The influence of breathing on the brain

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We will see the influence of respiration on the brain, and its ability to manage cognitive and emotional circuits, the influence of diet on the balance of the intestinal microbiota and the contagion capacity when listening to people with stress.

[Music] [Sound] one of the most known techniques since thousands of years ago to regulate our emotions and regulate our mental states and in particular for the regulation of stress has always   has always been the breathing, the respiratory techniques  it has to be said that until practically   four or five years ago the influence that breathing had  breathing on cognition was for   the scientific world practically unknown  it was thought that obviously the brain knows how to   we are breathing but that this knowledge of the  respiratory pattern that we were having did not   had anything to do with the cognitive or emotional processes  or emotional processes because it makes then practice in five   years ago it was published in the journal science which is one of the  is one of the most prestigious journals in the world

   scientific an article that was very revolutionary  and that is that it located in the brain an area that   was a kind of a sort of a whistle blower that tells the rest of the  brain how we're breathing and that information   of how we're breathing the brain uses it  to interpret to change the cognitive processes   was surprising because that area of the brain  was located in one of the most important regions of the brain   deepest regions of our brain we know that we have the cortex we have the most emotional regions and the most   the brain stem the brain stem  it's a very visceral control area it's the most   evolutionarily ancient and it is a little bit the most distant from the cognitive processes because inside the brainstem   of the brainstem there are two structures that are key to the influence  for the influence that respiration has on   the brain one of them is the locus coeruleus  which owes its name to the fact that it is a structure of   blue color blue color the locus coeruleus which was already  it was already known that it had a lot to do with what we   are called the noradrenergic circuits  that is those that are activated when something   generates us a lot of motivation when we are very alert to something, this is essential for the   attention processes we pay more attention to  that which motivates us that which calls to us   we pay more attention to that which calls our attention, not to that which has produced  in us a shot of noradrenaline there all the time

   our cognitive resources are going to be  very alert this is the word that we   we use in neuroscience to be alert when we  we manage our attention as the   william james to control the attention is to own  our mind we make our resources   neuronal resources are localized sustained  in a single process our mind as it is   is absolutely constantly interfered with  it suffers both external and internal interference   and we need mechanisms to block these interferences  interference, one of the processes that has been   that have been found to help us to maintain our attention and therefore to  therefore to keep us alert is the breathing every time we take a deep breath  we're activating those noradrenaline circuits

   and this is very important for example for those who  you dedicate yourselves to be instructors

   of meditation in any process in any class  class approximately after 15 minutes it is said   that we have already lost about 70% of the ability to sustain the attention that fall of the processes

   cognitive attentional processes is related to  the drop of the endocrine noradrenergic circuitry then as it is decaying that  falls exponentially we become more susceptible   of being caught up in an interference at about 15 minutes  15 minutes practically for sure   that we've lost 70 percent of the class

  that's a time that is critical to reactivate  the norepinephrine circuits to reactivate the attentional  attentional mechanisms to return to that moment   of consciousness to be alert and as does the respiration as the  breathing does because the locus coeruleus is one of the   systems that most activates the processes of alertness in our brain  our brain that is to say the recharging of our   of the neuronal mechanisms that underlie attention and the locus  attention and the locus coeruleus is discovered   and this is what is published in the science journal  in 2014 it's discovered that the locus coeruleus is   connected to a complex that is called the pre-botzinnger  the pre-botzinnger complex thanks to the researcher who discovers it   doctor botzinnger the pre-botzinnger complex   is a very small structure that projects   to not only the emotional parts of the brain  but also to the cerebral cortex parts of the brain

   when we breathe according to how we are breathing  breathing the breathing pattern that we are   taking everything as it is if we breathe through the nose if we breathe through the  if we breathe through our nose if we breathe through our mouth if we do   full deep deep gasping breaths  if the breath is high if the breath has   a low rate if we breathe more through one nostril than the other all that  nostril than the other one all that information   is essential for the brain and that's the information that the pre-botz complex  information that the pre-botzinnger complex gives to the brain

   transmits to the rest of the brain this article as  I say is published in the journal neicer which was made   well describing what was the neuroanatomy  of respiration was done in an animal study   to be able to see their neuroanatomy and what they saw in  this work is that it's electrically modulated and they go electrically   electrically stimulated altered the activity of the pre-botzinnger complex

  of the pre-botzinnger complex could make the   animals to have a greater capacity of attention, memory  memory and emotion processing   this is absolutely novel and very revolutionary for the world of  revolutionary for the world of neuroscience

   by I want to say that one of our most visceral  so more visceral processes was affecting the processes   higher cognitive processes not of our brain what has been seen in neuroanatomy is that the respiration   through the connecting pathways of the pre-botzinnger complex activates the emotional systems and this what   means that depending on the way we are breathing we can make our response to the  breathing we can make our response to   an emotion is stronger or less strong this is what we call neuronal activation   to the same emotional stimulus not all people respond with the same  people respond with the same impetus this is what we call   what we call that reactivity that response that  response that neuronal valence according to how   we are breathing as we are more likely to react a lot to an emotion or the other way around we are more likely to react a lot to an emotion

   moderating our response to emotions then let's see what breathing patterns we are referring to

   but the anatomical pathways that come out are  afferent and efferent circuits

   from the pre-botzinnger nucleus were not only reaching the emotional  emotional circuits also reached parts of the   frontal parts of our brain and that's where I was  was shown to me scientifically because it was already I say that this is already known thousands of years ago, it was scientifically  scientifically demonstrated that respiration   is able to modulate both attention and memory

  there are breathing patterns that make us   make it easier for us to maintain and sustain attention

  there are breathing patterns that make it easier for us to   that our attention is therefore more susceptible  to interference, so in any given   yoga book does not remind us that the person a wandering mind is also a breath

  wandering mind is also a breath that   drifting this is something that we have heard many, many times and this  many, many times and this article was a little bit of a   the scientific proof of that and one of the great interests that  of the great interest that was aroused by the influence of the   neuroanatomy of breathing the influence that breathing has on our  of breathing on our brain activity   was to see how it affected the processing of emotions  emotions and in italy, Dr

celano led a research project on   research that was very well publicized and very beautiful in the  that showed that we can only we are only capable of   to regulate the response of emotions when we  we breathe through our nose not when we breathe   through the mouth apart from the hygienic advantages of breathing through the nose because we know that   the nose has different layers it's first the yellow layer  yellow layer and then the red layer when we   we are breathing in the air and everything that's in it  everything that carries the air enters into us

   when we breathe in through our mouth there's no filter  and all that goes inside of us many times there is no filter

   the pathogens that are present in the air cause our adenoids to become  our adenoids to become inflamed and this then   causes an immune response apart from the alterations that  alterations that produce all the musculature   orofacial but when we breathe through the nose when we have first that yellow layer which is called   yellow because it's a little bit warmer it acts as a thermal  a thermal barrier that makes a lot of those   pathogens don't get into us after the yellow layer is the red layer which is even warmer

   has a greater filtering capacity so that breathing through the nose is  breathing through the nose is beneficial for our   immune system because it makes it so that it doesn't have to be constantly fighting against all of the   pathogens that we put in our body and many of us live in urban environments and not with high   doses of pollution and pollution has been  has been seen that it activates our immune system a lot   immune system is one of the factors that most influences  on the health of our intestinal microbiota which is   we already know that in turn has an impact on the endocrine and nervous  endocrine system and the nervous system and this is one of the most   the things that neuroscience or neuroscience of well-being  of well-being or the neuroscience of style   that in order to control for example our chronic stress or anxiety  chronic stress or anxiety levels as well

   we have to take care of the environment in which we live

  if we live in environments that are very organized   with high concentrations of pollution and  we can't avoid that because one of the things that we  the best thing we can do to benefit our physical and  physical as well as mental health is to breathe more for our   the nose than through the mouth, but what Dr

Celia's neuroimaging  neuroimaging team of Dr

celano in italy   is that when we breathe through our nose, we have the  ability to modulate the activity of the amygdala

   the amygdala, which is one of the areas of the brain  that most influences the neuroscience of well-being

   is the one that gives emotional content to the experience  that we are living is perhaps the most important area of the amygdala

   important or what else we can shape in order to learn how to regulate stress it has been seen that people   with stress as we have said well they have one in an amygdala which is more functional which has a lot more   hemodynamic electrical and biochemical activity  and it also grows in thickness when we have stress   chronic and we have habituated our amygdala to be very reactive to  to be very reactive to always have a lot of activity   it's very difficult to shut it up, don't you notice the brain?  you have to remember that as it almost always happens in   biology systems are very inertial and as judson A

brewer says  as Judson A

Brewer says, which is one of the most important   great researchers in the neuroscience of well-being  wellness and the neuroscience of meditation

   our brain is a habit system if we have habituated our  habituated our amygdala to react and to be already   to be present and to judge everything that happens to us then the  the amygdala is going to react but the good thing is that it is   there are many studies that have shown that  with a few weeks of any technique that   help us to regulate our emotions and especially those  especially those that are based on programs that are based on   to reduce stress within a few weeks  we have already succeeded in modulating reduce retract   the activity of our amygdala because one of the factors that we can  factors that we can do for example   to control chronic stress or to control the stress that  stress that we have at certain times and that   is being detrimental to us is to be able to breathe through the nose

  breathing through the nose makes it so that the   activity that the amygdala responds to it

  mouth activity don't have responses on the   amygdala this is the result that the group of Dr

Celano's group arrived at where they showed clearly   the hemodynamic activity of the amygdala when we breathe through  we breathe through our nose and when we breathe through our   the mouth we can only reach the amygdala if we breathe through the nose

we breathe through the nose the breaths   through the mouth not another one of the studies that came out of these  from this research showed us that   certain breathing patterns that favor the memory processes  processes of memory making full breaths   makes us have greater memory capacity but there was one trick that was very very interesting and very   and that is that our memory capacity is greater when we are breathing in if we want to   remember something that is very important you say wait moments you breathe in through the nose because that's the   moment when our brain is much more receptive to remember  receptive to remembering when we're breathing   through the mouth or through the nose at that time the brains are not  brains are not as permeable to that which is   we want to remember and that we want to attend to therefore I've one of the ways that could most increase our   attention and memory capabilities is to make  inspirations that are longer and this took   both a lot of studying the brain mechanisms of why  brain mechanisms as to why techniques based on the   breathing enhancement because they were effective not only to relax us but also   to increase our cognitive abilities  we take approximately ten to twelve breaths   per minute to reach a respiration of about six  breaths per minute is what is known as the  slow breathing as slow breathing has been found to have many  has been shown to have many benefits for the   cardiovascular system for the endocrine system  even the immune system but specifically   for the cerebral system it has been seen that breathing  and by not breathing I mean breathing in a way that is   permanently take breaths per minute but  that throughout the day and specifically at certain times of the day and in certain   situations when we see that we need a little bit of relaxation  a little bit of relaxation or to control our states   mental to do like a 15-minute episode where we're trying to slow down  minutes episode where we're trying to slow down   the breathing and bring it down to 6 breaths per minute regulates  per minute regulates our emotions because   we reach the amygdala but increase our attention and memory  attention and memory capacities [Sound]

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