Incorporating Breathing Exercises with Your Integrative Medicine Treatment

Breathing ExerciseAs Integrative Medicine incorporates a full body approach to well-being, exercise is another effective and necessary piece of the complete “prescription.” Learning how to manage stress, anxiety and all of the worries of life is essential to maintaining well-being. Take some time after reading this article to digest and fully understand why and how to apply breath exercises to your Integrative Medicine treatment.

Using breathing exercises is essential to maintaining your health effectively and without potentially toxic medications. Since everyone has stress from their job, their personal commitments and from day to day stressors, finding a way to manage and diffuse it is essential to maintain optimal health. If left unchecked, stress over time can have negative effects. Experiencing symptoms of anxiety, which include an elevated pulse rate, tightened muscles, and increased stress hormones levels, among others, keeps your body’s immune system from functioning optimally. Over time, your body’s reactions to daily stressors from life, leads to diminished levels of energy and potentially an emotionally burnout and total exhaustion. Therefore, it is essential to know how to moderate your daily stress levels.

The first exercise to do is to quiet your body and mind. People who have recurring anxiety and nervous tension are filled with negative thoughts and “self-talk.” These people are always thinking, talking and fantasizing about their problems – this “mental movie” of one’s problems and worries is emotionally and physically draining. This constant stress and the racing mind must first be quieted.

Quieting the mind is quite an easy process and has many immediate and long-term beneficial effects. Pick anything of personal intrinsic value – it can be a piece of jewelry, a picture, a plant, etc. The next step is to inhale and exhale slowly for two minutes while looking at your chosen focusing piece. If you feel any anxiety or feelings of nervousness, re-focus on the object. This might not work the first time, the second time or even the third time. If you keep doing this, eventually your mind will become relaxed and not let competing and racing thoughts cloud your psyche.

The next exercise is to meditate. Meditation helps you feel organized and centered. Many people who experience anxiety, no matter the level, often feel disorganized and ungrounded. Meditating, preferably before starting your day, or anytime, enables you to focus your energy and be more efficient in completing work and personal obligations. Meditation begins by sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Block out all thoughts and sensations except for your breathing.  Sometimes there is an audio coach, a live coach or your inner conscious guiding you to focus on your breathing and your breathing only. Repeat until you feel very relaxed.

Along with the main type of meditation, there are variations of meditating to center one-self. The next method of relaxing is to release muscle tension. This can be accomplished by lying on your back, letting your arms rest naturally. Similar to meditating, develop and maintain a steady breathing cadence. Clench your fists, tighter and tighter, for 15 seconds. During this process, let the rest of your body relax and visualize your fists becoming tighter and tighter. After the 15 seconds, let go and let your body relax for 30 seconds. Do this same exercise with other tense parts of your body for 15 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Doing this, along with visualizing your relaxation will help you let go of tension naturally and effectively.

Performing these exercises will enable you to manage your stress and anxiety effectively, efficiently and without traditional prescription medication. Over time, your body will be more accustom to manage stress and anxiety better and you will be able to diffuse it better in the future.

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