How Relearning Breathing Could Help You Reclaim Your Health

Adiel Gorel

Breathing – Why It Is the Missing Piece of the Health Puzzle


As a longtime practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, I have always been interested in mindfulness, and fundamental, noninvasive ways to improve health. The importance of correct breathing techniques is something that I have spoken about with several of my previous podcast guests. We have discussed how nasal breathing helps to increase the production of nitric oxide, how correct breathing techniques better oxygenate the blood and hence the organs, and so on. I also had Dr. Belisa Vranich on my show, who has delved deep into the benefits of the right way to breathe.

Breathing has a psychological component.

We have all been breathing since we were born and did it right for a while. So how is it that so many of us developed incorrect and suboptimal ways of breathing over time? These are some of the questions that Belisa Vranich, founder of The Breathing Class, has been trying to answer. There is a certain tension that gathers around the midsection area of our bodies. This is perhaps a reaction to the stress that we experience; the physical bracing that is a reaction to mental stimuli. The result is that we tend not to breathe fully the way we are supposed to. Our breath becomes shallower and less expansive than it should be.
We are meant to be breathing from the diaphragm. We are meant to be breathing in a way that we let our bellies out. However social conditioning is such that we always seem to be walking around with our bellies tightened. Breathing is something that should be a 360 degree experience that we feel towards the front and the back of the body. Diaphragm breathing involves more of the body and also benefits more of the body, as Chad and I discuss in this podcast.

Why breathing is vital.

In the experience of Dr. Belisa Vranich, a lot of people that she comes across have certain chronic conditions that seem intractable or difficult to explain. A lot of the time, she finds that the missing piece of the puzzle is the way the person breathes. Using the right breathing technique can help us to resolve health issues, better control chronic conditions and even live longer, as researchers have shown us.
One interesting study examined how singers tend to live longer than other people in the population. This has something to do with exhalation. The holding of the breath, the complete exhalation of air from the lungs, humming, and similar activities that involve breathing are seen to improve health and longevity. And that is why exhalation is vital. Inhalation will automatically take care of itself. The thing to concentrate on is the exhale. We must concentrate on exhaling fully to expel all of the air in the lungs – the stagnant air, the stagnant energy. One of the ways to visualize the correct breathing technique is with the cat-cow poses in yoga.  Inhale on the cow and exhale on the cat.
In my latest episode with Chad we also discuss the 4-7-8 breathing technique or relaxation breathing which can help in stressful situations. Join us to know how something simple could be life changing for you and your health. 
Adiel Gorel

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