Breath, the Best First-aid
love my breath so my breath will love me.
Nature chose oxygen to drive all
aspects of human evolution. I need not surprise us
that without this colorless and odorless gas, we can
live only for a few minutes. machine. We breathe to
bring oxygen in and expel carbon dioxide and some
toxins out of the body.
There is a wonderful first-aid
kit that everyone can carry around at all times. You
can't lose it. It is always there when you need it.
This "first aid" is a special way of breathing. I
call it "limbic breathing."
If you watch a small baby breathe
when it's asleep, you can see the natural way we all
used to breathe.
We see the baby's belly come out.
(The large muscle called the diaphragm lowers into
the abdominal cavity.) The lungs expand into the
extra space. There is then a vacuum in the lungs.
Air flows through the nose or mouth into the lungs.
Now notice how you are breathing.
How many breaths do you usually take in one minute?
Are you raising your rib cage and shoulders to get
air into your lungs?
Many people are surprised that
different ways of breathing affect our body
Sit in a comfortable chair; place
your hands on your lap. Place your feet flat on the
floor. Clear your mind, and focus on some simple
thing: a picture on the wall, a burning candle, or a
flower or other plant.
The first part of limbic
breathing is like the baby's breathing. Let your
belly out as you let your diaphragm press down into
the abdominal cavity. It may feel funny because we
have tried to hold our bellies in for many years!
Mentally count to four as you take in your breath
through your nose to fill up your lungs. Hold your
breath in for a count of four.
Then slowly let the air out
through your nose to a count of eight. Repeat this
until you are able to breathe in an easy rhythm.
Breathe in, two, three, four; hold, two, three,
four; breathe out, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight. After some practice, let your breath
out more slowly, to the count of 12. Later, try it
to a count of 14, and finally, 16.
You can practice limbic breathing
for a few minutes at any time of day. Do it when you
feel stressed or are upset. Do it for 30 minutes
when you feel stressed or you are upset. Do it for
30 minutes when you want to relax deeply. Limbic
breathing allows more time for oxygen to pass from
air sacs in the lungs to the capillaries in the
lungs. Limbic breathing reduces stress. It relaxes
you before taking a test and helps you think more
clearly. It's a good thing to do before going for an
You will find many health
benefits from regular limbic breathing: It will
strengthen your immune system. It helps normalize
your blood pressure. At night, it can help you fall
asleep. It's a wonderful first-aid kit!
I present detailed information
about Limbic Breathing in my book entitled The
Cortical Monkey and Healing and my DVD entitled
Limbic Breathing (available at this web site and by
phone 973-586-4111) for valuable information
concerning the basic ideas concerning health and
disease in this tutorial.
I must love my breath so my
breath will love me.