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Written by Beth Cooper on February 1, 2022

Breathwork: 3 Techniques

Breathwork refers to any type of breathing exercise or technique. Breathwork is trendy right now, but it's not new. People have been practicing breathing techniques for thousands of years all around the world. Breathing in or inhalation brings vital oxygen into your body and breathing out or exhalation releases carbon dioxide.

The power of a deep, cleansing breath is well known. It powers down our automatic stress responses and helps us feel more grounded or centered. When you are physically or emotionally stressed, it affects your breathing. The fundamental idea of breathwork is to release toxins and stress when you breathe out and nurture your mind and body when you breathe in.  

Deep breathing is one of our easiest, most convenient and natural tools to positively impact our overall well-being. Here are a few benefits:  

  • Decreases stress, increases calm. When you become stressed or anxious, your brain releases cortisol, the “stress hormone.” By taking deep breaths, your heart rate slows, more oxygen enters our bloodstream and ultimately communicates with the brain to relax. Deep breathing also ups your endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical.
  • Relieves pain. As previously mentioned, deep breathing triggers the release of endorphins, which not only helps you feel good, but also combats pain.
  • Increases energy. The more oxygen that is in the blood, the better our body functions. It also improves our stamina.
  • Improves digestion. The more deeply you breathe, the more healthier blood flow you will produce, which in turn promotes your organs to function more effectively, including your intestines.
  • Improves immunity. When your blood is fully oxygenated, it carries and absorbs nutrients and vitamins more efficiently. Essentially, the cleaner the blood, the harder it is for illnesses to stay put in your system.
  • Helps support beneficial posture. Next time you breathe in, notice that you simultaneously lengthen and straighten your spine. In order to take a deep breath in, your lungs take up maximum space, your diaphragm pulls down, so in turn, your torso straightens in order for this to be possible.

Ready to try it?  Here are 3 breathing techniques that I have found to be most helpful.

"@exhaleholisticwellness taught me to meditate and breathe and it has helped calm my mind so much." —Star H. 




This exercise involves visualizing a square shape and focusing on that, and then breathing in deeply for a count of four. Then you hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for a slow count of four. Hold your breath again for four counts before taking another four-count inhale. Repeat a few times.


4-7-8 breathing is another way to calm and ground yourself by counting your inhales and exhales. Start by exhaling, and then take a fresh breath in through your nose to a count of four. Hold your breath at the top, for seven counts, and then exhale out for a full count of eight. Then, repeat this breath cycle three more times for a total of four cycles.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is a great technique for reducing anxiety. First, take your right hand in front of your face and with your right thumb, close your right nostril. Inhale through your left nostril, and then plug it shut with the right ring finger. Both nostrils should be plugged at the top of the breath. Now, open your right nostril and exhale through that side. Repeat the practice, now inhaling through the right nostril and plugging the left with the right ring finger, pausing at the top, and exhaling through the left nostril. This is one cycle; repeat a few more times.

Are you looking for a deep sense of relaxation and more balance?

A Reiki session could help.


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