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Breathe Your Way Back to Health and Viguour

blissful woman in fieldIt turns out when breathing at a normal rate, our lungs will absorb about a quarter of the available oxygen in the air. The majority of the oxygen is exhaled back out.

By taking longer breaths we allow our lungs to soak up more oxygen in fewer breaths.

And it works also for the sports person who’s involved in running, swimming, cycling, rowing etc..By taking longer and consequently fewer breaths you increase your body’s efficiency to perform.

So what are we doing with our breathing when we breathe in the “normal” way each day?

If your shoulders move up when you breathe, you’re most likely breathing into your chest and are taking shallow breaths.

Do this test. Place your hand on your stomach and watch how it moves. If you are breathing properly your hand will move out and away as you breathe. If it’s not doing that you may be breathing incorrectly.

You should take deep breaths through your nose, and back out either through your nose or mouth. Proper breathing starts in the nose and moves to the stomach, your diaphragm, (a major muscle of respiration, located just below the lungs) contracts, the belly expands and your lungs fill with air.

As the brain controls how much air the body needs, it’s worth noting how it does this.

According to James Nestor in his book “breath”,

When we breathe too slowly and carbon dioxide levels rise the central chemoreceptors monitor these changes and send along signals to the brain telling it to breathe faster and more deeply. (chemoreceptors are: chemo refers to the chemical composition of the blood. So chemoreceptors are special nerve cells or receptors that sense changes in the blood. That information is sent from the chemoreceptors to the brain to help keep the cardiovascular and respiratory systems balanced). When we breathe too quickly these chemoreceptors direct the body to breathe more slowly to increase the carbon dioxide levels.


It is interesting to note that in religious prayers such as the Buddhist chant, “om mani padme hum, the christian rosary and others – require 5.5 seconds inhale to recite the prayer and 5.5 seconds to exhale. In 2001 researchers in the university of Pavia in Italy gathered 2 dozen subjects, covered them with sensors to measure the blood flows, heart rate and nervous system. They then got them to recite the Buddhist chant and the Latin version of the Catholic rosary where the priest says half of it and the parishioner says the other half. They were stunned to find that the average number of breaths for each cycle was almost identical, 5.5 breaths per minute.

But what was more stunning was what breathing like this did to the subjects. They found that doing these prayers with this slow breathing pattern resulted in blood flow to the brain increasing, and the systems of the body entered a state of coherence where the functions of the heart and circulation and the nervous system were coordinated to peak efficiency.
So slower breathing and deeper breathing lead to greater health.

At Get Back Health we encourage you to do regular visits to realign your nervous system which controls all of the body’s systems including the breathing.

Come in this week and get adjusted and feel the difference.

Yours in Health John Keane Spinologist.

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