February 25, 2010

Health Benefits of Deep Breathing Or Abdominal Breathing

Posted in Category : Yogic Cures for Diseases

Deep breathing is a breathing technique that is supposed to have great number of benefits. Also known as diaphragmatic breathing, costal breathing, or abdominal breathing, the technique is an important part of yogic practices, and also has scientifically proven benefits. Most people, at most times, tend to breathe badly. They take shallow breaths and tend to expand the chest when inhaling air, rather than expanding the abdomen. This becomes so habitual that initially, many find deep breathing to be rather awkward. However, with regular practice, deep breathing itself can become a habit, and is much healthier.

To perform deep breathing, it is first of all advisable to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that allow the body to move and expand freely. Tight trousers, skirts, and other such clothing interfere with breathing. As for the breathing itself, simply take long, slow breaths through your nostrils and ensure that when you inhale, your abdomen expands instead of your chest. Exhalation must also be done slowly, and after a second’s pause. You should also remember that although the focus is on the abdomen, this does not mean that your chest should not expand. Ideally, both the chest and the abdomen should expand when inhaling. In yoga there is also what is known as the three-part breath, and many variations of this technique. However, this type of deep breathing is not universally accepted, and may cause problems.

The primary benefit of deep breathing is that it is a much healthier way to breathe. It helps to use the full capacity of your lungs, and since it is done slowly, it also allows the lungs to absorb nearly all the oxygen in the air that is inhaled. Deep breathing thus delivers more oxygen to the body more efficiently. This type of breathing is also tremendously relaxing, which is why it is used in practices such as yoga and meditation. When we are stressed, our breath tends to become rapid and shallow. Controlling your breathing somehow controls the stress too. By ensuring that your breathing is slow and deep, it is possible to calm down. If deep breathing is made a regular practice, it is possible to avoid getting stressed in the first place, at least to some extent. Deep breathing also seems to help people who stutter or stammer to control their speech. A number of speech therapists have used deep breathing (along with other techniques of course) with great success.