Often times my patients laugh when I tell them that breathing correctly is one of the most important things they can do for their immune system. Their response is often ‘well, gees, yeah, if I don’t breathe, I’ll stop living!’ All joking aside, optimal breathing gives you optimal oxygen intake. Optimal oxygen intake keeps your immune system fired up and all the cells of your body healthy. It can even keep diseases like cancer at bay. Let me explain.
Breathe Right For Your Best Health
Like my patients, you might think it a no-brainer to breathe and be healthy. Consider this, however. Most people do not breathe correctly. That’s right. Most of us are what’s called shallow breathers, meaning we don’t fully intake oxygen until our lungs expand. Most of us breathe at the ‘top of our lungs’, using about 20% of our lung capacity, taking in only what’s absolutely necessary to stay awake and not pass out. When we fall asleep, or become unconscious, our breathing is taken over by our autonomic nervous system which performs the task of breathing for us.
In addition, many people breathe through their mouth because of nasal obstructions that prevent them from doing so. An ear, nose and throat doctor should be consulted for these problems. Did you know that breathing through your nose actually gives your immune system a boost whereas mouth breathing does not? It’s true. Nose breathing releases immunoglobulin A to your lungs, on the first intake of air into your nostrils.
A good dose of nitric oxide is also delivered to your body every time you breathe in deeply. It causes arteries to dilate and blood, and oxygen, to flow more freely through them. A lack of nitric oxide can actually set the stage for disease as blood flow,and oxygen, slow down.
Therefore, many of us do not experience many of the health benefits of deeper, optimal breathing which include the following, to name a few:
- The ability to digest our food completely
- The ability to clear toxins from our body via blood or a clogged colon
- Oxygenating our blood so it can be transported throughout our body
- Reduces stress
- Clears skin
- Improves sleep
- Improves brain function and mental clarity, releases “feel good” endorphins to the brain which can help depression.
- Oxygenates all to prevent low oxygen states that foster cancer and other diseases.
How To Up Your Intake of Oxygen
Now, there are several mechanical objects on the market today selling mechanical oxygen devices like HBOT (high barometric pressure oxygen therapy) chambers, and there are “oxygen bars” that have sprung up all over major metropolitan areas and in fitness centers. There are also portable personal oxygen systems that you can carry with you.
HBOT’s allow you to intake unpolluted air in a closed environment where it can recycle it and keep circulating. All you have to do is sit inside the chamber and breathe normally. These chambers are most commonly used in medical therapy for healing diseased tissue, especially wounds and burns, that need extra oxygen to heal. However, personal portable chambers are available for general health reasons to purchase for about $5,000. They can also be rented by the month.
Oxygen bars are establishments you can go into, much like a nightclub atmosphere, and buy several intakes, or “hits” of oxygen from portable cannisters. There are often oxygen bars in upscale fitness clubs, health fairs and festivals. More and more people are having oxygen bars at ceremonies in addition to alcohol bars. A single station oxygen bar suitable for use in your home runs just under $2,000 on average with refillable oxygen cannisters.
Personal oxygen cans are also available for your personal on the go or at home use. They can include a built-in mask or you can breathe directly from the can. Eight liters of oxygen can be purchased over the internet, or sometimes from more extensive health food stores, for about $85. 00.
Breathing exercises, however, are probably the most economical way to intake more oxygen. Learning to breathe deeply several times during the day can re-oxygenate your system and keep you alert and energetic. Do the following in one, smooth, continuous intake of breath.
- At an open window, breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs.
- Let the breath push your abdomen out and feel it fill the middle sections of your lungs.
- Let your breath fill the top part of your lungs and feel your shoulders rise.
- Exhale slowly through your abdomen until it flattens.
Getting more oxygen through simple deeper breathing techniques helps lower your blood pressure, normalizes your heart beat, stimulates your brain and is a natural stress and anxiety reliever. It helps you sleep better, aids in weight management, and also helps you stay young and healthy by re-oxygenating and rejuvenating every cell in your body!
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Natural Health News
The Oxygen Store, http://www.oxygenstore.co.uk/oxygen-bar-equipment/cat_10.html
Optimal Breathing, http://www.breathing.com/articles/oxygen-benefits.htm