Can Intentional Deep Breathing Habits Prevent Disease?
The reading teacher and I were surrounded by a circle of students, colorful posters, and shelves of books. But that tells only a fragment of what was happening. Some of the children were listening and sitting as still as their first-grade bodies allowed. Others wouldn’t or couldn’t pay attention or sit still.
I had worked with children in churches, Bible clubs, camps, and spent a summer as a Child Evangelism missionary in Pennsylvania, but this was a different era and in a public school classroom catering to at risk children. My charge skipped right out and ran down the hall. I chased after him and with the help of the security guard, returned him to the library. He was embarrassed to be a middle-schooler in a group of first graders still learning to sound out words.
As we sat back down the teacher said, Okay, let’s all take a deep breath, breathe in, hold, and breath out. And again, in, hold, and breath out. With my twenty years of experience with children, and rearing seven of my own, this is when I first learned the importance and necessity of breathing deeply to relax.
Oxygen. The most necessary element for life. It doesn’t need to be bottled. No prescription is requires from a medical professional. No one can patent it and charge you. It’s free. It’s absolutely essential to your health. Why not take advantage of this natural preventative of conditions and diseases.
Heinrich Warburg speaking to a prestigious gathering of Nobel Laureates:
“Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.” *
Lack of oxygen in the body’s cells is the major cause of cancer.
Please don’t think I’m saying that these deep breathing exercises will prevent cancer or any other condition or disease. These deep breathing exercises are a relaxation method. They will reduce stress which is another major health deterrent.
I’m Marlene Hibbard and I can attest to the benefits of deep breathing. I’ve been practicing it for almost thirteen years. I use it to release stress and help me get to sleep at night. If I wake up at 2:00 am and can’t get back to sleep, I poke my husband so he’ll stop snoring then start my deep breathing.
- Lie on your back on a mat, bed, or even the floor before or after your workout. Choose a quiet place as free of distractions as possible. Take several breaths inhaling for 4 seconds then exhaling through your nose. Nasal exhaling allows us to take fuller, deeper breaths, which stimulates the lower lung to dispense more oxygen throughout our body.
- Release any negative thoughts about your busy schedule or any other pressing needs you have. Being a disciple of Christ, I just imagine myself handing my problems over to the Lord. Physically handing Him a list of the cares of this world. Even the back or neck pain from being on the computer too long. Speaking of pain, as you breath in this time for 11 seconds, focus on any pain you feel and imagine that area or the muscle sinking into the mat, bed or floor as you exhale slowly. Push every last bit of air out even if it must be in a blowing fashion.
- Inhale again through the nasal passage and this time exhale through the mouth, once again focusing on the area that needs to relax most as you slowly exhale.
- Another nasal inhalation for as long as you can, then exhale through the mouth focusing on your forehead. You want to cause your head to feel relaxed and relieved of any tension as you exhale completely and slowly. Soft instrumental music might help you relax if that’s your preference during this process.
- I focus on my jaw next. The jaw is the strongest joint in the body and I have a wicked habit of clenching. This can cause me to wake with headaches if I don’t wear my mouth guard. How about you? Do you need to take your next breaths relaxing your jaw? My doctor told me people take their stress out either on the mouth or the gut.
- You can keep doing the same deep breathing focusing on the neck, shoulders, chest, belly, pelvic area, buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet, toes.
Do leave a comment and let me know how helpful this exercise has been. If not, tell me what would help you to stay consistent in relieving stress, getting to sleep, taking the pressure off those muscles, or whatever you need to stay healthy.
Here’s a great way to remember to develop this habit, every morning as you drink your favorite beverage, view this reminder on your mug. Click below to own your cup, or a positive gift item.
Marlene Hibbard is not a medical adviser. The content of the blog is intended for information only. Content is from medical advisors who believe in natural prevention and cures. Hibbard includes resources of these professionals in each blog. Readers may also click on the word RESOURCES below the banner. Some advice comes from Hibbard’s personal experience. This site is not intended to be a substitute for getting professional help but encourages readers to seek professional help.