When we come into this world, the first thing we do is to take a deep breath. The last thing we do leaving the world is to stop breathing. Our life is what occurs between our birth and death, and it depends completely on our breathing. Breathing is the invisible “food,” without which we cannot live for even five minutes.
Some German studies suggest that as many as nine out of ten people breathe incorrectly. Why is this happening?
Try watching little children breathe. Their abdomens expand and contract as they breathe in and out, utilizing especially a major muscle called the diaphragm. With this kind of breathing, the lungs have a lot of room to take air into their middle and lower sections. The more oxygen gets in when we inhale, the better is the ventilation of our lungs, and more oxygen is absorbed and carried by our blood erythrocytes to produce energy. Thanks to this kind of breathing, children are robust, active, and happy.
Grown people breathe in an entirely different way. As we progress in years, lead an inactive lifestyle, suffer from spine misalignment, obesity etc., we start breathing differently. When we breathe in, our rib cage expands, our abdomen is deflated, our shoulders and collarbone move upwards. Only the upper, smallest sections of the lungs are involved in this kind of breathing. It usually does not provide enough air and we have to breathe more frequently (It is particularly noticeable in obese people.) Only small amounts of inhaled oxygen get into our lungs. The lungs work intensively but only in their upper parts. They become overworked and their cells suffer premature wear. There are layers of dead, inactive cells in the lung tissue.
The older we get the larger sections of our lungs are no longer involved in the breathing process. Our body is constantly oxygen-starved. This causes not only respiratory diseases but also disorders of circulatory system, pancreas, liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and many more.
We can delay our aging by thirty to forty years and avoid many diseases by utilizing the diaphragm better. It has been known for a long time that people of high longevity breathe slowly. A 130-year old East Indian person who looked half his age, when asked about the secret of his longevity said, “It is correct breathing” (he breathed once a minute). One of the principles of ancient medicine states: “The fewer times we breathe in one minute, the longer our life is.”