Written by Michael Fox
This year difficult news, business closures, political elections, economic hardships, heath concerns, and social isolation have taken a toll on our bodies. When under stress, humans tend hold their breath. Unconsciously, this causes the muscles and facia of the body to tighten and create pain and even inflammation. Breathing is one of the simplest things that you can do to alleviate tension in the body.
Michael Fox, a licensed massage therapist at Four Pillars, recommends the “Three Part Breath.” In Yogic Practices it is called “Durga Pranayama.” Pranayama loosely translates to breathwork exercises. This practice is also called diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing. “This is a very necessary and nurturing breathing practice.” He sees many clients that have neck, shoulder, and stomach tension, and believes that shallow breathing has a critical role in this dilemma. “Three-part breathing will help anyone needing to create more oxygen/blood circulation, improve organ function or even just to center yourself and relax.”
What you’ll need:
- your body
- a few moments of focus
- a comfortable position, preferably lying down
Place one hand over the belly and the other on the chest. Exhale fully. Begin to inhale, drawing the breath into the belly, expanding the abdominal cavity, and utilizing the diaphragm. Continue drawing the inhale into the middle lungs, which expands the rib cage. When the breath reaches the top of the lungs, the upper chest will rise last. Exhaling, releasing the air starting from the chest down through the rib cage and last sinking the belly back down. Continue for 5-10 rounds or as long as desired until you feel your body relax.
Michael says, breath work has been a powerful ally on his healing journey. It has helped him to become more present, more aware and in touch with his body. Pairing breath work with meditation or sound therapy can have even greater outcomes.
Four Pillars is a Wellness Spa located in San Marco Plaza in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. 8209 Natures Way, Suite 221. Four Pillars provides luxurious facials and med spa treatments, massage therapy, sound therapy and energy sessions, as well as life coaching. You can learn more about our services and practitioners on our website at www.fourpillarsflorida.com.