Do you know how to breathe? The reality is that most of us don’t actually know how to breathe properly, and only use such a small proportion of our breath. Qigong teacher and stress expert Deniz Paradot shows you in this blog the importance of learning how to breathe, so that you can maximise your health on a daily basis, simply with the use of your breaths. He will also give you a simple exercise you can do on a daily basis, so that you can begin to experience what it feels like when you learn how to breathe using your whole body and breath.
We all have to breathe every moment of the day, so why not make the most of each inhalation and exhalation and learn how to breathe properly?
Why Should I Learn How to Breathe Effectively?
You breathe in and out anywhere from 15 to 25 times per minute without even thinking about it. That is on average 20,000 times a day… imagine this many opportunities to make yourself healthier! Deep breathing exercises are very easy to do if you take the time to do them properly.
How to Assess your Breathing
The next time you feel angry, stressed or anxious, pay attention to your breathing. You may notice your breaths become short, shallow and your body starts to ache when you experience negative emotions. While this is a normal response to stressful conditions, poor breathing actually compounds the negative effects stress has on the body. On the other hand, learning how to breathe properly and practicing purposeful breathing exercises can help you recover and deal with stress more quickly, important for the health of your mind and body.
When you experience negative emotions or physical pain, the body responds in a similar way every time. You may experience a rapid heartbeat, tightening muscles, body aching, dilated pupils and perspiration in addition to short, quick and shallow breaths. This is not just an instinctual reaction, but a habit the body has developed over time in response to stressful situations. Any time you feel a twinge of anger or anxiety coming on, the body starts pumping out the juices that fuel this response once again.
This kind of physical reaction can be tied to health problems like cardiovascular disease, insomnia, hypertension (high blood pressure), indigestion, increased infections and autoimmune disease. It can also contribute to depression, severe anxiety and other mental health issues.
How to Practice Mindful Breathing
Fortunately, you can reclaim your physical and mental health by practicing purposeful and mindful breathing exercises. These exercises can reverse your body’s natural reaction to stressful conditions, which can help you to manage negative emotions and physical pain more effectively. And the less your body undergoes this stressful physical reaction, the healthier you will be in both mind and body.
Learn How to Breathe in The Breathing Room at The Orange Grove Clinic
The Orange Grove Clinic in Norwich is proud to host a new class with Deniz Paradot called The Breathing Room, a wonderfully relaxing opportunity to learn how to breathe effectively. In this class you will learn Ohana Breathing (Taoist breathing) practices, which are designed to activate the diaphragm muscle and improve the functioning of your internal organs – liver, kidneys, heart, spleen and lungs. As you activate different parts of your body with Ohana Breathing, you will simultaneously lengthen your breath.
Increasing the length of your breath will ensure that you move your belly and relax all the parts of your body. This will induce your innate ‘relaxation response’ and promote the production of Qi (vital energy).
When you learn how to breathe effectively and engage the Relaxation Response, this can promote a state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress, steering you away from your automated Fight or Flight Response. The qualities of the relaxation response are:
- Decreased heart rate
- Decreased blood pressure
- Diminished respiratory rate
- Lower pulse rate
- Endorphins are released
- Decreased blood lactate (a chemical derived from Lactic Acid)
- Decreased muscle tension
- Reduction of cortisol
- Reduction of noradrenaline
The Fight or Flight Response is our body’s primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to fight or flee from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival. The effects are:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased respiratory rate
- Higher pulse rate
- Increased oxygen consumption
- Increased blood lactate
- Increased muscle tension
- Rapid production of cortisol – cortisol is a chemical hormone produced by your body to manage stress. The stress can be physical, mental and emotional. Cortisol continues to be released when the stress continues.
- Production of noradrenaline – noradrenaline is a substance released naturally by the nerve cells. It produces wide ranging effects on many areas of the body and is often referred to as a ‘fight or flight’ chemical, as it is responsible for the body’s reaction to stressful situations.
Learn How to Breathe Today
Here is a basic routine that will help you learn the ropes of the Ohana Breathing system and how to breathe:
Sit or lie down in a comfortable, quiet place. Allow yourself to be free from distractions for at least 5-10 minutes. Give yourself a moment to start relaxing your muscles. Find places that are holding tension and release it.
Lesson One of How to Breathe – Moving Your Belly Forward
- Put on hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.
- Push your belly out to draw in air (inhale).
- To exhale, relax and allow your belly to return to its original position.
- The front of your chest should stay still and relaxed, neither moving up or down.
- Let all your inhales and exhales come directly from the movement of your belly.
- Try and make each inhale and exhale approximately the same length.
This is just one of the techniques you can use to learn how to breathe effectively. If you would like to experience the full benefit of learning how to breathe, The Breathing Room class is every Tuesday from 10:30am to 11:30am. Classes will be guided and meditative, with postural guidance given in order to achieve correct body alignment whilst sitting. Please speak to Deniz Paradot before attending class in order to ascertain your individual requirements.
£5 per class. Limited availability.
Please book early to avoid disappointment – Deniz’ classes fill up very quickly. The first class is drop in, after that you will need to pay monthly to secure your place
To find out more about The Breathing Room and the importance of learning how to breathe properly and efficiently, please call our reception on 01603 631900 or you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our contact page.