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4-7-8 Breath

Simple  – Quick  – No equipment needed  – Do it anywhere!

The 4-7-8 breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, Harvard trained and a leading expert on Integrative Medicine.   This is a very simple and useful tool to achieve general relaxation and to manage stress. 


  1. Exhale completely through your mouth making a WHOOSH sound
  2. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth and keep it there throughout the whole exercise.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to the count of 4.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth making a WHOOSH sound to a count of 8.

The time you spend on each phase is not important but the ratio 4 – 7 – 8 is.  If you have trouble holding your breath, you can speed it up but keep the ratio 4 – 7 – 8.   With practice you can slow it down and get used to breathing more deeply.

Do it at least twice a day.  Do not do more than four cycles at one time for the first month of practice.   Later, if you wish, you can extend it, but no more than eight breaths.   If you feel lightheaded, stop – it will pass and cut down the number of times you do it.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.  Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective at first but over time lose power, this exercise is subtle when you first try it,  but gains in power with repetition and practice.  Use it whenever anything upsets you or when you are aware of internal tension or you feel a sense of panic.

I have found this very useful with the stresses in my life and I thank Dr. Krisstina Gowin, an Integrative Medicine Doctor as well as a Hematologist/Oncologist who shared this with me.

Hope this helps you to R E L A X.