2020 is a year that is testing us all, in so many ways. How many times in the last six months have you said to yourself, “just breathe… just breathe…”? It is no coincidence that my new On Point: A Dive into Acupuncture online video series debuts with an episode on the breath and how it relates to acupuncture.
In the video, I provide some quick background and then demonstrate the balanced breath technique—you can do it along with me and then integrate it into your own practice when you need to pause, get present, and remind yourself it will be okay. Of course I also practice balanced breath with my patients at the clinic and in my own life. I am dedicated to providing the serenity and space for your relaxation and restoration.
I hope you will subscribe and take this dive into acupuncture with me on YouTube and at our clinic (our next episode will cover clinic cleaning and safety protocols!). And remember, no matter what is challenging your energy and spirit right now, and especially in this strange year, please… just…breathe.
How does breathing relate to acupuncture? How does acupuncture benefit the breath?
Chinese medicine views breathing as a foundational component supporting the vital functions of the body. Acupuncture treatments can remind the body to breathe slowly and deeply which has significant impacts on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical health.
How are the Lung and breathing viewed in Chinese medicine?
In Chinese medicine, the Lung regulates and harmonizes breathing. The Lung also contributes to the regulation of the heartbeat.
How does the Lung conduct this function?
The traditional explanation is that the Lung draws in Da Qi (atmosphere) and extracts Qi from the Heavens . . . Science tells us that our lungs extract oxygen from the atmosphere.
When did the Chinese discover the importance of breath?
The Suwen or Basic Questions is an ancient Chinese medical text written in the 2nd Century BCE. This text forms the basis for Chinese medicine and acupuncture and tells us that the Lungs extract Qi from the Heavens. Whereas, science tells us that the lungs draw in oxygen from the atmosphere . . . Imagine that, thousands of years before science discovered the function of the lung, Chinese medicine had already identified the process.
Can emotions affect the Lung and a person’s qi?
The short answer is yes. Stress and worrying will bind up the qi preventing it from circulating – sadness and grief will deplete the qi – all of which is thought to negatively impact one’s overall health.
What can I do to help my body regulate my breath?
Breathe. Consciously Breathe. Intentionally Breathe . . . and of course acupuncture treatments
One of the techniques I like to teach my patients is what I call the balanced breath. What this is equalizing the inhale with the exhale typically to a count. Three is a really good number, and we’re going to do this together in just a moment.
How this works is you breathe in to the count of three and out to the count of three, in to the count of three, out to the count of three. So let’s do this together . . . Close your eyes, and I want you to breathe in . . . two . . . three . . . out . . . two . . . three . . . in . . . two . . . three . . . out . . . two three . . . in . . . two . . . three . . . out . . . two . . . three . . . in . . . two . . . three . . . out . . . two three . . . and continue this process breathing in to the count of three and out to the count of three.
Now this is a practice and this practice takes time to master, so just practice breathing in to three and out to three. The benefits you will see in your physical body, calming of your emotions, a calmer mental state, reduced anxiety, and a better spiritual wellbeing.
How do I consciously or intentionally breathe?
Thank you for tuning in, and be sure to check out our website and social media accounts listed below. Before you finish this video hit subscribe if you haven’t already and . . . Please . . . Just Breathe