Herbs Info - Page 2 of 340 -

Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body’s Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms

Deep Breathing Is One Of The Body's Strongest Self-Healing Mechanisms
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Images © kwikit – fotolia.com (under license)

Breathing sustains life! We take in oxygen, invigorate our red blood cells, expel toxins such as carbon dioxide, and provide our bodies with life-sustaining energy. And according to several scientific sources, deep breathing could offer more short-term and long-term health benefits.

Ever wondered why you’re advised to take deep breathes when you’re stressed or trying to focus? Or why is deep breathing a core part of all meditation techniques? The answers to the healing powers of deep breathing lie in the physiological changes that take place in our bodies. Allowing the rib cage to expand and the diaphragm to drop creates more space for oxygen to flood your body, leading to the following health benefits:

⦁ Lowered heart rate: According to a study in the Journal of Frontiers in Public Health, deep breathing (6 breathes per minute) significantly improved heart rate variability. [1]

⦁ Lowered blood pressure: Meditation techniques, which included deep breathing, “decreased blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension.” This was the conclusion of a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension. [2]

⦁ Helping with sleeplessness: Some studies suggest that deep breathing and mindful meditation could be an effective alternative to traditional treatments for chronic insomnia. [3]

⦁ Relieving anxiety and depression: Providing our brains with a great deal of oxygen enhances our ability to memorize, concentrate, focus, and even relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. [4]

⦁ Improved immunity: The stress response is known to suppress our immune, and increase the susceptibility to illnesses. By enhancing our mental and physical energy through deep breathing, we can promote better immunity.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Steffen, P. R. et al. 2017. The Impact of Resonance Frequency Breathing on Measures of Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure, and Mood https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575449/.

[2] Nidich, S. I. et al. 2009. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19798037.

[3] Ong, J. C. et al. 2014. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25142566.

[4] Lakhan, S. E. et al. 2013. Mindfulness-Based Therapies in the Treatment of Somatization Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071834.

How Long Should You Nap For

How Long Should You Nap For
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

Care for an afternoon nap? The idea of taking a nap in the middle of the day or in between your daily tasks has for years been shunned upon as a sign of laziness or laxity. But courtesy of scientific research on sleep patterns, it appears a quick nap is not so bad after all – you could even improve your productivity and overall health.

10-20 Mins – The Power Nap
According to a study appearing in SLEEP, an afternoon nap of between 10 and 20 minutes yields Stage 2 sleep. [1] This is associated with increased cognitive performance, sharpened motor skills, mood elevation, enhance concentration, alertness, and stamina. The high level of energy from the ‘power nap’ lasts for a little over 2½ hours.

30 Minutes – The Groggy Nap
The Sleep Foundation notes that naps lasting 30 minutes can leave you with sleep inertia. [2] This is characterized by a feeling of disorientation or grogginess that can be detrimental to your productivity and moods. Your brain is forced to wake up as it enters the deeper stages of sleep.

60 Minutes – Short-Term Nap
At 60 minutes of napping, your mind has already entered the deepest stage and your brain waves have slowed down considerably. Waking up at this stage allows you to recall facts, names, and faces in better detail. On the downside, you may experience slight grogginess since your body had not completed a sleep cycle.

90 Minutes – The REM Nap
After 90 minutes you’ll have completed a full sleeping cycle (light and deep stages). This improves creativity, procedural memory, and emotional memory. PS: This is the easiest nap to wake up from.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] A Brief Afternoon Nap Following Nocturnal Sleep Restriction: Which Nap Duration is Most Recuperative? https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/29/6/831/2708239.

[2] Napping https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/napping.

I Really Don’t Want The Right To Know

I Really Don't Want The Right To Know
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

You are what you eat! The health of our bodies significantly depends on the drinks and foods we consume. With this in mind, are you aware of the ingredients you swallow every day? Does your food hinder your health or does it nourish your body?

Think about it: your family diet is one of the most significant determinants of the proper development and growth of your children. Even as we get older, the nutrients you consume help ward off health issues and give you the energy (physical and mental) to take on the challenges of adulting.

What do you know about the Food you Eat?

By noticing what you’re eating and feeding to your family, you become more aware of what your body needs – and this is the first step towards healthy eating. As a starting point, ask yourself these questions:

⦁ How much water do I drink every day?

⦁ Does my diet contain healthful vegetables and fruits?

⦁ Am I practicing mindful eating, whereby I pay attention to the eating experience? This also includes how you chew the food and appreciate the taste.

⦁ What is the size of my potions? And how frequently do I eat?

⦁ Do I always read the ingredient list of the packaging of the foods I buy?

⦁ Are nutrient-dense whole grains part of my diet?

⦁ Do I have a dietary plan to maximize my intake of necessary nutrients?

⦁ Does the food on my table contain unnecessary additives and preservatives?

⦁ Am I aware of ultra-processed foods and their health risks?

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.