Monday, April 12, 2010


Controlled breathing can be practiced to attain not just better physical health but also a peaceful mind
Do you experience body pains in the neck, shoulders or back? Do you suffer from headaches, stomach pains, digestive or sleep disorders, experience tightness around the chest and palpitations, difficulty in breathing? Do you feel lethargic, irritable and lack enthusiasm for doing anything? If your response to these questions is positive, then you are probably suffering from stress.
The heartening fact is conscious breathing or Breath Therapy, can help you eliminate stress, says Hilary Adele, Breath and Yoga Therapist.

We are all breathing; why then a Breath therapy or conscious breathing?

True, we are all breathing. But are we breathing in a healthy way? There are certain breathing indicators:
Do you breathe from chest or from your abdomen? Do you breathe out? Do you breathe fast? Does your breathing feel shallow and heavy? Do you get breathless easily when you talk or walk? Your body needs the right amount of oxygen to keep cells alive and healthy. Eighty percent of toxins in your body comes out through your breath. Your mind and emotions are connected to the way you breathe.

What is the scope of Breath Therapy or conscious breathing?

The natural way of breathing is from the abdomen, not from the chest as most of us do. By subconsciously changing your breathing pattern, you stop the body from being in an oxygen starvation mode. Your heart beats according to the oxygen consumption of your body. Deep breathing slows down your heart rate, regulates your blood pressure, relaxes tense muscles, improves digestion, increases blood circulation, improves sleep/energy cycles and balances your mind and emotions. Above all, conscious breathing strengthens your immune system.

How exactly does it boost the immune system?

A normal person breathes in and out at the rate of 16 – 18 respirations per minute. A sick person breathes faster, shallower and harder. When we are doing the breathing technique, it means we are breathing consciously in a specific way from the body. In doing so, we throw out more toxins and take in more oxygen. However, the natural retention of oxygen in our body is very little. But when we breathe consciously, from the abdomen rather than from the chest, the higher oxygen content that we take in, rejuvenates the cells of the body and helps the metabolic process in the body to convert food to energy and break up fat within the body.

Can people of any age practice Breath Therapy?

There is no age bar to practice this therapy.

Does the therapy have any physical manifestation?

The first effects that most people will observe is a sense of calmness, of being energized and feeling related and this includes a state of deep sleep in many individuals. Talking of the long term effects, start noticing changes in skin and eyes will become brighter.

How long should a single practice session of Breath Therapy last?

In the beginning, you take about 10 to 15 minutes, with breathing and relaxation, alternating the two. You are breathing in different ways within the body, using different techniques for a certain length of time, followed by relaxation time. On an average, fifteen minutes of therapy in a day, should be fine.

Is there a particular time of the day when it should be done?

If someone is having problems with sleep, it is not advisable to practice Breath Therapy in the evening.

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