Learning The Right Breathing Techniques
We all know that we need to breathe to live. But are you aware that most of us do not know how to breathe properly? Well, you’re in luck today because I got Dr. Belisa Vranich, a breathing expert who will teach us proper breathing techniques that have significant health benefits.
Dr. Vranich’s Backstory
Dr. Belisa Vranich was a clinical psychologist for 20 years before she got into the business of teaching people proper breathing techniques. She likewise has an extensive background experience in psychometric testing, administering IQ tests as well as neuro psychological evaluations.
Then up until a decade ago, Dr. Vranich started going through a lot of stress. After trying out yoga, she liked the breathing techniques and decided to study more on the subject. After gaining knowledge and experience, Dr. Vranich eventually decided to offer a program called The Breathing Class.
The Breathing Class
We all say breathing is important, but most people often don’t know how. Our lack of knowledge of what are the right breathing techniques affects all our health and wellness in every way.
Upon signing up for the program, clients are initially made to undergo a functional breathing test. This test can show how breathing patterns affect people physically and mentally.
Consequently, The Breathing Class is a lung workout and tailor-made for each client. Dr. Vranich teaches breathing techniques that can either calm the person or make them more alert. Part of the process includes strengthening the breathing muscles, exercising the diaphragm and promote meditation habits as well.
“I initially didn’t think I’d be teaching meditation. But my class is a breath-centered meditation,” said Dr. Vranich. “You can get into a trans-meditative state by breathing well.”
Who Her Clients Are
Dr. Vranich says her clients are from all walks of life. From athletes to corporate executives, each has their program tailor-made for their needs. Based on her experience, corporate people aim to be more happy and productive.
Dr. Vranich likewise singles out golfers. According to her, golfers are the only ones with no culture of breathing. Their heart rate is the lowest, and their body is the quietest.
Did you know that even SWAT teams and sharp shooters need proper breathing techniques? Surprisingly, a lot of Vranich’s clients are from the military.
“When I’m working with military and law enforcement, they want specific things,” shares Dr. Vranich. “Most of them want better endurance and the ability to cope with stress.”
Aside from that, they require breathing techniques that can keep them alert for hours. And because the nature of their job is stressful, they need techniques to help them sleep better and deal with pain as well.
It is interesting to note that Dr. Vranich applies the 4462 method. According to her, it is called the tactical breath and adapted from the military. Breath counts are inhaling on 4, hold on 4, exhaling on 6 and hold on 2.
Dr. Vranich likewise helps clients who were initially diagnosed with asthma. According to her, asthma is the disease of the exhale. After doing a battery of tests on the client, Dr. Vranich can now determine how weak their respiratory muscles are.
Benefits From Proper Breathing
Dr. Vranich’s primary goal in offering The Breathing Class to people is to get them off medication. Hence, it thrills her when her clients eventually can either lessen their medication or completely get off drugs.
Dr. Vranich also shares that most of her clients attest that their sleeping patterns have improved significantly after undergoing her breathing class program. A lot of them likewise have reported that they were able to get rid of their acid reflux.
Causes of Breathing The Wrong Way
There are many reasons why people do not breathe correctly. Sometimes, it may be due to physical or mental stress. Dr. Vranich also says one of the primary causes is also anxiety.
“Anxiety can cause you to breathe in a shallow manner and vice versa. The way you’re breathing supports that anxious state,” explains Dr. Vranich. “When you breathe with your shoulders, your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol goes up while your immune system goes down.”
Another cause of improper breathing is due to digestive problems. Hence, Dr. Vranich stresses the importance of changing the way you eat.
“Most people with digestive problems aggravate their condition because they do not use their diaphragm to breathe,” Dr. Vranich said. “The digestive system doesn’t have the support to do the right thing.”
Consequently, once we learn how to use our diaphragm, our digestive system significantly improves. Furthermore, it also gets rid of inflammation in our body.
Dealing With Chronic Pain
Vranich also credits John Sarno’s Healing Back Pain book. According to Dr. Vranich, the book gave her a lot of insights on how breathing and chronic pain are linked together.
Sarno focused more on the emotional causes of back pain. However, he affirmed that there is less back pain if we know how to breathe with our diaphragm.
Common Myths and Mistakes In Breathing
Vranich enumerates the common situations wherein we fail to breathe properly:
• Failure to move the middle of our body leads our breath to go on top of the body to our shoulders and clavicles.
• We are often emotionally guarded. Hence, we fail to breathe from our diaphragm.
• Bracing the belly does not make our abs strong. Our core will be much more robust if we expand on the inhale and exhale by squeezing on those muscles.
• A six-pack is a beautiful muscle. However, it is not a good muscle because it acts as a muscular corset. It stops us from getting a deep inhale. Hence we have to work a lot in loosening those muscles.
Importance Of Breathing From The Diaphragm
If you’re not using your diaphragm to breathe, your esophagus isn’t getting the support it needs. Consequently, this means you will not be able to keep acid reflux at bay regardless of what you’re eating.
“The diaphragm is like a secondary esophagus,” Dr. Vranich said. “When you breathe with your diaphragm, you’re helping your throat keep acidity down in your belly where it should be.”
Basic Breathing Techniques
Here are three basic breathing techniques that Dr. Vranich says you can do:
• Standing position: Take a belly breath. Know why you are doing it and do it right. Expand your middle, sides, and back. Do this for two weeks throughout the day.
• Lying position: Lie on your back. Put books on your belly. On inhale, push the books away. On exhale, let the books fall and squeeze your body.
• Seated position: Rock forward by letting the body go and inhale. Rock back as you exhale and feel it primarily in your hips.
Dr. Belisa Vranich is a renowned clinical psychologist, public speaker, and the author of Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve your Mental and Physical Health.
As founder of The Breathing Class™, Vranich has taught and lectured nationwide on topics related to dysfunctional breathing patterns and stress. The Breathing Class™ addresses both physical and psychological problems related to oxygenation that is out of balance. It also teaches people to breathe in a way that maximizes balanced inhales and exhales.
Dr. Vranich has taught workshops that cater to a broad audience. From the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY, to staff and clinicians at the San Diego Marine Base.
Dr. Vranich also regularly works with corporations and hospitals throughout the U.S., including The Young Presidents Organization; Jump Trading; Flotek, Inc.; UCLA; Sony Music; Coty Inc.; Soho House, New York City; and the U.S. Department of Justice.