Correct breathing is extremely important to
maintain our lungs at optimal health, and to attempt to combat
the onset of occupational lung diseases such as mesothelioma
and asbestosis. Likewise it is critical in the practice of
the Tibetan rejuvenation yoga technique demonstrated in the
“Restore Your Health & Vitality” Video/DVD, as it is in
any form of yoga exercise.
Breathing is integral to life, and something we
all take very much for granted. ‘As normal as breathing’ is
an expression used to describe actions that are performed without
conscious thought. Yet, the act of inhalation is only half the
story - HOW one takes that breath and how one releases it, is
what determines one’s overall wellness quotient.
It follows, then, that we must keep our respiratory
system in optimal condition. The respiratory system includes
the upper air passages, lungs, and the muscles that control
breathing. However keeping our respiratory system clean and
our lungs and pleura healthy and without disease is becoming
progressively more difficult due to changes in our environment.
While asbestos and silicate particles in inhaled air has exploded
the incidence of asbestosis, mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleura)
and silicosis, smoke pollution has further compounded afflictions
like mesothelioma and lung cancers.
Breathing is best when it is slow, deep and regular.
Breath is most beneficial when the air is taken in through the
nose and when the process of respiration deploys relevant muscles
of the chest, lungs, belly and pelvis to optimize the volume
of air exhaled and inhaled.
The importance of the diaphragm muscle, in this
process, is often not understood or is underestimated. When
a person exhales fully, in a slow and natural way, as taught
in yoga, the diaphragm actually helps "squeeze" the
stale, used air out of the lungs, which enables the lungs to
take in a larger volume of fresh air with each breath. Inhalation
then occurs as a reflex action and without effort. This, combined
with releasing the tensions in the back, chest, ribs, and pelvis
(which can occur through well-designed physical movements and
postures, like the Tibetan yoga rejuvenation technique) allow
the lungs to expand more completely. These are some of the conditions
that make healthy harmonious breathing possible, and also maintain
the lungs in healthy condition.
The air travels down the respiratory passages
to the alveoli. These balloon-like sacs in the lungs (numbering
millions) are the medium through which the inhaled oxygen passes
into the bloodstream, and the carbon dioxide element passes
from the blood into the respiratory tract, to be exhaled.
The breathing muscles and organs have to work
together for breathing to be effective. This pre-supposes that
the environmental conditions do not provide impediments, as
in the case of an asbestos laden atmosphere that leads to mesothelioma
and asbestosis Smoke pollution from first and second hand smoking
has further exploded afflictions like mesothelioma,
lung cancers, and occupational lung diseases.
It also follows that the intake of fresh oxygenated
air would depend significantly on the condition of the lungs
and respiratory passages. Any disorder in functioning of any
of the parts involved would impede the respiratory process.
Correct respiration, especially when conducted
as per instructions given in the Tibetan yoga rejuvenation Video/DVD
(“Restore Your Health & Vitality” Video/DVD) can benefit
your health in a number of ways, some of them being:
1. Detoxify your organs and tissues through massage-like manipulations
2. Carry adequate oxygen to your cells, organs, and tissues
them to function efficiently
3. Promote lymphatic drainage and elimination of waste products3.
4. Strengthen the muscles of the solar plexus and diaphragm
5. Increase lung capacity.
6. Act as a de-stressor by harmonizing the nervous system
7. Promote communication between your conscious and unconscious
8. Help with specific medical problems you may have.
9. Serve to bridge the left and right hemispheres of the brain
10.Help in coping with anxiety attacks
When undertaking the rejuvenation yoga exercises,
air must be inhaled and exhaled in a particular way. It is therefore,
necessary to be aware
of the specific function of each of these exercises – which
has been explained in the video/DVD.
For instance, while the primary function of breathing
is to oxygenate the cells and tissues, and to eliminate carbon
dioxide, one must understand that Carbon Dioxide also has a
part to play in the system. In fact hyper-ventilation, or loss
of carbon dioxide too fast can lead to increased alkalinity
of the blood – a condition known as alkalosis.
One problem that arises for people who hyperventilate
is that loss of carbon dioxide too quickly impedes the diaphragm
from completing its
entire range of motion and all the breathing muscles become
tense. Also, many people have weak diaphragms that are badly
coordinated with the secondary breathing muscles in the chest,
back, ribs, and lungs. According to some breath therapists the
average person on the street functions with one to two inches
of diaphragm extension, when the maximum excursion (full movement
up and down) of the diaphragm is just over 5 inches.
Having the requisite level of carbon dioxide in
the blood helps keep the arteries healthy while enabling the
oxygen in the blood to be released where and when needed in
the cells of the brain and body.
Other effects of carbon dioxide- it also helps
maintain the proper acid/alkaline ratio in the body (which supports
the immune system), helps keep the blood vessels dilated, helps
relax the nervous system (too little carbon dioxide actually
excites the nervous system, thus adding to our feeling of stress),
helps regulate the cardiovascular system, and improves digestive
functioning and metabolism.
Perhaps you are now beginning to understand why
while doing yoga and breathing exercises, you need a guide to
teach you, amongst other things, how not to release too much
carbon dioxide too quickly.
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