Breathing can be trained for both positive and negative influences on health. Chronic stress can lead to a restriction of the connective and muscular tissue in the chest resulting in a decrease range of motion of the chest wall. Due to rapid more shallow breathing, the chest does not expand as much as it would with slower deeper breaths and much of the air exchange occurs at the top of the lung tissue towards the head. This results in “chest” breathing. You can see if you are a chest breather by placing your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. As you breathe, see which hand rises more. If your right hand rises more, you are a chest breather. If your left hand rises more, you are an abdomen breather.
Chest breathing is inefficient because the greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs, areas that have limited air expansion in chest breathers. Rapid, shallow, chest breathing results in less oxygen transfer to the blood and subsequent poor delivery of nutrients to the tissues. The good news is that similar to learning to play an instrument or riding a bike, you can train the body to improve its breathing technique. With regular practice you will breathe from the abdomen most of the time, even while asleep.
Dr. Mercola recommends another different method on his website, www.mercola.com :
The Buteyko Breathing Method is the most effective, natural, self-help method for the relief of breathing problems. This highly acclaimed, professionally produced DVD and book teaches you the Buteyko Breathing Method based on clear facts and simple, easy to learn steps.
Do these symptoms sound familiar?
· Constant tightness or wheezing, especially after exercise
· Poor concentration, lethargy (no energy).
· Excessive production of mucus in your nose and chest.
· Broken sleep and tiredness.
· Tension, headaches
Incorrect breathing can cause these and other problems! So use this breathing method to regulate your breathing, reclaim control and begin to restore yourself to good health. The Buteyko Breathing Method has been clinically researched and tested: Trials undertaken in Brisbane, Australia, showed people taught the Buteyko Breathing Method were able to reduce Bronchodilator usage (symptom related medications) by 90% within six weeks; along with a marked improvement in quality of life (they felt much better). The Buteyko Breathing Method provides consistent and long term results for those who maintain this method. Through a series of exercises, the Buteyko Breathing Method DVD & Book will teach you to normalize your breathing, stay in control, and avoid problematic breathing symptoms.