Friday, October 21, 2011

Our Breathing is our Body's Tuning Knob

Our Autonomic Nervous Systems or ANS controls the vital functions of our body such as our heart beats, breathing, digestion, contraction of blood vessels, contraction of muscles, body temperature, and so on.

Our ANS does all these work that keeps us alive without us consciously controlling or even being aware of it.

When our five senses pick up stimuli, it first goes to our reptilian brain and activates our ANS. When it senses danger it prepares the body for the fight, flee, or freeze response. For example, contracting muscles on our skin that gives us goose pimples. Blood is drawn to our heart, making our extremities like skin and fingers feel colder.

Fortunately, there is still one body function that we can still consciously control. By consciously controlling our breathing, it is possible to manage of our ANS and all the other functions like heart beats, and contraction of blood vessels.

Our breathing is like our body's tuning knob.

When we deliberately slow down our breathing rate through rhythmic breathing, we also slow down our heart rate, and lower our blood pressure.

Rhythmic breathing is the simple yet effective key to manage our bodily reactions to acute stress.

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