Just breathe

Adults breathe approximately 21,600 times a day without giving a single thought to the process.

by Irene Conlan — 

Just breathe. We hear that a lot lately. There are a number of popular songs telling you to “just breathe,” and this is good advice.

Breathing is something we take for granted. Adults breathe approximately 21,600 times a day without giving a single thought to the process. And yet, it is breathing that keeps us alive. When we stop breathing, we die.

The quality of our breathing affects everything in our body because every cell requires oxygen. These days, we can even stop at an oxygen bar and take a whiff of oxygen just like we would stop in a café for a cup of coffee. Oxygen chambers are also available to us to accelerate healing.

While we realize the importance of oxygen to our health and well-being, many of us do not know how to breathe to get the most oxygen into our system. We assume that because we do it automatically, we are doing it correctly, which may not be true.

One physical effect of a stressful lifestyle is shallow breathing, and many of us are stressed most of the time. Has anyone ever told you that you are a “shallow breather?” If so, it is time to do something about it. If you have not been taught how to breathe, then do a self-assessment. Pay attention to your breath for a few minutes. Are you breathing only into the top portion of your lungs? When you breathe, does your abdomen rise or only your chest? If your answer is only your chest, you need some help in learning how to breathe properly.

If you practice yoga, you are probably familiar with pranayama — the art of yogic breathing. There are a number of techniques that are very helpful. Pay attention and learn them well, because they can make a big difference in your overall health and energy levels.

A technique called Full Wave Breathing™ is becoming more popular. It employs a continuous breath involving the “ABCs” — abdomen, belly and chest. Tom Goode, the initiator of Full Wave Breathing, has a number of videos on YouTube and on his website that you can view to learn how to properly do it.

Goode recommends that you start out gradually and work up to 100 breaths or more in a single session. He also recommends that any time you feel stressed, you should “take five” — five full wave breaths — to help you relax and pull in that much-needed oxygen.

As with any exercise, it is important to start slowly and build up gradually. In the beginning you may feel lightheaded, but your body will quickly adapt. The benefits? Goode states, “Think of Full Wave Breathing as the anchor technique in a program of holistic health. It brings you into your body and enlivens it.”

There are no negative side effects, only positive results. And best of all, breathing is free. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So just breathe.

Some of the positive effects of Full Wave Breathing include:

  • Reduces physical stress
  • Relaxes and calms the mind
  • Reduces workload of the heart
  • Enables lungs to perform more efficiently
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Improves skin quality
  • Aids digestion
  • Massages the internal organs

Source: Breathe and Grow Rich: Get What You Really Want by Tom Goode.

(Dr. Tom Goode was interviewed by Irene Conlan on The Self Improvement Show, September 22, 2011. Listen to the archived program: www.theselfimprovementblog.com and click the Radio Show tab).

Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist in Scottsdale, Ariz. www.theselfimprovementblog.com or iconlan@cox.net.

 

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2011.

 

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