Such a simple thing that we all take for granted! Before I start my Holistic Therapies, I always start with a deep breathing exercise. This helps my client to relax, by breathing deeply the body is doing what it needs to do.
I guess I have always been interested in breathing correctly and do try and help people with it as and when I can, especially with clients that have anxiety issues or other health issues. This probably came about from when I was younger, I was lucky in as much, as my Mum helped me breath correctly, this helped with swimming and singing, playing the flute etc.. my goood breathing habits also came in useful during labour, as it should I guess! I thought that I would share some really useful information about – you guessed it – BREATHING CORRECTLY!
These will be a few articles, and will also have a couple of great breathing exercises included, so if you want to know more then just read on…..
However there is more to just breathing in and out, there is a correct way to breathe and many people find that their breathing is on the “shallow” side, this means they are not breathing from the diagphram, so the breaths are just going to the lungs not further down into the body, when a deep breath is brought into the body the shoulders lift, this is not breathing as you should, this is a “shallow” breath, or “chest breathing” this breathing will not fill your diagphram.
Shallow breathing, or chest breathing is the drawing of minimal breath into the lungs, usually by drawing air into the chest area using the intercostal muscles rather than throughout the lungs via the diaphragm. Shallow breathing can result in or be symptomatic of rapid breathing and hypoventilation.
Are you chest breathing?
Here’s a simple way to find out; lie on your back and place your hands around your lower ribs. You should feel an effortless expansion of the lower ribs on the breath in and a slow recoil on the breath out. If your ribs remain motionless, your breathing is too shallow, even if your tummy moves.
Breathing Detoxifies and Releases Toxins Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
On the flip side are all the benefits to be had from learning how to breathe correctly. These include more energy, better health, decreased anxiety, less fear, better relationships, and just a happier life in general.
Correct breathing means you breathe in a way that is physiologically optimal for your body. It’s the way you were designed to breathe, only never taught how to.
If you’re like most people, your breathing pattern likely has some issues like, for example, over-breathing, chest breathing, and holding your breath.
Breathing habits like these lead to a shortage of oxygen and energy and are very stressful to the body.
The solution to these issues is to become aware of the way you breathe and then consciously reshape these patterns.
Let’s have a closer look at why this is so important.
The Consequences of Sucking at Breathing
Poor breathing habits can give rise to a lot of unexpected adverse effects. Some of the most crucial ones being:
The nervous system becomes unbalanced, the breath has an immediate impact on the nervous system and plays a vital role in maintaining a balanced body.
A dysfunctional breathing pattern, like a short and forced one, results in a tense body and much higher levels of stress.
The airways get tighter, that makes it harder for the air to travel from the mouth to the lungs. As a result, your body has to work harder and breathe faster.
The blood vessels constrict which can lead to higher blood pressure and force the heart to work harder.
Less energy gets produced; bad breathing decreases your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to the cells. The cells get stressed and have to prioritize survival instead of development.
Every single process in the body is dependent on oxygen. Some of our most work-intensive organs are:
The brain; uses 20% of the oxygen we consume. When there’s a shortage of oxygen, the brain will work slower, and since the brain regulates a lot of other functions in the body, these are also affected.
The heart; is constantly active and beating about 100.000 times in a single day, the heart is a massive consumer of oxygen and shortage in supply means the heart can’t pump out blood as efficiently. That leads to bad circulation, and cold hands and feet.
The muscles; Oxygen shortage makes the muscles go stiff, tense, and tired faster, which naturally has a negative effect on athletic performance.
Now, there are plenty more ways that poor breathing affects our bodies, I’m sure you get the point: Proper breathing is important.
To Be Continued…….