An Explanation for Deep Breathing's Benefits According to TCM

"Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders."
Andrew Weil, M.D.

Last week, Jennifer gave us a wonderful exercise called One Breath to help bring us increased relaxation and improved health to get us through the holiday season. One Breath is an exercise that can be done anywhere, at any time, and brings about health benefits instantly. Literally. 

That got some of us curious about what effect deep breathing has on the body when you are considering it through the lens of Chinese Medicine. How do we explain the sudden improvement in mood, circulation, and sense of relaxation that occurs almost instantaneously when one practices a few cycles of deep breathing?

Melsa explains that deep breathing has an instantaneous effect on qi, the life force.

In Chinese Medicine, the lung is the master of qi, meaning it governs qi circulation throughout the body. The Lung is the Mother of the Kidney, which is in charge of reproduction and conception, and when we inhale, the Lung qi connects with our Kidney qi, tapping into the energy. In Western Medicine, breathing into the belly - or diaphragmatic breathing - calms the parasympathetic nervous system and maximizes the amount of oxygen coming into the body and bloodstream. Always a good thing!