Proper breathing is one of the body’s fundamental functions that leads to better health, yet most of us give it very little of our attention. We go about our day – taking care of our daily tasks, working, cooking, walking the dog – and unless we over-exert ourselves or choke on a piece of food, we put very little thought towards our breathing. We take it for granted, and, as a result, many of us take short and shallow breaths.
“Short, shallow breathing causes a cascade of negative effects in the body, and the body associates that with the fight-or-flight response. It gins up the adrenaline, the cortisol, the stress chemicals.” ~ Al Lee, co-author (with Don Campbell) of Perfect Breathing
Research shows that even the simple act of breathing fully and slowly can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental focus, and help with health problems such as high blood pressure. Now what would happen if more people spent time on the mastery of breathing techniques, such as yogic pranayama and qigong exercises? With these practices, you may discover a new tool for better health, as well as for improved control of your emotions and actions.
“These techniques are used by just about anybody in any discipline you can think of — fighter pilots to Olympic athletes, marksmen, special forces, you name it. They would say, ‘This is the most important thing I do.’ ” ~ Al Lee
Scientific Benefits of Breathing for Better Health
See the image below for some great insights about the effects that proper breathing has on the body and some resources for how you can breathe better.
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