Volumes have been written on the benefits of deep breathing including its renowned ability to induce relaxation and calmness, stress reduction, lowering of blood pressure, and relief of pain. It supports greater energy production (hence many feel refreshed and energized after a session) throughout the body at the cell level and activates the lymphatic system; one could say these are the two main effects that lead to ALL the other healing benefits people associate with deep breathing. The goal is to become conscious of deep breathing and to breathe deeply everywhere you go and as often as possible WITHOUT creating stress.Whatever you may be trying to heal, deep breathing will support the healing process.
Deep breathing is the act of consciously controlled breath-work involving slow, deep inhales (generally through the nose) allowing air to fully permeate, fill and expand the lungs- followed by slow exhales (through the nose or mouth). It can be done while standing upright, sitting upright, or while lying in a horizontal position. One is often instructed to breathe so that the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the thoracic cavity – which contains the lungs – from the abdominal cavity) will fully descend causing the muscles surrounding the abdominal cavity to be pushed outward. There are many variations of the inhale and exhale techniques, as well as overall variations in breathing pace, position, and posture. Deep diaphragmatic breathing stimulates the cleansing of the lymph system by creating a vacuum effect which pulls the lymph through the bloodstream. This increases the rate of toxic elimination by as much as 15 times the normal rate.
Any breathing technique that makes you fully expand your lungs will work. Take some time out to explore videos on diaphragmatic breathing and yoga breathing techniques.
As with anything else that activates and accelerates the lymphatic system, proceed with caution. Transition is key. Some people may feel sick, nauseous, dizzy/lightheaded, vertigo and so forth after only a few deep inhales. If that is the case it goes to show that you need it badly, but must approach things slowly. Start with as many breaths as you can handle, then stop and take as long a break as you need before resuming. Before you know it, you can take 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100+ deep breaths without feeling any discomfort.
Just like your body was made to MOVE (not just to “exercise for 20-30 minutes 3 times per week”), you’ve been given a set of lungs to BREATHE (not just practice a few deep breathing sessions per week).
Many people do not receive the full benefits of this fascinating, free and inherent ability that came with the set of lungs we’ve.