Take a deep breath.
Inhale exhale. Inhale exhale. Sound familiar? Breathing! Breathing is so underrated. We forget how essential it is to life. To breath is to be.
Aside from keeping us alive, breathing plays many other roles in our life. One of the roles we are very familiar with in the spa industry is stress reduction. Deep breathing aides us greatly in relaxation.
Watching T.V. or just laying down does not always help us relax. In order to fully relax we need to activate our relaxation response. A simple way to do this is by remembering to breath. Deep breathing is even better. Reduce stress with deep breathing.
Many times we go through the day taking short quick breaths. Practicing deep breathing for 20 minutes a day can reduce anxiety and stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to our brains and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to you body.
When we relax we can decrease our metabolism, lower our heart rate, relax our muscles, lower our blood pressure and quiet our mind.
On an emotional level deep breathing just feels good. It is cleansing and rejuvenating and creates an alertness to your surroundings. It feels great just to fill up your lungs, let your rib cage expand, and slowly release a long full breath.
You can soak in a beautiful day with a deep breath or a special moment. You can release negative thoughts, stress and anger with an exhalation.
In a massage we encourage clients to enjoy deep breathing. As a client slips into a deep state of relaxation their breathing will get deeper and deeper. We will ask them to inhale and exhale through out the massage. At times when a client needs deep tissue massage or sports massage we will ask the client to breath deeply through a stretch or a technique that may feel painful. The deep breathing will help the muscles release tension so that aches and pains are reduced. When a client and a therapist can integrate breathing techniques into a massage the massage is greatly enhanced and the client will feel more relaxed and healed.