deeep breath now...

Deep Breathing for Better Health

A recent scientific study reported something absolutely startling: Most Americans do not know how to breathe correctly.

Breathing is an unconscious, necessary action that one needs to perform in order to live. How could it be possible, then, for so many people to do it incorrectly?

The answer is simple: Most people do not breathe deeply enough. But thanks to alternative medicine, physical therapy, and exercise options like yoga and Pilates, more and more people are finally learning how to inhale properly.

Shallow breathing and poor respiration cause a wide range of problems, from fatigue and depression to eventual senility. Shallow breathing reduces vitality and weakens the immune system, making us more susceptible to diseases like the common cold or flu. Fast and shallow breathing, which most of us practice, can cause fatigue, sleep disorders and insomnia, anxiety, upset stomach and indigestion, heartburn, gas and increased flatulence, muscle cramps, dizziness, visual problems, chest pains, and heart palpitations.

To breathe correctly, one must remember to breathe through the nose, as breathing through the mouth can adversely affect the thyroid gland and even cause mental retardation in children. Many of us breathe through our mouths and have been doing so for a long time, but this habit should be broken. Luckily, it's really easy to break: Just keep your mouth closed!

Deep breathing consists of breathing through the nose and filling the lungs, which expands the thoracic cavity and causes the diaphragm to move. A good breathing exercise to practice is to slowly inhale, hold the air in your lungs for a count of five, and then slowly exhale. This really works out the muscles of your chest and keeps a steady supply of oxygen flowing through your body.

Deep breathing improves blood quality, eliminates toxins, improves digestion, helps the nervous system, rejuvenates the skin and glands, causes the diaphragm to massage the abdominal organs, keeps the brain healthy and functioning at optimum levels, makes the lungs healthy and powerful, reduces strain on the heart, allows for better weight control, and relaxes the mind and body.

By breathing deeply and breathing well, you increase your breathing capacity all day – meaning that you enjoy the countless benefits of deep breathing all day, every day.

By Huma Rashid

from Gimundo

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