‘I feel like I’m on top of the world. Honestly, I feel like I’ve climbed a very giant mountain, and am just standing right on top with my arms wide open and breathing rarified air.’
‘Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems, and also has a general effect on your sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, and your energy levels.’
Donna Farhi — The Breathing Book.
When you breath, you draw air into and expel it from the lungs; you take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide through natural processes; you respire.
Life begins with a breath; and ends when it stops. Breath is life, and life is breath.Breathing has become such a monotonous action that we do merely to continue living, hardly taking into account the health benefits tied to it.
Did you know that you can literally improve your health status by practising optimal breathing?
Here is how…
Proper breathing has a positive effect to the entire body systems:
To the respiratory system, it helps in relieving of respiratory diseases, for example bronchitis, asthma, COPD; reduces pains of the chest region that result from tight muscles, and maintains proper body balance which aids ease in breathing.
To the nervous system, a healthy breathing helps balance the brain hemispheres and also in the stimulation of that part of the NS where fatigue resides. Proper breathing, by reversing patterns of breathing, helps calm the chronic anxiety of ‘fright or fight’, restoring the nervous state.
For the immune system functioning, it steeds up the recovery from traumas and diseases; accelerates the regeneration of tissues; increases the vital energy required for self-healing and detoxification and, by regulating the nervous system, it aids in lessening stress responses.
Blood circulation is improved and congestion eased, in the circulatory system; oxygen concentration to the heart is increased thus easing the strain on the heart. It also improves the depth and continuity of the circulation of the lymphatic fluid — this helps in speeding up recovery after illness.
The digestive system is also benefited by proper breathing practices. Proper diaphragmatic actions that come about, act as pump that massage the internal organs, causing a significant aid in their functionality. The emotional calming effect of breathing is found to have a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system of rest, digestion and healing. Shallow breathing is said to cause constipation.
Every time we breathe, excess fluids are eliminated in the breath. This reduces swelling of the body (edema) and decreases the stress put on elimination organs, for the urinary system, hence promoting natural cleansing and tonification of the body.
Proper breathing does improve coordination and grace through greater relaxation and self-awareness. It relieves and limits muscular tension that may lead to structural problems. It also improves on flexibility and strengthens joints. When you breath easier you move easier.
Physically, breathing correctly improves your appearance. It reduces wrinkles through improved circulation and oxygen flow in blood; replenishes energy lost from the natural process of growth and aging, and results in a radiant skin at all stages and age.
Mentally, there is an improvement in the power of mental concentration and observation. It also lowers the stress levels, improves learning capacity, heightens productivity and better decision-making.
For your emotional health, proper breathing increases feelings of safety, nurturing and self-acceptance; reverses the effects of stress tied to self-defeat habits and tendencies such as childhood traumas, religious programming and cultural conditioning; strengthens your coping skills; boosts relaxation and inner peace, heightened self-awareness and self-love that leads to a healthier life.
Proper optimal breathing practice balances your energy systems that affects all bodies: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Study shows that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.
‘Breathing is something we all have to do anyway. Learn to do it well and make it a a habit so you do it unconsciously and you will be happier, healthier and even live longer.’
‘Deep breathing should be a part of our everyday life. It not only can lengthen the years that e get to live, but can make us happier, more productive and energetic living them too.’