The way you breathe affects your whole body. Full, deep breathing is
a good way to reduce tension, feel relaxed, and reduce
Roll breathing (also called abdominal breathing)
The object of roll breathing is to develop full use of your lungs and
get in touch with the rhythm of your breathing. It can be practiced in any
position, but it is best to learn it lying on your back, with your knees
Place your left hand on your abdomen and your
right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and
Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your
left hand goes up when you inhale and your right hand remains still. Always
inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and don't shrug them.
have filled and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to
your breathing: Inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and then continue
inhaling into your upper chest. As you do so, your right hand will rise and
your left hand will fall a little as your abdomen falls.
exhale slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your
left hand and then your right hand falls. As you exhale, feel the tension
leaving your body as you become more and more relaxed.
breathing in and out in this manner for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the
movement of your abdomen and chest is like rolling waves rising and falling in
a rhythmic motion.
Practice roll breathing daily for several weeks until you can do it
almost anywhere, providing you with an instant relaxation tool any time you
Caution: Some people get dizzy the first few
times they try roll breathing. If you begin to
hyperventilate or become lightheaded, slow your
breathing. Get up slowly.
Try morning breathing when you first get up in the morning to relieve
muscle stiffness and clear clogged breathing passages. Then use it throughout
the day to relieve back tension.
From a standing position, bend forward from the
waist with your knees slightly bent, letting your arms dangle close to the
As you inhale slowly and deeply, return to a standing
position by rolling up slowing, lifting your head last.
breath for just a few seconds in this standing position.
slowly as you return to the original position.
Clearing your head
Clearing your head is good for relieving neck tension or for when you
have too much on your mind.
Begin with several very slow neck rolls. With
your chin on your chest, or close to it, roll your head up and to the right,
slowly inhaling until your head is leaning back and your chin is pointing
toward the sky. If you have arthritis of the neck (cervical spine) or other
diseases of the spine, do not point your chin to the sky.
your breath for just a few seconds in this position.
As you roll
your head down the way you went up, slowly exhale until your chin is back on your chest.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.