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Respiration – more than just live support

Posted on September 2, 2020 by Michael Boettcher

What is respiration?

Breathing is an important part of our body and our health. Air is sucked into the lungs through our nose or mouth, the lungs inflate and the air sacs expand. Once the lungs are full, the alveoli begin their actual work: the absorption of oxygen into the blood. This is controlled by our brain, or the so-called respiratory center. The carbon dioxide content of the blood plays a decisive role here. If this is too high and the oxygen content is comparatively low, the respiratory drive is triggered to bring fresh air into the body.

Why is breathing important?

Oxygen, which is brought into the body or rather the bloodstream via breathing, is not only important for the faultless functioning of our brain, it also has a great influence on organ function and the faultless functioning of cells. Correct and healthy breathing thus forms the basis for all other functions of the human body. Mechanical and nervous interactions between the movement of breathing and central body functions and organs of the human body have a direct influence on our health and well-being.

What can you do wrong with your breathing?

Shallow breathing, which is limited to the chest region, can lead to tension in the muscles that assist breathing. This tension in the chest region in turn leads to a flattening of the breathing and a consequent reduction in oxygen uptake. The consequences of shallow breathing include headaches, high blood pressure, fatigue and listlessness, tension, stress – but also panic attacks can be triggered by shallow breathing.

What are the long-term consequences of an incorrect breathing technique?

Stress induced by incorrect or shallow breathing has been shown to reduce the number of lymphocytes, which are essential for a functioning immune system. The body becomes more susceptible to disease, existing illnesses get worse and the healing process takes much longer. Another long-term consequence that should not be underestimated is pain caused by tension. These primarily occur in the shoulder and neck area or the head. However, shallow breathing can also have an effect on posture. Since the chest does not fully expand and the lungs do not expand, the shoulders are pulled forward and the upper back is curved.

Nasal breathing – the all-rounder

When breathing through the nose, the air is already filtered through the finest hairs and the mucous membranes when inhaled. It also enables a significantly deeper inhalation and thus contributes to a better development of the lower sections of the lungs. In addition, oxygen uptake is improved, which also benefits the cells and organs. The cells and organs are supplied with more oxygen and can perform their functions without restriction. The cells also benefit from a lower carbon dioxide content and are generally less exposed to stress. Another positive side effect of deeper breathing is relaxation. The muscles are supplied with more oxygen and do not overacidify as quickly. In addition, the parasympathetic nervous system, a part of the vegetative nervous system, which is primarily responsible for building and regenerating the tissue in our body, is activated. This results in a hormone release and the general well-being increases permanently.

In our practice for alternative medicine and physiotherapy, we offer various breathing exercises and therapy options so that you can breathe with lasting freedom.

Yours Robin Blau