Stress reduction and stress management are very important keys to help you improve your overall health and well being. Long-term or chronic stress and tension can tire out your internal organs and glands, interfere with your digestion, deplete your immune system and over time, contribute to an acidic biochemical environment and premature aging. Most ailments and disease processes are closely linked with chronic stress.

One of the most effective measures that you can take to manage stress is to incorporate basic relaxation exercises into your daily routine. Most relaxation exercises incorporate breathing techniques, which will help you slow down, increase oxygenation of all of your vital tissues, release unwanted carbon dioxide and relax tense and tired muscles.

If stress has become a challenge in your life, NOW is the perfect time to learn new, healthy techniques to combat and control tension. We offer many basic and advanced courses in stress management at the Natural Path Center, and other courses can often be found at many community, health care centers and hospitals. There are also many helpful books, audio and video programs that can help you to learn the basics of relaxation in the comfort of your own home. We have several at the center; also look for these in your local library, bookstore or video store. Three basic breathing exercises follow to help you get started. Use these exercises as often as needed (which is almost always, but at least 2-3 times dailyJ) throughout the day.


Sigh of Relief

  • Close your eyes
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils. While inhaling, picture relaxation, happiness, and peace entering or flowing into you. You may enjoy imagining a cool, soothing color like blue flowing in to soothe you.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then exhale very slowly through your mouth. As you do so, imagine all of your tension, fear, or anger being released and blown away.
  • Repeat as often as needed.


1 To 8 Count Breathing

  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils. As you do so, imagine the number 1 clearly in your mind. See it printed large and bold.
  • Exhale slowly and completely through your nostrils. As you do this, see the number 2 boldly in your mind.
  • Inhale again and see the number 3.
  • Continue this exercise to the count of 8. Inhale and exhale very slowly.
  • Repeat this sequence as often as needed during the day.


1 To 4 & 1 To 8 Count Breathing

  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply to the count of 1-2-3-4. Feel your lungs filling with air.
  • Hold this air to the count of 1-2-3-4.
  • Exhale very slowly through your nostrils to the count of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.
  • Repeat the sequence three or more times. Use this exercise as often as needed during the day.