The Healing Power of Breathing
"Many healings of other physical troubles have occurred in my clients after they started to integrate breathing practices into their lives. There is a simple but encompassing reason that may explain this. The human body is designed to discharge 70% of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are discharged through sweat, defecation and urination. If your breathing is not operating at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly."
– Gay Hendricks, PhD, Conscious Breathing
Deep breathing is known to lower both stress and blood pressure. Not only that, but fat in the body is converted to carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide leaves when you exhale, and the water mixes into your circulation until it's excreted as either urine or sweat. If you lose 10 pounds of fat, 8.4 of those pounds come out through your lungs, and the remaining 1.6 pounds turns into water. In other words, most of the weight we lose is exhaled when we breathe.
Breathing is something we are born doing; we don't need to learn it, and we don't need to practice it. Somewhere along the line, however, we stop breathing optimally, and toxins that would normally leave our bodies when we breathe get trapped and cause disease. So what happened? The short answer lies in observing the difference between the way a baby breathes and an adult breathes. When you watch a baby breathe, you see his stomach rise and fall with each breath, which is the way we were designed to breathe.
At some point in our lives though, we get in the habit of breathing shallowly, and that seems to be where the problem lies. Maybe it's because a typical pair of pants isn't designed with a lot of give in the waistline. Maybe it starts around the time when we get self-conscious about wanting to look slim, so we hold our stomachs in and breathe shallowly. Whatever the reason, the solution is to take frequent breaks and breathe deeply and correctly for several minutes.
"All chronic pain, suffering, and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level."
– Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, MD The Textbook on Medical Physiology
Here are some ideas to help you improve your breathing:
1. Sit up straight, close your eyes and inhale slowly to a count of four through your nose. Feel your stomach and chest both expand as you breathe in. Hold your breath for another count of four, and then exhale slowly to another count of four, also through your nose. As you get used to this, try stretching your exhale out to a count of 6-8. Do this for 5-10 minutes.
2. When you're in bed, lie on your back without your pillow, arms at your side, palms up, feet slightly apart. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply and slowly as in Exercise #1 above. This time though, add a message to each part of your body to relax, starting down at your toes and working all the way up to your forehead. Tense your feet as you breathe in, then feel them relax completely as you breathe out. Do the same with your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, and so on until you've told your whole body to relax, one muscle at a time. You won't believe how relaxed you feel when you get all the way up to your scalp!
3. You can also help yourself breathe easier with essential oils. I use doTERRA Breathe, which is a wonderful blend of essential oils including Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Cardamom, Ravintsara, and Ravensara. I like to put a drop of Breathe on my chest right before bedtime to really open up my airways; it helps me to wake up feeling super energized! I also use it to help relieve congestion when anyone in my family is feeling under the weather. doTERRA Breathe can be applied to the chest, back, or bottom of feet, or it can be diffused at nighttime to calm the senses and promote a restful sleep.**
My daughter Lisa taking a whiff of doTERRA Breathe essential oil blend
"Simply put, disease is due to a deficiency in the oxidization process of the body, leading to an accumulation of the toxins. These toxins would ordinarily be burned in normal metabolic functioning."
– Dr. Albert Wahl
Make breathing exercises a daily habit, and watch your stress levels go down and your general health level skyrocket!
Are you following along with my 52 Simple Changes That Will Transform Your Life? #15 on the list is "Take 5 minute breaks where you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and clear your mind by focusing on your breathing". Write this down and hang it up on your mirror. You can get the whole list by clicking here. If you implement all 52 simple changes this year and make them habits, by the end of this year you will have significantly improved your diet, your fitness, your mental, emotional, and spiritual health, your house will be cleaner and more orderly, and you will make some serious strides in your financial situation as well. Who doesn't want all that? Get the list, and make those changes! Small changes add up to big wins!
**If you would like to join my global oil squad, you can get high quality doTERRA essential oils for 25% off, plus continuing education and a welcome package! Email me for details, or click here to check out my oils site!