Breathe Deeply...For The Health of It!
We’ve all heard of the benefits of oxygen therapies for the treatment of all kinds of disorders. Remember Michael Jackson and his oxygen chamber? The successes of these therapies are due to a lack of proper oxygenation that exists in a person’s blood. Most people today are shallow, thoracic-chest breathers and neglect the primary muscle of respiration — the diaphragm.
Rapid, shallow breathing, punctuated often by sighing, yawning, or gasping, is due to erratic breathing that leads to oxygen starvation. In this process, only the upper spaces of the lung’s airways are utilized. When used properly, the diaphragm should contract and descend, making more room for air and expansion of the lungs, causing the abdomen to protrude. This process seems to come more naturally to males than females and for some reason women are ore inclined to follow a shallow pattern of breathing, but men shouldn’t think they are immune to the problem.
Thoracic breathing is the act of pulling air into just the upper part of the lungs. This results in the body rejecting air very quickly. The amount of air pulling in can be adequate, but the blood supply for absorption of oxygen is greatest in the lower part of the lungs. When this area fails to get adequately ventilated, we end up with under-oxygenated blood.
According to Dr. L. C. Clumpiest, in a paper he wrote for The Chest, Heart, and Stroke Journal:
This has profound effects on many bodily functions — symptoms are not trivial — many have such severe disabilities that they are thought to be suffering from serious illnesses such as heart disease, epilepsy, or intestinal disorders, to name a very few of the misdiagnoses commonly applied to this condition.
A more recent publication in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine notes that few physicians recognize these breathing disorders and points out the symptoms as follows: chronic or intermittent fatigue, chest pains and palpitations, dizziness and faintness, tingling and numbness in the extremities, muscular cramps, heartburn, stomach upset and gas, panic attacks and anxiety, sleep disturbances and night sweats. Perhaps some deep breathing exercises in addition to a daily walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator would be a good thing?
Breathing is unquestionably one of the most important acts you do in life. The 2,500 gallons of air we breathe daily comes through the nose to give oxygen to the blood, vital for every life process. Breathing correctly gives you endurance, the ability to better concentrate, more energy, and better immunity.