Deep breathing is a simple and effective addition to a healthy lifestyle. Bringing consciousattention to our breathing and lengthening and deepening the drawing of oxygen, nourishesevery cell of our body and promotes relaxation.

Prolonged exhalation helps get rid of stale air and toxins in our lungs. Shallow breathing orchest breathing is known to constriction of the chest and lung tissue over time, decreasingoxygen flow and delivery to your tissues.

Deep, rhythmic breathing expands the diaphragm muscle, the cone-shaped muscleunder your lungs, expanding the lung’s air pockets, invoking the relaxation response, andmassaging the lymphatic system. Here is a list of breathing techniques that can help youroverall health:

1) Relaxed breathing: Breathe slowly and deeply when you want to relax. Slowbreathing can tone down your worked up muscles and help you relax. Most of us,however, do not breathe deeply under normal circumstances. It is the fastest wayto trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, through what some practitionerscall the relaxation response. The sympathetic nervous system, which is stimulatedin times of stress and anxiety, controls your fight or flight response, includingspikes in cortisol and adrenaline that can be damaging when they persist too long.

2) Beating stress: One of the simplest ways to disentangle with stress response is tobreathe deeply and slowly. Probably, this is exactly the opposite of how we breathewhen under stress.

3) Improved circulation: Deep breathing causes more oxygen to flow into the system.This helps the heart pump blood more efficiently. In shallower breathing the amountof oxygen inhaled may be inadequate pressurize the heart to pump more blood. Thisis what results in high blood pressure.

4) For detox: Deep breathing helps activate the draining of lymphatic systems in thebody. The consequence of a sluggish lymphatic system is that you cannot detoxifyproperly. And if you do not breathe deeply or move regularly, chances are that yourlymph fluid is not flowing as well as it should. This can cause weight gain, muscleloss, high blood pressure, fatigue, and inflammation.

5) Alleviate aches and pains: Deep breathing can be an effective remedy to relieveheadaches, backaches, stomach aches and sleeplessness. Deep breathing canstimulate the release of the body's own painkillers called endorphins into the bloodstream.