Mauvaise respiration en boîte ou respiration carrée

Mauvaise respiration en boîte ou respiration carrée

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Bad Box Breathing or Square Breathing

You might have heard about Box Breathing for destressing. Don't know where to start? Learn how to breathe optimally from Michael Grant White, Optimal Breathing Coach.

Square Breathing

Back in the 1800s, for good or for bad, my grandfather was a minister to Native Americans in Washington State. Chief Seattle told him "If white man continues in the direction he is going, he will spend his life surviving instead of living."

Sadly, we are there.

Navy Seals and many others teach the box breathing or four-square breathing technique. It helps a lot in combat and super high-stress situations to help calm down a bit and maintain focus. Survival, yes, but not good for healthy breathing development for rest, digestion, and healing. PTSD cause and release has a HUGE breathing component.

Here's how the four-square or box breathing technique works: You can vary the timing. I am just using Mark Devine's example from his great book Staring Down the Wolf.

  1. Breathe in for four seconds.
  2. Hold the air in your lungs for four seconds
  3. Exhale for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath, lungs emptied, for four seconds.

Lots of folks teach that. Along with most of the rest of the number count variations, it is not training for healthy breathing development nor based on healthy breathing fundamentals. The box breathing technique does slow the breathing down a bit albeit temporarily, to lessen SNS, only it does not go even close to far enough for healing.

Slowing the breathing down via breath retention reduces the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) fight or flight stimulation, but as Dr. Manga explains, reducing SNS is basically what so-called "calming"' drugs do. What is most needed is to strengthen the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). When the PNS is strengthened, the SNS naturally lessens.

Breath retention may or may not help CO2 levels and gives people the false sense of the depth of relaxation and the right way to breathe for rest, digest and heal. A bit of quiet in the storm and better access to the neo-cortex area where your creative options and trained skills reside (think Navy SEALS combat and high levels of stress, including distress).

Learn How You Can Break the Unhealthy Patterns of Breathing

Thinking of breathing as just inhale and exhale and not much to it? Well, you’re kinda wrong. Learn to breathe the right way and change your life!

My version of extreme box breathing is stated simply as 18 in, 18 hold, and 18 out 5 times in succession. We have a series of 20 advanced animations that are guided via gradients up to 40 but need to stay within the Optimal Breathing Window. Getting to 40 requires owning our breathing kit and developing breathing properly.

The little-known fact remains. When it comes to calming, rest, digest and heal, PNS is far senior to SNS.

The Optimal Breathing Window will give you deeper insights into all this.

Do you feel like you can never get a deep breath? Watch and participate as I teach you how to take a non-stressful deep breath. Understand the phenomenon of the Optimal Breathing Window.

Watch the video of OBW to break your patterns of unhealthy breathing.

With the box breath, you greatly risk creating tension in the gut, which, of course, Seals or cage fighters and other combatants have no problem with as their belly is hard as a rock/washboard, but that simply adds to the tendency to not be able to relax and let go in the belly area (even after the contest or war is over) which is where deepest relaxation resides and the absence of which invites a host of health and emotional/energetic challenges/disasters. Prescription drugs will not cure this as they only address reducing the overstimulation part, not the deeper, easier, relaxing breathing part.

The majority of seals get divorced because they are very hard to live with. Relaxation is not an option in combat. Calming may be an option, but that is not deep relaxation. They are VERY different.

“The Navy has the highest divorce rate of all the services. Among the Navy, the SEALs have the highest divorce rate. 

Good people, but the stress takes its toll. What is needed is rock-solid, grounded, parasympathetic-based breathing that allows the body to rest, digest and heal. Otherwise, the breathing pattern stays in partial or complete fight or flight. OK, if you are a SEAL then survival is a very big deal.

Another reason why I integrate in my optimal breathing kit the voice strengthening as that can also weaken or strengthen the breathing foundation. For example, if you are an opera or classical voice singer, you need to relax your belly and, counterintuitively, as you get better at that your voice gets stronger.

Here is the best place to start and build on.

The key is to slow down exhale #3 so you get up to a higher count (I, at age 78, can do 40 or more) and still have a passive exhale left at the end. Leak it out.

Then let the breathing decide when to inhale and repeat 10-20 times, adding a number each rep, but never add a number unless you have successfully achieved/allowed the passive exhale. Stay with that number until you have achieved the passive exhale.

Can't emphasize this enough. Make sure you always have some passive exhale at the end of #3, where TENSION resides.

Start at 4 in, skip the hold as it helps create restrictive chest tensions, and 4 out, and build up slowly one number at a time, and never try to exceed an exhale # that did not have a passive exhale left.

You may already be pretty relaxed, or at least think you are, but just see how you do. The higher the number you achieve, the more relaxed you can be and the more it will stick/sustain. Make 40 your ultimate goal. That might take days to weeks. You are learning quickly now. Stay open-minded and try our Optimal Breathing Self-Mastery Kit.

For more about bad breathing, read

Learn to Breathe Better with The Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit.

Meet Mike White

Meet Michael Grant White, the Optimal Breathing Coach and get actionable insights on your breathing development, health and longevity

1 commentaires

  • 15 Nov 2019 Kristen

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