Breathing as medicine

Something I get asked a lot in clinic is what can I do at at home to help with stress, pain due to injury, gut issues perhaps? The answer is healthy breathing. Dr Belisa Vranich has a great book ‘Breathe’ that goes in to detail on how breathing works. How to retrain yourself to breathe properly and provides simple exercises to follow.

How does healthy breathing help?

Breathing deeply will assist to oxygenate our blood,  which feeds structures and systems in the body the proper nutrients it needs to function properly. Healthy breathing properly can assist with:

  • Cognitive problems
  • Emotional health
  • Pain relief
  • Restoring acidity balance
  • Digestives issues
  • Improves sleep quality

Belly Breathing

This is the known as the ‘introductory breathe’. It essentially gets you to breathe from the lower part of your body. By extending your belly out you will learn what it feels like to breathe by using your diaphragm.

  1. Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Make sure your fingers are spread so you can feel the movement.
  2. Make sure that when you are breathing your top hand is not moving at all. Your belly should be expanding in an exaggerated way when inhaling.
  3. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts then breathe out for 6 counts

For a demonstration click here. For more details on healthy breathing check out the book by Dr Belisa Vranich ‘Breathe’ and listen to her TED talk here

Perfect time to do belly breathing

  • Anytime
  • At the traffic lights
  • Prior to sleep
  • During a break at work
  • In the shower

Nick Conquest

Chinese Medicine Practitioner



Published on December 10, 2019