Respiratory practices in the treatment of neurological disorders
Breathing is a vital function of the body. With the help of breathing, we carry out deep biochemical processes in our body, which are not limited only to gas exchange. The quality of breathing affects our psycho-emotional state. Have you noticed that when we are worried or we are overcome by fear, breathing becomes frequent and superficial, and it can even be difficult to take a breath? On the contrary, when we are balanced, we breathe calmly and deeply. That is, our emotional state dictates the quality of our breathing. But there is also an inverse relationship. And this feedback is actively described by modern authors, as well as the ancient knowledge of yoga. Accordingly, by consciously performing certain breathing exercises, we can align and harmonize our internal state, calm our mind or activate it, cope with stress and anxiety on our own, cultivate an internal state of happiness and harmony.
In addition, certain breathing techniques can change the functional state of the body: improve metabolism, appetite, shift the pH of the blood, help cope with obesity and metabolic disorders, remove excess fluid from the body, improve the condition of the heart and blood vessels, fill tissues with oxygen, improve the condition of the lungs and upper respiratory tract.
Which patients are recommended for regular breathing exercises? I would advise everyone to perform them, even those who do not have any serious health problems. In neurological practice, breathing exercises are indicated for the following conditions: depression, astheno -neurotic syndrome, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, Parkinson’s disease, tinnitus, rehabilitation after a stroke, headaches, dizziness. The list can be quite long. But still it is worth clarifying a very important fact. Pranayama yoga is no joke. They can even hurt. Therefore, in the modern world, a separate branch of yoga has appeared. It’s called yoga therapy . And I will tell exactly yoga therapeutic breathing exercises, which have practically no contraindications.
A few general rules for all breathing exercises: a calm environment, a ventilated room or fresh air, a sitting position with a straight back (possible in a cross-legged position or sitting on a chair).
Let’s start with the most basic type of breathing in yoga – full yogic breathing. It underlies many pranayamas and despite its simplicity, not everyone gets it right. Actions on the body:
- relieves sleepiness
- removes congestion in the lungs
- stimulates the work of the abdominal organs and the heart
- harmonizes blood pressure
- stimulates the elimination of toxins.
It is better to master full yoga breathing in a prone position, then move on to practice in a sitting position. Conventionally, this breathing is divided into three parts: abdominal, thoracic, clavicular. The most difficult thing for many patients is to properly master abdominal breathing, since it depends on adequate diaphragm work. Therefore, at the beginning of practice, it is easier to perform this exercise in a prone position – it is easier to control the diaphragm.
So: in a lying or sitting position with a flat back, we fill the lower sections of the lung with air while inhaling, while “inflating the stomach”, then we fill the middle sections of the chest with air, the last ones we fill the tops of the lungs, while the collarbones should slightly rise. Then, in the reverse order, we exhale: we release the upper
sections of the lungs, middle and lower. Breathing should be effortless, free. With practice, the length of the inhalation and exhalation will increase, as will the awareness of the execution.
This practice has some contraindications: you should refrain from doing it during menstruation, in the presence of a hernia of the anterior abdominal wall. If you have diseases of the cardiovascular or respiratory system, you should consult a doctor or yoga therapist .
Anuloma Viloma (alternate breathing). Translated from Sanskir , “ anuloma ” means in the direction, “ viloma ” means the opposite. In this breath there is an alternation of breathing through the nostrils during inhalation and exhalation.
Action on the body:
- calms the mind
- relieves anxiety and anxiety
- improves concentration
- improves sleep quality
Performed sitting with a flat back in a comfortable position. Technique: close the right nostril with the right thumb and take a slow full breath through the left nostril. After closing the left nostril with the index finger of the right hand, release the right nostril and exhale slowly through it. After a full exhalation, take a slow breath through the right nostril. Next, close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand, release the left nostril and exhale through it. Thus, one cycle of breathing was obtained. To begin with, you should perform this exercise for 2-3 minutes 2 times a day, subsequently increase to a comfortable duration of practice.
There are no absolute contraindications. Relative contraindication: nasal congestion.
Surya Phedana – Breathing through the right nostril.
Actions: increases mental clarity, reduces drowsiness, increases alertness, activity, improves digestion. Breathing through the right nostril activates one of the main nadi channels – pingala . This channel is also called the male or solar channel. The technique is very simple: a comfortable posture with a straight back. It is necessary to close the left nostril and inhale and exhale through the right nostril for several minutes.
Chandra Phedana – breathing through the left nostril. Activates the Ida channel, which opens through the left nostril. It is considered lunar, cooling, soothing. This pranayama can be performed with irritability, anxiety, emotional overexcitation, before going to bed. Performed in the same way as surya phedan , only through the left nostril.
Yoga has a huge variety of tools to maintain your physical and mental health. But like everything else, it takes a smart approach. When it comes to serious neurological diseases, illiterate breathing and physical exercises can worsen the condition. Therefore, in this case, it is better to consult a specialist.
It is also important to note that the main thing in yoga practice is regularity. Then the result will not keep you waiting.