Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I feel very stressed lately. Can you recommend a breathing method to help me stay calm throughout the day?
A: For overcoming stress, try this deep, slow breathing exercise:
1. Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet place.
2. Sit on the tip of the chair with your back erect. Place your arms gently on your legs, which are bent at 90 degrees.
3. Breathe deeply through your nose and slowly into your lower
abdomen. Then breathe out gently. Do not overexert the breathing; begin at your natural pace and gently slow it down.
4. You may wish to close your eyes and calm your mind. Do this for 15 minutes three times per day.
Also, meditation, tai chi, or activities similar to these can help to alleviate anxiety and stress.
Additionally, you may wish to try the Traditions of Tao herbal formulas “Anxiety”,“Calm-fort/Sleeping”, and the “Five Elements of Health” to supplement your breathing practice. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.