There is something we take for granted and, for that matter, even not give a conscious thought to... breathing.
How often during the course of an average day do you even realize that you are breathing? This question may sound funny, but breathing is extremely important to your overall health. We know the obvious reason for breathing is that you risk death if you do not breathe, but mindful breathing contributes to your overall health and well being.
Breathing is an innate bodily function that is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System. In other words, you do not have to tell yourself to breathe, it happens all on its own. The brain sends messages down the spinal cord, out through the spinal nerves to the lungs, coordinating the function and process of breathing. It's as simple as that. The life giving oxygen that enters the body with each breath is responsible for nourishing every system, organ, tissue and cell in the body. The blood stream carries the oxygen throughout the body; so that every ounce of blood in the body contains life giving oxygen.
Did you know that even though oxygen is weightless, it accounts for almost two thirds of our body mass? How can that be? It's quite simple. Oxygen comprises most of the mass in water (H2O) and our bodies are made up of about 70% water.
With that all of that in mind, it is very important to practice mindful breathing on a daily basis. Mindful breathing is the act of breathing to enhance the body's innate functions, which brings the body internal and energetic balance. Mindful breathing has a direct impact on the nervous system (chiropractically important) and, in turn, affects millions of cellular functions.
So what is mindful breathing? It is a breathing exercise using the 4-7-8 method of breathing, as taught by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. and Dr. Joe Mercola, D.O. To engage in mindful breathing, sit up straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the back of your front teeth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process. Breathe in silently through your nose for a count of 4. Hold your breathe for count of 7. Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 8, and make an audible "woosh" sound as you exhale. That completes one full breath. Do these steps again another three times, for a total of four complete breaths.
THE TAKE AWAY:
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is an incredible weapon in the fight against stress. It is a natural tranquilizer to the nervous system (chiropractically important). Mindful breathing, practiced on a daily basis (as many times a day as you please), will improve the function of your respiratory system, circulatory system, nervous system, digestive system and your urinary system. It will also improve your skin. If you want an easy, inexpensive way to improve your health try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. It could be the difference between a life of topsy-turvey stress, or a life of ease and happiness.
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