A Tiny Spot in Mouse Brains May Explain How Breathing Calms the Mind

By Dr. Mercola Controlled, purposeful breathing plays an important role in some of the most calming experiences on Earth — like meditation and yoga. You may also find yourself taking a long deep breath almost instinctively as a way to relax and center yourself, particularly just prior to or during stressful situations. It’s clear that the way you breathe — whether fast or slow, shallow or deep — sends messages to your body that affect your mood, your stress levels and even your immune system. New research has revealed, however, that breathing may directly affect your brain activity, including your state of arousal and higher-order brain function.1 How Controlled Breathing May Lead to Mental Calm Breathing is initiated by a cluster of neurons in your brainstem. In an animal study, researchers were attempting to identify different types of neurons (out of a group of nearly 3,000) and identify their role in breathing function. They were focused on the pre-Bötzinger complex (or pre


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