BREATHING PROPERLY FOR HEALTH
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© September 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Proper breathing can greatly benefit anyone’s health. This has been known for thousands of years. It is the reason that breathing exercises are included in the healing systems of many indigenous cultures.
Most people breathe in a shallow way, and do not fill their abdomen with air. Many women do not breathe fully into their chest, and some wear clothing that is so tight that they cannot breathe properly.
Some people “overbreathe”. This is really a misnomer, however, because they are just trying to breathe properly but do not know how.
If one does not breathe deeply enough, most will breathe too rapidly. Slowing down the breathing is not the answer. Clearing the sinuses, chiropractic on the spine, and a nutritional balancing program will help a person to not need to breathe so often to maintain a proper pH of the blood.
This article explores why proper breathing is so important and how to do it. Two exercises are included, the three-part breath and toe breathing.
I will describe two aspects or methods of breathing that can be combined that will make a wonderful difference in your health. The keys to proper breathing are:
1. Breathe through your nose. If your nose and sinuses are chronically blocked, this may not be possible, at first. However, a complete nutritional balancing program will eventually unclog them. Sinus surgery is very rarely needed.
2. Breathe deeply – always starting with the abdomen and moving upwards. This is sometimes called the three-part breath. It is described below.
3. Do toe breathing as much as possible. This is also described below.
Tight clothing. To breathe properly, you must dress so that you can move your chest and belly freely. This was a reason to use suspenders, and not a belt, although this is no longer fashionable. It is also a reason to wear pants with some elastic in the waste, and not just wear a tight belt to hold your pants up.
Some women have a terrible problem with this, as they love to wear skin-tight jeans or dresses. This is okay if the clothing has a lot of Spandex or elastic material that can move as you breathe. It is not okay if the clothing is not elastic and cannot move as you breathe in and out.
Do not be embarrassed if you move your stomach in out with each breath. Abdominal breathing will not give you a large belly. Here are details about the three-part breath and toe breathing. These methods are very powerful and very safe.
THE THREE-PART BREATH
The three-part breath consists of:
1. Breathe into your abdomen. As you do this, your abdomen (the belly button area) should move outward.
2. Then breathe into your mid-chest. As you do this, your ribs should move outward to the sides, making your chest area wider.
3. Finally, breathe into your upper chest. As you do this, the upper chest area should rise a little bit, all the way up to the collarbones.
When you exhale, you may do it in the same order, beginning with pushing your abdomen inward, followed by making your chest more narrow, and finally by releasing the air in your upper chest so the chest falls a little.
Learn to do this to the count of 10 or 12. Keep doing it until you develop a slow, deep, gentle routine. Practice every day while you lie in bed, or are sitting quietly, or even walking slowly on a quiet street. Over time, it will become your new habit, and a very healthful one.
This exercise is specifically designed to help you keep your mental focus downward at all times. This is necessary for mental or spiritual development, which is an important part of nutritional balancing science. Toe breathing should be don along with the three-part breath. Here is the procedure:
1. Focus your attention on your toes or beneath the feet. You must keep your attention here and nowhere else all during this type of breathing, which can be done all day long.
2. As you inhale, imagine pulling air into yourself from your toes. If you are standing up, then imagine the air traveling upwards from the floor. Let it fill your legs, and then fill up your entire body.
If you are lying down, imagine the air moving into your toes or feet. From there it moves up toward your chest. The air only goes up as high as your chest. It does not go up into your head, ever.
3. As you inhale from the toes or bottom of the feet, separate and open each part of the body. Open and separate a little the toes, the feet, the ankles, each vertebrae in the back, the hip joints, the ribs, and so on.
4. As you inhale in the chest area, move the shoulders downward and move the chest downward and inward. The same applies to the back, sort of flattening them. This is helpful.
5. Now, as you exhale, push the air down the body. Start with the lungs or chest, and push the air down into the abdomen, into the legs, into the feet, and breathe it out through the toes downward.
6. This will take a little practice. However, keep doing this until you establish a gentle, deep rhythmic breathing pattern. This breath can also be done as you count up to 8 or 12, for example. You can practice a) while lying in bed, b) while sitting comfortably, and c) while walking slowly. Practice this every day until it becomes your normal way of breathing.
This exercise move energy through and down the body in a special way. For more on this, read Downward Energy And Healing on this website.
BENEFITS OF THESE METHODS OF BREATHING
These are actually hundreds of benefits. Here are some of the main ones:
1. Deep massage of all the organs of the body.
2. Greatly increased oxygenation and circulation of the blood.
3. Relaxation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is partly controlled automatically but also able to be controlled through the breath.
4. Movement of energy through the body.
5. Centering and grounding.
6. A positive and delightful way to tune into yourself.
7. Expands your lung capacity and will often clear mucus and other nasal and bronchial obstructions.
8. Warms the body in a gentle, safe way.
9. Releases tension all over the body, particularly in the spine, and abdomen.
10. Reduces the buildup of carbon dioxide in the body,a nd helps eliminate other toxins as well.
11. For the reason above, it helps alkalinize the body in a powerful way.
12. Helps to decongest all the internal organs and move the blood through them more vigorously.
13. Can assist posture.
14. Increased oxygen often helps clear the mind and allows better thinking.
15. By relaxing the body, deep breathing can help one fall asleep faster at night if you do it just at bedtime or a short time before.
16. Often it is very helpful for enhancing digestion of your food and elimination of wastes and to help end constipation.
17. Often helps clear infections, asthma, colds and many other illness conditions.
For all of these reasons, please practice the three-part breath and toe breathing every day for at least 15 to 30 minutes daily, or more.
1. NO ABDOMINAL BREATHING
This is caused by:
A. Stress or tension in the body.
B. Poor breathing habits.
C. Wearing pants or a blouse that is too tight and does not move in and out when you breathe. Suspenders are better than a tight belt for this reason.
D. Not wanting your stomach to pop out a little when you breathe in.
The three-part breath and proper clothing can retrain you to solve this important problem.
2. NO BREATHING INTO THE UPPER CHEST
This is extremely common! The causes include:
A. A stooped posture, which is almost universal today.
B. Stress and tension in the body
C. Adhesions in this area that prevent full chest expansion.
D. A desire among some women to not show off the breasts. These women do not want to breathe deeply into the upper chest, as it pushes out the breasts, exposing the women to more negative attention.
E. Lung infections in this area, which are very common today.
F. Deformity of the chest cavity due to asthma, birth defects or other reasons.
G. Wearing a very tight blouse or a very tight corset or bra.
H. Wearing high-heeled shoes. This can alter posture and makes deep breathing less comfortable in some cases.
3. GENERAL SHALLOW BREATHING
This is also common. It is mainly due to:
A. Stress. This will cause anyone to breathe in a shallow way.
B. Tension in the body. For example, people who are in a sympathetic dominant mineral pattern often breathe in a shallow manner.
C. Adhesions that prevent full movement of the abdomen and chest.
4. SO-CALLED OVERBREATHING
This occurs when a person hyperventilates in an attempt to balance the pH of the body by eliminating more carbon dioxide. It can occur in two ways:
A. Breathing is shallow, but too frequent. A person may take 15 or more breaths per minute, which is not normal. About 12 breaths per minute is around normal for most people. Women tend to breathe more frequently, perhaps because they lungs and shoulders are smaller than that of most men.
B. Breathing is very deep, often through the mouth, in order to get more air into the lungs.
This problem is also common today because of:
A. Bad health leading to an acidic pH of the blood. This is the main reason, and it can be corrected with a complete nutritional balancing program only.
I do not recommend the Buteyko Breathing Method, for example, because we find it is not needed if one corrects the pH of the body in the proper way. To correct the pH, I do not recommend drinking alkaline water, taking hydrogen peroxide drops, drinking a lot of fruit or vegetable juices, or a vegetarian diet. These are all “cheating” methods and they do not work or they have serious side effects. The main one is to make the body very yin, which is very bad.
To correct the pH of the blood, and not just change the urine or saliva, one must replace the alkaline reserve minerals in the body. This is a long process, and nutritional balancing is one of the few ways to do this.
B. Other causes are simply bad breathing habits, chiropractic problems, or other reasons.