Mathematical Breathing

I am not a medical doctor, and any of the advice you read in this column should be examined carefully by your doctor prior to starting any program of breathing deeply or any another respiration program designed to optimize your health.

One of the things I’ve tried on my own is a simple breathing technique in which I inhale deeply and slowly, and then I exhale the same way. If I lie down on the bed, (which is the best starting position for this procedure), I will then concentrate on finding the way to exhale all the bad air, all the toxins, and all the regular air I can get to leave my body. I then inhale for eight seconds, one long, slowly drawn breath. Then, for eight seconds, I exhale this breath. After four rounds of this, you might feel a little dizzy or light-headed or even slightly lethargic. Stay in the bed and don’t worry. Things will be fine a little later. So you breathe in eight seconds, then out for eight seconds. That’s sixteen seconds. Four rounds of this is 64 seconds, which is more than a full minute. Now, you have taken in only four breaths in a minute, and you have exhaled the same.

Yet, you say, how can that be enough air for me? Well, you are inhaling possibly 8.0 liters per lung by filling up the lung over the full eight seconds. None of this 200 cc (0.2 liter) of air per breath, or 600 cc, (0.6 liter). Now, you are taking in 16,000 cc of air every minute for 8000 cc (times two) = 16,000 cc per minute, (actually per 64 seconds). In 15 minutes, which is 900 seconds, you have completed 59 cycles of this type of breathing. Extra toxins may be released within each exhale of the body; this is why this breathing should not be rushed. Slowly inhale again, then let go again. Two more will complete the second minute.

The goal is to feel the healing that occurs within the body when this deep breathing is practiced. You can then go about your daily life and take this breathing with you. Yes, it’s possible you could learn this technique from day one, and continue it on throughout the day. Be reminded that you should work with your health care provider, doctor and/ or respiratory therapist before trying this out on yourself. These exercises may not be appropriate for those with asthma, COPD, sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions involving breathing obstructions or shortness of breath. But once you are cleared for such activity, get it going as soon as possible. You won’t regret it, and neither will your body.

If you can continue to breathe this way over a long period of time, a healthy weight loss is possible, but you won’t want to overdo it. Just think about how that weight loss will keep you in good stead, while the comfort you feel in your chest will be incredible.