What Is Box-Breathing? 6-Step Deep-Breathing Technique To Ease Hyperventilation

What Is Box-Breathing? 6-Step Deep-Breathing Technique To Ease Hyperventilation

To get an insight about box breathing also known as square breathing, is a special breathing technique to regulate your breathing. When we get patients with hyperventilation syndrome it means the patient is undergoing a panic respiratory attack. Therefore, to control this, a breathing exercise is crucial. 14–18 breaths per minute is the average breathing rate. 

What is Box Breathing?

The term box breathing describes a technique, which refers to the four sides of a box. The concept can be observed by breathing while you slowly count to 4-four times: four counts for inhaling, four counts for holding your breath, four counts for exhaling, and four more counts for holding after you exhale. Established out of the yogic practice of pranayama, or focusing on the breath, it is also known as Sama Vritti Pranayama.

Dr Soumya Das, Consultant Pulmonologist, Manipal Hospital Salt Lake, Kolkata explains, “When a person faces breathing trouble, it is observed that the person feels panicked and starts breathing heavily. Here, is the requirement of a technique, known as box breathing which means using a box pattern for respiration.”

Box Breathing Can Help You Destress

Dr Soumya shares the step-by-step procedure to navigate panic attacks:

1. For box breathing, one needs to sit on a chair, stand, or lie on the back with one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach. 

2. The back must be supported and the feet are firmly on the ground. 

3. Then, one must breathe normally for one minute and keep an eye on the watch of the rise and fall of the chest and stomach.

4. Shallow breathing occurs when the chest rises but the stomach does not. If the stomach rises, it is deep breathing, which causes complete relaxation in the body. 

5. One needs to be mindful of breathing to ensure taking deep breaths and allowing the tummy to rise.

6. If someone learning box breathing, it is advised to push the stomach out while taking smooth, deep breaths.

Benefits of Box Breathing

– It helps to deal with tension 

– Counting during box breathing helps to shift the focus away from the panic-inducing scenario, thus enabling to manage and regulate the response

– Ensures sound sleep

– Helps reduce hyperventilation by instructing the lungs to breathe rhythmically. 

– Helps refocus when experiencing a hectic or stressful day

– Reduces panic and anxiety

– Lowers blood pressure 

This is especially helpful among patients suffering from hyperventilation syndrome, usually caused by anxiety or panic and COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems) to regulate their ventilation.

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