Firstly, here is an overview of the process of breathing itself and why it is important.
i) What is breathing?
Breathing is the process of moving air into and from the lungs to facilitate gas exchange with the internal environment, flush out carbon dioxide, and bring in oxygen.
Role Of Breathing:-
Breathing uses a chemical and mechanical process to “bring oxygen to every cell of the body and to get rid of carbon dioxide”.
Our body needs oxygen to obtain energy to fuel all our living processes.
Range of Breathing:-
Normal Respiration rates for an adult person range from “12-16” breaths/minute.
ii) Why is breathing so important?
We need to breathe “to send oxygen into the cells in our body, which constantly need a new supply so they can produce energy.
When breathing, we also allow our bodies to get rid of the waste products and toxins it creates, which can easily stagnate in our bodies and damage vital functions if not spell.
iii) Can breathing heal you?
Breathing is necessary for life. Only a few minutes without it can lead to a loss of consciousness and eventually death.
Making good breathing a part of your day can facilitate healing and well-being.
Proper breathing impacts wellness by lowering stress, relaxing muscles, and decreasing perspiration.
Breathing can heal any problem related to cardio-thoracic conditions successfully.
iv) Types of breathing?
There are 4 types of breathing techniques commonly known are :
- Deep Breathing
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Pursed lip Breathing
- Segmental Breathing
1. DEEP BREATHING
Get comfortable – You can lie on your back in bed (or) on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees.
“Breathe in through your nose – Let your belly fill with air”.
Breathe out through the nose.
Place one hand on your belly.
As you breathe in, feel your belly rise.
2. DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
Sit (or) lie down comfortably, and put hands on belly.
Relax the muscles in the knees and shoulders.
Breathe in slowly through the nose, keeping the mouth closed.
Feel the lungs fill with air and inflate like a balloon as the belly moves outward.
3. PURSED LIP BREATHING
Drop your shoulders down, close your eyes and relax.
Inhale through your nose for two seconds.
Peeler your lips like you are going to blow something.
Exhale slowly through your pursed lips for 4-6 seconds but don’t force the air out.
4. SEGMENTAL BREATHING
Relax the muscles in the chest and diaphragm.
Inhale through your nose for 5 seconds with one nose.
Slowly exhale through another nose.
But don’t force the air out.
v) STEPS OF BREATHING
There are 7 steps to take to breathe normally.
Step 1 : The diaphragm moves down as it contracts your ribs move outward.
Step 2 : Air rushes out through the nose and mouth and passes through the throat.
Step 3 : Air movies into bronchi, bronchi brand out & end in air sacs called “Alveoli”.
Step 4 : Oxygen moves through the walls of alveoli and capillaries & entering the blood.
Step 5 : Co2 move from the blood through walls of capillaries and alveoli.
Step 6 : Your diaphragm moves as it relaxes your ribs move inward.
Step 7 : Your lungs are squeezed and the air is pushed out of the alveoli.
vi) BREATHING TECHNIQUE
The technique which we used to breathe is the “ACBT-Active Cycle Of Breathing Technique”.
It’s used to:
a) Loosen and clear secretions from the lungs.
b) Improve Ventilation in the lungs.
c) Improve the effectiveness of cough.
ACBT consists of 3 phases
i) Breathing Control
ii) Deep breathing exercises (or) Thoracic expansion
iii) Hutting (or) Forced Expiratory Technique
HOW TO IMPROVE BREATHING
There are many ways to improve breathing capacity & to keep the vital organs going for strong life:
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Simple deep Breathing
- Watching your posture
- Staying hydrated
- Staying Active
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- Stop smoking and avoid environmental irritants
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants
- Exercise more frequently, which can help your lungs function properly
- Get vaccinations like flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine
- Improve Indoor air quality
HOW CAN I GET MY BREATHING CONTROL
Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Close your eyes to help you relax and focus on breathing.
Slowly breathe in through your nose, with your mouth closed.
Breathe out through your nose.
Try to use as little effort as possible and make your breaths slow, relaxed, and smooth.
BENEFITS OF BREATHING
a) Reduce stress and Anxiety:
Breathing exercises increase our oxygen intake and calm our minds. They show to be highly effective in reducing stress.
b) Improve the quality of sleep:
Breathing exercises relax our bodies and calm down our minds. They help us to get rid of stress and anxiety & thus help us in getting a good night’s sleep.
c) Enhances Cognitive Functions:
Performing breathing exercises on a regular basis & is associated with improved concentration and focus.
They also enhance our memory and improve our decision-making abilities.
d) Improve Cardio-Vascular Health:
Performing breathing exercises regularly helps to maintain our blood pressure levels and helps with hypertension (HTN). This reduces the incidence of heart disease.
e) Good for our lungs:
Breathing exercises improve the functioning of our lungs. They have proved to be immensely beneficial for patients with chronic lung diseases.
f) Detox our body:
Performing breathing exercises helps our body to get rid of toxic gases and carbon dioxide.
g) Good for our digestive system:
BT ensures smooth functioning of our digestive system and helps to get rid of GI issues like flatulence, constipation, bloating, etc.
h) Give glow to our skin
i) Fights Sinusitis
j) Help in weight loss (Kapalbhati Pranayama)
k) Improve Immunity
They help to maintain body weight, prevent wrinkles and keep glowing skin, strengthen abdominal muscles, correct bad posture, etc.