Stress is one of the major highlights of modern life. We are chronically stressed and it affects our physical and mental health. There are many educational resources that provide techniques that are supposed to counter the negative effects of stress. Besides regular exercising, health promoting diet, and quality sleep, I see the same advice dominating in many sources. According to this advice we need to take deep breaths as a relaxation technique to combat stress. In fact, the idea that deep breathing is good for us has penetrated all the levels of societal institutes. We were conditioned to breathe deeply in our fitness centers, by our friends, and coworkers. We see people breathing deeply in movies in an attempt to calm down.
We think that deep breathing is healthy and promotes wellness. However, contrary to popular belief, deep breathing is extremely detrimental to your health and will cause many health issues. For instance, in people who are prone to sinusitis, deep breathing can either start a new episode of sinusitis or make an existing episode last longer. Similarly, deep breathing can promote asthma attacks in asthmatics. Over-breathing can manifest immediately as a negative health outcome or later in life.
In the 1950s, Dr. Konstantin P. Buteyko, PhD, a famous Russian physiologist made a discovery that sinusitis and many other modern diseases are caused by hyperventilation (over-breathing)
If you don’t want your sinusitis to get worse you need to stay away from taking deep breaths as a relaxation technique. Even if it feels good to take deep breaths you need to abstain from this practice. In fact, everyone should stay away from deep breathing.
Over-breathing promotes anxiety, a completely opposite outcome that people are trying to achieve. Prof. Buteyko thought that the advice to practice deep breathing was one of the catalysts that caused people to hyperventilate. Prof. Buteyko developed the breathing retraining method that normalizes the breathing, brings the body back to balance, and helps with sinusitis and other illnesses.
Breathe Gently. Be well!