We absorb and exhale a puff of air ten to fourteen times a minute, or fifteen to twenty thousand times a day. Hence the importance of breathing properly. You are told everything about breathing, its different techniques, and its many benefits.
Often overlooked, breathing is important for our health and well-being.
But what is behind this automatism that seems so natural and innocuous? We breathe a good blow. Explanations.
Well, Breathe an Instinctive Mechanism?
This incessant act, which makes it possible to oxygenate all the organs of our body, unfolds without effort.
The mechanism is instinctive: to the inspiration, the chest expands and the dome of the diaphragm (a powerful muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen) is lowered so that the lungs can fill with fresh air to the maximum ; at the end, it is the opposite: the diaphragm back and ribs are tightening to expel air loaded with toxins (as CO2) produced by cell activity.
From birth, the process takes place under the aegis of the autonomic nervous system, which also orchestrates other vital functions such as heartbeat or temperature regulation.
Take control of his breath is possible: block voluntarily a few seconds to minutes, increasing its pace, inspire through the mouth, breathe through the nose … But just that vigilance is relaxed so that the automatic resume Immediately the top.
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Breathing the diaphragm, the key element
The optimal breathing, which creates an environment for the balance of the body, takes place peacefully, smoothly.
Ample and fluid, it takes its source in the perineum and mobilizes all the belly as do the spontaneous babies. Only, here, with the annoyances of modern life, stress, and tiredness nervous, she accelerates and loses amplitude.
The breath becomes shorter, more superficial, panting. The diaphragm, too much-stressed contracts in the low position. We do not inhale with the belly but only swelling the thorax. Or, worse, we breathe outright upside down, exiting the stomach when exhaling. Thus, our respiratory capacity is truncated, by a factor of two to three. The exchanges of gas at the level of the pulmonary alveoli are reduced to a skin of grief, the body becomes tired and pains arise.
“When the diaphragm no longer plays its role, the digestive organs are compressed and lose in freedom of movement, which can lead to many dysfunctions,” observes Frederic Zenaida.
Constipation, gastric problems, kidney disturbances, even venous disorders, are likely to occur.
Similarly, high breathing sometimes gives rise to cervical pain, insofar as the accessory respiratory muscles used to raise the first ribs (the scales) attach to the vertebrae of the neck. S
If the inspiration of air rests mainly on them, in the long run, the cervical suffer. “A bad breath is also a warning signal of a mechanical blockage or an organ in suffering, whose cause must be investigated,” says the osteopath. For example, by irritating the posterior pillars of the diaphragm, a back pain may be the cause of a respiratory problem. Unlock spinal tension then releases the diaphragm and by ripple effect removes the associated transit disorders.
It follows a general improvement in health status because nutrients are better assimilated and better waste removed. The acidity of the body, resulting from excessive chronic stress and/or an unbalanced modern diet (too much meat, salt, and refined cereals, not enough fruits and vegetables), will also be partially neutralized.
Inadequate breathing contributes to lowered blood pH, which nibbles on our bone in the long term and induces a generalized inflammatory state that disrupts the intestinal flora, alters the condition of the skin, increases rheumatic pains, induces tensions Muscle and depletes the nervous system. Restoring the regular reciprocation of the diaphragm will trigger many unsuspected therapeutic effects.
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How to re-educate one’s breath?
It is vital to learn to breathe at full speed to reach a better physical and mental hygiene.
“Re-training her breath can go through initiation to singing,” says Anne Peko, vocal coach, and vocal coach. It is indeed impossible to control his voice without working his column of air, whose flow must rise from the perineum, the floor of our abdomen. Playing a wind instrument requires the same constraints.
Per Dr. David O’Hare, the idea is to start with exercises conscious breathing.
In practice: sitting upright against a table or a desk, inhale deeply and then exhale for three minutes, mentally following the path of the air passing through your body: the nose, throat, chest, lungs … The mouth should remain closed and the tongue pressed against the palate. Try! Once comfortable with this practice, repeat the experiment by drawing on waves of paper waves corresponding to your breathing. Synchronize your hand and your rib cage: the pencil goes up to the inhale and goes down at the expiration. “Drawing strengthens the bodily signal sent to the brain, making it easier to memorize,” says Dr. O’Hare.
Neuroscience has proved that the repetition of these exercises of conscious breathing (to be done three times a day) harmonized the two components of the autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
The first, solicited by inspiration, mobilizes the energy necessary for action. When it comes into play, “the heart accelerates, the arteries and veins contract, the lungs relax and the pupils dilate,” says Dr. O’Hare. At expiration, the parasympathetic system is stimulated. “The opposite happens then: the heart rhythm decreases, the arteries dilate, the lungs contract as well as the pupils,” he continues. The body recovers relaxes, repairs, tests. When the two systems are in perfect balance, one is serene, alert but perfectly relaxed.
This is why many personal development methods ( relaxation therapy, Gestalt therapy …) use the deep conscious breathing to ease the mental stress, heal the wounds of the past and better manage emotions while maintaining physical tone And psychic intact.
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Air quality, as important as how to breathe
In the city, the quality of the air often leaves something to be desired.
The pollutants emitted by cars, heating and the surrounding industrial activities cause respiratory disturbances (a cough, asthma …). Certain gasses, such as nitrogen dioxide, also promote the development of infections. As for the fine particles, they interfere so deeply in the body that they generate pulmonary insufficiencies and cardiovascular disorders.
To limit the amount of inhaled pollutants, avoid sport (jogging, cycling) near high-traffic arteries. During a physical exercise, it is ventilated four to ten times more than at rest.
At home, where the air is even more polluted than outdoors, air at least fifteen minutes a day and avoid household products stuffed with perfumes and other unsavory chemical compounds. Prefer natural detergents or those with an eco-label.