Yesterday, we picked some fun at the skeptical lunatic charlatans at Wikipedia for denying the science of breathwork because it doesn’t fit into their model of the world.
Today, I want to get into the science that DOES exist about the many benefits of breathing exercises. There is quite a bit of it…
I have not come across any papers that discuss Box Breathing specifically, but several that have quite a bit in common. (Deep breathing, slower pace, etc.)
One such study is the 2017 “The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults.”
If you’d like, read the introduction of this paper for an overview of pretty much all the breathwork science up ‘til that point.
But in this study, itself, in subject participants they found an average resting respiratory rate of 17 breaths per minute.
When doing deep breathing that average was only 4 breaths per minute. Quite a difference!
Note that this is spot on for the four breaths per minute you would do with 4-count box breathing.
The study found positive improvements to cognitive function, better stress response and even less cortisol (the stress hormone) in test subjects.
Yep I’m all for nootropic supplements that increase cognitive function. I love adaptogens that help make your stress response better. I love herbs that assist the hormone system…
BUT ARE YOU BREATHING WELL FIRST!?!
I know, we can’t sell air, so there’s little attention paid to it. (Actually they do sell high quality air in China…)
My newest course, Outside the Box Breathing, will walk you through how to get these benefits, and many more besides.
Truth is, calming yourself down is great…but it is only one of the many directions you can go with breathwork.