Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baby's Breath

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness



Picture, if you would, a newborn child as it sleeps on its back.

See this child breathe, and watch how its belly rises and falls with each breath while its chest remains still.

Now try this: Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. As you breathe, take note of which hand is rising and falling. Under balanced conditions, the hand on your belly is the only one that should be moving.

The idea, here, is that each breath is best taken with the diaphragm, as this will exercise the full capacity of the lungs. Which makes a lot of sense, does in not? After all, the diaphragm is specifically designed for the purpose of lung expansion and contraction. Yes, chest breathing can do similar, but “similar” is the equivalent of “shallow” and “weak” and implicit of “unwell.”

Due to stresses from the outside world, as each of us makes our way through life our breathing will gradually change from a circular, deep, diaphragm-induced breath pattern—like the worry-free sleeping child—to a shallow, chest-induced breath pattern with pauses between each inhale and exhale—like most grown adults. This is such a common occurrence yet so little has been said in regard to it that few of us realize the maladjustment or the profoundly negative impact it has on our day to day lives.

As humans, we need a plentiful and continuous amount of fresh air in order to maintain our well-being. However, with what we’ll likely find as our typical breathing patterns, we do not enable ourselves to receive this.

Like I said, chest breathing is shallow and quick. This prevents us from taking in the necessary volume of air required for good health. To make matters worse, this chest breathing is often done with a gap between each breath. Not only does this pause further reduce the amount of air we inhale, but it momentarily cuts off the breath completely.

To better grasp why this is so important, let’s look at how the mechanical ventilation system of a building works in relation to the humans working inside of it. Such a system is designed and installed for a continuous flow of fresh air. To maintain health, when fresh air is pumped in, stale air is pumped out—always at the rate determined during the design process per specifications such as building volume and occupancy level.

This mechanical system is very similar to a human body exhibiting proper lung function. Unfortunately, most of these bodies are breathing poorly, and the results are very different…

Let’s imagine working in a shed with closed doors and windows on a humid, 98.6 degree day. In addition, let’s pretend that the ventilation system is dysfunctional and only works at 20 percent of full capacity; blowing a little bit of air in, waiting several moments, and then pulling a little bit of air out.

I’m sure you can imagine how the atmosphere inside this shed would get very unpleasant very quickly and only continue to worsen. This is the difference between breathing at 20 percent of full capacity, which is normal for most people, and breathing at the 100 percent capacity we have been created to breathe at.

With chest-induced and broken-flow breathing, this is, in effect, how we are treating our bodies. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that we are continually plagued by stress and dis-ease. Such a predicament only worsens when we choose to smoke habitually, work in stale or polluted air environments, have lung issues, or a combination of the three.

Our bodies require full and continual refreshment. Oxygen must constantly fill the body as an aid to clearing out toxins and supporting revitalization at the cellular level—both of which aid greatly in providing health and balance to all aspects of life.




There is a species of Grape Hyacinth known as Muscari neglectum.

The word muscari is from the Greek muschos, meaning “musk,” and is a reference to scent. Neglectum is from Latin and means “neglected, disregarded.”

This same flower that translates to “scent neglected” is commonly referred to as “Baby’s Breath.”

Indeed, the baby’s breath has been neglected.

-----
Note: This is a modified version of a post originally published on 6/15/12 to former personal blog “Without a Story.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated.
1.) Be kind.
2.) Be constructive.
3.) Be coherent.
4.) No self-promotion. (Use "Comment as: Name/URL" to include your personal link.)