Brothers and Sisters, gather around.
Boy do I have a deal for you, I have discovered a magic potion to heal what ales you!
Sounds like a used car salesman, lol.
Good morning, I hope that you all had a magnificent holiday season. Today will be the first of a series called "Wellness Wednesdays." We will drop a some wellness, fitness and exercise nuggets each Wednesday. Some will be in long form, some will be short little pithy blogs.
The breath is the bridge between the body and mind. Without breath, and oxygen exchanged, we DIE. D-E-A-D. Being an autonomic process, we rarely pay attention to the breath. On average, a person holds their breath over 300 times a day. Yet, when a spouse or partner pisses us off, the first thing we do is take a deep breath and huff. Right before an accident, we take a deep breath; even as soon as we emerged from the birth canal we take a deep breath. The all so common statement, take a deep breath and relax.
The breath is one the single most powerful tools the human body has, next to a heart beat. Over 80% of metabolic waste is excreted through the ventilatory cycle. Our breath compensates for the body and mind when it is out of homeostasis, hence hyperventilating during an anxiety attack and sepsis. During the sympathetic response, the breath increases to compensate for oxygen demand. Senses heighten, the heart rate increases. The body recognizes for optimal cellular function, it needs oxygen.
Let's experiment real quick.
Sit up straight, Take a four second inhalation, hold your inhalation for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, hold at the bottom of exhalation for four seconds. Repeat for 4 cycles.
You back? You have learned how to control you sympathetic response by switching to your parasympathetic system. Cool huh?
Before each flight, intubation, speech I give, or any high stress situation I enter, I focus on my breath. It's a super power we are given at birth that goes unharnessed throughout our life. We have the innate power to harness the sympathetic (Fight or Flight) response. Not only does it allow for us the power to remain in control, it keeps our pulse at a manageable rate. With a pulse above 120 we increasingly lose fine motor control, we forget standard things, basically lose control. This control can be the difference in missing an intubation, miscalculating a drug dose, shooting a perp with a cell phone in their hand mistaken as a weapon, or forgetting to check our air pack prior to entering a house fire. Extreme examples, but none the less the mistakes could cost us our lives or someones else's. Remaining in control, can even be the difference in a night slept on the couch or your own bed when arguing with your partner.
Seems simple in theory, right? With poor posture, holding our breath over 300 times a day, poor diets, anxiety, and stress; it is easy to get overwhelmed. Our breath is the parachute for life. It brings us back to homeostasis, and the present moment. The breath gives us the gift of ease, peace and control, and we all love control. No matter what life throws at us, we are in control of our breath. Breath work is applicable in every facet of our lives; exercise, breath work. Job related tasks, breath work. Mental health, breath work. Anxiety, breath work. Sex, breath work.
Breath work has been around for thousands of years. When we lift weights, there is always a focus on inhalation and exhalation when lifting heavy. During shooting courses, we focus on the breath. Grip your weapon, take a deep breath, exhale, inhale half way, hold, pull the trigger back. Your focusing your mind on the target, being in full presence while analyzing the target. We can apply these same techniques in life friends. It is no different than dealing with other stressors.
When you get deep into holotropic breath work you can literally get high on your own supply. Breath work has the ability to give you super human strength and resiliency. The famous Wim Hoff, has personally proven the power of the breath work. He climbed Mt. Everest in boots and shorts, THAT'S IT!!!!!! Wim Hoff has achieved super human feats after harnessing the power of breath work. In the form of Yoga I teach, Power Yoga; the breath is at the center of the practice. Power yoga focuses on the breath during practice to help remain present. If the mind wonders, focus on the breath to bring you back. We teach pregnant patients giving birth to focus on the breath to help with pain, why don't we use the same techniques?
In regards to anxiety, we literally behold the innate power inside of us to break the control of anxiety. The science and research back this statement. Let me preface this with the fact that you, the individual have to be willing to break habits and previous mindsets. I have battled crippling anxiety for a long time, and still do; but now I do not have to take a pill to control it. I use various techniques to conquer my anxiety, breath work being at the forefront. I used to roll my eyes when I heard this. I was in the mindset that I was powerLESS over anxiety. That is nothing but Stinking Thinking. We are in control of almost everything, except gravity. We are PowerFULL beings, who are in control.
We can control anxiety, depression, pain, fear and just about anything else that is thrown at us, with breath work.
Stop, sit up straight and breath in that good ass air!
If you'd like to dive deeper in to the breath work conversation, head over to 911BuddyCheck.Org. We provide Breath work coaching and guidance. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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