Just about every book, article, or video about MindBody healing and also yoga and other mental-physical practices stresses the importance of deep diaphragmatic breathing. I have found deep “belly” breathing to be very relaxing, but never really knew the pysicical and psychological benefits of deep breathing, until I did some book and Internet research. What I learned really surprised me, as it may you, so I want to share what I learned. Breathing correctly is not only important for living longer but also to living healthier and having a more calming mood. Let the benefits of deep breathing become a natural part of your everyday living. Deep breathing should be incorporated in your meditation, and thinking about each breath in and out helps keep us living in the present moment. 1. 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, therefore 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. 2. Breathing Releases Tension Deep breathing has a profound calming effect on the mind and body. Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs. 3. Breathing Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity Oxygenation of the brain reduces excessive anxiety levels. Pay attention to your breathing. It’s a good way to stay in the present moment. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well. 4. Breathing Relieves Emotional Problems Breathing will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body. 5. Breathing Relieves Pain. You may not realize deep breathing’s connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it. 6. Breathing Massages Your Organs The movements of the diaphragm during deep breathing massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air, your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs that improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. 7. Breathing Increases Muscle Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body. 8. Breathing Strengthens the Immune System Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolize nutrients and vitamins. 9. Breathing Improves Posture Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result from incorrect breathing. Getting your posture right, you will see great benefits. 10. Breathing Improves Quality of the Blood Deep breathing removes all the carbon-dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and thus increases blood quality. 11. Breathing Increases Digestion and Assimilation of Food The digestive organs such as the stomach receive more oxygen from deep breathing, and hence these organs operate more efficiently. Digestion is further enhanced by the fact that the food is oxygenated more. 12. Breathing Improves the Nervous System The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body. 13. Breathing Strengthen the Lungs As you breathe deeply, the lung become healthy and powerful, a good insurance against respiratory problems. 14. Proper Breathing makes the Heart Stronger. Breathing exercises reduce the workload on the heart in two ways. Firstly, deep breathing leads to more efficient lungs, which means more oxygen is brought into contact with blood sent to the lungs by the heart. So, the heart doesn't have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Secondly, deep breathing leads to a greater pressure differential in the lungs, which leads to an increase in the circulation, thus resting the heart a little. 15. Proper Breathing assists in Weight Control. If you are overweight, the extra oxygen burns up the excess fat more efficiently. If you are underweight, the extra oxygen feeds the starving tissues and glands. 16. Deep Breathing Boosts Energy levels and Improves Stamina 17. Deep Breathing Improves Cellular Regeneration 18. Deep Breathing Elevates Moods Deep breathing increases pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain How to do Deep Breathing properly? In order to breathe deeply properly you need to breathe deeply into your abdomen, not just your chest. Even in the old Greek and Roman times doctors recommended deep breathing, the voluntary holding of air in the lungs, believing that this exercise cleansed the system of impurities and gave strength. Breathing exercises should be deep, slow, rhythmic, and through the nose, not through the mouth. The most important parts of deep breathing have to be regulating your breaths three to four seconds in, and three to four seconds out. 1. Inhale through your nose, expanding your belly like it is a balloon and fill it, then fill your chest. Counting to 5. 2. Hold and Count to 3. Feel all your cells filled with golden, healing, balancing Sunlight energy. 3. Exhale fully and slowly through the mouth and feel all your cells releasing waste and emptying all old energy and worrisome thoughts or pain. Counting to 5. Schedule your deep breathing exercise just as you would schedule important business appointments. Set aside a minimum of two 10 minute segments of time everyday although you can begin with two five minutes segments if you prefer. Deep breathing is often recommended as a major aid in falling asleep, especially paired with a positive, calming mantra or counting backwards from 100 to 1. I hope you will share these deep breathing exercises with your family and friends so that they too can reap their many benefits.