• Diana Anderson


The Breathing Connection to Well-Being

· How you breathe communicates valuable information to your body through the vagus nerve, which is the longest cranial nerve controlling your inner nerve center, the rest and digest system and major organs.

· Once you realize how to take control of your breath, you can be empowered to improve your sense of well-being. This can tie directly into changing the course of a developing migraine headache.

· How you are breathing signals the body systems and every cell to respond. It is the catalyst for the functioning of your internal systems.

· When you are breathing heavily (rapidly), every cell knows the muscles or some parts of the body are demanding extra oxygen.

· This communicates that there is no time to generate new cells or fight off infection—those tasks must be saved for later. Right now, all hands are on deck to push resources where they are needed.

Sometimes when you are feeling stressed, you may breathe shallowly and rapidly. This restricts the flow of oxygen for all systems.

Prolonged shallow or rapid breathing can reduce the amount of oxygen and other resources that are going to the head to the point of causing pain. The pain occurs because the blood vessels swell to draw in more resources. Once the swelling happens, tissue around the swollen blood vessels are also impacted. Once enough oxygen is available, it takes time to reduce that inflammation. A headache takes time to go away because of this process.

The opposite of this issue is to breathe slowly, deeply, and calmly. This completely relaxed way of breathing communicates to the body systems that all is well and resources can be allocated to generate new cells and heal the body where it is needed. It also relaxes the blood vessels and allows for ample resources to the head. 

Habitual Breathing and Migraines

· The single most important change I made to rid myself of migraines forever was to learn how to breathe properly and also how not to breathe.

· When it comes to health, well-being, healing, increasing your immune system’s functioning, and living without pain, nothing will contribute more than proper breathing. Living headache-free demands it.

· For me, shallow breathing begins because I am too lost in my thoughts and am not present with the tasks at hand. This type of overthinking and lack of presence causes a disconnect between the autonomic nervous system and breathing.

· This disconnect puts the nervous system into a restless state or even a fight-or-flight state, which will further redirect resources away from the head.

The key technique for proper breathing is awareness.

Becoming aware of your breathing and being present with your body is the most important thing you need to do. Deep breathing requires expanding your diaphragm as you breathe.  Your breathing can take many forms, but as long as you do rhythmic, focused and aware, calm breathing, you will heal your body and send resources where they need to go.

Once you have slowed down your breathing and start taking in deep, calming breaths, then you can address tight muscles by relaxing your shoulders, wiggling your spine, hydrating, and doing the other activities that support nutrients flowing to your brain. 

Start with the breath and being aware of your body. The more often you do this, the fewer headaches will even begin to develop.