Tuesday, August 19, 2008

'Tis Time Doctors Begin Prescribing Breathing Exercises For Stress Control

image by felipedan, sxc.hu

An Overwhelming Body Of Research Recommends It As CAM

Has your doctor begun prescribing "deep breathing exercises" on their letter pad the next time you go visiting them for your medical conditions? 'Tis high time they started doing it. But whether they do or they don't, it is high time you began including it in your daily regimen. For it is your health we are talking about here.

image by woodsy, sxc.hu

There were days - back in the eighties - when people's reaction would range from total disbelief to total indifference at the claim made by Dean Ornish, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF, that a small lifestyle change - just reduce the fat-intake and stick to a vegetarian diet, do some meditation or yoga, exercise moderately, and seek and enjoy social activities - is enough to take back control over your heart and your life. Those days of disbelief and indifference have gone, people have evolved. They now listen to him with rapt attention.


[* Dr. Ornish's presentation at TED, Feb 2006. His discovery that cardiac patients can save their money on costly bypass surgery and at the same time reverse their condition through simple changes in lifestyle - has won him gratitude the world over. ]

There has been a virtual explosion on research in the effect of simple breath-control exercises - yes, we are now no longer shy of using the word "Meditation" - on alleviating a range of psychosomatic conditions. The realization that it is the mind that controls the brain and not vice-versa took some time to embed. And look how this one axiom has changed perspectives! Huge money is now flowing into mind-body research, and bright students entering medical schools nowadays find a subject or two from this domain included in their curricula. Yes, we are no longer shy of using the word "Meditation". We are also no longer embarrassed of discussing the impact of emotions and beliefs on the body's immune system and the brain.

image by lightfusio, sxc.hu

It is a different matter that the exact mechanism between the brain and the Mind is still unknown. We are still grappling with the concept of the homunculus that is hypothesized to be behind it all, from the first breath to the death rattle. But I am confident that it is just a matter of time... before this mystery also begins to unravel itself before our eyes. I hope to see this happening in my lifetime.

image by toutouke, sxc.hu

While reading this post, may be you could begin your deep-breathing exercises right away? Doesn't cost a penny. If there were an auspicious moment to begin self-development and a better way of living: this is the one.

image by topfer, sxc.hu


  1. Yes, how breathing controls can truly calm you down and relieve stress.

    Also, Sanjay, this may be of interest of you for a future post.

    I just found out John Assaraf, one of the teachers from the secret, as well as author of NY Times best seller "Having it All" and "The Answer" will be giving a free personal development teleseminar Wednesday, August 20th at 5pm (Pacific).

    I signed up a couple minutes ago and the call is centered around finding your True North to love, inspire and serve others. The talk will also cover:

    -How to Live creatively, always pushing the envelope
    -How to Challenge others to live life to their fullest potential
    -How to Surround yourself with healthy, happy people who are also striving for the best

    Should be a killer call. See you guys on the call. You can register here...


  2. Hai Sanjay,
    Great to read your contents. I know one of Indian guruji Shri Shri Ravishankarji, who propogates meditation exercises. It is simple which I decribe here:
    1.Just close you right side nostrils and inhale heavily through left nostrils. 10 seconds
    2. Now, close both nostrils. Wait for 20 seconds.
    3.Similarly, close your left nostrils and exhale the air. 10 seconds.

    This process is called pranayama.