Dr. Mercola Interviews Belisa Vranich About Breathing

Source: Mercola
Dr. Mercola
April 17, 2017

Natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of “Breathe,” about a breathing program she developed that can help improve your physical and mental health in a short amount of time. To read health articles, visit Mercola.com.

Meditating for just a few minutes each day reduces stress while boosting feelings of happiness

Meditation
Source: NaturalNews.com
L.J. Devon
July 21, 2016

We are constantly taking information in through our corporeal senses. Technology and social media are constantly streaming noise, beliefs, news and chatter into our hearts and minds. When we stop to meditate, all the noise dissipates. In this moment, we can now take a deep breath and listen.

In the stillness, in the quiet, everything changes. We are no longer dependent on information from our material world. When we stop, listen and breathe, we can begin to connect with ourselves on a much deeper level.

As we focus our attention inward, into imagination and visualization, relaxation ensues. The heart and the mind are put at ease. As breathing slows, as tension is released, blood pressure can normalize. In this state, our greatest fears and anxieties can be addressed.

Meditation benefits mind, body and spirit

In the January 2014 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers published a comprehensive review on the benefits of meditation. Not only is meditation observed and documented as a way to relieve anxiety, but it can also be used as a means to reduce pain and manage depression. These benefits are all possible because the sympathetic nervous system is engaged and regulated more effectively for important functions such as oxygen intake through deep breathing, a steadier heart rate and lowered blood pressure.

Burke Lennihan, a registered nurse who teaches meditation at the Harvard University Center for Wellness, says the benefits of meditation extend beyond just the physical. “True, it will help you lower your blood pressure, but so much more: it can help your creativity, your intuition, your connection with your inner self,” she says.

Various forms of meditation help people heal in different ways

Many people, not recognizing it, have engaged in forms of meditation throughout their lives to cope with big decisions and life changes. Walking meditation or prayerful meditation are two common examples where one tunes out of the material world and focuses the mind, heart or breath. The benefits of meditation are even more powerful when practiced regularly as a discipline.

Concentration mediation teaches one how to direct and focus the mind to achieve desired results. Mindfulness meditation helps one address the negative thoughts that enter the mind so they can be dealt with in a healthy manner. Heart-centered mediation helps one bring awareness to the powerful energy center in the chest, helping one manage emotions and relationship difficulties. In Tai chi and qigong, mediation is combined with physical exercise to enhance breathing and focus. In transcendental meditation, one repeats a mantra, whether it’s a word, phrase or sound, to quiet thoughts and to achieve greater awareness of oneself and the connection to all living things.

Burke Lennihan says that the most powerful experience is when two or more people gather to meditate. When a teacher is present, a verbal guided visualization can be initiated to stimulate the meditative experience of individuals and the group as a whole. Giving feedback after a group meditation, whether to the group as a whole or to a friend, is a powerful experience as well, as illusions and judgments of one another are shattered.

Lennihan says meditation doesn’t have to be complex. It can as simple as doing deep breathing exercises. Meditation can be a launching pad to connect with oneself, filter out negativity, deprogram from social conditioning, or connect with others on a deeper level.

Lennihan says that it’s great to start with 10 minutes of quiet time each day, and to set aside a safe, quiet place. “You’ll build up a special feeling there, making it easier to get into a meditative state more quickly,” she says. Symbols, photos, candles, herbs, crystals, essential oils and articles of nature are often used to surround a meditation practice to make the experience more personal, centered and meaningful for the individual.

The practice of meditation is an important healing art that can be a useful vehicle for finding inner calm and inner strength in the most stressful situations in life. These self-control techniques can help one manage stress more effectively, slow the aging process and create more positive interactions with others.

Sources include:

Health.Harvard.edu

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

[Book Review] – Perfect Breathing by Al Lee & Don Campbell

PB

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 16, 2016

Perfect Breathing by Al Lee & Don Campbell is an indispensible resource for individuals seeking to learn the intricacies of what the ‘perfect breath’ entails.

For me, the notion of ‘perfect breathing’ was rather intriguing at first blush for a variety of reasons.  The deeper one delves within the pages of this book, the easier it was to see the various ways individuals can end up carrying out imperfect breathing.

As the authors note:

“During times of stress – and that can be anything from lack of sleep, screaming kids, or a bad day at work to physical confrontations, overwork, or being chased by lions – we become shallow chest breathers.  Chest breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, a response we’ll speak of often.  It makes the body react as if it’s in a state of emergency and produces a buildup of stress-related chemicals such as adrenaline and lactic acid.  Researchers have found that prolonged shallow, rapid breathing – while necessary to protect us from immediate danger – can make us feel chronically anxious, fatigued, or disoriented.  Shallow breathing also contributes to stress-related and stress-affected disorders such as PMS, menstrual cramps, headaches, migraines, insomnia, high blood pressure, asthma, back pain, and allergies.”[1]

That passage resonated with me quite profoundly, because before knowing that, because of stress and a particular disease shallow breathing plagued me quite often.  Something else that bothered me often as well was holding my breath unknowingly in times of stress.

Fortuitously, the book also provides a kaleidoscope of breathing exercises that can help an individual breathe optimally.

Another small gem of information that’s shared by the authors regards one of the exercises suggested.  The authors suggest [what we’ll call the 2-1-2-1 breathing technique] inhaling for two seconds, holding breath for one second, exhaling for 2 seconds, and holding for one second, and repeating as needed.  This technique has been used by me for years now, while alternating with another one.

This was used in tandem with a modified  4-4-4-4 system, based on the suggestion of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, in his book On Combat.  Both breathing techniques help me greatly, except the later one helps me slow down not only my breath, but also helps slow down my mind a lot more which aids me personally in a variety of circumstances.  The instances will dictate what feels right at the time for me.

In any case, as the authors note about the 2-1-2-1 breathing technique:

“This exercise, as simple and innocuous as it seems, is the most important exercise to master.  Once you have developed the habit of slow, deep breathing and your body remembers that this is the natural way to breathe, it will slowly become a part of everything that you do.  It will become your “secret weapon” when you need an extra burst of energy; it will become your rock when you are feeling emotional shattered; and it will become a peaceful, quiet refuge at times when you need sanctuary.”[2]

As someone who’s used this technique and others more and more over time several times daily, the benefits have been quite great for myself as well as those friends of mine who also chose to use it.

The authors also showcase easily a few dozen references to studies conducted in respect to breathing, stress, and various other physiological issues.

In its totality, this book is a masterpiece in the art of breathing, and it should be highly considered by everyone, particularly those experiencing stress regularly, or disease.  Either way, the book has enough information for any individual to take advantage of this book.  And the best part about it is that its advice is free, and easy to follow.

__________________________________________________________________

Sources:

[1] Al Lee & Don Campbell, Perfect Breathing, pg. 12-13.
[2] Ibid., pg. 53.

[Book Review] Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge – The Psychology & Science Of Training by Bruce K. Siddle

WE

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
June 26, 2016

Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge – The Psychology & Science Of Training by Bruce K. Siddle is a book that takes a scalpel and dissects the many deep aspects of the psychological process when coupled with high stress survival situations.

Siddle does a phenomenal job of bringing forth a very systematic approach into the many crevices that encompass the totality of a warrior mindset.  The author also delves  into the oft-overlooked spiritual component that many other authors overlook in this field.

Although relatively complex in its breath and scope, the book actually is a quick read.  That’s always a plus.

The way the author distills potentially intricate subjects such as survival mindset, implementing survival research, survival reaction time, the neural basis of survival motor programs and condenses them to bite-sized chunks makes the book that much easier to read.

Anyone from any walk of life could pick this book up and be able to garner useful information proportional to the motivation driving them.

Personally, the stress management, and breath control management information and discussions were the most useful for me, but your millage may vary.

All the information discussed is appreciated because it all forms various components of a robust methodology which can be employed in potential combat/survival scenarios of all types.  Each of those areas of an individual’s repertoire discussed by the author can mean the difference between life and death, and to have that information discussed objectively put together for individuals is something that is beyond priceless.