Abstract

We are exposed to many diseases causing microbes, viruses, bacteria continually but don't always fall sick as there is a mechanism which works 24X7 to protect us from them. This mechanism is called the Immune system. There are many ways by which this safety mechanism could be strengthened, like exercise, good healthy diet, good sleep, meditation and yoga. Today, we will discuss in general the process of improving digestion which will further boost the immunity.

Deep Breathing

Introduction

Before we start our discussion on deep breathing and its benefits, let us first know the types of breathing. There are mainly two types of breathings, chest breathing and abdominal breathing. In the first type of breathing that is chest breathing, there is an involvement of the chest and shoulders only. This is shallow breathing as while you breathe in, only the chest expands and the shoulders rise. Whereas abdominal breathing is the natural way of breathing as it should be, in this type there is a slow, deep breathing which usually begins by relaxing the abdomen and downward movement of the diaphragm which allows lungs to fill more air.

Relation between breathing and digestion

The relation between the digestive system and respiratory system could be understood with a simple example of a vehicle and fuel. You can not run a car if you are running out of fuel, on the other hand, if you have plenty of fuel but without a car it is useless. This means, the nutrients that are derived from the food we eat are absorbed in the gut through the help of contraction in smooth muscles. These contractions are only possible if we have fuel (oxygen). Same is the case with the respiration process. The movement of the lungs which are supplying oxygen to the gut is only possible when the proper absorption of the nutrients will occur and energy is derived from the gut to the cells of lungs.

How exactly does not breathing deeply affect our gut and immune system?

In this time when everyone is under some kind of stress and hurry, there is a continuous fight or flight situation. For example, you don't sleep on time and of course it leads to waking up late. Now, the thing is that you need to make it to your work on time. To accomplish this, you will drive fast and jump lights. In short, you are under the influence of adrenaline hormones because of this fight or flight situation. Your heart beats faster than normal, your breathing becomes shallow which ultimately leads to movement of blood from the gut to your skeletal muscles. Occasionally this is not a bad thing, as it helps you to tackle a tricky situation, but the same encounter now and then makes your immune system weak.

How is deep breathing beneficial?

Deep breathing allows the gut to get more blood supply which will have its own positive aspects like enhanced digestion and as we all know that more than 70 percent of the immune system resides in our gut. Therefore it will be beneficial for both digestion and the immune system. There is one more linked advantage of deep breathing for patients struggling with anxiety and restlessness, that is it relaxes the mind by deviating their thoughts. Breathing slowly and deeply also decreases the heart rate and blood pressure, and hence is an excellent aid for the hypertensive patients. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for relaxation of the mind, digestion of food and activates metabolism.

Techniques of deep breathing

  • Get comfortable
  • Choose a quiet place
  • Now sit down on a yoga mat or simply on a mattress
  • Start breathing in from nose
  • Breath in slowly and feel the movement of the abdomen as if it is literally being filled with air
  • Breathe out through your nose and feel the abdomen going in as if the air is being released
  • Repeat this process several times

Deep breathing in Ayurveda

There is a great importance of deep breathing in Ayurveda. This is because the breathing pattern keeps on changing throughout the day. In a day we are breathing continually through our nose but the amount of the air differs from each nostril as sometimes one nostril is more open or slightly blocked than other. So, there is a need to balance this which could be done with the help of Pranayama. Pranayama means controlled breathing. It is used in a controlled manner with some mudras and is helpful in removing toxins from the body. Other benefits of the pranayama are it helps in reducing stress, good sleep and increased lung capacity.

Conclusion

This is a common behaviour of humans that is more attracted towards the things which are harmful. This could be proved by the fact that we all know that eating junk makes us sick, but still we consume it. We allow the uncertainties to come in life with such decisions which might be anything for example a chronic disease. But with the help of some modifications in our lifestyle these outcomes could be avoided. Deep breathing allows us to make our immune system strong and also calms down the frustrated mind which is a very common thing today. Your breathing pattern defines the real you. Just like Sadhguru says "Whichever way you breathe, that is the way you think. Whichever way you think, that is the way you breathe."

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Vikram Chauhan is one of the best Ayurvedic doctor from Chandigarh, North India. Chandigarh is situated in north India about 200 miles north of New Delhi. Ayurvedic medicine is getting quiet popular now a days and Dr. Vikram Chauhan is leading Ayurvedist from Chandigarh having solved many complicated cases from North India as well as rest of the world. Know More about Dr. Vikram Chauhan www.planetayurveda.com