Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dr. Weil's 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Dr. Weil's Breathing Technique

I have long promoted the benefits of working with the breath as the simplest, most efficient way of taking advantage of the mind-body connection to affect both physical and mental health. Here's a simple relaxing breath technique you can try at home:

1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind and above your front teeth, and keep it there throughout the exercise.

2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

3. Inhale deeply and quietly through the nose to a count of four (with your mouth closed).

4. Hold for a count of seven.

5. Exhale audibly through your mouth to a count of eight.

6. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for a total of four breaths

Practice the exercise at least twice a day and whenever you feel stressed, anxious or off center. After a month, if you are comfortable with it, increase to eight breaths each time.

The obvious advantages of this kind of practice are that it requires no equipment, is free and can be done anywhere. It is the most cost- and time-efficient relaxation method I have discovered, and I teach it to all my patients and to all health professionals I train.

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