The Beauty and Health Benefits of Breathing

This certainly sounds like a “no duh” but obviously it is not or I wouldn’t be doing a newsletter on it. Obviously breathing is critically important for life and fortunately it is one of those things we do not have to think about we just count on our body doing it and doing it correctly. What is interesting is many cultures have studied breathing and practice various breathing exercises to improve mind and body, they even refer to it differently and call the life force, prana, chi. However, most of us over here in America just willy nilly go around breathing without even thinking about it…slightly kidding. The truth is, focusing on your breathing and consciously trying to breathe differently will in fact make physiological changes in your body and physical changes in your face and body. Let’s start with the face and body because that will be they hardest for you to believe. Mouth breathers…what does that mean? Well, you are supposed to breathe through your nose not your mouth. Mouth is food nose is air. When breathing through the nose we warm, humidify and purify the air, but additionally we keep our mouth closed and with our tongue if done right resting on the roof of our mouth with teeth gently touching. If you breathe through your mouth, it is open. Jaw is slack leading to weak jaw line. The tongue sits slow not pressing on upper pallet making that space smaller leading to crowded teeth, and saggy mid face with weak cheek bones. What about the rest of the body you say…?

Weight Loss Breathing

Believe it or not you lungs are a major contributor to weight loss regulation in fact for every ten pounds you lose eight- and one-half pounds of it comes out through the lungs (most as carbon dioxide), the rest is sweat or urinated out. Breathing in less holding and breathing out more can help increase this! There is also a type of breathing called “orthopedic breathing” developed not by a physician but by a lay person, a young girl, in hopes to straighten her own spine. She suffered from scoliosis and would inhale and stretch over tables and apparently the did those over several years and did in fact straighten her spine but also went on to help many others that suffered from scoliosis. This is just a few examples of the miracles of proper breathing that can help change you physically. There are also the mental benefits as well.

Wim Hof Breathing Technique

A Japanese study done on rats that had their nostrils obstructed and were forced to mouth breath developed fewer brain cells and took twice as long to find their way through a maze. Then of course there is the magic of Wim Hof….if you have not heard of him you need to look him up. He was just a normal guy a postal worker I believe and in try to deal with the tragedy of his wife’s suicide began practicing breathing techniques. He has now broken an incredible number of world records and can accomplish things that seem almost humanely impossible with controlled breathing. If you have every listened to anything from Sadhguru you might find interesting his take on how breath correlates to lifespan. He explains how our natural breaths/per minute correlate to the earth and how our maximum number of years correlates to our breaths/ min and by decreasing that number can increase our life span.
You can also find many references to the health benefits of decreasing the number of breaths/min in James Nestor’s book “Breath”. Many of my reference points came from his book and I would highly recommend it, if you want to dig deeper into this subject.
For now, I hope that you gained something useful in this and can take at least a few moments a day to improve your health with more mindful breathing.