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Stress Relief Breathing Exercise

by jenny sansouci on November 7, 2011

When Dr. Andrew Weil spoke to my class at Integrative Nutrition in 2010, my favorite part (besides learning about the magical powers of turmeric) was the breathing exercise he taught us. I meant to write about it immediately, but that post kept ending up on the back burner.

At IIN‘s NYC conference yesterday, Dr. Weil joined us again, and we did the breathing exercise again. I was reminded of its calming effect + how the energy of the whole room seemed to relax. Also, it’s incredibly easy to do.

According to Dr. Weil, this breathing exercise has “astonishing beneficial effects” for stress, mood, memory + cravings.

Here’s how you do it. It’s called the 4-7-8 technique.

  1. Breathe in for 4 counts.
  2. Hold your breath for 7 counts.
  3. Breathe out for 8 counts.

Do this exercise twice a day, for 4 breath cycles. After 1 month of practicing, increase this to 8 breath cycles.

So try this anytime you’re feeling stressed, anxious or you have cravings you want to get rid of.

“I wish this breathing exercise would be taken more seriously, but it’s too simple and doesn’t involve taking a substance.” – Dr. Andrew Weil


Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing

Check out Dr. Weil’s NEW book, Spontaneous Happiness:

Dr. Andrew Weil - Spontaneous Happiness








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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Diana Maltz November 23, 2011 at 8:21 am

I use this type of breathing when I am feeling the stress of holidays.
I appreciate the reminder. In fact, I discuss other ways to reduce stress on on my latest blog entry. Check out my blog.


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