It is a common understanding that without oxygen we will die. If hold your breath for too long you will feel light headed. But many don’t understand why we need oxygen. Why can’t we just use carbon dioxide or some sort of other gas to survive?
Now what would happen if we breathed 100 percent oxygen? In guinea pigs exposed to 100 percent oxygen at normal air pressure for 48 hours, fluid accumulates in the lungs and the epithelial cells lining the alveoli. In addition, the pulmonary capillaries get damaged. A highly reactive form of the oxygen molecule which destroys proteins and membranes in the epithelial cells probably causes this damage. In humans breathing 100 percent oxygen at normal pressure, here’s what happens:
- Fluid accumulates in the lungs.
- Gas flow across the alveoli slows down, meaning that the person has to breathe more to get enough oxygen.
- Chest pains occur during deep breathing.
- The total volume of exchangeable air in the lung decreases by 17 percent.
- Mucus plugs local areas of collapsed alveoli — a condition called atelectasis. The oxygen trapped in the plugged alveoli gets absorbed into the blood, no gas is left to keep the plugged alveoli inflated, and they collapse. Mucus plugs are normal, but they are cleared by coughing. If alveoli become plugged while breathing air, the nitrogen trapped in the alveoli keeps them inflated.
The astronauts in the Gemini and Apollo programs breathed 100 percent oxygen at reduced pressure for up to two weeks with no problems. In contrast, when 100 percent oxygen is breathed under high pressure (more than four times that of atmospheric pressure), acute oxygen poisoning can occur with these symptoms:
- Muscle twitches
- Blurred vision
So without oxygen we will die, but with too much oxygen we will die as well. If you learn how to breathe properly, it will help you understand your body and how to attain a feeling of wellness. Subscribe for our Online breathing self-learning course today!
Breathing is not a simple thing as we think it is: we do it automatically, but do we do it in the right way for every breath?
As breathing detoxifies and releases toxins, if you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly getting rid of the toxins in your body, forcing other muscles in your body to work more and the next thing you know you’re sick.
On the other side, breathing better will help you release tension. Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs. Breathing better will help you relax and feel less stressed.
The movements of the diaphragm during the deep breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles. This is probably why we call the diaphragm the 2nd heart of our body.
In the course of dispnoea or the common attack of labored breath, the bronchioles are so narrowed that the air can get into the lungs more easily than it can get out, resulting in the lungs being distended beyond the normal. As the atmospheric air is packed in, there is little space in the distended lungs for more fresh air to get in and the subject feels a sense of “being breathless”.
Forcing the breath, the subject tries to breathe more deeply by heaving the chest and working the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders, so that the chest ends up being completely distended, the facial and neck muscles being distorted.
What is needed at this point is a “BHASTRIKA”, or bellows-like breath that empty the lungs so that the abdominal wall and lower chest will contract, releasing the muscle spasm of the convulsive inspirations.
If the conditions is not corrected in the early stage, then the person will be subjected to more frequent attacks, each usually of a longer duration and more intensity, until chronic distension of the chest takes place, so much so that the subject becomes “breathless” with the mildest exertion, and sometimes, even at rest, but while under emotional or mental strain. The classical “barrel-shaped” chest of the asthmatic is to be noted with this condition.
Dominique is one of the rare internationally renowned breathing masters.
Having acquired and mastered the Pranayama Yoga techniques in Pondicherry, South India more than three decades ago, Dominique has since been traveling around the World and has taught the Art of breathing in five continents, in India, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, USA, Brazil, Africa, Australia, and Europe.
A French native now based in Europe, (specially in Scandinavia) is currently working with artists in preparation for their plays, shows or musicals.
Born in France, Dominique became absorbed in a career in health, fitness and spirituality at a very early age. He received his initiation and first instructions in Yoga in a Buddhist temple in Hikkaduwa / Sri Lanka, and after 6 months of training, moved to India to study under the world-renowned Dr. Swami Gitananda, who recognized in Dominique, one of his most outstanding and talented students. Along the years, Dominique gave his preference to the extreme importance of the breath. And his work and philosophy is now entirely related to the breathing system.
He deeply believes that anyone without a proper breathing control is unable to think and act positively according to the Nature. That is why Dominique states that if the entire world in reaching its worst chaotic moments, it is due to a massive and global pollution and a wrong alimentation and one of the result is the misuse of our brain. A superficial breath will influence the brain negatively. The brain will not receive enough oxygen and will then transmit wrong message to the rest of the system.
To Dominique, the best way to be aware of a situation and react positively, is breathing well (deep and slow): if we feel a lot of anger in ourselves, there are two ways to react:
• getting rid of that anger by reacting violently and harming our surrounding
• breathing right and feel the anger transformed in a peaceful and civilized thought or action
It is a little bit more than breathing deep…
The Deep and Slow Breath can be acquired very easily. To get a perfect breathing system, we must re-educate our thoracic cage.
A few exercises accompanied with some deep breathings will allow every part of the thoracic cage to expand wide enough so that every single alveoli of the lungs will be correctly inflated with air. Everyone can have access to this marvelous technique. It takes only a few minutes practice everyday.
We all know that we cannot live without breathing, but can we live without breathing properly? Breathing your way to health, by improving how you breathe and the quality of the air you take in, can help you. If you try some of Dominique Lonchant’s techniques you might realize that you can:
- Enable your body to create more energy, reducing tiredness and exhaustion
- Help your body to eliminate waste products and toxins, which helps your metabolism work better and your energy levels to improve
- Help you sleep better
- Improve your circulation and the delivery of oxygen to all parts of your body.
- Improve your muscle and joint health and flexibility by providing them with plenty of oxygen to build and repair and the energy for movemen
- Improve your blood sugar levels
We inhale air to get oxygen and exhale to get rid of carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of metabolism that our bodies don’t need.
Plants are the exact opposite. They need carbon dioxide for their life, and let out oxygen as an unnecessary element.
So one way that you can get more oxygen and discover the benefits of breathing your way to health would be to increase your exposure to plants. or to re-train your breathing system with our unique online course Breathing for a Better life.
..and why you should do it now.
We all breathe on average 20 000 times a day – but are we doing it properly? While most of us never give breathing a second thought, the way you breathe can affect your physical and mental wellbeing.
Breathing properly can reduce your stress levels, improve your workouts and boost your immunity to infections and illnesses. Poor breathing can lead to panic attacks and even conditions like insomnia and depression.
Why is Breathing important?
Breathing correctly means that your body is being supplied with the right amount of oxygen, replenishing your brain and other vital organs with essential nutrients. If you are not breathing correctly, your body can be robbed of oxygen, leading to a host of conditions.
Your skin can suffer as it is not receiving enough fresh oxygenated blood, your muscles can tire easily during a workout as they are not getting the right amount of oxygen and you can feel constantly tired and lethargic because there are not enough vital nutrients being carried in the blood.
What effect does breathing incorrectly have on Health?
When we are babies, we all take deep, relaxing breaths from our abdomen – watch your children when they are asleep to see how their stomach rises and falls rather than their chest. As we get older, stress often changes the way we breathe. When we are stressed, our bodies will take short sharp breaths to help prepare for the ‘fight’ we will have to face.
But prolonged periods of stress mean we constantly breathe like this, only ever using the top third of our lungs. This causes us to breathe as if we were permanently hyperventilating. This leads to a poor exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the bloodstream, depriving our bodies of both vital gases. The physiological effect of a lack of CO2 can make you feel ‘spaced out’ and can lead to panic attacks, insomnia, dizziness and extreme fatigue, while lack of oxygen can rob your organs
How can you breathe correctly
To breathe properly, you need to use your diaphragm, the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity. To “find” your diaphragm, sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor. Place your left hand on your upper chest and your right hand on your abdomen, in the ‘gap’ of your rib cage. When you breathe in and out, your left hand should remain still and only your right hand should move up and down. If your left hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow and you are not using your diaphragm as you should.
To breathe correctly, you need to retrain your breathing system. Sign in to our online course “Breathing for a Better Life” – we have prepared simple exercises and simple steps for you to reformat your rib-cage and breath better for a better life.
Did you know…
- How can you tell if you might have breathing problems? One way is to notice whether you hold your breath a lot, breathe more than 10 breaths a minute while at rest, find yourself frequently out of breath, have little belly and lower rib movement and a lot of chest movement when you are breathing at rest, or suck in your belly and raise your shoulders when trying to take a deep breath.
- Research has shown that our health and longevity are closely associated with the health of our lungs and the way we breathe. In short, poor breathing often results in more health problems and a shorter life.
- Deep breathing can be important to both health and spiritual development. Such breathing can increase our vitality and promote relaxation.
A few dietary advices…
For the control of all breathing difficulties, certain minimum dietary restrictions are necessary. All mucus-forming foods should be severely restricted. Milk and products like ice cream and tea or coffee laced with milk and sugar, groundnuts (peanuts), peanuts butter, refined and processed products of all types, but especially white flour products, white rice, white sugar, soda drinks, pastries and sweets, especially chocolate must be particularly avoided.
The diet should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and many of these should be used in the raw form as juices. Plenty of water should be included for daily use so that the affected tissue can be re-nourished by the good diet. All condiments should be kept to a minimum and when used, used as a medicine
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
When the world rushes by,
Like a subway train
Breathe in Breathe out
When all you can hear
Is a torrent of rain
Breathe in Breathe out
When you’re feeling, significantly,
Slightly less sane
Breathe in Breathe out
And when things slow down,
You can maintain
breathe Out breathe In