The Role of Breathwork in Physical and Mental Recovery

April 4, 2023

People often ask how to breathe in the salt booth or sauna to maximize physical and mental recovery. At Synchronicity, our team teaches several breathing techniques for calming or energizing the body and mind. In the salt, as part of an overall recovery routine, we recommend people utilize physiological sighs for 2-3 minutes during their session, followed by consistent box breathing. Both breathing techniques are designed to use the body to calm the mind. The physiological sigh is a simple double inhale followed by a long exhale. The pattern of breathing is what happens after someone cries. It stimulates the vagus nerve causing the body to move toward a more relaxed state. After a few minutes of physiological sighs, athletes are encouraged to move toward a standardΒ  4 by 4 box breathing technique to relax both body and mind further. By combining these two breathing techniques with the therapeutic properties of salt and heat, the body and mind slowly shift away from the sympathetic nervous systems dominance and the fight or flight mode of operation and move toward parasympathetic nerve dominance and rest, digest and invest orientation. To learn more about the stress reaction and its impact on our physical and mental function, then please read “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Dr. Robert Sapolski, the preeminent stress researcher at Stanford.

4 by 4 Box Breathing Visual

Box Breathing | Techniques, Benefits, and How to for Anxiety - Chill Chief


Modern Minds with MUSC Health

Synchronicity is a subsidiary of Modern Minds, a non-profit organization dedicated to treating and empowering mental health and wellbeing. We often partner together to offer truly integrative care for Modern Minds clients, Synchronicity members and the greater Lowcountry community.