(NaturalNews) Have you ever tried slowing down your breath? What is the fewest number of breaths that you can take in one minute? When you breathe deeply and slowly, can you feel your mind relaxing? You may be surprised to discover many benefits for your body and mind from breathing slowly. It may in fact be one of the most important things you can do.
Lower Blood Pressure
While increasing physical activity, maintaining balanced weight, and eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables and light on the salt are important ways to lower blood pressure naturally, taking time to breathe slowly and consciously is also being shown to have a significantly positive effect.
Research at the National Institutes of Health suggests that breathing slowly for a few minutes a day is enough to help people lower blood pressure naturally without pills or supplements. In fact, scientists believe that how we breathe may hold a key to how the body regulates blood pressure.
How to Relieve Stress
There are a number of reasons why this works. First, if you have tried slowing down your breathing, you have probably noticed that it slows down your mind. People have been using breathing techniques for centuries as one of the most powerful stress relievers to calm the body and mind. Yoga, meditation, and chi gong are based around this principal.
Break Down Salt
Researchers claim that in addition to deep relaxation, breathing slowly breaks down the salt that we eat.
Dr. David Anderson, who heads research into how to lower blood pressure with behavior at the NIH's National Institute on Aging, is working to demonstrate this with the help of a special gadget that trains volunteers with high blood pressure to slow-breathe. His studies are revealing a connection between high blood pressure, stress and diet.
"If you sit there under-breathing all day (as most people do) and you have a high salt intake, your kidneys may be less effective at getting rid of that salt than if you're out hiking in the woods," said Anderson.
Why is balanced Blood Pressure essential to our health?
People that have high blood pressure have an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, blindness and dementia. It is often called the silent killer, because patients may notice no symptoms until it already has done serious damage.
Improve Circulation with Slow Breathing
Many people have cold hands and cold feet, even in the summer. This condition is uncomfortable, is a sign of bad circulation. Circulation is what nourishes our organs and our bodies with oxygen and nutrients. It is absolutely essential for optimum health. It can be completely restored by slow breathing!
Poor circulation is related to high blood pressure and will lower the body's immunity. When the body cannot pump blood through the arteries, the pressure builds up. When blood does not flow well, white blood cells cannot go where they are needed to defend the body against invaders. The white blood cells are core to the immune system, and they defend against viruses, cancer cells, infections, and other illnesses.
If you need more help with slow breathing, just find a good yoga class. It is incredibly simple and can transform your health.
About the author
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner. Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.