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Breathing is something we take for granted because it's generally not a conscious process. As babies, we breathe naturally....abdominally. As we get older, and as our poor postural habits develop, we breathe less efficiently.... shallow 'chest breathing'. It can also happen when we become stressed or anxious.

So if we focus on our breath in a methodical way, we can improve breathing efficiency and become much more relaxed, both physically and mentally. This is particularly useful therapy if dealing with depression or anxiety issues.

The Shiyong Tai Chi approach is to focus on improving breath control first of all. When this becomes deeper and slower, the body will start to respond by becoming more relaxed. Physical movement becomes softer and smoother, creating a 'neurological loop' or 'bio-feedback'. The parasympathetic nervous system (calming) becomes dominant and the sympathetic nervous system (stimulating) less active. Heart rate and blood pressure gradually lower.

 

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