Sunday, April 29, 2012

4-7-8 Breath

1. Breathe in through your nose (mouth closed) for a count of 4.
2. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
3. Exhale through your mouth ("whoosh") to a count of 8.

Repeat for 4 breath cycles. The speed of the cycle is not as important as the ratio 4/7/8, with the exhale being the longest.
Takes less than 2 minutes. Do twice a day.

Dr. Weil demonstrates. Skip to 3:14 for the actual breathing:

  • Helps you fall asleep.
  • Helps you get back to sleep if you wake during the night.
  • Lowers blood pressure, over time.
  • Helps with cravings.
  • Helps with anxiety and panic attacks. (Weil: "You cannot be anxious and breathe deeply and slowly at the same time.")
This absolutely works.


Bix said...

For me, the hardest part is holding my breath. I really have to slow down to do it.

It's supposed to be good for migraines too, which tells you something about where migraines come from.

caulfieldkid said...


This isn't the first time I've heard the benefits of slow breathing (I'm not sure what to call it. Meditation?).

Does Dr. Weil or others offer an explanation on what's going on? Is it just an effective de-stresser?

Bix said...

He mentions that controlling the breath changes brain waves. I don't fully understand that, but I had to regurgitate it for a test years ago, so there's that. And it changes levels of neurotransmitters, which ones and how, don't know. Some endorphins get elevated. It also changes the ratio of oxygen:carbon dioxide in the blood, which has a systemic effect ... on muscles, kidneys, lungs. Probably does other things too, and when you throw them all into the pot at the same time there's a synergistic effect.

I admit, I find it hard to do. But I've been practicing again since I saw this video. I usually just resort to mumbling under my breath "serenity now."