about relaxation but giving our body space to return in a state of balance. What many fail to realize is how breathing impacts various aspects of our musculoskeletal system. When our stress response goes up, our breathing changes and our body will find a way to adapt and compensate for that response. By not breathing properly, it can create issues such as neck and back pain. It can even influence our pelvic floor muscles, and vice-versa.
Let’s do a fun little exercise on breathing which is called 360 Degree Breathing!
Start by simply noticing how you're currently breathing. Bring your focus to inhalation, then shift your attention to exhalation while noticing the following:
How far do you feel your breathe move into your body? In your chest? In your abdomen?
Notice any tension or discomfort with the inhalation? Exhalation?
After a few breathes, I would invite you to experience the 360 Degree Breathing. When inhaling, focus on expanding all directions of your rib cage, not just your abdomen area. This means feel the expansion in the abdomen and also the sides of your body along with your back.
Now take a moment to observe your breathe. Does it feel different?
What I appreciate about this breathing exercise is it helps us to become more Mindful of our breathing patterns and on how our body responds. This is a great technique to include into your Mindfulness practice and help create space to lean into the “Pause” which will be discussed in a separate blog post.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the air we breathe is called Qing QI. It plays an important role on the circulation of the other QI’s in our bodies. TCM Acupuncture is such a beautiful modality to help connect to your body and also assist in correcting some of the compensating patterns we may develop from stress and breathing incorrectly. If you would like to learn more about how Acupuncture may be able to help you, please feel free to contact me at (902) 441-4408.