How Slow-Paced Breathing improves the well-being

Sevoz-Couche C, Laborde S.
Heart rate variability and slow-paced breathing: when coherence meets resonance. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2022;135:104576.


Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


In 2022, researchers from the french National Institute of Health and Medical Research have published an interesting article for health professionals who want to better understand the mechanisms underlying respiratory, blood pressure and cardiac oscillations and the importance of temporal coherence (no delay between those processes).

The authors describe the relevance of high vagally-mediated Heart-Rate Variability (vmHRV) as well as the role of Slow-Paced Breathing (SPB), and the interdependence between these two, for health, well-being, and self-regulation. Despite scientific studies on yoga fails to apply strict standards to make the results comparable (i.e. the use control groups, quality report standards), the increasing amount of literature suggests that SPB has positive central and peripheral neurophysiological and neuropsychological effects. 

Studies show cardiovascular improvements, increase in exercise performance and reduction in inflammation and blood pressure. Improvements in pain regulation, emotion awareness, cognitive abilities, as well as stress management, have been reported. 

The adapted Hatha yoga practice delivered by Yoga In Healthcare focus on deep and slow-paced breathing associated with movements. The YeS (Yoga and Care) program, inspired by the Yoga4Health programme UK, is largely based on the relevance of stimulating the vagus nerve and increase heart-rate variability to enhance general physical and mental health. During the program, the participants learn to progressively elongate the exhale, the inhale and how to space them. Finally coherent breathing is taught. 

This programme can be beneficial to people living with chronic disease and is fits into the new integrated health policies.

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