Breathing Fundamentals for Health and Personal Development

Personal development is a lot about creating energy and managing it. The way we breathe, the quality of our respiration, is our primary source of energy. From the connection to our core to the experience and expression of our truth, the way we breathe guides, supports or defeats all inward experience and outward expression. Breathing poorly or well gets in our way or can become the “wind beneath our wings”.

There is a direct relationship between breathing and feeling fully alive. Many people feel like they are powerless or are getting old before their time. What is more important is that they are often losing or never developed their ability to breathe. As the breathing energy develops, the energy of bliss, excitement and ecstasy must be tolerated or contained to be properly managed.

Health wise, people say breath is life but few realize how true that really is. Did you know that your breathing volume is directly correlated to how long you will live? The Framingham study of 5,200 people over 30 years and a similar follow up study both came to the same conclusion.

Most people don't pay any attention to the way they breathe until it is too late. Studies show if you don't breathe properly you lose from 9-25% of your lung capacity every decade. Exercise helps but some kinds of exercises can actually worsen good breathing, many popular sports included.

By the time you get diagnosed for a respiration problem by an MD you may have already lost up to 50% of your breathing capacity or conditioning. There are easy day to day steps you can take to maintain your breathing as well as recover some or a lot of what you have lost. By accelerating your breathing development you can add a huge positive element to most aspects of your health and well being. Better breathing has often been known to reduce or eliminate many diseases due to the way it increases the oxygen supply and recharges and balances the central and autonomic nervous systems.

Did you know that many hold their breath and don't even know it? That can lead to shallow and distorted breathing. Poor breathing leads to major oxygen and energy shortages that are related to anxiety, asthma, allergies, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, poor sleep, poor exercise habits, poor speaking, and problems with singing, sports performance, or weight control.

Inspiration is to breathe in spirit. Breathing is definitely a spiritual process but gets tied into a spiritual agenda which often clouds or distorts the simple issue of healthy optimal breathing.

To know where we stand throughout life’s challenges we must be and stay grounded. The way we breathe can serve as the foundation of our way of being. If it is not developed in a balanced way it may well distort our perceptions and invite confusions and inconsistencies in our responses.

Here are some ways to learning more about your breathing.
1. Do you ever experience:
Shortness of breath, unsatisfying breath, breathlessness, or air hunger; Can't catch breath or deep breathing curtailed; can't get "over the hump"; Breathing feels stuck; Feel a hitch, bump or lump right below your breastbone when you try to take a deep breath; Breathing feels like a series of events instead of one smooth internally coordinated, continuous flow; Breathing is labored or restricted; Tightness, soreness or pressure in the chest or below breast bone; Sore deep pain feeling like a band across the chest Pulsing or stabbing feeling in and around ribs; Tense overall feeling; Side stitches; Chest wall tenderness; Chest is large and stiff; Sunken or depressed chest; Scoliosis or abnormal curvature of spine; Jaw tension; Shoulder tension; Stiff neck; Tightness around the mouth; Tension around the eyes; Lump in throat; Wear tight or restrictive clothing including belts and bras; Washboard abs, Constant fatigue, Poor sleep or often waking up tired even when you have gone to bed on time and had 7-8 hours sleep.

2. Stand and look into a mirror or ask someone to observe you. Take a very deep breath, as deep as you can. When you breathe in very deeply: a. Do you raise your collar bones? b. Do you raise your shoulders? c. Do your neck muscles bulge out?

3. Breaths per minute. How many? While sitting or prone, observe your natural breathing pattern without manipulating it. Using a watch, count your complete breaths in one minute. A complete breath is one inhale and one exhale and possibly a pause at the end of the exhale.

Scores: Answers in #1 Any one of the choices may indicate restricted breathing.
#2. Any of the choices may indicate high chest breathing that invites anxiety, shortness of breath and vaso restriction often called hyperventilation or over-breathing.
#3. Our statistics show that best may be below 5 breaths per minute.

Breath is life.
Are you:
1. Curious about your breathing & its relationship to your health & well being?
2. Have or suspect a breathing problem?
3. Think you already know how to breathe correctly?
4. Curious about how you compare to others?

Take our Free Breathing Tests at
Learn from the test scores correlations of over 55,000 test takers.

Michael Grant White, OBDMT, NE, NCLMBT #1724,
The Optimal Breathing Coach

Author's Bio: 

Michael Grant White, LMBT, NE, OBDMT, breathing development specialist, health educator, personal growth mentor, author, public speaker, and vocalist has successfully helped thousands transform their lives through correct breathing and nutrition. He can be reached at