Rebecca Smith A.S.K C.M.H. C.Hyp P.N.L.P
Systematic Kinesiologist, Hypnotherapist, Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
7, Barclays Bank Chambers, High Street, Newport, Shropshire. TF10 7AU
Phone: 01952 813348 Mobile: 07976 819938 Web: www.newportcomplementaryhealthclinic.co.uk
Breathing for Power
Breathing is a habit and as with other things, it is not hard to get into bad habits. Yes, even with breathing!
The natural physiology of the lungs can be likened to a pair of bellows – much narrower at the top than the bottom. This means that if the upper chest is expanded on inhalation, we are only filling the smallest parts of the lung as we breathe in.
Breath of Life
The effect of this is that we starve ourselves of the breath of life. If you are a sedentary person, then although this provides enough air to live, it is hardly ideal or healthy. It is important that our bodies receive a full quota of oxygen to allow us to operate well and think clearly.
The main muscle used in breathing is the diaphragm. This is an umbrella shaped muscle that separates our lungs from the rest of the organs. By merely expanding the upper ribcage, the result is shallow breathing and the diaphragm barely moves.
The diaphragm has two main functions when fully used in breathing. Firstly it creates a partial vacuum in the lungs which draws air in easily and efficiently. Its second function is to gently massage the stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen and intestines. The result of this is proper digestion and enhanced blood supply. It also improves peristalsis, the process which moves the waste contents of the large intestine along its way.
Worth the Effort
As with changing any habit, it takes effort to change from breathing shallowly to breathing fully. To begin with, it may seem that it takes more effort but many people who have learned to breathe diaphragmatically, report feeling calmer and better able to deal with life’s frustrations compared to when they breathed shallowly.
Now that our planet is so polluted, we need to avail ourselves of air in the best possible way. If we mis-use our lung power, the job of cleaning and filtering out pollutants in the body, is not so efficient. More people would experience less coughs and chest complaints if they breathed diaphragmatically.
Habit for a Lifetime
Yoga is a good method for teaching breathing exercises, but a simple one to try is to place a small item on your abdomen while lying on your back and when you breathe in, aim to push your abdomen, with the item on it, up towards the ceiling, so utilising your full lung capacity. It feels strange at first, but done regularly for a few minutes each day, a lifetime’s habit of good breathing patterns can be firmly established.