Learn To Relax And Beat The Stress With The 478 Breathing Technique.

Breathing as everyone knows is a vital sign of being alive. But many of us are not aware of different ways of breathing as well as the correct technique ofbreathing. The benefit of understanding the correct technique is associated with the lung capacity of our body. Lung capacity dictates the amount of oxygen exchanged when we breathe.

At present one of the most discussed breathing techniques is the 478 breathing technique. You all must be curious to know, what is 478 breathing technique? Well, the 478 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. It is a breathing pattern which is inspired from a very ancient technique mentioned in the vedas called pranayama. Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil with the help of 478 breathing techniques some of the health issues that can be tackled easily with regular practice includes –
● Anxiety
● Sleep
● Anger
● Cravings

What is 478 Breathing Technique?

The 478 breathing technique is also referred to as “Relaxing breath” and involves 4 sec of inhalation (taking air in from nostrils), followed by holding of breath for 7
seconds and then finally exhaling for 8 seconds. This is a complete cycle of 478 breathing. It is a kind of deep breathing technique and such deep breathing techniques are commonly practiced during meditation and yoga.

How To Perform 478 Breathing Techniques?

First of all, we need a comfortable space to perform this breathing. Then you need to sit down preferably on the floor (putting mat is a choice). Now while sitting, place the tip of tongue on the tissues right behind the top front teeth (upper incisors).
Now, follow these steps to perform the 478 breathing —

  1. First of all, empty the lungs by exhaling properly.
  2. Now, start breathing in the air from your nostrils slowly for 4 seconds and while doing so your mouth should be closed. No air should enter from the mouth cavity during this process. Also, it is recommended to keep your eyes closed too for better results.
  3. Now, once you inhale the air for 4 seconds. Now, hold your breath for 7 seconds.
  4. Finally, exhale the air from the nostrils and mouth with a woosh sound and this should take 8 seconds to perform. This is called forceful exhalation. It involves diaphragm and abdominal muscles to perform the forceful exhalation.

Repeat this process 4 times a day everyday to see effective results over a period of time. Dr. Weil also suggests that if a person finds it difficult to perform the 478 breathing technique then initially they can do only two cycles. Few people may suffer from lightheadedness or dizziness while performing this technique. So, they can also do it while lying or can take support of a wall or so if sitting. He also says that doing it more than 4 times a day needs regular practice of the 478 breathing technique.

Another crucial point to remember while practicing the 478 breathing technique is to maintain the correct ratio of 478. If you are not able to do it when you are just starting to learn the technique then you can replace it with 2-3.5-4 ratio, that means to inhale for 2 seconds, hold breath for 3.5 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. Maintaining this ratio between inhalation, holding and exhaling is far more important than the number of times you perform the 478 breathing technique.

Also Read: 5 Things to Avoid for Good Night’s Sleep

How 478 Breathing Works?

Well, it’s very interesting to understand how 478 breathing works. In our body, we have a parasympathetic nervous system and a sympathetic system. The 478 breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system of our body which is responsible for relaxation. So, according to Dr.Weil, the regular practice of 478 breathing helps in releasing stress, and anxiety, and calms you down. Most of the breathing exercises focus on the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. Examples of other breathing exercises that activate our parasympathetic nervous system are alternate nostril breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, equal breathing (Sama vritti), humming bee breathing Bhramari), etc.

Benefits Of 478 Breathing

There plenty of health benefits of 478 breathing technique, which are listed below:

  1. Reduces anxiety and stress.
  2. Improves sleep cycle and quality.
  3. Helps in relaxation and fights fatigue.
  4. Reduces hypertension and maintains blood pressure.
  5. Helps in combating headaches, especially migraines.
  6. Reduces anger and aggression.
  7. Helps in fighting against respiratory disorders like asthma and COPD.
  8. Helps in elevating focus, determination, and concentration in an individual with regular practice.
  9. Keeps your cravings under control as it activates parasympathetic nervous control. Therefore it also helps in weight loss, and binge eating disorder which is common in stress, depression, and anxiety cases.
  10. Increases lung capacity. Therefore helps in developing better stamina while performing physical activities and exercises.

Also Read: How To Sleep Fast Like A Baby


The 478 breathing technique is surely one of the simplest ways to add health benefits in our day-to-day life. Firstly, it takes only a few minutes daily to practice. Secondly, it is cost-free, all you need is just a comfortable place to sit down. Thirdly, if you are feeling low on energy and finding difficulty in focusing, then also you can just take a break and perform it, to feel better. The 478 breathing also focuses on the importance of the correct way of breathing and how it benefits in sleep and relaxation, along with decreasing anxiety and stress, helps in maintaining blood pressure, improves immunity against respiratory diseases, etc. So, take out some time for yourself to invest in your health in one of the easiest ways.

Also Read: Don’t Know How To Manage Anxiety? These Simple Tricks Can Help.

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Sonia Solanki

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Sonia Solanki

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