Breath and Wellness
Breathing and heart rate are intimately tied to the bodily expression of emotions. Patterns within the heart rate variability are more significant than the simple rate. In states of stress, anxiety, anger and sadness the variation tends to be disordered and chaotic. In positive emotional states such as love and gratitude, the variation tends to be ordered and rhythmic. There are multiple approaches to breathing that are associated with improved physical and emotional health. Coherent Breathing involves conscious breathing at the frequency of 3-6 breaths per minute with comfortable depth AND conscious relaxation of certain anatomical zones. By breathing in a regular sinusoidal rhythm at about 5 breaths per minute, the heart rate synchronizes with diaphragm movement resulting in a blood wave in the circulation that rises with exhalation and falls with inhalation, resulting in optimal heart rate variability and vagal tone. Coherent Breathing-based mind-body practices have a growing body of evidence that supports improvement in general wellness, pain level, anxiety, depression and PTSD.