The breath regulates all human systems and functions. Many ancient traditions have recognized the importance of the breath, and developed practices that supercharged their body, mind, and spirit. Now western science is on board with the importance of optimal breathing. It is now substantiated that numerous conditions can be remedied with the correct breathing.
Better breathing most often equates to:
- Enhanced Physical Performance
- Improved Cognitive Performance
- Pain Reduction or Elimination
- Decreased Negative Effects of Stress
- Better Sleep
- Improved Digestion
- Improved Blood Pressure
- Strengthened Immune Function
Here are three different types of breathing techniques:
- Pursed lip breathing: This simple breathing technique teaches you to slow down your pace of breathing by having you apply deliberate effort in each breath.
- Diaphragmatic breathing: Belly breathing will help you use your diaphragm properly. Do belly breathing exercises when you’re feeling stress or anxiety. Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose.
- Breath focus technique: This deep breathing technique uses imagery or focus words and phrases. Inhale and exhale slowly through the nose.
*Nose Breathing Benefits:
- Our nostrils and sinuses filter and warm/cool air as it enters our bodies*
- Ensures better blood flow and lung volumes
- Our sinuses produce nitric oxide, which, when carried into the body through the breath, combats harmful bacteria and viruses in our bodies, regulates blood pressure and boosts the immune system
- The vasodilation by nitric oxide increases the surface area of alveoli, where oxygen is absorbed in the very end of bronchial tubes, which means more oxygen is absorbed more efficiently*
I also suggest adding specific lung strengthening exercises. There are a number of user friendly devices that do a great job. The one that I use is called *Expand-A-Lung*- at Amazon.
There are a practices and stretches that will increase the mobility of the ribcage, which becomes tighter and less flexible due to lack of different movement patterns for the ribs and the lungs.
*Film clip-Taoist Qigong Lung Breathing Practice*