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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Walt Oleksy, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    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.
  2. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for sharing Walt. I think i'll print this out to remind myself of the benefits when I struggle to do it.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had trouble doing deep breathing too, but when I concentrated on it,
    first filling my belly with a breath through my nose, and then filling my chest (lungs),
    then holding the breath, then exhaling through my mouth,
    I felt lots of air in my belly and lungs. It felt wonderful. A really deep lungful of calming breath.
  4. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    Good stuff, Walt. Thanks!
  5. James59

    James59 Well known member

    If I may offer a counterpoint, breathing exercises never helped me relax. The process for me actually has the opposite effect. Focusing on my breathing makes me very self conscious that I'm not "breathing right" and that I must make an effort to "breathe right" which makes me stress more not less. On the other hand, if my mind is relaxed I breathe perfectly fine without conscious effort, but if I try to "breathe right" my mind can't relax.

    This video spoof illustrates how I hear instructions to breath right.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

  7. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hilarious. I am just about to sit down and meditate and this has thrown me lol
  8. Gigalos

    Gigalos Beloved Grand Eagle

    great vid :)

    thanks Walt for this post, I find the exercise you describe very helpful, I often combine it with a positive mantra.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Walt great stuff as usual , this explains it to a T thank you so much for all your posts.
  10. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I guess deep breathing can't work for everyone, but it sure is a great thing for me.

    And I too breathe deeply while saying my favorite mantra:
    "Every day in every way I'm getting better and better."

    In bed, to fall asleep, I also just tell myself (in a whisper): "Sleep now."
    I say "Sleep" with a long "Sleeeeeep."

    James, if trying to do deep breathing perfectly gives you stress,
    forget the "rules" and just breathe in through your nose to fill your belly,
    hold it for a few seconds while you fill your lungs, and then breathe out slowly
    through your nose. But if it doesn't work for you, forget it.
  11. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi James, I would recommend the same as Walt has suggested, if you get a moment listen to the Ed and Deb Shapiro interview I have posted. They have mentioned there are actually no rules to meditating, people actually tailor it to what works best for them.
  12. Colly

    Colly Beloved Grand Eagle

    Walt, once again thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I often use deep breathing to settle my mind before sleep and it works wonders.
  13. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just thought of this... when we have trouble falling asleep, or even if we don't want for that to happen,
    we could think we are among friends with the same goal, that of falling asleep right away,
    breathe deeply while we think of the warm, fuzzy feeling of not feeling alone.

    I also find it helpful to just tell myself I am going to leave all worries and other anxious thoughts until tomorrow.

    By the way, I love the song "Tomorrow" from "Fiorello," the Broadway musical of the 1970s.
    You can hear it sung as it was on the stage in a google search.

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