What if . . . Unknowingly, you made the same mistake 1,000 times and nobody told you . . .
Then, when you discovered your perpetual error, how would you feel?
But, what if you made that same error 1,000 times every hour of every day for the rest of your life?
Yes, you take about 25,000 breaths every day and there are two ways of breathing: The Right Way (Nature’s Way!) which burns body-fat with every breath, OR The wrong way which starts in puberty, stores body-fat and contributes to:
Bowel elimination difficulties and so much more!
You have to breathe, right? So why not correct any bad habits you may have accidentally developed and learn to breathe correctly which will contribute to the burning of stored body-fat?
Breathing is not something we think too much about yet many of the world’s chronic, poor health conditions are due to shallow breathing. Please, take the biggest breath you possibly can. Fill up your lungs and note what happens with your body. Good. Did you tuck in your tummy, expand your chest fully and feel your shoulders rise up? Breathing must be important . . . it’s the first thing we do at birth and the last thing we do at death. How you breathe will determine your health throughout your life and how much time there’ll be between the beginning and the end. Natural breathing is “healthy”. Un-natural breathing is deadly. The ability to breathe “naturally” is essential for anybody who walks, runs, exercises, has any recurring health problems such as: frequent colds, headaches, bad skin, restless leg syndrome, varicose veins, poor sleep/sleep apnea, digestive problems, reflux or bowel elimination difficulties.
Now, that’s just a short list of the “conditions” caused by faulty un-natural breathing. But, what’s the difference? If you suffer from any of those ill-effects, your body system is not getting sufficient oxygen to give the trillions of its cells the tools they need in order to perform their autonomic capability of repairing and regenerating themselves, strengthening your immune system and extending your life. You may not be breathing “naturally”.
If you ignore your body’s needs, its autonomic functions will become impaired and your health will deteriorate. To clarify, you don’t need to tell your heart when to pump, for your mouth to inject saliva as you chew, for your two-way valve, the epiglottis, to determine when to open the throat so food can be swallowed into the stomach or for air to flow into the lungs. You cannot consciously stop your heart from beating, although a fright may cause it to beat faster or skip a beat but, by automatically controlling your breathing you can normalize your heart rate. A bright flash of light can cause the pupils of your eyes to dilate autonomically.
All of those things are done involuntarily. While your eyelids blink autonomically to keep your eyes moist you can control them voluntarily as well. You can volunteer a fake smile but you cannot fake a zygomatic smile. That can only occur autonomically as in the case of when an aging mother first sees her long-absent child returning from a war, or when a lover sees his partner unexpectedly emerge from a sea of unfamiliar faces. That smile, where the eyes flash and the face lights up, cannot be faked or produced “automatically”. Coughing and sneezing are autonomic reactions, but because you can “automatically” suppress a cough or control your breathing, it’s possible, knowingly or unknowingly, to undo the way we were born to naturally breathe. You can hold your breath while you drink a glass of water; while you swim underwater, while you recite a long line of poetry or sing.
Have you ever really thought about “breathing” as an action, at all? The body’s autonomic nervous system takes care of your breathing until you voluntarily intercept it. When you are subjected to stress or fear, the autonomic nervous system takes control. It rapidly prepares your body to flee from danger or to stay and fight, or to freeze if the danger might be avoided simply by not moving. In all three cases, flight, fight or freeze, the autonomic nervous system quickly readies your body by making your heart beat faster, tightening your abdominal muscles, creating short, rapid, forced breathing through the nose which primes your brain with oxygen and expands your chest so your lungs can increase their rate of inhalation.
And as soon as that shallow, panting, “vertical” or “backwards” breathing begins, the autonomic nervous system demands glucose to fuel your body’s subsequent actions for your preservation. It shuts down the use of fat for fuel and stores any fat in the blood-stream as body-fat.
Those are the autonomic reactions to stress of any form. Breathing is normally “autonomic” where you don’t voluntarily think about it and the brain and nervous system set its rate. But you can hold your breath, take a big breath and blow out a candle, breathe rapidly or slowly for whatever reason. That makes your breathing voluntarily “automatic”.
But back to the question posed at the beginning: Did you tuck in your tummy, expand your chest and feel your shoulders rise up? Did it make you a little dizzy? Well, if so, it’s my sad duty to inform you that you failed at normal, natural breathing. That sequence in the question above is what’s induced autonomically by any form of stress: fear, sudden loud noises, driving in congested traffic, a heated argument, anger, being late for an appointment, boredom, anxiety, depression, sorrow, sadness, loneliness or frustration.
Our lives are filled with so much unrecognized stress!
And all of those stressors result in shallow, rapid, “vertical breathing” into the upper chest as was described in that question. Breathing in such a way “normally”, when there’s no imminent danger or any form of stress, means that your brain is being bombarded non-stop, with stress-signals and your endocrine glands are being autonomically pushed to exhaustion. The result of that is the constant release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to prepare you for flight, fight or to freeze. Oh, and don’t forget the fat storage.
Why not learn how to breathe the way Nature intended and get rid of some stored body-fat at the same time?
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