Breathing Well

lungs by ashrampep
lungs, a photo by ashrampep on Flickr.

It’s been said before but it’s definitely worth another mention: breathing is one of only three ways the body gets the “gas” it needs to go (according to traditional Chinese medicine) so it’s worth doing properly. You might be thinking, but breathing is automatic! That’s partially true but even so,  I see at least 1 person every week who isn’t breathing properly either due to stress or habit. How you breathe has significant and possibly long-term impact on your health.
Do you ever take a moment to check in with how you are breathing? In times of stress or fear it’s easy to breathe in a shallow fashion only utilizing the upper portions of both lungs. There is a simple way to check  if you are breathing correctly. Lie flat in a comfortable position. Put one hand on your chest and one hand just below your belly button. Take a few breaths noting which of your hands rises first. If you are breathing well your belly hand should rise first followed by your chest hand. When breathing in, imagine your breath heading for your abdomen. You should be creating a basketball in your abdomen on the in-breath and a flatter abdomen on the out-breath.
It may seem awkward at first, especially if you have been breathing in a different way, but a little persistence beats resistance!
Great work!

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