Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do I breath healthy ???

The function of breathing is to maintain a very specific ratio of O2 to CO2. Ideally, at rest, an adult should breathe lightly and only through the nose. A healthy person can perform exercise and continue to breathe through the nose, whilst a sick person requires larger breaths almost all of the time.
Mouth breathing leads to hyperventilation- an increase in the amount of air we breathe above the normal volume we require. The normal volume of air required per minute at rest is 4 to 5 litres, approximately 8 to 12 breaths per minute.
Ask yourself the following questions
  • Can you hear yourself breathe ?
  • Do you breathe through your mouth ?
  • Is your nose continually blocking ?
  • Do you often sigh ?
  • Do you yawn excessively ?
  • Do you wheeze ?
  • Do you pant ?
  • Do you snore ?
  • Do you wake in the morning still feeling tired even though you have slept through the night ?
  • Do you have difficulty sleeping ?
  • Do you have an irritable cough ?
  • Do you blow your nose excessively ?
  • Do you clear your throat often ?
  • Do you get short of breath ?
  • Can you feel the upper chest move when you breathe ?
  • Do you get headaches or dizziness ?
  • Do you require medication to assist you to breathe comfortably ?
  • Are you anxious for no apparent reason ?
  • Do you have anxiety attacks ?
  • Do you breathe more than 14 times per minute when sitting quietly ?
  • Do you get asthma when sleeping ?
  • Do you get asthma when exercising ?
  • Do you get asthma following a chest infection ?
        If you answer yes to 2 or more, you may be hyperventilating. 

To achieve the correct breathing technique, ensure that it is deep, maximizing on oxygen intake. It is important to ensure that the diaphragm does the work. A simple test is putting one hand on the belly and the other on the chest. With every inhalation, the hand on the belly should rise higher than the on the chest.
Why is it so important?
1) Healthy breathing increases the oxygenation of blood and efficient removal of toxins from the circulation system.
2) Healthy breathing facilitates digestion and effective assimilation of ingested food. Digestive organs like the stomach receive much more oxygen and operate optimally.
3) The nervous system receives a health boost. The central nervous system is the body's primary communication channel. If it is healthy, the entire body manifests this.
4) Not many people realize the effect of healthy breathing on the glands, primarily the pineal and pituitary glands.
5) The brain needs plenty of oxygen to be happy. Quantitatively, it requires three times more oxygen than the rest of the body.
6) Sufficient oxygen leads to smooth skin with a natural sheen.
7) Deep breathing exercises the diaphragm, giving the small intestine, the stomach, pancreas and liver a soothing massage.
8) The heart also gets this treatment, stimulation blood circulation in all the organs stated.
9) Healthy powerful lungs are the result of healthy breathing. Having this goes a long way in protection against respiratory problems like bronchitis.
10) When the breathing process is slow and deep during yoga, it reduces the workload the heart faces. This happens twofold. First, there is greater contact between lungs and the blood, increasing the surface area of operation. Secondly, there is a distinct pressure differential in the lungs. The increased circulation allows the heart a bit of a rest bite. The heart attains greater strength and operates at an optimum level. Blood pressure and related heart diseases reduce as a result of this cardiac efficiency.
11) Healthy breathing is often about more than just physical health. At the heart of meditation is healthy breathing. When the mind focuses on the breaths and breathing exercises it often escapes from the stresses of life.

Healthy breathing should always be practiced in a quiet and calm atmosphere. As the methods of deep breathing and healthy breathing are mastered, one may find themselves breathing more deeply on a regular basis without every thinking twice about the benefit to the body.
Be healthy.Breath healthy.

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