For 2017

"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday - Some Public Service Information. . .


Okay the holidays are great, BUT they are stressful too. Here is a stress buster for the Holidays and for life:

Better Breathing, Better Health by Dr. Leigh Ann Connealy, MD

"Like so many things that happen in the body, we take breathing for granted. It's automatic, so we don't need to do anything, right? Not really. Yes, breathing happens without much input from us, but that doesn't mean we are breathing correctly or effectively. In fact, for most people, automatic breathing is shallow breathing -- just enough to keep them going. But you can do so much more by learning (and practicing!) better breathing techniques. Of course, it's vitally important to make certain the air you're breathing is free of pollution and damaging particulates. But first, let's look at the benefits of healthy breathing.

Here are just a few examples of what you can achieve with a healthy dose of oxygen by proper deep breathing. Recent studies have shown: • Ten minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing after a meal reduced blood sugar levels, increased insulin, and decreased production of damaging free radicals. A similar study with athletes found that deep breathing after an exhaustive training session resulted in less exercise-produced free radicals.

• Fibromyalgia patients experienced significantly less pain when using deep, slow breathing.
• Home-based deep breathing training minimized depression symptoms in a group of patients with heart disease.
• A type of deep breathing used in yoga has been found helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a related study, deep breathing during yoga practice improved breathing in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

• In a clinical trial that compared the effects of mental relaxation exercises with slow breathing on patients who have high blood pressure, the slow-breathing group achieved the best results in reducing blood pressure.

Flip the results of these studies around and you can see that breathing problems can be linked to a long list of health issues. In addition, research with individuals suffering from various types of dysfunctional breathing conditions showed the serious impact of oxygen deficiency. The fallout included an increased risk for older women of developing dementia or cognitive impairment as well as greater risk of death and coronary artery disease among middle-aged and older men. In my own experience, I've found that whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to breathe deeply helps me clear my mind and focus. Clearly, better breathing has real benefits!

How To Breathe

When we think of breathing, we tend to think of lungs. But the process actually involves much more, including several muscles, such as the diaphragm. An underrated member of the breathing team, the diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. For most people, taking a deep breath means filling the upper chest with air. But the lungs need more than that. They need an active, engaged diaphragm.

One of the basics of proper breathing involves expansion and contraction of the diaphragm -- in other words, letting your tummy stick out. Maybe it's because of all the talk about "six-pack abs" these days, but we seem to be hooked on holding in our stomachs. That's fine if you're modeling swimwear. But most of us aren't, so we're missing out on a vitally important practice simply due to vanity! I've also found that one of the real challenges of teaching people belly breathing is that they're not accustomed to using their diaphragms. Fortunately, it only takes a little practice to get the hang of it.

The best way to do that is by lying on the floor, on top of a yoga or exercise mat, blanket, or a towel. Let your back relax into the floor. If that's uncomfortable, try placing a pillow or rolled up towel under your knees. Keep your shoulders flat, as though you're standing up straight, and stretch your torso and neck into a comfortable position. There's no need to overdo it; just lie back, so your chest is open and your back feels relaxed and comfortable.

In Goes the Good Air

For this exercise, focus on inhaling through your nose to allow the incoming air to be filtered and warmed on its way to your lungs.

Now, place your hands on your tummy. Inhale slowly through your nose. As you inhale, make an effort to push your stomach out, instead of your upper chest. Your hands should feel your stomach lifting. If, like many people, you are not accustomed to using your diaphragm, this may feel strange or uncomfortable at first. Just give it some time and allow your diaphragm to strengthen. Eventually, belly breathing becomes second nature.

When you've filled your lungs, slowly squeeze your stomach back in toward your spine, forcing the air out of your lungs as you exhale. We aren't used to putting much effort into exhaling, so that may need practice. Ideally, it should take longer to exhale than to inhale. Some people prefer exhaling through the mouth, while others like to use the nose. Personally, I think exhaling through the mouth is more effective. But either way, you should hear an audible 'whoosh' sound when exhaling. The more air you expel, the more fresh, clean air you'll be filling your lungs with on the next inhale.

Remember, the trick here is to breath slowly. You should not be breathing hard, as though you've run a few miles. It may help to count to 4, 5 or whatever number of seconds you're comfortable with while inhaling, then trying to extend the exhale a bit longer. This is not a competition, so don't strain -- just allow your stomach to expand, and, if you can, exhale a bit more slowly.

At first, I recommend practicing for only a minute or two at a time, to let your body become accustomed to the extra oxygen. For some individuals, more oxygen may create a sensation of lightheadedness. If this happens to you, it does not mean anything's wrong. Your body simply is not accustomed to breathing deeply. Stop and try again later. Eventually, you'll be able to work your way up to several minutes of deep, slow breathing every day.

If you're having trouble with the concept, watch a sleeping baby breathing and you'll see how effortless belly breathing can be. After learning the process, you'll be able to skip lying on the floor and practice deep breathing at your desk, while watching TV, or making dinner. Avoid belly breathing in polluted surroundings, such as in the car or in areas near heavy traffic. You do not need lungs filled with those toxins!"

Chatty is a mouth breather - so I am going to TRY to squeeze (lol) this into my day. Hope you do too.

"The process will set you free."
~ Chuck Close


x_3bb4d50e

41 comments:

Wanda's Wings said...

Who would have thought breathing can make sure a difference.

That corgi :) said...

Oh my gosh, I thought I would be the first comment, but Wanda's Wings beat me to the punch! This is great advice to share, Sandie. I'm going to print it out and start doing this. I think it could be so very beneficial!! Thanks for sharing it!!

have a good weekend!

betty

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for the reminder to slow down. it's impossible to read this without sitting up straight, stretching up a bit, and breathing more deeply. :)

Pondside said...

Such good tips, all. When I have trouble sleeping I practice deep breathing and it helps a lot.

Sharon said...

Great post!

laurie said...

this is such great advice , I learned belly breathing years ago when learning yoga, its a great way to control you anxiety issues too! Happy Saturday, thanks for sharing this,

dandelionfleur said...

Thanks, Cathy! I'm starting this today--who doesn't want to combat stress? And loved that first quote.

Debbie said...

This is great! You had me at fibro...
I just tried to do this before commenting, and I am going to try it again later.

I'm thinking that it would make a fun family exercise after dinner tonight. They will think I'm batty, but they already think it anyway.

Thanks, Sandie.
Breathe in....

My Journey With Candida said...

Thanks Sandie,
I know I don't breathe correctly... going to have to try out the breathing exercise and see if I feel any different.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Love the joke! That is great information you shared.

Melanie said...

Cute cartoon. :) Poor turkey.
Very good info. there, Sandie. Many times I have to just stop what I'm doing and take a 'breather'. It really does help!
Hope you're having a great weekend. :)

Eva Ason said...

I like the cartoon :)
Some good info there about breathing - It's stress relieving to stop and take some deep breaths at times. I find it very comfortable to take a breather, it's great while doing some pilates :)
Thank you for this info.
Have a great weekend!
Hugs x

Ginny said...

I have been hearing about this here and there, but with so much that is hard in life, do we really need another thing? I have also found that when I get conscious of my breathing, then it messes up and I have problems, so it seems to go better if I am unaware of my breathing. I'm sure this is really good for your lungs and health, though! I LOVE coming here and seeing those beautiful trees every time! It cheers me up immediately!

SweetMarie said...

This is such helpful info, thank you! I was practicing while reading this. lol
I tell my son often to take a deep breath and relax!
My Rheumatologist recommended yoga to me.
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Thisisme. said...

Very helpful post today my friend. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Sandra said...

this is great stuff and i know it works. for a brief period of about a month i was doing breathing exercises at the gym, i need to start again. thanks for the reminder. this method sounds good and i will try it. another one is to raise arms up like you are doing a jumping jack from your side all the way up slowly while taking a deep breath, hold and exhale and do again. i just did 3 sitting here, don't even have to stand. see ya gotta go breathe. great post

Jill said...

Nice one, Sandie!

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Interesting subject for your blog today!
I particularly enjoyed the L. Fish quote - could be the mission statement for my fulltime RVing lifestyle!

The Boston Lady said...

This is such good and accurate advice. I find that I can have a racing heart because of stress, but if I lie down and do the slow breathing, cleansing breaths, etc. I can calm it all down and feel rejuvenated even! Of course, coming over to visit Sandie's blog is like taking those deep breaths too! Ann

ArtyMarti said...

Just breathe? Well, now this is one exercise that I can do. When I was taking voice lessons, we did something similar to increase the amount of air in our lungs, so that we could hold notes longer. Thanks for the reminder.

Munir said...

I heard about this breathing technique. I have asthma and I sleep only upto two in the morning. Then my breathing starts getting bad and I have to sit up to breath. After a couple of hours I can lie back again.I have learned to live with this for over twenty years now.
My best breathing position is while I am driving ie straight back with car seat support.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

Good reminder to breath....that could be important!!!! And Gayle....be gentle with you whatever preparing and running around you need to do.....

Belle said...

Good post. I've heard about how good deep breathing is for you. I'll have to try and remember to do it each day.

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Hello Sandie~I'm b-a-c-k to makin' my visits (finally)! I just wanted to take a minute at this season of renewed hope and gratitude to personally thank you for your visits and kind words. I wish I could convey to you how much your continued friendship means to me. You've always been so generous to share a big part of your hearts passion through your wonderfully entertaining posts. I look forward to each and every visit. I've no doubt we've got a lot more blogging fun in store for us come this new year.

I have to say one of the nice things this rainy pacific Northwest offers is...fresh air. I inhale with grandeur at every chance I get.

Sweet wishes,
Sara

P.S. I hope you don't mind me borrowing a few cartoons to share with friends.

Susan said...

Hi Sandie....Thanks for the reminder. I definitely need to practice deep breathing. Very stressed. Hope you have a peaceful Sunday. Susan

Flora said...

Thanks for sharing and getting us to Breath right!!

Michaele said...

Excellent post Chatty. No one can read it without changing their breath and even if it is only just this once, you accomplished more than most.

Starry Dawn said...

Good Morning, Sandie!!
Great post the one you've got this day!! Talking about good breathing, it's funny when one lives in Atlanta, GA, where the air is so polluted that makes folks get a bad asthma in their lungs. About me, my huge belly is a 200-pound tummy, which pushes the diaphragm muscle into my lungs preventing me from breathing well. That is just one negative point. Yes!! I agree with you about yoga lessons, and a good breathing system. Smoking is a killing habit, you know. Non-smokers should stay away from smokers, otherwise they will be smoking the contaminated air as well. I wish to live in a better world with good air to breath free of deadly pollutants. Thank you, Sandie for visiting my site, and posting wonderful posts for the world!! God may bless you all!!
All the best,
Poet Starry Dawn.

Shug said...

Hi Sandie...
There is so much truth to this breathing thing...I sometimes experience a little anxiety, but if I will stop and take deep breaths, pay attention to my breathing, it brings about so much peace...I think it's great.
Shug

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I loved the cartoon. That turkey's got a point.

I won't make any promises, but I'll give it a try.

Rhonda said...

Okay here goes: breathing technique...Breath in count 1 2 3 breath out 1 2 3 Breath in 1 2 3
I'm getting dizzy Chatty Crone...really dizzy ...thump I just fell over...I know I know I need to do this .......
Have a Gobbling Good Thanksgiving

Angela said...

You always know where to find the best advice Sandie! I have always heard that deep breathing is very good for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Angela

Buttercup said...

Great information. Thanks so much for sharing. Sending hugs and wishes for a very happy weekend.

Grandma Bonnie said...

These are wonderful tips. I do need to try this. I am a very shallow breather.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

No wonder it helps when I am so stressed that I tell myself to 'take deep breaths, it is all going to be okay,' I feel better! Great info, Sandie. Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

No wonder it helps when I am so stressed that I tell myself to 'take deep breaths, it is all going to be okay,' I feel better! Great info, Sandie. Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

No wonder it helps when I am so stressed that I tell myself to 'take deep breaths, it is all going to be okay,' I feel better! Great info, Sandie. Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

Ann said...

nothing like a drug free, all natural way to relieve stress. Just breathe your way through the holiday :P

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I like the first comment...who would think that breathing deep would be so good!

Sharon said...

Sometimes when I'm really stressed I find that I am shallow-breathing without realizing it. Sometimes it's the tingling I get in my hands that's the first clue.

I'm gonna give this a whirl. I certainly could use some calming down at this time of year!!

xo

Desiree said...

I attended a private yoga session several years ago and this was the one thing I took away with me. How to breathe correctly. I do not remember to do it very often, but when I do allow myself the time to do so, I feel the benefits immediately afterwards. Thank you for the reminder, Sandie. I do need to be doing this conscientiously again! Big hug xoxo