In our fast-paced and hectic lives, stress has become a common companion for many. While it’s
impossible to eliminate all sources of stress, we can certainly manage and reduce its impact on
So where do we start?
Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives,
although it can easily become overwhelming.
Without boring you by listing ridiculously long words and bunch of physiological jargon, stress can
be described graphically in the form of an upside-down U.
On the upslope, we have a period whereby as stress increases so does your overall health and
performance. When we reach the peak, our optimal health and performance is achieved – you
may have heard someone use the term “diamonds are made under pressure” when they are
stressed for time?
As we start to go down the other side, stress becomes too much – this is the tipping point where
you might find yourself a little too often.
What can you do right now to harness the power of breathing?
One effective and accessible tool for stress relief is practicing mindful breathing exercises.
Research has found meditation interventions to decrease cortisol, heart rate, blood pressure, and
cytokine levels – which can all be indicators of heightened stress.
By taking the time to breathe consciously and mindfully, we activate our body’s relaxation
response, offering a natural and effective way to reduce stress levels.
Incorporate some of the following techniques into your daily routine and you will not only find
solace and relief from stress, but you may also see improvements to your overall health and
1. Deep Belly Breathing:
Deep belly breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is a beneficial stress-relieving technique. It
helps activate the body’s relaxation response, promoting a sense of calm and reducing
negative subjective and physiological consequences of stress.
2. Box Breathing:
Box breathing is a technique that increases performance and concentration, helping to restore
balance and tranquillity. By regulating your breath and focusing on the counting, you can
interrupt the cycle of stress and anxiety.
3. 4-7-8 Breathing:
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a powerful stress-relieving exercise that promotes relaxation
and a deep sense of calm through increasing parasympathetic activity and decreasing
sympathetic activity, allowing stress to dissipate with each soothing breath.
How can your Osteopath help?
With a holistic approach, osteopathic healthcare professionals can have a positive effect on both
your breathing and stress reduction. Here are 5 ways in which osteopathy can help you:
1. Enhancing Respiratory Function:
Through manual techniques such as soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilisation, and myofascial
release, osteopaths can address restrictions or dysfunctions that may impact your breathing
2. Correcting Postural Imbalances:
Poor breathing mechanics and postural imbalances can increase stress in the body.
Osteopaths are skilled in identifying and addressing postural issues that may contribute to
3. Relieving Muscular Tension:
Muscular tension is often associated with stress and can affect breathing patterns. By targeting
and releasing tense muscles, particularly in the chest, neck, and diaphragm, osteopaths can
help restore relaxation and ease in the respiratory muscles, facilitating improved breathing.
4. Promoting Relaxation and Stress Reduction:
Osteopaths adopt a holistic approach to patient care, recognising the mind-body connection.
Through gentle manual techniques and a supportive therapeutic environment, osteopaths can
promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
5. Lifestyle and Exercise Recommendations:
Osteopaths can provide you with recommendations for lifestyle modifications and exercises
that support breathing and stress reduction. This may include advice on breathing exercises,
postural correction, and relaxation techniques.
In our fast-paced and hectic lives, stress does NOT have to become a common companion for
you. Don’t let stress wear you down! Harness the power of breathing and reap its rewards, and
don’t be afraid to ask your osteopath for their tips and tricks.
If you would like to make an appointment with a Osteopath, you can book online here:
Or if you have any questions please call us on (03) 9717 1200 or email