My ‘Success Mantra’ for reversing diabetes and fixing heart issues through personal experience has been to ‘Give the body what it wants, and it will naturally overcome most adversity it faces’. Our bodies are highly intellectual and over-engineered to accomplish the job that we ask them to do. Through countless years of exposure and research have found it essential to develop a basic yet strong foundation.
The first on my list is ‘Breathing Correctly’ and using the full capacity of lungs. Breathing is an act, fundamental to the human system yet it is often ignored. Our breathing and our lungs are precious, and we need to protect them.
When breathing is disrupted, the sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive – the endocrine system that produces hormones begins to secrete cortisol; our heart rate elevates; and we experience greater stress. In the long term, operating with the ‘fight or flight’ response in constant operation will eventually lead to fatigue, burnout and illness.
Most people breathe less than 25% of their full capacity. When your breath is restricted it decreases energy levels in the body and contributes to a multitude of health problems. Oxygen is our main source of life. Heart rate, circulation, blood pressure, digestion, hormone secretion, and even our mental and emotional states can all be controlled, regulated, and healed through proper breathing practices. The lower part of the lung is rich with the parasympathetic nerve receptors associated with calming the body and mind. For this to happen oxygen needs to reach to the lower regions of our lungs.
When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange during respiration, the blood will maintain a balanced PH.
Poor posture also contributes to breathing pattern dysfunction. Lungs do not have muscles to pump air in and out. The diaphragm and rib cage essentially pump the lungs. We all started off the right way as babies but long hours of sitting on a daily basis causes an inability to properly utilize the diaphragm and rib cage. Rounded shoulders and a forward head posture cause the muscles around the chest to tighten. That tightening limits the ability of the rib cage to expand and causes people to take more rapid, shallow breaths.
Fortunately, we have the ability to take control over breathing, and make it a more intentional act. When we apply conscious effort to the act of breathing, we can make dramatic shifts in both our physiological and psychological health.