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4th Pillar of Health

There are 4 pillars to good health and good living in our life. We are mostly familiar with healthy eating, exercise, and somewhat familiar with resting (sleep, aka restoration and recovery). But what is the 4th pillar? It’s the regulation and management of the nervous system (NS). And breathwork does exactly that.


NS Affects How We Feel And Perform.

Our NS plays a key role in our health and how we feel. We can eat all the healthy food, exercise like crazy and even have all the 8-9 hours of sleep every single day but if our NS is dis-regulated, it all will not going to work at its fullest. In a state of stress our digestive system will not work properly and will not absorb all the nutrients, our sleep will be jerky and we won’t feel fully rested and recovered the next day, and our ability to think analytically, clearly and be present will also be compromised. And all that on their own will affect our energy levels through out our actions and days. On top of that, dis-regulated nervous system may keep us in a constant state of stress, alarmed, anxious, and our minds will drive us mad with all the endless thoughts.

Basically, the state of our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is key to good health and happiness. It affects how our digestive system works, how well we will perform at work, home, and in the gym, and how well we can recover during the sleep. It affects our energy levels, how we feel, how relaxed, happy, and in flow we are, how we relate to ourselves, and how we react to other people, their behaviour, and the world with its events around us.

Our NS Should Be Dynamic.

Our ANS should be able to switch from parasympathetic (PNS – rest & digest) to sympathetic (SNS – fight or flight) and back with ease and when necessary. Basically, it should be dynamic and flexible.

When our NS has lost that flexibility and dynamism it becomes stuck and rigid and may not respond to stimuli (within or outside) with correct accuracy and agility as it should. It might then go into sympathetic state when it needs to be in parasympathetic and vice versa. Meaning, we become aroused when we should be relaxed and we may relax when, instead, we should be aroused and ready to fight or run.

When our NS gets easily stuck or triggered into high gears we can describe this with one word we all are familiar with, the stress.


Stress, The State Of Protection.

Stress is when our body and it’s nervous system is in a sympathetic state (fight or flight – anger or fear). Our glands are stimulated by ANS to excrete stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol among others. When these hormones are excreted for a short period of time it is healthy. But the problem arises when our ANS gets stuck or is constantly messaging sympathetic stress response. That means, lots of adrenalin and cortisol over a long period of time. And that again, creates inflammation, exhaustion, fatigue, compromised digestion and immune system, difficulty of analytical and clear thinking, and even difficulty to engage with other fellow human being to name a few.

All stress is emotional. Meaning, when ever our ANS is in either sympathetic or  parasympathetic state it is translated through endocrine system and hormones into felt sensation – an emotion. For example, sympathetic state creates mostly anger driven emotions, which act as – protection by fight mechanism or fear driven emotions that act as – protection by escape mechanism. Where as parasympathetic state gives opportunity for sense of ease, relaxedness, presence, joy, laughter, caring and love to be experienced.

Those two nervous system states can not be experienced simultaneously. ANS works as switch where activated is one (PNS) or the other (SNS) and never both the same time.

Emotions Are Meant To Flow, Not To Be Suppressed.

When we allow our selves to feel any emotion we allow the state or the sensations to flow through us. When we allow the emotions to flow through they will vanish soon. When we don’t allow our selves to feel some emotions they get stuck and suppress by subconscious mind/system into our body.

Usually, when we are facing any intense situation where we feel it is not possible or safe to deal with overwhelming emotions they get suppressed into our body system for later management – feeling and releasing. However, most of the time, we never really get to do that. Instead, we keep piling those emotions up forever as if they magically just disappear somewhere.

Those suppression habits (mechanisms) start and develop in our early childhood. Some of them are known as childhood trauma.

All these suppressed emotions get stored in our nervous system, subconscious mind. A chemical representation of an emotions get stuck on the cellular level in our body until they are released.

Why Do We Keep Falling Back?

In our daily life we may find practices that help relieve the stress we have accumulated over time. Some of us may execute 10 continuous Iron Man’s. Others can not live a day without a gym or running. But as soon as we stop those good habits we feel bad or feel like falling back into depression.

So, All these actions at extreme quantities are mere patches we use to hide the actual state of our being. Beneath the surface we keep being in stress because something within our NS isn’t resolved. It keeps holding, protecting. That something consumes our energy and happiness. We can not outrun, even through 100 marathons, state of our NS. We can get a short term feel good hormonal rush but not really resolve something deep, most of the time.


Resolving Stress.

Effective way to manage and regulate our NS is by allowing ourselves to feel the discomfort – uncomfortable sensations – in the body, feel the sensation, feel the emotions. Allowing it to fully unfold, enables emotions to fully vanish. To be able to feel the sensations and emotions we first need to be able to feel our body. We need to be in contact with our body.

It might be that we are not capable to feel or we don’t have contact with our body. We may feel numb overall or in some areas of our body. It’s because it might have been too much for us to feel in the past. So we shut down the sense to protect our selves from the intensity and pain it caused.

If that’s the case, we first need to revive connection with our body. By reviving connection with our body we can start feeling the sensations within it. When we have built capability to feel, we then start building capacity to feel stronger and stronger sensations. We build that until we are able to feel suppressed emotions and sensations fully.

Now, by being capable and having capacity to experience those consciously and fully or body can start processing and resolving them, so emotions can be released from the system.

So, there are two ways to do that. One is by building our capability and capacity consciously in our everyday life by force. The other one is to use a shortcut of Conscious Connected Breathing therapy.


Conscious Connected Breathing (CCB)

The conscious connected breathwork is specifically designed for nervous system regulation and management. It uses connected breathing to activate our nervous system and alter our state of consciousness. That enables access to subconscious mind so the deep suppressed emotions, stress and trauma can be released. It allows the ANS reset to its default flexibility and dynamism.

The reset is reflected in our everyday life as ease, presence, joy, flow, creativity, flow of new ideas, energy to go, do, and act, etc. We feel more alive and connected with who we are and with people around us.

Breathwork can be effective life long practice also, like an exercise, healthy eating habits, and good daily rest. First, it will allow us to resolve and release the stress that’s accumulated over time.  Then to manage our everyday stress levels when those may rise too high.


We know now that nervous system management is as important as working out, eating healthy and having a good night sleep. It literally affects the three later ones, which includes how our physiology works.

By keeping our NS functioning dynamic our life becomes a constant flow state. We’ll spend less time struggling to get back up and more time in being up. Which translates into spending more of our life in a state of feeling good.

By understanding what stress is, how our emotions work, and why we might fall back into depression states gives us awareness of what is going on with us. It creates an opportunity for us to notice what is going on within so we can allow our selves to actually feel our bodies and allow the sensations and emotions to flow.

To keep our everyday lives on top of the wave, filled with joy, presence, and happiness, and having more time of feeling good it is important to manage our nervous system. For that we can use tools like breathwork to accelerate the release of stress from our body system to live fuller and happier life!


What tools do you use to keep yourself in flow?

What tools, practices, or techniques you use to manage your stress and emotions?

Would you give breathwork a chance as a tool for better life?


If you are interested to trying out the breathwork, we gather few times a week for shared breathwork journeys. Explore about our breathwork options here.