Could changing the way you breathe really improve your health?

Whenever I’ve given talks in the past about changing the way we breathe, inhale and exhale, and explain the dramatic positive effects on well-being, people immediately become very curious!

I’m not surprised because so many people regard learning to breathe a bit like erm, learning to grow your nails.

Bad breathers develop their habits during sleep, whilst they are eating, working, working out and even relaxing!

We can blame all aspects of our lifestyle on bad breathing but regardless, there are ground rules when it comes to being a good breather.

I’ve met many office workers who are deskbound and using technology daily who’ve developed breathing habits that sees their breathing move from the tummy to the intercostal muscles around the upper chest area. As a result, their breathing often increases.

Our nervous system doesn’t allow us to relax without slow and gentle breathing or what I call low-volume breathing, this creates an overwhelmed and agitated mind.

Our nervous system, once we become adults is designed to function at around eight breaths per minute. I explain this to people I treat in consults and in companies and organisations I visit and many are shocked given the propensity to take on average around 15 to 20 inhalations a minute, which is bordering on the pathological!

Buteyko enables people to learn core techniques that calm the breathing, mind and body.

The evidence from numerous studies is substantial. The positive effects of good breathing are wide-ranging…did you know that calm breathing also helps bring optimal nutrition to your cells?

Ultimately, once you become aware of how much the breath and how we breathe influences how we feel – that’s mentally, emotionally and physically – you will see the practice of breathing techniques as an essential assailant to a happy, calm and fulfilling lifestyle.

Breathe easy
Joel Jelen