2 months ago I walked into a Reiki healing session and my “healer” looked me in the eye and told me I wasn’t breathing. What?! Of course I’m breathing- I practice my yoga, run 6 miles, am living… But, after only 2 sessions of learning about my breath, my sleep improved, my energy increased, I digested better and was, of course, a bit more calm.
So what does it mean to “breathe” and why is doing it properly so important?
Proper breathing involves calm, slow inhalations that fill the belly and expand the ribcage. Most of us (9 out of 10 actually) breathe only into the upper portion of our chest and the breath is hurried or held. Breathing does more for the body than just fill us up with oxygen and keep us from passing out.
- The body is designed to rid itself of 70% of its toxins through breath. The majority of our lymphatic system lies in our belly and outer ribcage. The expansion and contraction of the diaphragm actually stimulates your lymphatic system and massages your internal organs, helping the body rid itself of toxins
- Proper breathing releases endorphins (the best kind of painkillers)
- Belly breathing is an internal massage for the organs that improves digestive functions
- Studies show that the typical shallow breathing increases our risk for high blood pressure and other stress related diseases
- WEIGHT LOSS! (Now you’re paying attention). Breathing deeply supplies greater amounts of oxygen to the blood making the body more efficient in fat burning.
- Breathing is the main messenger between your fight and flight responses. Shallow breath tells the body it is under stress therefore producing more cortisol. Cortisol is stored in the belly as fat- enough said.
- We all know breathing relieves anxiety and calms the mind- “Oooommm”
- And the list goes on….
So, as you pop your daily multi vitamins and meds, remember to add one of the most essential, overlooked and FREE supplements to your regimen and just breathe~ deeply, fully and well into your belly.