I have now been practicing what is referred to as the Dr. Andrew Weil 4-7-8 breathing exercise for4 years. I have proof that it lowers my pulse and my blood pressure, I utilized this breathing when I am driving in LA traffic to my functional doctor’s office an hour away from where I live. Before I started Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 breath, when I arrived an immediately was taken in for a blood pressure reading, my readings were always very high. When I started practicing the Andrew Weil, MD breathing, I started having the best pulse of any of my doctor’s patients. I knew it worked; I read that it was actually resetting my parasympathetic nervous system (the reptilian brain) but I simply accepted that it was a wonderful way for me to reduce my stress and stabilize my cortisol.
I have autoimmune disease, so this has been an especially important skill for me to learn. When I got sick, my cortisol was so low I was borderline on Addison’s Disease. Ends up breathing is far more important that I ever realized for all humans. The missing pillar of health is breathing.
Like many things, conventional medicine concentrates only on disease control.
“Pulmonologists, I learned, work mainly on specific maladies of the lungs—collapse, cancer, emphysema. “We’re dealing with emergencies,” one veteran pulmonologist told me. “That’s how the system works.”” The author, James Nestor writes. The actual art of breathing is being rediscovered. It is an ancient art that we have lost touch with. As it is being rediscovered, it has been noted that 90% of us are breathing incorrectly. And if we can learn the art of breathing correctly, it would help solve a huge list of chronic ailments including asthma, anxiety, ADD, psoriasis and even impact our sugar levels impacting diabetes. Learning to breathe correctly can even impact our weight.
“Yes, how we breathe really does affect the size and function of our lungs. Yes, breathing allows us to hack into our own nervous system, control our immune response, and restore our health. Yes, changing how we breathe will help us live longer. No matter what we eat, how much we exercise, how resilient our genes are, how skinny or young or wise we are—none of it will matter unless we are breathing correctly. That is what these researchers discovered. The missing pillar in health is breath. It all starts there.”
Breathing properly not only helps you live it helps your body cure itself. Breathing improperly shortens your life.
Breathing improperly is a result of mouth breathing, breathing to rapidly, breathing shallowly. The physical issues that promote breathing improperly are the size of our mouth and nose and our posture.
The author details how to improve the physical issues as well as how to learn proper breathing techniques. Many of what he describes are within our control and budgets.
Things you can do:
Shut your mouth
Breath through your nose
Chew (hard stuff to exercise your jaw which will expand the size of you mouth)
Breathe more, on occasion (this must be done consciously)
Hold your breath (this affect the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems)
How we breath matters (I.e. Andrew Weil)
You can lookup the Andrew Weil MD breathing method on You Tube and do it right along with Dr. Weil in your own home until you learn it. What is important is the rhythm of the breath. It does not matter how fast or how slow you do the cadence. It has been watched and implemented more than 4 million times. It does relax the body, and it does release stress. I use it to let the steam off my stress before it becomes chronic. I use it when I cannot fall to sleep quickly at night. I use in on airplanes so that I can get well needed rest after getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight from the West Coast to the East Coast. It takes no equipment and can be utilized anywhere without anyone even knowing that I am utilizing the method.
There are many other breathing methods that I will discuss in part 2 of this article next month. I will also discuss the important balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen. We need the oxygen from the plant world, and the plants need our exhaled carbon dioxide. All are healthy for the body and for our earth. Breathing, it ends up, is crucial to good health. We even need to chew on hard things to reform our jaw and improve our breathing. Breathing is indeed an art. And how we breath matters.
The new book is Breath, The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor.