Photo by Unsplash/Madison_lavern
The summer issue of Mother Earth Living is about learning to love the skin you’re in. This can be interpreted many different ways from best, natural facials to accepting who you are right now, to various ways to practice self-love. Our current health crisis is stressful and the human immune system is at its best when the whole person feels good. Mary Kathleen Rose, a massage therapist who writes in the next issue, shared the following relaxation technique with me so that I could pass it along to our readers. It’s easy, and will certainly help take your focus off the news and place it on your pulse and your breath. I hope that the calm that results gives you, and your immune system, a small boost today.
—Jean Denney, Editor
A Quick Breathing Exercises for Health and Relaxation
If you catch yourself in the middle of a stressful thought, notice that you are not taking full breaths, or if you realize you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to take a break. While meditation is great for stress relief, we may not be able to do so when in the middle of change or even crisis. What we can do is focus on our breathing, even if for a few minutes. Fortunately, a few moment is all it takes to find a little more calm. This simple exercise allows you to focus on your heart rate, your pulse, and your breathing at the same time. It will help coordinate and synchronize these two vital systems and help reduce stress and bring some relief.
Breathing with Your Pulse
Sit comfortably in a chair or on a cushion on the floor, and close your eyes.
- Place the fingers of one hand along the radial pulse points of the opposite hand (at the wrist below the base of the thumb).
- Inhale to the count of 4 pulse beats, and then exhale to the count of 4 pulse beats.
- Continue to inhale and exhale with your pulse and enjoy the relaxation that comes with tuning into your body this way.
During this exercise, you can continue to hold the pulse points, or let go and continue to relax and notice your breathing. The pulse may change, or it may slow down in this process. Be aware that the pulse can be variable, weak, or pounding. Don’t be concerned about the character of the pulse, simply do the exercise as given and notice the pulse without judging or analyzing it.
Even a few minutes of this practice can calm your body and mind. This exercise is particularly helpful in allowing you to get in touch with what your body needs in the moment.