Throughout our lives we are not taught how to breathe. This results in it being a very 'hit or miss' business, whether we do it right or wrong. This is unfortunate because the lungs and other structures involved in breathing perform other functions, as well as oxygenating the blood. They are also involved in the control of the metabolic flow of the body.
ﳰan>When we are young we breathe with both the diaphragm and the upper chest. At around about 25 years old, the bones of the body start to ossify. This means that they start to harden and we then start to use mainly the diaphragm for breathing, or we should do! Unfortunately for most people this does not happen and the result is, that for most, the breath rate rises.
As mentioned in the section on History, learning the breathing technique has the ability to teach the student start of the process of 'self healing'. In this section I hope the reader will start to understand why.
It has been believed for many years, in the Chinese Medical system, that there exists another organ in the body, other than the known liver, lung, heart etc and this they called the triple heater. This is the described in various works and it is not my intent, to agree or disagree with the theories about this organ. I know, however, that this organ has many different functions and is responsible for many different aspects of human and animal life. The operation of the organ is largely controlled by the diaphragm and its movement. The diaphragm acts not only as a pump for the lungs but also as a pump and valve, for the control of the metabolic flow. Part of this organ is responsible for the regulation of body heat, hence the name Triple Heater. This is most aptly demonstrated by some Tibetan monks, who can survive outside, in extremely cold temperatures, using only breathing technique. It can also be used on various areas of the body to provide cooling.
This mechanism controls the metabolic rate and is very much connected with the operation of the immune system. With breathing technique one learns to slowdown the operation of this pump and thus heart rate usually falls. Obviously, there may be cases where this does not happen but I have yet to discover one! It has been said by monks in the East, that a human being has only a fixed amount of heart beats. If there is any truth in this, then it would be prudent, for long life, to try to make the heart operate more efficiently, and therefore less. Not only will the using of the lungs more efficiently benefit the oxygenation of the blood but it also allows more activity to be undertaken, without straining the heart.
The Immune System.
The benefits of breathing technique will also slow down the metabolic rate and this is directly related to the ageing process. Modern day living, tends to make people lead exceedingly hectic lives. The word 'stress' is associated with higher metabolic rate and it is also related to faster operation of the immune system. When stress is increased not only does the metabolic rate increase but also the immune system is stimulated, so that the body thinks that it is 'ill'. This makes the immune system starts to operate by running much faster. This is probably part of the reason why there is such an increase in severe headaches and migraine in the UK. Another method of over stimulating the immune system is to breathe too many times per minute. Anyone who breathes more than 12 times and minute, apart from those with lung damage, is giving instructions to the immune system that the body is ill and this makes the immune system run much faster.
Pregnancy is also very bad for breathing technique. As the Baby is carried it pushes up under the diaphragm and prevents the woman from breathing properly. When the child is born, in many cases, the woman will never learn how to breathe correctly again. This is in part the cause of some of the problems that develop later on, with the Menstrual cycle.
Incorrect breathing also has a detrimental effect on Asthma sufferers and quite often causes a loss of breath, when the asthma sufferer performs exercise. Those people who become obese have great difficulty in operating the diaphragm correctly. Because of this the Triple Heater does not work efficiently and this can cause many troubles and multiplicity of ailments. Energy levels are also adversely affected by incorrect breathing and those who wish to get more from their sport, would be well-advised to make their lungs and there breathing technique, work to their maximum efficiency. Incorrect breathing has many affects on many other types of human ailment and these are spoken about in the section on Healing. What is written here, is just an outline of what can be learned, by starting this type of breathing exercise, but there are many, many, more benefits that may be gained by doing these techniques.
Speed of Learning.
Progress with breathing technique, is a slow and methodical business. If the student goes too fast and does not learn the techniques correctly, or tries to do exercises far in excess of their ability, it is quite likely that they will damage themselves. If, however, the techniques are studied correctly and persevered with, then a student will not only gain some control over the breathing function but also start to learn how to control their own metabolic rate.