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Health Hint: Breathing Exercises

Breathing as a bridge It is thought by many cultures that the process of breathing is the essence of being. A rhythmic process of expansion and contraction, breathing is one example of the consistent polarity we see in nature such as night and day, wake and sleep, seasonal growth and decay and ultimately life and death. In yoga, the breath is known as prana or a universal energy that can be used to find a balance between the bodymind, the conscoius-unconscoius, and the sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system. Unlike other bodily functions, the breath is easily used to communicate between these systems, which gives us an excellent tool to help facilitate positive change. It is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. We can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. Pranayama is a yoga practice that literally means the control of life or energy. It uses breathing techniques to change subtle energies within the body for health and well being. Breathing exercises can act as a bridge into those functions of the body of which we generally do not have conscious control. An example of how life effects physiology During times of emotional stress our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and effects a number of physical responses. Our heart rate rises, we perspire, our muscles tense and our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. If this process happens over a long period of time, the sympathic nervous system becomes over stimulated leading to an imbalance that can effect our physical health resulting in inflammation, high blood pressure and muscle pain to name a few. Consciously slowing our heart rate, decreasing perspiration and relaxing muscles is more difficult than simply slowing and deepening breathing. The breath can be used to directly influence these stressful changes causing a direct stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in relaxation and a reversal of the changes seen with the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. We can see how our bodies know to do this naturally when we take a deep breath or sigh when a stress is relieved. The breathing process can be trained Breathing can be trained for both positive and negative influences on health. Chronic stress can lead to a restriction of the connective and muscular tissue in the chest resulting in a decrease range of motion of the chest wall. Due to rapid more shallow breathing, the chest does not expand as much as it would with slower deeper breaths and much of the air exchange occurs at the top of the lung tissue towards the head. This results in "chest" breathing. You can see if you are a chest breather by placing your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. As you breathe, see which hand rises more. If your right hand rises more, you are a chest breather. If your left hand rises more, you are an abdomen breather. Chest breathing is inefficient because the greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs, areas that have limited air expansion in chest breathers. Rapid, shallow, chest breathing results in less oxygen transfer to the blood and subsequent poor delivery of nutrients to the tissues. The good news is that similar to

Examples would be to say to yourself the word. This leads to improved stamina in both disease and athletic activity. As all the air is released with relaxation. exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. even while asleep. The use of the hands on the chest and abdomen are only needed to help you train your breathing.learning to play an instrument or riding a bike. After exhaling through the mouth. The idea being to bring in the feeling/emotion you want with inhalation and release those you don't want with exhalation. • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs. With regular practice you will breathe from the abdomen most of the time. When it contracts it is forced downward causing the abdomen to expand. This causes a negative pressure within the chest forcing air into the lungs. abdominal breathing also helps prevent infection of the lung and other tissues. gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs. you may want to incorporate words that can enhance the exercise. By expanding the lung's air pockets and improving the flow of blood and lymph. is also improved. Note: Using and learning proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health. It is important to remember that we deepen respirations not by inhaling more air but through completely exhaling it. Once you . The benefits of abdominal breathing Abdominal breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing. relaxation (with inhalation) and stress or anger (with exhalation). But most of all it is an excellent tool to stimulate the relaxation response that results in less tension and an overall sense of well being. The diaphragm is a large muscle located between the chest and the abdomen. The negative pressure also pulls blood into the chest improving the venous return to the heart. In general. you can train the body to improve its breathing technique. the flow of lymph. take a slow deep breath in through your nose imagining that you are sucking in all the air in the room and hold it for a count of 7 (or as long as you are able. Like blood. • • • Once you feel comfortable with the above technique. Abdominal Breathing Technique Breathing exercises such as this one should be done twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing pain. not exceeding 7) Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. At this rate our heart rate variability increases which has a positive effect on cardiac health. Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths and try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds (or 6 breaths per minute). When you take a deep breath in. which is rich in immune cells. the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest.

" The Bellows breathing exercise (also called. • • • • This exercise can be used each morning upon awakening or when needed for an energy boost. There is a risk for hyperventilation that can result in loss of consciousness if this exercise is done too much in the beginning. The rate of breathing is rapid with as many as 2-3 cycles of inspiration/expiration per second. Like most bodily functions this serves an active purpose. With practice. But it is the most important one to learn before exploring other techniques. it should be practiced in a safe place such as a bed or chair. While doing the exercise. not exceeding one full minute. (Bantam. 1995. the abdominal breathing exercise can result in improved energy throughout the day. This breathing exercise is opposite that of abdominal breathing. The Bellows Breathing Technique (The Stimulating Breath) This yogic technique can be used to help stimulate energy when needed. chest and abdomen. The muscles in these areas will increase in strength the more this technique is practiced. This is truly an exercise. It is a good thing to use before reaching for a cup of coffee. It should not be used in place of abdominal breathing but in addition as a tool to increase energy when needed. breath in and out of your nose as fast as possible. For this reason. slowly increase the length of the exercise by 5 seconds each time. but sometimes we are in need of a quick "pick-up. The upstroke is inspiration and the downstroke is exhalation and both are equal in length. the stimulating breath) can be used during times of fatigue that may result from driving over distances or when you need to be revitalized at work. With your mouth gently closed. the more natural it will become improving the body's internal rhythm. • • Sit in a comfortable up-right position with your spine straight. Do this for no longer than 15 seconds when first starting.feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen. The bellows breath recreates the adrenal stimulation that occurs with stress and results in the release of energizing chemicals such as epinephrine. ISBN#: 0553374435) . Short. Further Resources An excellent book to help explore more advanced breathing techniques is Conscious Breathing by Gay Hendricks. you should feel effort at the base of the neck. which are similar to the "chest" breathing we do when under stress. think of someone using a bicycle pump (a bellows) to quickly pump up a tire. The more it is practiced. Using breathing exercises to increase energy If practiced over time. but overuse results in adverse effects as discussed above. Abdominal breathing is just one of many breathing exercises. fast rhythmic breaths are used to increase energy. To give an idea of how this is done. Do it as long as you are comfortably able. they are no longer needed.

but for normal breathing. or sit against a wall. Your stomach should start to move more freely. Stage I (2 minutes) Practice breathing in and out of your nose. Stage III (3 minutes) Feel the good air entering your lungs and feel the stale air leaving your body. 4. Most well trained instructors will educate how the breath is used to enhance well-being with yoga practice. Lie down flat on your back. even your tongue. fresh oxygen to your brain and muscles. 2. your temples. out with the bad" is definitely true here. More blood cells get the new. be less stressed and more relaxed. Close your eyes. Pause after your exhale without taking a breath. The techniques in this exercise are ones you should try to develop in your normal breathing. Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing by Andrew Weil discusses the health benefits of breathing and directs the listener through 8 breathing exercises. I find falling more and read . WB. deep breathing gets rid of carbon dioxide waste and takes plenty of clean. "In with the good. your cheeks. push down gently with your hands for a few breaths and let go. Stage II (3 minutes) Good breathing is done through the lower torso. just notice how it feels. Don't try to change it. Feel the rhythm of your breathing. Relax your shoulders and try not to breathe with your chest. oxygen-rich air instead of the same old stale stuff. 5. Rakel. or at least darker. (Sounds True.By Mike Kramer. Ideally. Relax your face. Here's an exercise that will help you get the full benefits of good breathing. Get Ready (2 minutes) Make the room dark. An Exercise in Proper Breathing Take a Good Breather -. ISBN#: 156455726X) We encouraged enrollment in a yoga class through a local community or fitness center. of course. Philadelphia. your lower back and ribs. it should be 8-10. • Article created on: 4/13/2004 ABTBM enjoy this. Adapted from Integrative Medicine. long slow breaths. Imagine the fresh blood flowing through your body. You'll not only be healthier. Focus on the stillness and on not forcing an inhale. but it can happen in five by cutting the time for each step in half. but critical building block of good health. Each breath should expand your belly. Use a pillow for comfort. Remember. Just pay attention to your breathing for a minute or two. 3. Put your hands on your stomach and feel them rise and fall. Your body will breathe when it needs to. Make sure no part of your body is strained or supporting weight. PA. shallow breathing. If it's not working. rather than the upper torso.An excellent audio called. in and out the nose is best. Wake Up!!! Aromatherapy Sme (article) • Relax Your Mind & B Yoga (article • 7 Simple Stress B (article) • Mike Kramer Mike has witnessed coun motivational stories and tec while working for SparkPeopl of Mike's articles. Saunders. Listen to your surroundings. Try not to force it. D. Now try to make your exhale a little longer than your inhale for a while. Staff Writer Proper breathing is an underestimated. Experts estimate that proper breathing helps your body eliminate toxins 15 times faster than poor. but you'll be able to perform better (mentally and physically) and. Slow. You're drawing slow breaths. not deep breaths. Try to take about 10 minutes. Most of it can be done anywhere you need to relax or clear your head: 1. 1999. 2003. your neck. and that could take practice. you shouldn't hear your breath coming in or out. Take long breaths. not gulping it or blowing it out. your jaw. Exhaling through the mouth is okay for quick relaxation. Most people take 12-16 breaths per minute. Make your exhale as long as your inhale to make sure all the bad air is gone.

• You will earn 3 SparkPoints CARISSASOPHIA really good. including anxiety and depression. defined Mike White Executive Director Dream big. Most emotional issues.it does not survive in high levels of oxygen. find peace. education. alternative mindbody breathing and holistic health development.Page 1 of 1 Return to Main Wellness Page > • GLENNIE46 excellent article . Breathing drives the nervous system. result from the nervous system being out of balance. aim high. Shortness of breath and heart disease are directly linked the heart goes into spasm when it is deprived of oxygen.. Complementary. Studies have shown that there is a high correlation between high blood pressure and poor breathing. s See All 7 | Leave A C Home | My Tools | Resources | Community | About Us | Announcements | Advertising / Sponsorship | Store | Help Desk © 1999-2008 SparkPeople. Consider this: • • • • Science has proven that cancer is anaerobic . looking for some this. self-help programs and services. All Rights Reserved | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy Free Diet | Calorie Counter | Pregnancy Optimal Breathing® For Living Life and Loving it. Breathing Breath is life. Curious about how well you breathe? Take our Free Breathing Test. research.. . Basic breathing development begins here.

ALL diseases are caused or worsened by poor breathing. and life-span are totally dependent on proper breathing. The average person reaches peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid 20's. Breathing well is the key to sleeping well and waking up feeling rested. headaches. harmful stress. heart conditions. Clinical studies prove that oxygen. allergies. poor mental clarity plus hundreds of other lesser known but equally harmful conditions. nothing works. your general health. sleep loss. Without energy. . Lung volume is a primary marker for how long you will live. anxiety. your spirit as well. Oxygen burns fat and calories. Breathing supplies over 99% of your entire oxygen and energy supply. Breathing provides 99% of your energy. obesity.• • • • Optimal Breathing helps to promote weight loss. wellness. your life expectancy. and with it. depression. fatigue. high blood pressure. Poor breathing causes or worsens chronic maladies such as asthma. unless you are doing something to maintain or improve your breathing capacity. Then they begin to lose respiratory capacity: between 10% and 27% for every decade of life! So. it will decline. Virtually every health condition and human activity is improved with Optimal Breathing. and for that matter.

internal cleansing. Develop your breathing now. Begin with breathing. We also address food. you will travel further and further away from your goal of a long. as the days and weeks pass." Sheldon Saul Hendler. vibrant life. Knowing the fundamentals helps you stay on course. The Oxygen Breakthrough Breathing fundamentals are critical. Better breathing is possible for anyone. Like a rocket ship even slightly off course. IN A RUSH? If you do not presently have the 15 minutes needed for the Free Breathing test you can subscribe to our Free Weekly Newsletter and . Here is another. Just because one particular breathing exercise or development technique feels good does not mean it is the best choice. exercise. But each technique or exercise must be based in solid breathing fundamentals otherwise they can work against each other and cause future breathing development problems. and environment but breathing is for many the most important part of getting and staying healthy. Many feel good at the outset of a certain exercise but that is largely because so many breathe so poorly that any progress feels significant.D. Here is an example of being way off course .Optimal breathing gets you more vitality and better quality of life. MD Ph. and it may well be.Superman Syndrome. healthy.. attitude. "Breathing is the FIRST place not the LAST place one should investigate when any disordered energy presents itself.

Secrets of Optimal Breathing Manual including over 175 holistic programs. Speaking and Personal Power #208. Sleep Program #700.take the tests later. All of these are dependent upon the way we breathe. Shallow Breathing #816. If you are willing to take action to improve your breathing or achieve optimal health. Emphysema #815. Shortness of Breath #814.Certification as an Optimal Breathing Development Specialist Special Theme Programs Time & Money-Saving Training Program Sets Some of these programs are using the same products in different order and emphasis. Diaphragm Development #721. Fundamentals of Breathing Development Video and Breathing Kit Training. 4 audios. waking up clear headed and refreshed. Depression #200. Breathing Kit #250. Popular Programs 1. Secrets of Optimal Breathing Manual 3. Advanced Breathing Kit Emotional Issues: #200. Energy #795. Weight Loss Our optimal natural state should be steady energy throughout the day. please read on. Relaxation #999. Heartbeat Irregularity #179. Anxiety and Panic #892. Hyperventilation or overbreathing #816. Mental Focus and Concentration #200. PLUS 6 FREE gifts 4. Exercises & Ergonomics 2. Meditation #750. Stress Management Performance and Life Skills: #177. Smoking Cessation #310. great positive mood(s). a clear mind and good memory and a strong vocal expression. Sports Performance General Health: #200. Choose the theme that is most important to you NOW. Chest Pains #721. Singing. Breathing Problems and Restrictions: #713. Techniques. Tightness in Chest or Unsteady Breathing #176. freedom to breathe deeply and easily. Intuition Development #775. Bronchitis #819. Headaches and Migraines #813. Optimal Breathing School . This website is here for you to learn how . COPD #814. Advanced Breathing Kit Combining Breathing Development video. Digestion #791. Memory #891. Asthma #715. Blood Pressure Reduction #571. Emotional Balance #891.

you'll expand your life! . deeper. your health isn't all you'd like it to be or just want to speak. If you have any breathing problems. We have helped thousands of people from around the world in with good results. All have benefited greatly from our programs. I am here to help you make a dramatic change for the better. or sing or play a wind instrument better. healthy breathing will give your life a new meaning.stronger. products and free web site services. When you expand your breathing. easier balanced.

reading books on pranayama and breathing workshops. I was always so stuffed up that I couldn’t breathe. I believe that breathing is a real key for me and that you have put together a very effective program. Doing liver and gallbladder cleanses cleared this up remarkably and I am now able to breathe normally. I’ve gotten your program and have been going through it recently and it is the best I’ve ever seen. now when I do yoga classes. I was feeling exhausted this morning and no amount of rest helped. One item that contributed was allergies. I believe that what you teach are the fundamentals of breathing that are both powerful in themselves and can make other breathing practices more effective. I live in the L.A.What others are saying. area and was wondering if you are ever going to be in the area. For example. I’ve been a chronic poor breather my whole life. I was doing some Qi Gong exercises this morning and it felt like it was really working. I did some of your breathing exercises and felt energized. I’ve been searching for information on better breathing for a long-time including taking yoga classes for many years. Hi Mike. breathing in the postures is not such a mystery as before. or have some . I’d like to learn more about Optimal Breathing.

Messages from health professionals Begin here and discover how good is YOUR breathing? Free Breathing Test and Evaluations For you . I would be appreciative if you could send me some information.) after each email address. I always believe that the best way is the simplest. It reminds one of the basic rule.click here Visit colleague Dennis Lewis' Website . From Justin S: I am inspired by new ideas and new concepts . the way that makes the most sense . it makes perfect sense on what your saying about breathing properly-a lot of people (including myself) are starting to look for answers in a non traditional way.. Exclude person's name.your web site is filled with important and logical information.. Email address only.. Thx.breathing coaches here? Am also interested in attending some of your training sessions. Refer this page to up to 25 friends Receive our FREE report on the Benefits of Better Breathing From (e-mail): To (e-mail): Up to 25 addresses.. "prevention is better than cure".just breathing right.. Dave What inspired you to recommend this site? From Mano: The information is very informative that strikes a caution regarding bad breathing. Add a comma(. straightforward approach.I believe that breathing right is one of the most important things in staying healthy . þÿ þÿ Subject: Your name: þÿ þÿ .

http://w w w .com <a href="http://w w w .Message: Use this message or one of your own VERY interesting w eb site and free new sletter.breathing.c om">AOL or HTML version Click here </a> .breathing.

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