Learning how to breathe can lessen stress

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It's the next frontier in wellness, offering a variety of potential uses and benefits. (KABC)

Life for mortgage underwriter Laurent Andre is intense.

"A stressful situation at work could trigger a panic attack in me," Andre said. His response: Just breathe.

He's practicing breath work, something he takes classes to master.

"I can basically do like 10 cycles of this breathing pattern and pretty much feel completely different," Andre said.

Rob Wilson teaches "the art of breath" in clinics around the country. He said not only is it a way to fill our lungs in a controlled manner, but it's the next frontier in wellness, offering a variety of potential uses and benefits.

"It can be anything from enhancing sports performance, improving your conditioning for a specific sport or for your fitness, all the way to actually helping yourself with problems like anxiety or respiratory problems," said Wilson.

Wilson acknowledges that, yes, we all know how to breathe, but there are still some things that can be learned.

"Those postures and positions that we adopt slowly start to limit our capacity to fully expand our lungs and then, therefore, can limit our ability to process oxygen," said Wilson.

Once you've got it down, continuing the practice costs nothing and takes very little time, yet proponents say it can make a world of difference. Andre says it's brought a breath of fresh air to tough days on the job.

"It's a lot easier for me to be relaxed," Andre said.
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