Back to Basics – Breathe!
My first formal introduction to natural health occurred five years ago, right before all hell broke loose in my life. In the corporate world, we occasionally have learning opportunities called “Lunch and Learns”. I admit, I was normally not a fan of these hijacked lunch hours. They interfered with my three cigarettes in a row smoke break and my second trip of the day to Starbucks for my liquid caffeine lunch. Are you getting the picture of abundant health?
They only reason I attended the “Lunch and Learn” on the October day in 2011 was because my good friend and smoke break partner had coordinated the event, which just so happened to be about nutrition and health. I learned enough that day to sign up for a consultation and evaluation, and so started my relationship with natural health. I expected Dr. B. to give me a lecture about smoking, exercise, caffeine, my diet – all the things I knew I was doing wrong. When I finished the evaluation that first day, she put her hand on my shoulder and said, “You need to breathe”.
I shrugged her comment off that day but every time I caught myself holding my breath over the next five years (which was several times per day), her words echoed in my mind.
Fast forward to today, as I am studying natural health myself, and I have a much clearer understanding of just how important it is to just breathe. As a matter of fact, I would like to challenge all of us to really focus on the importance of our breathing over the next week.
We are all very aware that our body needs good air to survive, but did you know that ninety percent of our energy comes from just breathing the air? Breathing clean air is essential to get oxygen into our cells as well as removing toxins and waste.
Detoxing is a buzz word right now – everyone wants to detox, and with good reason. We live in a toxic world. When I think about doing a good detox, I envision spending a lot of time in the bathroom. I don’t normally correlate detoxing and breathing, but there are only five ways your body can get rid of toxins, and your lungs are one of those ways. If you want a stronger immune system, you need to make sure all avenues of elimination are working which means your lungs too! Nothing leaves the body unless it is first combined with oxygen. Detoxing is critical because toxins negatively impact our body functions. When you detox, you are bringing your toxic body back in balance by eliminating those poisons that have overburdened your organs.
I know what you are thinking right now. Of course we are breathing because if we weren’t we would be dead! There are two types of breathing, shallow breathing and belly breathing. When you shallow breathe, you are taking in just enough air to get by. When you shallow breathe, only ten percent of our blood is cleansed and you can’t make red or white blood cells correctly.
On the contrary, when you take deep breaths (maybe you know this as diaphragmatic or belly breathing), eighty to one hundred percent of your blood is cleansed! As a matter of fact, if you take 10 deep, cleansing breaths each day for seven days you will remove 3 pounds of toxins. If that doesn’t motivate you to try deep breathing, I don’t know what will!
There are several different techniques for deep breathing and some exercises are specifically targeted for relaxation and sleep. Check out one of my favorite breathing exercises here.
We all want better health, or at least we should. Everyone (myself included) is so eager to throw our money at the next promising natural health fad – the next supplement, herb, oil, diet….. but what if we started with the simplest, most basic, FREE resource we have – air. Pay attention to your breathing this week and see how much better you feel when you just remember to breathe deep, cleansing breaths!
What is your favorite deep breathing exercise?