Tap into the Powerful Anatomy of Breathing to Promote Better Health
Does it seem strange that we need to learn how to breathe properly? Don’t we breathe naturally from the moment we’re born? And we couldn’t quit, even if we wanted. If we hold our breath, our bodies force us to gasp for air. If we’re deprived of it for only a matter of minutes, we suffer.
So can there really be a right or wrong way to breath? Is there a way to harness your breathing to create a greater connection with your world as you release stress and tension? Could stress relief simply be a breath away? Why is it vital that we stop taking our ability to breathe for granted?
To answer these questions, let’s consider how breathing promotes better health…
With each breath of clean air, the diaphragm and other muscles pulls the chest cavity down while elevating and widening the rib cage, thereby creating a larger area for the lungs to expand fully as they pull in oxygen. Your red blood cells absorb this oxygen and transport it via your blood stream to every cell in your body. As these oxygen-rich cells travel through your system, there are countless chemical interactions that result in giving you greater energy and mental clarity.
The problem is that aspects of a modern lifestyle restrict our daily breathing process. What are some of these?
Our environment may be polluted by toxic elements from car exhaust, industrial pollution, off gassing of chemicals like formaldehyde in the rugs and furnishings in our homes. Another problem is the self-imposed pollution of smoking tobacco.
- Lack of Oxygen
Our homes are so tightly sealed up for the winter that there’s little air exchange, so we’re not getting an adequate supply of fresh oxygen. We wear restrictive clothing or have poor posture that doesn’t allow us to breathe deeply.
- Restrictive Emotions
We carry harmful emotions that restrict our airflow such as anger, fear, anxiety and grief. Breathlessness can be caused by anxiety.
What do these restrictions to our anatomy of breathing do to your health?
- Your metabolism slows down.
- Your brain can’t function optimally, producing brain fog.
- Your organs are starved of oxygen reducing their function and the quality of your life.
- The elasticity of the lungs diminishes causing shallow breathing.
- Relationships suffer because you become short tempered, irritated, and on edge.
How can enhancing the anatomy of breathing promote better health?
Just ask any pregnant woman in labor or athlete who wants to excel at their sport if they benefited from learning how to breathe in a more focused way. They will resoundingly answer “Yes!” Breathing isn’t just for critical times like these. It’s important for everyone to create an awareness of how we are breathing every day. How do we do that?
There are two main ways to incorporate healthier breathing techniques…
Practice proper posture. Throughout the day we do many things that restrict our breathing, such as slouching. The solution is to strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and genital region. Also concentrate on keeping your shoulders rotated up and back, opening up the chest and bringing the spine into alignment.
Periodically expand your lungs to their fullest capacity. Do this exercise while still in bed every morning. Then again numerous times throughout the day as you’re either sitting or standing. Remember to breathe through your nose.
- Exhale slowly, as you pull in your belly muscles.
- Inhale slowly as you expand the abdomen.
- Continue inhaling as you expand your rib cage.
- Continue inhaling as you feel your collarbone lift.
- Pause briefly, without holding.
- Exhale in reverse order slowly. Release the shoulders, relax the chest, tighten the belly.
- Do as many times as is comfortable.
Practice breathing so the inhalation and exhalation are of equal duration. Next, push the exhalation to become a little longer. The more you practice, the greater your awareness will become. Do you wish there was someone guiding you toward greater mindfulness in your life? Contact me and we’ll discuss your heath goals and how you can achieve them.
Healthy breathing is just one indicator of your wellness. There are seven to keep in mind if you want to perform at your peak. If you haven’t taken the 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment yet, click here to download your free copy.