Breathing Exercises Help Improve Health
Breathing is a crucial way to cleanse ourselves from unhealthy emotional and physical conditions. But because its involuntary, most of us take it for granted and we do it all wrong. In one year an average adult with bad breathing habits inhales about four to five tons of oxygen, but only a thousand pounds of it are actually used; we get only half the oxygen we need and expel only half the carbon dioxide we should and we end up robbing ourselves of energy.
This high level of carbon dioxide in the blood causes the bodys flight or fight mechanism to kick in and the carotid artery, the main artery to the brain, to constrict. The result is a buildup of harmful stress that surges through the body, attacking the immune system.
On the other hand, when we breathe freely and deeply, the diaphragm, belly and chest undulate with the rhythm of each breath and the whole body is energized with oxygen. Its a good idea to watch a young child or an animal breathe and observe how the body moves when the breathing is natural and relaxed. As adults most of us have lost this knack. We breathe shallowly. We just dont make full use of our diaphragms.
Muscular tension that has evolved over years of poor posture is largely to blame for our shallow breathing. But we may also unconsciously restrict our breathing as a way of suppressing painful emotions, for the depth of our breathing is also related to the richness and intensity of our feelings. Many of us have learned to control rather than to express our deepest feelings, and this inevitably means lightening our chests or bellies, the seat of our feelings. In the process of distancing ourselves from feelings of sadness, anger, or fear, we also block the free flow of purifying energy in the body and diminish our capacity for pleasure.