By Carol A. Lampman
Breathing is the key ingredient in physical, emotional and mental health. It is a grossly underestimated source of life giving, healing and purifying energy. When we breathe, we take in more than just physical substances. An interaction takes place between our inner selves and the surrounding reality. It is essential, therefore, both for physical and psychological well-being that our breathing is optimal. It unifies and integrates the body, mind and spirit.
The average person breathes between 18,000 and 20,000 breaths per day, averaging 5,000 gallons of air. 70% of the body’s toxins are eliminated during the breathing process with only a small percentage eliminated through perspiration, defecation and urination. Only 10% of the nutrition needed by the body comes from the food we eat while 90% comes from the oxygen we breathe. We need oxygen to fuel our brains and metabolize our food.
Clinical studies show the immense benefit of paying attention to how we breathe. A study done in a Coronary Care unit at a Minneapolis hospital examined 153 heart attack patients to determine the breathing patterns (deep belly or tight chest breathing) The study found that ALL of the patients were chest breathers. In Holland, two groups of heart attack patients were studied. The first group was taught simple Diaphragmatic breathing to counteract chest breathing. The second group was given suggestions for changes in diet and exercise only. The first group had no further heart attacks while 7 out of the 12 from the second group had repeat heart attacks.
Breathing in a full and relaxed fashion returns the body from a destructive acidic chemical state which is the breeding ground for disease to a normal alkaline condition. This shift from operating in chronic stress to a mode of relaxed awareness can lower the blood pressure, increase circulation, detoxify the body, boost the immune system, reduce physical and emotional stress, and naturally increase the life force energy. Breathing to full capacity, promotes mental clarity, creates new Neuro-pathways in the brain, and expands consciousness, as well as enhancing the cellular, hormonal and psychological processes.