Several years ago I learned to breathe through my diaphragm the way we breathe when we are born, it literally changed my health. The heart’s wisdom is only improved when we take the steps to create a healthy environment for it to live in. Along with bettering your overall heart health, diaphragmatic breathing also improves many other vital functions and helps your body to become stronger and more able to withstand the daily stresses of life and even reverse some already present medical problems.
Here are more facts supporting breathing through your diaphragm instead of your lungs. I’ve also included informational resources for you to read to understand the process and benefits.
To help you realize the importance of deep diaphragmatic breathing, here are 12 benefits to regularly practicing this healthy habit:
- Reduces the risk factors for heart disease such as lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowing blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugars
- Cuts chances of cancer by as much as 400%
- Reduces negative stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol)
- Helps reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates (junk food)
- Cuts chances of diabetes by strengthening the insulin beta receptor sites
- Improves quality of sleep by improving stage 1 and stage 4 sleep cycles
- Lengthens the cell’s life span by cleansing the cells more thoroughly through increased lymphatic flow
- Slows the aging process by increasing the secretion of human growth hormone (the anti-aging hormone)
- Optimizes the immune system by strengthening T-cell formation and improving lymphocyte production
- Improves your mood by elevating the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and other positive endorphins
- Improves mental focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the brain
- Improves the quality and effectiveness of meditation by changing brain wave activity from the more stressful beta wavelengths to more relaxing and healthier alpha and theta brain wavelengths.
Here’s how to reap the amazing benefits of deep diaphragmatic breathing.· Sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed and inhale very slowly thru your nose using your diaphragm (your belly should expand while you inhale with little or no chest movement).· Once your lungs are full and your belly has expanded, hold your breath for about 6 to 12 seconds. ·Then slowly exhale thru your mouth making sure you use your belly to push the air out.· Once your lungs are empty and your belly is contracted, repeat the cycle.· Your goal is to complete 10 cycles· (inhale, hold, exhale) or 8 to 10 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing a day.The best times to practice this type of deep breathing is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.· To enhance the benefit of deep breathing, I suggest visualizing your goals or picturing your ideal life while practicing this habit.· Personally, I pray while practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing.
For the next 30 days, I challenge you to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing for at least 10 minutes a day everyday.· This is one of the best prescriptions for improving your health and optimizing your wellness.· Good luck and good breathing. (from http://www.samvarner.com/physical-wellness/deep-breathing.html)
Mainstream medical professionals are promoting the natural and simple process of slow, deep breathing for ultimate health and peace of mind.
Here are a few resources to help you to learn more about it:
From Harvard Health Publications:
Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response
From Psychology Today:
The Science of Slow Deep Breathing
From the Chopra Center:
Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama
Thank you for stopping by, namaste.