The first and last thing we do in life is breathe. Breathing is the difference between life and death. It is the single most important thing that you do in life and it is the single most valuable thing you have or will ever have.|
Breathing, eating, drinking and sleeping are the four essentials of life. Of the four, breathing is the one that God did not give you much control over. It’s far too essential. You can make bad choices about sleeping, eating and drinking and you can survive for some time without them, but you can only survive for a few minutes without breathing!
Considering how immensely important it is, you can only wonder why we know so little about it or why we pay so little attention to it. Some people hardly breathe down into their neck. Many take miserly little breaths that hardly move the lungs. Very few of us breathe into the abdominal area. Ideally, each breath should empty and refill your lungs with every exhalation and inhalation. Inhalation brings in oxygen and exhalation releases carbon dioxide and other gases.
Air is abundant and free, but we all act as if we were on an ‘Oxygen Budget’. There is no vitamin, mineral, medicine, exercise or medical procedure that will ever come close to having the health giving and life saving benefits of air. Many are searching for the great elixir of life. Many of us spend fortunes on new products or services that promise better health or longevity. We read magazines or research papers to find new cures or life enhancing products, but very rarely do we use our own common sense and natural resources.
We hear a lot about the health benefits of aerobic exercise. But did you realize that the greatest benefit of aerobic exercise is not so much the movement (although very beneficial and important) but from the deeper, faster breathing.
Pumping in all of that oxygen is where the health benefits come from. Many people cannot do aerobic exercises. Yet these are the very people who vitally need the additional oxygen. Well, it’s so easy - simply breathe. Even an invalid can lie in bed and breathe deeply and slowly. If they did this for a few weeks, they would be amazed by the healing power and increased energy they would obtain.
At the risk of sounding cynical, I will state right now that you don’t hear about the benefits of breathing because no one has yet worked out a way of marketing it. There’s no money in selling the concept of breathing. Imagine the fortune that could be made if advertisers had a product that improved the immune system, normalized blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, improved circulation, decreased or eliminated pain, reduced inflammation, increased mental well-being, decreased or eliminated depression and anxiety, reduced wrinkles and gave the skin and eyes a clear radiance, fought bacteria, viruses and parasites, removed toxins and gases from the body, increased energy and improved digestion and elimination.
Let me inspire you to further explore what could be the single most important knowledge you will ever acquire; totally free, with no hidden agenda. Breathing will cost you nothing. It does not require time. You can breathe while watching television, lying in bed, travelling to work, absolutely anywhere and anytime.
The only place I do not recommend deep breathing is in a steam filled environment, i.e., not in the bath or shower as water often has chlorine and other chemicals in it.
I believe that the most effective research comes from trying something yourself in order to prove its validity. Absolutely no harm can come from breathing. I truly believe that if you simply breathe deeply and slowly for at least 30 minutes a day, you will have amazing results.
Many health problems are caused, or maintained by prolonged stress. Healing is impaired by stress. Pain is increased or prolonged by stress. Breathing deeply reduces stress, but more importantly it prevents stress from building and adding to itself. A person who is already stressed will easily becomes more stressed without any real provocation. We all know people who ‘fly off the handle’ at the most insignificant things or in an irrational way, not because of any real provocation, but simply because they are on stress overload.
Regular deep breathing minimizes stress. In the long term you will find that the more relaxed you are the less likely it is that little things will irritate you.
Deep breathing also relaxes muscles. A lot of back, neck and stomach pain is frequently caused by muscles being squeezed so tightly that over time the areas become painful. In some cases, the body permanently takes on the shape of the tension, such as hunched shoulders and facial wrinkles. Stomach and bowel problems are often the result of habitually squeezing or tensing the muscles in these areas.
The immune system needs oxygen to function effectively. The immune system is a huge chemical factory. All the doctors, scientists and pharmacists in the world do not have the intelligence of the immune system. When it comes to your body, this is the army of all armies. It will work hard to capture, kill and destroy any invader, such as bacteria, viruses, allergens, parasites and yeast infections.
Correct breathing helps to prevent premature aging and degenerative diseases. The best beauty treatment available is breathing. Just look at your skin and eyes after doing aerobic exercise.
Deep breathing reduces pain. Anyone who has experienced childbirth can vouch for that. Thank goodness most birthing institutions now practice breath therapy. Knowing this, I wonder why they do not encourage these breathing techniques in more pain related treatments.
Most people believe we get most of our energy from food, but this not so. It is estimated that as much as 75% of our physical and mental energy is provided by oxygen. People often take great care with their nutritional needs, adding vitamins, minerals and all sorts of health promoting products. Without effective breathing, your digestive system cannot fully metabolise many of these additives.
A large percentage of these additives are not absorbed or transported throughout your body. Many of us think that toxins and waste products are eliminated via our skin, bowels and bladder; we forget that a vast amount of our elimination is via breathing.
Deep breathing greatly influences emotions and general well-being. With deep breathing, we can calm ourselves when in a state of anxiety or fear. To the other extreme, you have probably either experienced or at least heard of ‘runner"s-high’. Runner"s high is a term for a phenomenon wherein a person experiences a state of bliss and an enormous surge of physical energy. Runner’s- high does not come from running. It comes from maximizing oxygen input and carbon dioxide and other gas output.
Many religious and philosophical practices use breath therapy to bring a richer or more enlightened state of mind. In recent years, the western world has adopted many of these principles. Breathing techniques are used to calm the mind and focus your attention on the greater wisdom of your own body and mind. Your instincts become stronger and your thinking becomes clearer. Many people experience a deeper sense of mind, body and spiritual well-being.
Yoga, Tai Chi, Rebirthing and Buteyko techniques are becoming mainstream because they work. Buteyko breathing is becoming popular as word spreads of its effectiveness in treating, among other things: asthma, sinus problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, emphysema, depression and arthritis.
Rebirthing focuses on releasing emotional blockages. Initially, it should be tried only with the aid of an experienced practitioner. It is a very fast and powerful way of freeing up past emotional traumas. Many people find the technique immensely valuable and liberating, experiencing great joy and release. If you believe you have a lot of emotional ‘stuff”, then I would suggest first trying something a little gentler like Yoga or Tai Chi, as they both also release emotional blockages, but in a slower and gentler way.
Yoga and Tai Chi use breathing and movement. They are excellent ways of increasing energy, reducing stress, and stretching, strengthening and toning muscles.
I am not endorsing or promoting any particular technique. You should consider seeking further information elsewhere if you feel that you would like to explore these options.
I am highly recommending that you try deep, long, slow breathing as a daily exercise to improve health and well-being, release stress, and re-energise your mind and body. Give it at least two weeks and make up your own mind by experiencing the benefits. (Copyright Sonya Green)
Author Bio :
Copyright Sonya Green. http://www.reinventingmyself.com Sonya is the author of a book called Reinventing Myself, and aslo offer some Guided meditation C.D's focusing on Stress Reduction, Weight Loss, Healing and Personal Growth, How to get what you really want and need.
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