Introduction: In the complex web of our bodily functions, the role of breathing goes beyond mere oxygen exchange. Recent findings underscore a profound correlation between sub-optimal breathing and prevalent health issues, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sexual dysfunction. This blog post delves into the intricate connection between these conditions and the state of our breath, shedding light on the pivotal role of optimal breathing in maintaining overall health.
Breathing and Stress Regulation: It has been observed that eight out of the top ten most common cancers affect organs deprived of normal blood flow during states of stress. The key contributor to this stress imbalance is our Stress Regulating Nervous System, rooted in sub-optimal breathing. Additionally, major causes of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sexual dysfunction are linked to an imbalance in the Stress Regulating Nervous System, further emphasizing the critical role of breathing in our overall well-being.
The Power of Breath: Breathing serves as a silent conductor orchestrating the symphony of our internal organs. Tens of billions of air molecules, inhaled with each breath, play a vital role in influencing various bodily functions. From heart rate and digestion to mood and arousal, every internal organ receives cues from the molecules of air, acting as a power switch for the vast Stress Regulation Nervous System known as the Autonomic Nervous System.
Autonomic Nervous System: This intricate system comprises two sections with opposing functions, akin to a car's brake and accelerator. The Calming Nervous System, also known as the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Vagus Nerve), stimulates relaxation and restoration. It regulates activities such as digestion, tears, bowel movements, and sexual arousal, earning its moniker of the Rest, Digest & Reproduction System. The Lungs, rich in nerves connecting to the Parasympathetic Nervous System, respond favorably to long and slow breaths, inducing a state of relaxation.
Sympathetic Nervous System: On the flip side, the Sympathetic Nervous System, concentrated at the top of the lungs, activates during short and hasty breaths, propelling the body into a heightened state of alertness. This sympathetic state redirects blood flow, increases heart rate, releases adrenaline, and sharpens the mind. While beneficial for brief periods, prolonged activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System leads to imbalances, causing difficulty in digestion, erectile dysfunction, and a host of chronic problems.
Imbalance and Chronic Problems: Prolonged imbalance in the Stress Regulation Nervous System results in a short circuit inside, contributing to chronic issues. Optimal Breathing emerges as a restorative force in reestablishing this delicate balance, offering a natural solution to alleviate chronic health problems caused by stress.
The Vagus Nerve Connection: Renowned psychiatrist Steven Porges has extensively researched the Calming Nervous System (Parasympathetic Nervous System/Vagus Nerve) for three decades. The Vagus Nerve, connecting to major internal organs, orchestrates the ON and OFF signals in response to stress. In high-stress situations, the Vagus Nerve slows heart rate, blood circulation, and organ function, sometimes even leading to fainting. Prolonged half-stimulated states of the Vagus Nerve can result in compromised organ function, diminished blood flow, and communication issues between the brain and organs.
Autoimmune Diseases and Dysfunction: Autoimmune diseases, characterized by the immune system attacking healthy cells, have often been elusive in terms of both causes and cures. Increasing research points to dysfunction in the Autonomic Nervous System as a contributing factor. Balancing the Stress Regulation Nervous System, particularly through Optimal Breathing, emerges as a potential solution to alleviate symptoms and mitigate the impact of autoimmune diseases.
The Healing Power of Optimal Breathing: Fixing the Stress Regulation Nervous System, specifically the balance between the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems, is key to addressing chronic health problems. Optimal Breathing, as a natural way to balance the Autonomic Nervous System and activate the Vagus Nerve, offers a holistic approach to wellness.
Achieving Balance Through Optimal Breathing: Learning to breathe optimally becomes a proactive step in maintaining health. According to research by Steven Porges, focusing on the Vagus Nerve can positively impact major internal organs. Slow Deep Breathing (SDB) at 6 breaths per minute (SDB@6BPM) is identified as a powerful practice to achieve optimal breathing and restore the delicate balance between the two nervous systems.
Practical Application: Practicing at least 15 minutes of Slow Deep Breathing SDB@6BPM daily becomes an optimal routine to support overall well-being. The NowZone® technique further empowers individuals to breathe optimally at 6 breaths per minute, seamlessly integrating this practice into their daily lives.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the correlation between health issues and optimal breathing unveils a transformative path to wellness. By understanding the intricate dance between the Autonomic Nervous System, stress regulation, and the healing power of breath, individuals can take proactive steps to mitigate chronic problems. Optimal Breathing serves as a gateway to balance, offering a natural and accessible solution to enhance overall health and vitality.
Akash Madnani, inspired by James Nestor's "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art" and the pioneering work of Steven Porges.