independent

Saturday 30 August 2014

Breathing life into you

Emily Hurley-Wilkinson

Published 13/09/2012 | 17:29

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RESEARCH strongly indicates that oxygen shortage in the human body has been linked with many illnesses including heart conditions, cancer, digestion, respiratory disease, aching joints, sinus problems and much more.

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It is the main energy source for our brain function. Whilst our brain weighs only 2% of our body's weight it requires about 25% of its oxygen. As a result, it calms our mind and stabilises our nervous system.

Without oxygen we cannot absorb those all important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients our body needs. When our cells lack oxygen they become vulnerable and weak.

Stress and anxiety have long been associated with how we breathe and there are many factors that can contribute to our stress and anxieties in our world today including relationship tensions, difficult people, finance, work demands, time urgency etc.

Both emotional and physical stress create very high oxygen loss and we know now that prolonged excessive stress can cause over breathing resulting in abnormal levels of oxygen. Most stress is neutralised by several key breathing exercises.

Symptoms of possible oxygen deficiency include but are not limited to body weakness, forgetfulness, irritability and irrational behaviour, heart palpitations, dizziness, circulation and digestive problems.

Essentially, oxygen depletion can weaken our immune system, which can lead to a host of problems such as viral infections, heart problems and pre mature ageing!

It is well established that oxygen causes oxidation - oxidation is a process of converting nutrients into energy, which also aids in the elimination of toxins and waste. Today the biggest threat to oxygen intake is in the deterioration of our breathing system, lack of exercise and nutrition! Negative foods such as junk food, processed sugar, white flour etc deplete oxygen stores.

Our breathing is the powerhouse of life and if you want to make the most of your life bringing your breathing volume to normal levels is mandatory. It is free but it takes awareness and practice to ensure your relearn how to return your breathing to normal levels. The following steps will get you on your way to begin the process -

Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your palms turned upwards in a relaxed position on your laps. Close your eyes and begin to breath slowly through your nose and exhale out with longer breaths out then in.

Bring your attention to your breathing. Feel the air going in and coming out of your nose. Notice how that feels - is the air cold or warm? Become aware of your breath and just follow it for a few minutes.

Most likely your mind will try to wander - when a thought pops into your mind, notice your thought but do not analyse or judge these thoughts. Just bring your attention back to your breath, breathing in through your nostrils and out through your pursed lips over and over again.

Don't get upset if your mind keeps wandering, that is the nature of the human mind.

When you notice thoughts you are becoming more conscious and aware! Before this it is likely that you would have not been unaware of your thoughts or their manifestations in your behaviour!

Imagine all tension dissolving from your chest, shoulders ,face and tummy. Take some moments to enjoy this relaxed state before bringing your attention back to an alert state.

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