Breathwork Therapy and the Importance of proper Breathing
To breathe is to live. How we breathe has a most profound influence on the quality of our life. Breathing correctly is the key to living fully. Most Westerners suffer from chronic improper breathing habits that are not immediately obvious. We breathe about 7 million breaths a year and the long-term effects of poor breathing are cumulative. They reduce not only the quality of vitality in our daily experience, but can lead to a weakening of our entire system and serious health issues. We can take health for granted until we encounter serious problems. It has been estimated that 60% of all emergency transports in larger American cities involve hyperventilation or other breath-related disorders (Fried, 1990) Research suggests that 10-25% of the US population suffers from breath-related illness every year. Improper breathing weakens and disharmonizes almost every major system in our bodies and makes us more susceptible to chronic and acute diseases of all kinds: infections, constipation, respiratory illness, digestive problems, ulcers, depression, sexual disorders, sleep disorders, fatigue, headaches, poor blood circulation and premature aging. Many researchers believe bad breathing contributes to cancer and heart disease. Proper breathing can keep the systems of the body functioning in harmony, signal us about imbalances in our energy and help us correct them, and thereby be a perfect companion on route to our health and happiness.
Though in all cultures throughout history breath has been held as the most important factor in physical health as well as emotional stability and spiritual development, it receives little or no attention in our educational system, including medical training (Minett, 2005). Proper breath training requires focused attention, relaxation, internal awareness and perseverance. Even healthy people often breathe only about a third of the oxygen they need to function optimally. 70% of the body’s waste products are eliminated through the lungs.