It is January and a New Year. May 2009 one be one of your very best.
Since the economy has tanked, I'd like to start off the year by talking about some effective no cost anti-aging things you can do.
There is a long tradition about BREATH as being the determiner of our lives. Recent research among anti-aging health care professionals is confirming the importance of our breath....or I should say the QUALITY of our breath for our health, our memory, our mood the condition of our skin and every cell in our body.
1. Let's look at how you are breathing right now. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your belly - right over your belly button. Notice which hand moves and how much it moves as you breathe.
If the hand on your belly moves and it moves even farther than the hand on your chest, you have the habit of good breathing for health and wellness. If the hand over your belly does not move or it moves less than the hand on your chest, you have an opportunity to improve your overall wellness but practicing belly breathing.
Let's practice. Take a deep breath. Draw your breath down into your diaphragm so the hand on your belly moves outward. Hold it a second. Now release. Try it again....and even again.
One of the things you can do to improve the quality of your life now and to prevent premature aging is to breath this way on a regular basis.
How to develop this habit of deep breathing? Decide on some environmental triggers to remind you to breath deeply from your diaphragm. Example: Decide to do it when you wake up in the morning and each time you go outside. Decide to take at least 3 diaphragmatic breaths before you get in the car or each time you shut down your computer... every time the phone rings take this breath before answering. Notice how you feel after
a few such breaths - especially when taken in the open air.
Deep breathing is such a simple thing to do. But its payoff is high. As You change to breathing from your diaphragm more often you will enhance your health and the quality of your life. You will fee more energetic and relaxed. This type of breathing is a real antidote for stress. Are you belly breathing now?
2. Second practice. There are many traditions of breath counting exercises. Sam Verner teaches an ancient form called 1 - 3 - 2 breath in his book of 12 things you can do to optimize your health. Again, you can try this 1 - 3 - 2 from right now.
Here's how it goes. As you breathe in, count how long your inhale takes. That stands for the 1 in 1 - 3- 2. Next you hold that breath in your lungs for three times the count that you used when inhaling. That is the 3. Then you exhale your breath to twice the original count.
For example - the first time I did this breath my inhale was to the count of 10. That meant that I needed to hold that breath for a count of 30 and then exhale to a count of 20.
It took me a couple tries to be able to hold my breath in for 3X my inhale but I got there. The reason I practiced until I could hold my breath in my lungs for 3 times my inhale was that I knew the 'hold' part of this breath is when my body cells get oxygenated with the breath from my inhale.
Once you can do this breath, try it 3 or 4 times. Notice how you feel when you are finished.
Many people get an immediate response to the exercise. Its long term effects are powerful. 1 - 3- 2 breathing improves overall health by super oxygenating your cells. It stimulates your lymph system so it removes cellular waste up to 15 time more effectively. It improves mood, sleep and helps control appetite. And all this without paying a penny for a pill or supplement.
Breath is central to health of mind and body. This particular form of breathing offers extraordinary benefits when done twice a day for 10 breaths at a time. It is best done outside. Many of us do not begin with 10 since we are so unused to full oxygenation of our cells that 10 such breaths can leave us a bit dizzy.
Why not do this from of breathing for the next month. Begin with 3 such breaths in the morning and in the evening. Do the first, when you leave your house and then just before you come in the door at the end of the day.
After a few days, do 4 such breath, then five and so on until you are doing 10 of the 1 - 3 - 2 breaths.
It is an effective and inexpensive anti-aging practice. it costs NOTHING. Try it for a month and see if its benefits make it worth adding to your daily rituals of eating and sleeping. Most find it helps mood and stamina as well as their general health.
Until next month - when I hope to present some research studies.