The Science & Benefits of Breathing Practice Explained

The Exhale
July 12, 2022
5 min read

According to Google Trends, searches for breathwork and related breathing techniques have increased dramatically over the past few years. It’s easy to see why with an apparent bedrock of scientific research and anecdotal evidence pointing to positive health trends for practitioners.

Breathwork and conscious breathing are simple methods of improving our health and wellness using our most valuable health tool – our bodies. Learning to take the time to breathe with intent and focus can clear our minds and provide relief to stressful situations that can lead to far more significant health issues down the line.

In today's blog, we’ll dive into the science and benefits behind breathwork practices and how these make breathwork invaluable in various settings.

Read on!

Quick Stress Relief

One of the critical reasons breathwork has grown so popular recently is the speed with which it helps deal with stress. Regular breathing exercises are invaluable in reducing cortisol levels in the body, as conscious breathing deals directly with the areas most responsible for the spread of the stress-inducing hormone – such as the parasympathetic nervous system.

Cortisol is a valuable substance that our body naturally secretes in response to stress, allowing us to operate faster and more efficiently to deal with perceived dangers. However, long-term exposure to high levels of cortisol can lead to pronounced cardiovascular issues in the future.

Lower Blood Pressure

As an active method to reduce blood pressure without turning to a pharmacological solution, breathwork is second to none.

Breathwork can be effective because it trains the body to breathe slower and deeper, creating a steady rhythm that forces the body to slow down and reduce the severity of high blood pressure and hypertension symptoms.

When paired with medication, studies have shown breathwork to be highly effective for long-term sufferers, allowing far greater control over their symptoms than before.

Breathing Through Depression

If that’s not enough, research into the effects of breathwork has shown a profound ability to help with symptoms of depression. This is particularly important for those that respond poorly to anti-depressants as a treatment tool and may be looking for an alternative or something supplemental.

The reason for this is the effect breathing techniques have on the size and development of the amygdala – the part of our brains responsible for detecting fear. Regular breathing exercises can be effective in reducing the size of this portion of the brain, reducing its effectiveness, and allowing healthier brain responses to thrive.

Furthermore, by decreasing the amygdala size, breathing exercises allow the mind to engage more directly with the pre-frontal cortex – which is often hindered by the amygdala when active.

For more information regarding how to manage your breathing for a more effective lifestyle, visit our other blogs here at The Exhale to get the latest tips and tricks. For free guided breathing exercises that you can take anywhere, try out the Breathwrk app here and enjoy a FREE 7-day trial with access to everything we have to offer!

And remember: Breathe Better, Live Better.


The Exhale