BREATHING PROPERLY FOR HEALTH
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2019, 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.
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 people will breathe too rapidly. Slowing down the breathing is not the answer. Clearing the sinuses, chiropractic on the spine, and a development program will help a person to not need to breathe so often to maintain a proper pH of the blood and oxygenate the body.
This article explores why proper breathing is so important and how to do it. It includes several exercises - the three-part breath, the 4-4-6-2 exercise, and toe breathing.
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, dress so that you can move your chest and belly freely. This was a reason people formerly used suspenders, rather than a belt. 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:
Part 1. To a count of 3 or 4, breathe into your abdomen, and move the air downward from your head toward your feet. As you do this, your abdomen (the belly button area) should move outward.
Place a hand on your abdomen to test whether your abdomen is moving outward in a forward direction and a little downward as you inhale.
Part 2. Then, to a count of 3 or 4, breathe into your mid-chest. At the same time, continue to move the air downward from the head to the feet. As you do this, your ribs should move outward to the sides, making your chest area wider.
Place a hand on one side of your ribs and notice if it moves outward to the side, and perhaps slightly downward toward your feet as you do this part of the three-part inhale.
Part 3. Finally, to a count of 3 or 4, breathe into your upper chest. At the same time, continue to move the air downward from the head to the feet. As you do this, the upper chest area should rise a little bit, all the way up to the collarbones. Also, there may be a slight downward motion of the entire chest.
The hold. Now hold the air inside yourself for about a count of 3 or 4.
The exhale. Now exhale in three parts, in the same order as when you inhaled. To do this, push your abdomen inward to a count of about 3. Then make your chest more narrow, to a count of 3. Finally, releas the air in your upper chest so the chest falls a little, again to a count of about 3.
1. When you begin, you may not be able to do each part of the breath to a count of 3 or 4. That is okay. As you relax and practice, you will be able to slow and deepen your breathing.
2. There is no need to make any noise or do anything else with this exercise.
3. You can do this exercise at the same time you are doing a coffee enema or any of the nutritional balancing procedures to save time.
Keep doing the practice 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.
THE 4-4-6-2 EXERCISE
This is a simple and effective way to time your breathing. It is helpful to reduce high blood pressure, among other uses. The procedure is:
- Inhale to a count of 4.
- Hold your breath to a count of 4.
- Exhale to a count of 6.
- Relax to a count of 2.
- Then begin the same steps again.
This exercise will help you keep your mental focus down at your feet at all times. This is necessary for Development, which is the most important goal of a nutritional balancing program. Here is the procedure:
1. Focus your attention on your toes or beneath the feet. You must keep your attention here and nowhere else at all times during this type of breathing.
2. As you inhale, imagine pulling air into yourself from your head and moving it all the way down to your feet. Inhale to a count of at least 4 or 5 and preferably to 8 or 10 or 12. Usually, you will not be able to do a higher count at first. However, after a few minutes you will relax and can inhale to a longer count.
3. As you inhale, also imagine separating and opening every joint of the body. For example, as the air flows into the top of the head and down the neck, imagine it separates the vertebrae of the neck a little.
Then it separates the thoracic and lumbar vertebra all along your spine. It also opens your hip joints a little, and opens the knee joints, ankles and toe joints.
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.
1. As you exhale, push the air down from your toes and away from the body. Do this to a count of at least 4 or 5 and preferably to 10 or 12.
2. Keep doing this exercise until you can keep your attention on your toes the entire time you are breathing. This is helpful for development.
1. This breath can be done as you count up to 8 or 12, for example.
2. You can practice a) while lying in bed, b) while sitting comfortably, and c) while walking slowly.
3. Practice every day until it becomes your normal way of breathing.
4. Toe breathing can be done at the same time as you do the three-part breath described in the section above.
5. This exercise moves 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
There are many benefits of these two exercises:
1. A massage of all the organs of the body.
2. Increased oxygenation, circulation and hydration of the body.
3. It turns off the sympathetic nervous system, which is partly controlled automatically but also able to be controlled through the breath.
4. Proper movement of subtle energy down the body from the head to the feet.
5. It is centering and grounding.
6. A helpful 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, and 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.
18. Makes the body more yang. This is very important for healing and development.
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.
WOMEN AND BREATHING
Some of the following is repetitive, but very important for women. Most women breathe in a shallow way, do not breathe into their abdomens, and do not expand the upper chest well, either.
This combination shortens women’s lives, sickens them, harms their appearance, and can cause depression.
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, especially among some women! 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. Fear and 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. OVERBREATHING OR HYPERVENTILATING
This can be an attempt to balance the pH of the body by eliminating more carbon dioxide. It can occur in two ways:
A. One’s 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 normal for most people. Women tend to breathe more frequently, perhaps because their lung capacity is 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.
We do not recommend the Buteyko Breathing Method, for example. We find it is not needed if one corrects the pH of the body in the proper way.
To correct the pH, we 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 problem with all of them is they 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.