This issue our health detectives take a deep breath, relax and pause for a minute. Breathing normally happens automaticaly, but it does pay off to pay attention to how we are actually breathing.
Back in 1931 Otto Warburg won the Nobel Price for the discovery of how important oxygen is for our health: ”The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.” In other words let your cells breathe like the babbling brook of vitality and avoid getting stuck and rotten in the acidic bog, where fermentation takes place.
We normally breathe 12 to 15 times a minute, when we are at rest and a natural and deep breath nurtures the body with life giving oxygen and releases carbon dioxide from the body. If we breathe deeply an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens in the lungs. The oxygen is then connected to haemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells and transported to the muscles, organs, brain, heart and every cell in the body all the way through to the capillaries, where the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place on the cellular level. Every cell in the body also breathes. Our energy metabolism – the breakdown of food elements into energy – is also based on oxygen, so called aerobic metabolism. In every cell there is complex micro breathing going on, where the transformation of proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy requires oxygen. The body’s energy substance is called ATP (Adenosine Tri Phosphate) and it is essential for all our major functions. The body is amazingly adaptable, because even if we get into a situation where there is lack of oxygen for the metabolic processes, the cells can shift to a non oxygen demanding metabolism, called anaerobic metabolic pathway. This is a very ’expensive’ way of creating energy – we can produce 38 units of ATP aerobically compared to only 2 units anaerobically. Furthermore the non oxygen demanding pathway creates lactic acid during the process, which needs oxygen to get metabolised. Even if anaerobic activity does not seem very ’economical’ for the body, we need it to keep going under severe stress. Without it we would not be able to keep running when our legs get tired. The soreness after overusing our muscles is due to the build up of lactic acid.
How you breathe is what makes the difference. By breathing correctly you can instantly boost your energy levels and affect the health and workings of your body. Unfortunately most of us breathe in a way that does not offer the body any support. Shallow breathing from the chest only uses the lower part of the diaphragm, leaving the upper part inactive and collapsed. This leaves us more prone to stress and other negative emotions. There is good reason why people say ‘Just take a deep breath’ and why smokers relax as soon as they take a nice big deep breath on their first lungful of smoke. When parts of the lungs are not used, they gather a build-up of slimy mucus. This mucus irritates the cells of the lungs and leads to irritation and inflammation, causing an acid environment of trapped yeast, germs and bacteria.
Here are 2 breathing exercises for your daily health support:
1. Deep breathing exercise – get the lymph moving
Deep, slow, directed and focused breath, coming from deep within the stomach is one of the most simple, straight forward things you can do for your body.
- Make yourself comfortable lying flat on your back
- Put your hands gently on your stomach at the bottom of your ribs with your fingers just touching each other
- Take a slow, deep breath filling up the chest first and then the stomach – let it fill up like a balloon separating your fingers.
- Let the air out – first from the stomach and then from the chest.
This exercise will train your diaphragm to work for you and helps to push the lymph through the lymhatic vessels.
2. Lymphatic Cleanse Breathing exercise from Tony Robbins, described in his book Unlimited Power.
This will increase energy and move the lymp incredibily, boosting the immune system, balancing the nervous system and eliminating toxins. This exercise consists of breathing in the following ratio:
- Breath in for 1 count
- Hold for 4 counts
- Breath out for 2 counts
For example – if you were to breath in for four seconds, then you would hold your breath for sixteen seconds and then breath out for eight.
If you are able to do this ten times, three times a day in the morning, evening and before bed, you will notice a huge difference to your energy, your clarity and your ability to ward off illnesses.
Make it a habit
Breathe deeply and fully on a regular basis. At least consciously 3 times a day. Breathing in fully through your nose instantly engages the rest and restores the nervous system and helps the body metabolize stress hormones. Put Post-it notes on your phone, your computer, and your bathroom mirror. Write BREATHE in beautiful letters that uplift and remind you to breathe fully.
So take your time to Breathe your way to Health and Vitality – you deserve it
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This post is also available in: Spanish