It is obvious by our interaction with the outside world (seeing light and dark, feeling warm and cold, etc.) that our bodies know where we are in the cycles that govern our lives. But what is not obvious is that our breath also interacts with the outside world.

New study: How breathing shapes our brain

The connection between breath and mental health is clear when you think of it the following way. Breathing affects heart rate. The rate of the heart impacts the autonomic nervous system. And the autonomic nervous system can affect our body’s hormone and neuropeptide balance, which are the primary mechanisms for changing the chemistry of our brains.

Breath is the gateway that leads to the deeper internal parts of our minds, giving us access to functions not commonly thought of as controllable. This is because breathing is the easiest of our automatic functions over which we can exert deliberate control. And that is why in most methods of meditation, the rhythm of one’s breath is central to the process.

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Dr. Dan Perez is both a Western-trained physician and a graduate of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. Based in Austin, Texas, AOMA is recognized as one of the leading schools in Chinese Medicine. Being both an expert in Western medicine and Chinese medicine, Dr. Perez offers his patients natural, minimally invasive and integrative medical options for treating a variety of chronic medical conditions. If you would like to know more about how Dr. Perez can help with your health and well being, contact him today. You can contact Dr. Perez at his office, located just off of Bee Cave Road in northwest Austin (near Lakeway), for more information or to book an appointment.