Relaxation Hack

You can calm your nervous system down in 2 minutes or so, by using a strategic breathing pattern that utilizes longer exhalations. This breathing rhythm sends a message to heart to slow down (via the Vagus nerve), and switches on the Parasympathetic system (‘rest and digest’).

This is an easy way to get some of the benefit that acupuncture provides, between treatments. Switching from Parasympathetic response (‘fight or flight’) to Sympathetic is one of the most noticeable results of sitting and resting with acupuncture needles, and usually can be felt within a few minutes of the treatment.

image by Brett Jordan via Unsplash

Try this: Next time you are feeling keyed up, anxious, stressed, unfocused, or just want to do something nice for yourself, set a timer for 2 minutes and breathe. It’s important for this purpose that the exhale be longer than the inhale, so a suggestion is to breathe in for 4 counts, and breath out for 8 counts.

“During the four-second inhalation phase, I’d recommend breathing in through your nose—as you relax the back of your eyes and visualize filling up your lower diaphragm with oxygen—and slowly count to four. Then, I’d recommend exhaling through pursed lips (as if you’re blowing out lots of candles on a birthday cake) as you slowly count to eight,” says Christopher Bergland of Psychology Today. His recent article discusses a couple studies done about this discovery, which you can find —> HERE.

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