Using Proper Breath Work To Reduce Stress
Benefits of Symmetry’s Breath Work & Contrast Therapy
We can live for a month without food, a week without water, but only minutes without oxygen.
Benefits of nasal breathing
- Activates the diaphragm and induces a parasympathetic state, kick starting recovery and calming the mind
- Filters and cleans out air
- Helps with mindfulness, concentration, and the ability to control the stress response
- Improves sleep, energy, and health
Benefits of high CO2 tolerance
- CO2 tolerance determines how well our bodies absorb and use O2
- Your body doesn’t have to work as hard during physical activity because oxygen use is more efficient
- Fewer free radicals are produced reducing inflammation
- Can improve VO2 max
- Helps with anxiety
Problems with over-breathing, mouth breathing, and dysfunctional breathing
- Leads to anxiety, asthma, fatigue, insomnia and poor sleep, cardiovascular issues, headaches, allergies, and dry mouth.
- Causes narrowing of airways and limits the bodies ability to oxygenate properly
- Limits sports performance
- Poor movement mechanics
In today’s society, few people focus on the one keystone habit that can benefit all aspects of life – the breath. Proper breathing is performed through the nose. It begins with the belly (diaphragm) and is quiet, calm, and generally undetectable.
Exposure to extreme heat and cold provides a stress to the mind and body that allows us to become more resilient.
Benefits of cold exposure
- Learning to control the mind and stress response in the ice transcends into other aspects of life and increases mental resiliency
- Habitual exposure to cold induces a positive immune system response
- Improved feeling of recovery and well-being
- Cold immersion invokes the sympathetic nervous system and a strong parasympathetic response, improving cardiovascular health along with muscular and nervous system recovery
Benefits of heat exposure
- Can increase testosterone, growth hormone and decrease cortisol
- Recent studies on heat exposure show promising benefits for the treatment of obesity and diabetes with just 15 minutes of exposure at 200 degrees Fahrenheit 3 times a week
- Heat exposure can lower the sweat rate allowing the body to cool more efficiently
Benefits of cold and heat contrast therapy
- Removal of metabolic waste products, blood lactate, and markers of muscle damage likely due to repeated vasoconstriction and vasodilation
- Enhances 24 hour post workout perceptions of fatigue
- Improves adherence to extreme hot and cold protocols
Immersion in cold water creates the ultimate fight or flight response. At that moment, you make the decision of either jumping out and running away from a perceived threat or calming the mind with slow diaphragmatic nasal breaths and working through the discomfort. When you master the cold, you realize you have control over your reactions. This feeling is powerful as you go about your daily life.