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The Power of Breath: Nurturing Your Nervous System Health

#breathwork functionalmedicine mindbodyconnection Jan 30, 2024

Today, let's delve into a fundamental aspect of well-being often overlooked – the significance of proper breathing for our nervous system health. From personal experience I'm here to shed light on the transformative impact that mindful breathing can have on our overall physiological balance.

The Connection Between Breath and Nervous System Health:

Our nervous system, comprising the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, plays a crucial role in regulating our body's stress response. The way we breathe directly influences the balance between these two systems. Shallow, rapid breathing can activate the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response, leading to heightened stress levels and potential long-term health issues.

On the contrary, deep, diaphragmatic breathing engages the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a state of calm and relaxation. This not only helps in reducing stress but also contributes to better digestion, improved sleep, and enhanced overall resilience.

Practical Tips for Optimal Breathing:

Mindful Awareness:

  • Start by bringing conscious awareness to your breath. Take a few moments throughout the day to observe your breathing patterns. Are they shallow or deep? Rapid or slow?

Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing:

  • Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing to activate the relaxation response. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to expand fully, and exhale gradually. Focus on making your exhale longer than your inhale for maximum benefit.

Breathing Exercises:

  • Incorporate breathing exercises into your routine, such as square breathing or 4-7-8 breathing. These techniques help synchronize your breath with your nervous system, offering a sense of balance.

Regular Check-Ins:

  • Make it a habit to check in with your breath during moments of stress or tension. Taking a pause to engage in intentional, deep breathing can be a powerful tool in diffusing stress and promoting a sense of calm.


In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, the simple act of mindful breathing often takes a back seat. However, I encourage you to prioritize this foundational practice for the sake of your nervous system health. Keep in mind, your breath is a potent companion on the journey to complete well-being. Embrace it, nurture it, and let it guide you towards a more balanced and resilient you. Breathe well, live well!

We offer a phone consultation with our Nurse Practitioner, Mackenzie Jones, in which you’ll review your symptoms, goals, and what you may have tried in the past. She will then discuss how she would approach your case. The discovery call is 30 minutes long and the investment is $50. This step is optional. No direct medical advice is given at this appointment. 

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