Inhale Relief: The Surprising Link Between Deep Breaths and Fewer Headaches

Lack of oxygen, caused by poor breathing or breath obstruction, is one of the most direct causes of headaches. Relief from head pain is only a few breaths away, as oxygen is the essential element needed for life. Every function in the body needs oxygen, from movement to digestion to thinking. However, many people engage in shallow breathing, which means they are not taking advantage of the air around them.

The Importance of Deep Breathing

Although you may not pay attention to your breathing, it can make you ill or boost your body’s power to heal. Think about the last time you felt stressed out. If your breathing was shallow and grew labored, it may have given you a headache. Shallow breathing can lead to oxygen deprivation, causing toxins to accumulate in the bloodstream. This, in turn, could lead to vascular headaches due to the dilation of blood vessels and initiate migraines. Prevent this by providing more oxygen to the brain through deep breathing and exercise.

Yawning as a Warning Sign

Yawning is a sign that you’re oxygen-deprived. When you’re tired, under stress, and sitting for too long, shallow breathing limits the oxygen supply, causing you to yawn. Yawning may also be a sign that an oxygen-deprivation headache is on its way. People who snore frequently, sleep face down, or sleep in poorly ventilated areas are susceptible to cluster headaches that result from restricted oxygen levels. In these cases, oxygen from a tank of pure oxygen may cut short the beginning of a cluster headache. Research shows that breathing in pure oxygen may reduce the incidence of cluster headaches by up to 80%.

Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen therapy has long been used in headache treatment in the West. There are two primary oxygen therapy types: oxidation and oxygenation. Both of these treatments have proven effective in treating conditions such as circulatory problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, and headaches. However, these methods treat headache symptoms after they have occurred, rather than preventing them from arising in the first place. Preventing headaches is more beneficial than trying to relieve pain after their onset.

Breathing Practices to Prevent Headaches

Oxygen deprivation headaches are caused by improper breathing. To prevent these headaches, focus on breathing properly and employing deep-breathing techniques, especially during times of stress. With proper breathing, the oxygen in your lungs is increased, respiratory function improves, and blood oxygen levels return to healthy levels. This can lower your risk of head pain.

Simple Breathing Exercises

Proper breathing necessitates filling the lungs to capacity. Deep breathing practices have been taught by Eastern healers for a long time and are represented well in both yoga and qigong practices. To fully benefit from proper breathing, consider the following tips:

  1. Keep your work, social and sleep areas well ventilated.
  2. Sleep on a pillow that is not too fluffy and avoid covering your nose with it when you sleep.
  3. Sleep on your back or side.
  4. Use nasal strips to prevent obstructed breathing while sleeping.
  5. Take about a dozen slow, deep breaths each hour, or as often as possible.
  6. Eat a mucus-free diet (avoiding dairy and processed foods) to reduce phlegm.

A straightforward abdominal breathing method can also facilitate this process for you.

  • Lie on your back, with bent knees and feet flat on the floor about 9 inches from your buttocks.
  • Keep your lower back on the floor and inhale fully.
  • Expand your abdomen as you inhale to fill your lungs all the way.
  • Allow your abdomen to sink as you exhale, expelling all the air from your lungs.
  • Repeat at least a dozen times.


Deep breathing offers multiple benefits, including preventing vascular headaches and improving overall health. By focusing on proper breathing techniques and incorporating deep breathing exercises into daily activities, you can potentially help alleviate and prevent headaches. So relax, breathe deeply, and enjoy a healthier life.