Breathing is an unusual body function in that it is both voluntary and involuntary. When we change how we breathe, we can change how breathing impacts our body. Deep breathing can counter our fight or flight response. Controlled breathing can thus help manage stress and the damage prolonged stress can have on the brain. Controlled breathing can help manage anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn can help prevent stroke and lower risk of a cerebral aneurysm, as well as spark brain growth in areas associated with attention and processing sensory input, particularly in older individuals. Lastly, controlled breathing can alter gene expression with regard to insulin secretion, energy metabolism, and immune function. Read article
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