The Benefits of Combining Acupuncture Treatments With Mindful Breathing

September 5, 2016
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Last month, I hosted a seminar on mindful breathing at the Janati Yoga School in Kingston, Ontario. As an advocate for mindful breathing, I know that there is a strong connection between mindful breathing and acupuncture. If you happened to miss this seminar, this month’s blog will provide you with more information on how acupuncture can be especially effective when it’s combined with mindful breathing techniques.

Mindful breathing combined with acupuncture is an effective form of stress relief

Many people receive acupuncture treatments as a means of relieving stress, anxiety, or any mood related disorders. Mindfulness allows us to be present in the moment so that we may live our lives to the fullest potential. Mindful breathing starts with allowing ourselves to become fully aware of our breath. Mindful breathing becomes an added benefit to receiving acupuncture treatments as a form of stress relief.

Mindful breathing promotes the flow of Qi

For tonification, the needle is inserted as you exhale. After a period of time, the needle is withdrawn on inhalation. For sedation, the needle is inserted on the inhalation. After a period of time, the needle is withdrawn on exhalation. These results allow the body to be in the best position to promote the flow of Qi. Qi or life-force includes blood, lymphatic fluids, and nutrients which allow for the proper functioning of all organs. The brain and emotions are greatly influenced by this Qi flow. Breath is like the vehicle that drives the Qi flow.

Mindful breathing resets the mind-body balance

It is often the case that our minds become disconnected from what our bodies are doing. We commit to actions without really thinking about why we’re doing them. It’s especially common in today’s faced paced world of technology. During my acupuncture session, I encourage my clients to continue their practice of mindful breathing once the needles are inserted. Doing so will allow the mind and body to synergize effectively, thereby creating greater mind-body balance.

Mindful breathing provides a regulatory response to the para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system

In general, diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and helps regulate the relationship of the para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve is a part of the brain that controls the para sympathetic nervous system, which controls your relaxation response. The sympathetic nervous system actives the commonly known “fight or flight” response. The following breath cycle can stimulate the vagus nerve: inhaling will expand your rib cage to you maximize your comfort, pausing, and emptying your lungs slowly and longer than your inhale. I maintain this rhythm of diaphragmatic breathing throughout the treatment to foster a calm state of mind.

This information provides you with an overview of what to expect when mindful breathing is combined with acupuncture sessions. This information may seem complex. If you have any questions at all, you can always feel free to ask me questions. Your sessions will be tailored to your unique needs. Mindfulness is a practice that requires dedication and persistence. Similar to acupuncture, it takes multiple sessions in order to create lasting and effective results. Overall, mindful breathing combined with acupuncture facilitates the flow of Qi and thus promotes health.  Feel free to come to my clinic to experience these benefits for yourself or contact me for a complimentary 15 minute consultation session to learn more.