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Exercise Your Breathing for Better Health

September 21, 2010 by  

Exercise Your Breathing for Better Health

Oxygen deprivation, which is often caused by improper or obstructed breathing, is among the main causes of our everyday pain and ill health.

For starters, along with the intestines, bladder and skin, the lungs play a major role in toxic elimination. Proper breathing expedites the lung’s ability to expel carbon dioxide and toxic gases from the body while also diffusing fresh oxygen into the blood. When breathing is restricted, cellular activity is distressed and toxicity is increased. Since life is sustained primarily by adequate intake of oxygen, water and food, breathing properly is essential to good health.

There are innumerable ways in which one can benefit from the practice of deep breathing exercises like those taught in yoga, qigong and bio-feedback. Engaging in breathing exercises improves blood circulation and enriches the blood with more red blood cells. This increases the supply of oxygen to the tissues and promotes healthier tissues and organs.

The greater supply of oxygen enables the heart to pump slower while still providing enough oxygen to the body. Imbalances such as high blood pressure and rapid heart rate can be brought back to normal with prolonged, proper practice of breathing exercises.

When beginning a formal or informal program of deep breathing exercises it is essential that you remain relaxed and focused throughout each breath. Breathe slowly and steadily, physically expanding and contracting the respective areas of the body, as dictated by the exercise. I will share a few simple ones here.

To begin, stand comfortably, shoulders relaxed, with legs a comfortable shoulders-width apart and knees pointing straight ahead. Your arms should hang at your sides and your arms, hands and neck should be relaxed. (You may also do these while seated).

Chest Breathing
The chest breathing exercise helps the respiratory system and may be performed for five minutes at a time. Do not take big or loud breaths. Exhalations should last just slightly longer than the inhalations.

To begin chest breathing, pull the breath and fresh air into your lungs by expanding them to full capacity as you inhale through your nose slowly, quietly and steadily. Make sure to inflate the chest only. You may feel your stomach suck in slightly.

As you exhale, push the breath and stale gases out through your mouth slowly, quietly and steadily. Slowly contract your chest and lungs to their least capacity. You may feel your chest getting concave. Repeat for five minutes, and then stop.

Upper Stomach Breathing
The upper stomach breathing exercise helps the digestive system. Begin by inhaling through your nose slowly, quietly and steadily to pull the breath into the area between the navel and diaphragm. Expand your upper stomach (only) between the ribcage and navel to full capacity, making sure to keep your chest and lower stomach in or flat.

Exhale through your mouth slowly, quietly and steadily. Pull or suck in your upper stomach as you push your breath and stale energy out. You may feel your lower stomach pull in ever so slightly as well.

This is generally a difficult area for people to isolate in movement but becomes easier over time. Stay loose, relaxed and focused throughout the breaths and isolate movement only in the upper stomach.

Lower Stomach Breathing
The lower stomach breathing exercise helps the reproductive and urinary systems. Begin by inhaling through your nose slowly, quietly and steadily. As you inhale, pull the breath into the lower stomach — only from the navel down. Expand the pelvic area, and drop the breath to the pelvic floor. As you inhale, inflate your lower stomach (only) between the ribcage and navel to full capacity, making sure to keep your chest and upper stomach flat and deflated.

Next, push the breath and stale air out and pull or suck in your lower stomach as you exhale through your mouth slowly, quietly and steadily. You may feel your upper stomach pull in ever so slightly.

This can also be a difficult area for people to isolate in movement. Again, stay relaxed and focused throughout the breaths and try to isolate movement in the lower stomach. With continued practice you will progress.

If these three breathing exercises seem too difficult, then do not despair. What is important is the concept of breathing slowly and deeply into the lungs with steady, relaxed breath cycles. Since most of us breathe only with the top third of our lungs thanks to stress, anxiety, fear and sheer busyness… even something as simple as lying down, focusing intention on the navel and breathing deeply for a few moments before drifting off to sleep can garner positive health results over the long run.

— Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley

is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. The Wiley Method provides a revolutionary way of providing recovery and prevention of chronic pain, illness and disease. Grab your FREE COPY of Dr. Mark Wiley's "The 3 Secrets to Optimal Health" HERE.

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  • Th3D3adM3ssenGer

    It’s not surprising how in this fast-food addicted, all around poisoned culture, WE FORGET HOW TO BREATHE! It’s sad, but I do believe it is a serious problem. From the electromagnetic pollution to the poisonous healh/beauty-aid products… from the cell phone radiation microwaving our brains to the fluoridated water…
    [FUN FACT: You know when a water supply was first fluoridated?.. it was in HITLER'S CONCENTRATION CAMPS! You think he did that b/c he cared about their TEETH? The Nazi scientist found that it made their slaves more docile and less likely to want to escape. NOW you see why they REALLY fluoridate water. So drink up!, And don't forget... your skin absorbs water toxins in the shower, but you can get a shower filter head, I suggest Berkey Filters. NO I don't work for them!, they're just very affordable and high quality products]

    Is it really that hard to believe? Think about it- a dumbed-down, sick population is more likely to comply with the totalitarian tiptoe towards total annhilation of our Personal Liberties!

    Arm your Mind…

    …and don’t forget to breathe.

    • Cathy

      I’m aware of the Hitler fluoride thing. You and me and how many others? Maybe one or two percent of the population? (I’m being kind here.)

      • Normal Guy

        Oh I am sure that there are millions of equally naive researched challenged paranoids out there. Fluoride was not used to sedate or calm people it is just a soft headed conspiracy theory. If you do even the slightest research you will find out that this is a vacuous, idiotic belief.

        I am sure that you both have lists of equally ignorant, conspiracy delusions. Do yourself a favour and learn how to vet information, just because you read it in the internet does not mean it is true.

        The right wing nuts on this site are so completely moronic, it really is fun to come and read occasionally. How you get from an article on the advantages of breathing properly to Hitler is hysterical.

        Look out the guy in the white shirt over there is recording all your comments, they will sneak in tonight and inject you with the obedience serum!!!

        • What the . . .

          Normal Guy,
          You’re the only moron whose comments i’ve seen on this site. Your ignorance is only outweighed by your narcissism.

        • Dick

          Just because we read “Normal Guys’” comments here does that make them true, does not, he said so himself. And certainly people like him are enablers of any totalitarian Govt.

      • dan az

        You can count me in on knowing about it for a very long time but did you know that the bottle water that you drink is just as bad do to the leaching affect of the bottles? nasty stuff!

  • FreedomFighter

    The old time Korean Karate Masters spent allot of time teaching breathing exercises, good stuff clean air is.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Average Joe Patriot

      How can we be sure? I don’t think the FDA has done proper studies on this potentially dangerous gaseous substance (and did you know, even children are inhaling it now?). Just because it’s been used by various primitive cultures for centuries doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. Also, you do realize that the stuff is used to help create forest fires and that without it, many bombs cannot be used by terrorists. Unless you are a qualified scientist, don’t be so quick to promote something you know so little of.

      I’d rather hold my breath till Monsanto and Bayer come up with an approved modified version. Administered perhaps via a prescribed device which can be monitored by accredited medical personnel. Taxable, of course, but that’s the price we pay for a caring, concerned government.

      • Tad

        ROFL i

  • Ken Roberts

    True this culture we live in prods all of us to partake of things we should not . There are many conflicts of what is good and bad . I say that taken in small amounts it would be fine to eat what you want , the real problem is over eating , I say eat small amounts at a time even if it means eating four or five times a day . give your digestive system a chance to work, that includes the breathing also . Sitting is another problem, we sit to much and we really need to walk at least 5 miles a day, you can also adjust that to your physical condition and walk in segments not all at one time.Over doing things is the main problem, see I think I just over did it with my not over doing anything . maybe I need to not write so much at a time . Have a good day all .

  • s c

    Sounds like good advice, folks. At the same time, it might not be a bad idea to put many oxygen sources in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court (especially for the newest members).

    • Fed Up Gal in NM


      LoL funny, yet very true! Thanks…I needed the laugh and the truth :-).

  • Chuck S

    It seems like you could just exercise all three areas at the same time. I suppose there’s some benefit to learning control over your body. I may try both.

    • Average Joe Patriot

      You can. Study prana yoga. The “complete breath” is a simple three-stage exercise performed sitting or standing, encompassing one inhale-exhale cycle employing the entire breathing apparatus. It’s called pranayama and is quite basic.

  • Jim H.

    My name is Jim and I’m an oxiholic, From the first breath I took while being born, I have been consuming oxygen. Even in my sleep. I just can’t help it. I try to stop,but after 30 seconds I’m binging(to the point of hyperventilation). I NEED HELP!

    • dan az

      Jim H
      Me to I feel for ya buddy I hear they are going to tax us on exhailing wouldnt ya know it I cant help my self and the big brother is going to help us all!

  • guyb

    Lets just clean all the air… Lets clean the air in pelosi and obamas head….They cut the water to 50,000 farm workers and farms in northern california but still let pelosi get all the water she needs for her multi million dollar northern california vineyards…They did this at a time when we need all the jobs we can get and they did it and blamed bush(I mean a delta smelt) that pelosi said might go extinct…. Baloney pelosi, we raise millions of trout and salmon and catfish ect and we could raise millions of those little delta smelt on just one acre of delta water…..Its all about control and obama and reid and pelosi want complete control of all of us….Oh.not only did pelosi kill 50,000 hard working farm jobs in noethern california while she still somehow gets all the water she wants for her multi million dollar northern california vineyards but she also ordered and got a new jet to fly around in and America got a new jet payment…..Is anyone still going to vote for peeeeeelsoi??????

  • Bill from Laos

    Fluoride was once used to treat hyperthyroid conditions. For normally
    healthy persons, drinking fluoridated water has the same effect on the
    thyroid. Is it any wonder why it’s being discovered how many people
    are now suffering from hypothyroidism? Contact your local water
    officials to determine if your drinking water is fluoridated. Filter your
    water and consider taking kelp or other iodine supplements. Research
    this and take measures to protect yourself & loved ones.

  • Catherine

    GuyB, now we know what Democrats do to this country. They voted in bills without reading them, bills which were full of destruction for this country. Pelosi, with eyes darting around oddly, said to vote the bills in so we could know what they contained. Please tell me, how crazy is this? Now we are in debt for trillions of dollars and still we send millions out of the country, which Hillary says is a “good thing”. When our country collapses Obama can go to his home country where he grew up, but we are stuck with the horror of problems with health care that new IRS agents will investigate to force it on taxpayers, our social security is plummeting, there are endless loopholes criminals can use. Also, what is this about Obama turning us over, like a third world country, to the United Nations calling us racists, citing what is wrong with us, and also including requesting that they investigate Arizona making them appear to be criminals because they are enforcing the federal law that he refuses to enforce. How dare someone pull such an arrogant and petty stunt as to submit reports on this country to the United Nations.

    • woody

      he dare’s because he is an anti-american black muslim communist bent on destroying our great country. need’s to be gotten rid of. last week or sooner !!!!!!

    • guyb

      You are more than right on the money, No one could tell it better than you have done…. Bravo,Cathrine,Thank you for standing up for America,our great nation!!!!!!!

  • jopa

    Catherine;Obama was born in Hawaii which is part of the United States now along with Alaska, therefore making the US his home country.It is so sad that so many schools have outdated history books I have to keep the American public up to the times.No need to thank me I am glad to be of some help to you.Have a good day.

  • Fed Up Gal in NM

    jopa; You would think with all the “transparency” Obama said there would be during his administration….well…you would think he and Michelle would have at least gotten their stories straight before putting out conflicting information.

    So, you’re saying now that Obama claims the US as his “home country”? Maybe he should have told Michelle…..check out Michelle on the video clip. Either you’ve already seen this and have proof the video clip was doctored…or you just insist that denial is a river in Egypt.

    And…..yes, I do thank you….for reminding me that our public schools have much work to do…to flush out the “story telling” in classrooms and expose the New Jopa’s Hysterical Account text book.


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