Taking Better Breaths!
Yesterday, we talked about the benefits of controlled breathing. And I said we would be discussing different breathing techniques in the upcoming days. I’m happy to present one of my favorites, the 4-7-8 breathing sequence.
Dr. Andrew Weill, a Harvard grad medical doc, introduced me to this method. It’s based on an ancient yogic approach that brings your body into a quick state of deep relaxation. Dr. Weill describes 4-7-8 breathing as a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.”
It is called 4-7-8 because it follows a sequence of steps done for the count of four, seven, and eight (seconds), respectively. It is important to maintain the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases during this exercise. Because it takes even less than a minute, it is super simple for you to do it anywhere, without the need of any equipment.
How To Relax in 60 Seconds
For day 36, like every other day, I posted a video live on Facebook, that is another way of keeping in touch with you. You can see how I did that. But for even better understanding, I would recommend you take a look at the video below where Dr. Andrew shows you how to do it.
Let me explain how this is done. If you are doing this for the first time, I suggest to sit upright in a supported position and get comfortable. Place your tongue behind your upper front teeth, just above the place where your teeth meet the gum line. Keep it in this place throughout the exercise.
Here are the steps for the exercise:
- Let go of all the air by a prolonged exhale, making a whooshing sound. Take a little breath and close your mouth. Breathe inside through your nose to a count of four.
- Hold your breath as you are counting up to seven.
- Finally, exhale completely via your mouth with a lot of vigor, making that whoosh sound to the count of eight. There’s the cycle of the sequence.
Repeat the above three steps 3 times. Practice along with Dr. Weil and soon this breathing technique will be a natural easy process to learn. With some practice, you’ll soon be an expert, and make sure to share this with your friends and family.
4-7-8 Breathing in Cleanse
You may not experience all of its benefits at once, but a relaxed feeling should take hold immediately. The real benefits of this calming breathing exercise will happen when you repeat it on a consistent basis. It is a great activity to include in a cleanse. I would suggest doing it twice a day on your 60-day wellness program.
This exercise physiologically changes how your body functions. I have seen it working with my patients and even myself. If you use it whenever you feel anxious or stressed out, it will quickly relieve your tension and allow your body systems to calm. You can also use it to taper issues with compulsive behaviors, food cravings, and eating disorders, and can be an effective tool to help you fall asleep.
Find out more about what I am doing on this cleanse through these blog posts.