Quotes from Experts
Dr Hans Keizer, Maastricht University
"Good breathing balances us physically and mentally"
Leiden University Medical Center
"A calm breathing helps with hyperventilation and other symptoms of anxiety"
Harvard Medical School
"Deep and calm breathing activates the body's calming mechanism"
Dr. Andrew Weil, University of Arizona for Integrative Medicine
"The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is extremely suitable for reducing feelings of anxiety or for falling asleep"
Why Conscious Breathing?
We all breathe about 20,000 times a day, fortunately our body does this completely automatic. Still, it's important to be aware of your breathing more often. Many of us experience busy lives and a lot is happening around us. More than 1.3 million people in the Netherlands alone suffer from burnout complaints. Think of anxiety and panic attacks, but fatigue, headache and shortness of breath can also be a result of stress complaints. Many people are not aware that our breathing can help with this. However, it has been scientifically proven that in many cases conscious breathing is a simple but effective solution to reduce these complaints in order to live more relaxed.
"Change your breath, improve your life"
AIKI strengthens your lungs
You may be wondering what exactly are the benefits of the AIKI Breathing Tool and why we can't use breathing exercises that we can practice ourselves. The great advantage of exhaling through the breathing tool is that we purse our lips. Scientific research shows that when we purse our lips when we exhale, we automatically slow down our breathing. In addition, we can determine the amount of air ourselves with pursed lips. With this particular breathing exercise, it can strengthen the lungs and improve efficiency in the long run. It is not always easy to exhale with pursed lips, but with the AIKI Breathing Tool you have a tool at hand that makes this breathing exercise easier.
Debra Sullivan (2022), American Lung Association
Reduce stress and anxiety
When we breathe, we take in oxygen from the air. The oxygen enters your lungs through your nose or mouth via your trachea and then enters the blood via this route. The blood circulation ensures that the oxygen ends up everywhere in your body. This oxygen plays a role in all our body processes. Stress is often reason that we have an incorrect breathing. When we are tense, we shrug our shoulders, which means that there is less space in the chest. This makes us breathe faster and shallower. If you breathe high and shallow, less blood comes into contact with the inhaled air, which means that less oxygen can be absorbed. Conscious and calm breathing calms the mind, making it an ideal way to stay with yourself when you feel anxious. Calm and conscious breathing gives your nervous system the signal that everything is safe, so that your body, thoughts and emotions will respond in a relaxed way.
McCaul, KD, Solomon, S., & Holmes, DS (1979). Effects of paced respiration and expectations on physiological and psychological responses to threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(4), 564–571.
Rest in body and mind
When someone is stressed with accompanying burnout complaints, we feel constantly rushed. We can no longer think clearly and breathe shallowly. In this case, we are no longer in control of the body and mind. With breathing exercises we bring peace to the breathing pattern. This immediately results in a relaxed feeling that allows us to think clearly again.
Russell Rowe, (2019) Just Breathe, https://medium.com/swlh/just-breathe-dd46db3e31e2
Improved night's sleep
When we feel stressed, we need a good night's sleep to rest. Easier said than done. Because of these feelings of anxiety, we worry and stare at the ceiling a lot and we don't get to sleep well. By calming our breathing we let our thoughts relax. Scientific research shows that when you breathe at a slow pace for 20 minutes before bed, you fall asleep 15 minutes earlier.
Chien HC, et al. Breathing exercise combined with cognitive behavioral intervention improves sleep quality and heart rate variability in major depression. J Clin Nurs. 2015.
Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
The autonomic system controls involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and other internal organ functions. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the "fight-or-flight" reflex. When this system is activated, the heart rate is increased and the blood vessels contract. The activation of this system is useful in the face of a real, physical threat, but due to the many stressors in our daily lives, this system is activated too often. When we can regularly adjust our breathing to a slow, deep breath, the parasympathetic nervous system activates, which lowers heart rate and dilates blood vessels, lowering overall blood pressure.
Hisao Mori, (2005) How does deep breathing affect office blood pressure and pulse rate? 499-504.
Scientific research has shown that there is a connection between breathing and focus. The way we breathe has a direct impact on our brain chemistry. Our attention and the health of our brain can be improved. Our breathing is an important element of mindfulness and meditation. Breathing exercises have several benefits for our brains including greater concentration, less mind wandering and more positive emotions.
Michael Melnychuk, (2018) PhD candidate at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, The Yogi masters were right.