Tag Archives: Bo Forbes

The Value in Breathing Deeply

How to Stay Energized, Renewed and Balanced Throughout Your Summer, Part IV

iGnite_Journal_July3_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you make it a priority to breathe deeply?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I read a great article where actress Jennifer Garner said something very true, which is, “Unplugging takes real discipline”. In addition to unplugging being difficult, I find that taking long, deep and slow breaths takes real discipline, too. Both unplugging and deep breathing are important to maintaining our health as well as keeping our stress at bay. This is why taking advantage of a holiday like today, July 4th, as well as the summer months where we can unplug, relax and breathe deeply is vital for energy, renewal and overall health.

During the spring and while in Austin, I had a shallow breathing experience. I developed a pounding headache for several days, along with mild chest pain and heart burn—both of which I have never had. At one point I even questioned if I was having a heart attack. It was weird! Thankfully I was able to see my friend, health adviser and mentor Jeff Ulery at Whole Body Health. After accessing my body and cringing when he touched my jaw, diaphragm and shoulders, he diagnosed me with shallow breathing. He adjusted my body, including my diaphragm and jaw, and as I laid and rested on his table for one long and amazing hour, I began feeling renewed. Both my headache, diaphragm and jaw pain eased. Not surprisingly, he recommended the same things he always does when I see him, which is adequate rest, daily prayer and mindful bouts of deep and slow breathing, rather than my normal shallow breathing.

Shallow breathing is thoracic breathing, or chest breathing, which is the drawing of minimal breath into the lungs, usually by drawing air into the chest area using the intercostal muscles rather than throughout the lungs via the diaphragm. Ultimately, my continual shallow breathing is what caused my neck, chest, shoulder pain and tightness, which is what led to the tension in my body. So, as simple as it sounds, my final recommendation to staying energized, renewed and balanced throughout the summer season is to be intentional with deep breathing. Here’s why:

  1. Detoxifies and Releases Toxins – Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body, you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
  2. Releases Tension – Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts. Your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.
  3. Relaxes the Mind/Body and Brings Clarity – Oxygenation of the brain reduces excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.
  4. Relieves Pain – You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath. Yet studies show that breathing into your pain helps to ease it.
  5. Massages Your Organs – The movements of the diaphragm during the deep. breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
  6. Increases Muscle – Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.
  7. Strengthens the Immune System – Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolize nutrients and vitamins.
  8. Improves Posture – Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.
  9. Boosts Energy, Improves Stamina and Elevates Mood – Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical pain
  10. Improves Cellular Regeneration and Nervous System – The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body.

Finally and very importantly, according to Hope4Cancer, cancer research is supporting that cancer cells thrive in oxygen-poor environments and when the body is deprived of oxygen, disease can set in. Also, according to Bo Forbes, whose research was sited in last week’s journal, cancer cells look for tight connective tissue and dehydrated cells to live in and spread. So, while it sounds ridiculously simple, I believe the key to fully embracing our freedom is through our health, and the ways we access great health, energy, renewal and balance is through daily movement, exercise, stretching, trying new things, staying hydrated, eating often and from the Earth, having fun, unplugging daily and breathing deeply.


Action Item:
Several times each day, make it a priority to unplug and breathe deeply.


You May Also Like:

Advertisements

Be a Novice, Keep Moving & Stay Young

How to Stay Energized, Renewed and Balanced Throughout Your Summer, Part III

iGnite - June26_2016 2

Point to Ponder:
How often do you practice being a beginner?

iGnite Neissa

by Neissa Brown Springmann

This weekend I attended a portion of the Yoga Journal Conference in San Diego with iGnite Leader and friend, Amy Younkman. Amy leads our yoga and Power Pilates classes, has attended the Yoga Journal Conference for many years and always returns with excellent information. While we attended different classes, the one class that we took together was led by Bo Forbes and titled “Body Maps: The Road to Healthy Aging, Pain Modulation and Emotional Balance.”  Bo teaches yoga throughout the world, and, interestingly, she is also a psychologist. She is a yogi-brainiac, and she specializes in integrating yoga, mindfulness, neuroscience, psychology and movement studies and she has worked with professional sports teams, corporations, healthcare professionals worldwide. Obviously, she is a wealth of fascinating knowledge, all of which I am so eager to share with you because as Amy and I did, you are going to love it!

First, in regard to the physical aging portion of her class, what science is finding out is that unlike what we may have once thought or been told, aging is NOT what causes the loss of muscle mass or connective tissue. Instead, the loss of connective tissue and muscle mass is what causes aging! EUREKA!

As a refresher, the reason why connective tissue is important is because it connects, supports, binds, or separates all other tissues. And, muscles are necessary because muscles are the only tissue in the body that have the ability to contract and therefore move the other parts of the body. The muscular system’s second function is the maintenance of posture and body composition. Healthy connective tissue and muscle mass is what keeps us moving and physically thriving.

Next, as it relates to mental aging, emotional balance, memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and depression–neuroplasticity is the key. According to Dr. David Hellerstein in Psychology Today, neuroplasticity is the ongoing remodeling of brain structure (or the re-wiring of our brain map) and function that occurs throughout life. And, our day to day behavior and activity can have measurable effects on brain structure, function and health.

The key ingredient to healthy connective tissue is daily stretching and movement in every and all directions. The main ingredient for having muscle mass is strength, body weight and resistance training; and the primary ingredient for neuroplasticity is becoming an “expert beginner” and striving to participate in new movements and new experiences every day. As Bo reminded us, “The body and brain do not learn and grow from repetitive movement. Instead, they learn and grow from new experiences.” Therefore, the more we participate in life as a novice, feel incompetent and even engage in awkward and uncomfortable experiences, the healthier we are mentally and physically. BRILLIANT!

So, why is this the best and most exciting news ever?! You can access all of this goodness through iGnite! As it relates to our summer theme of staying energized, renewed and balanced, when constantly re-wiring and expanding our brain map by means of being a beginner and trying new things, the scientific proven outcome is that we are energized and experience a boost in mood. Therefore, our emotional capacity is expanded and our spirit stays uplifted!

With July 1st only a few days away, the timing of our fun summer contest to Give It a Try In July, could not be more perfect. Throughout the entire month of July, we encourage you to try all of our 28 weekly classes led by our passionate, talented and amazing Leaders. This is the ideal opportunity to re-wire your brain and body map by mixing up your exercise routine, which includes driving to new areas of town, iGniting with new members and creating new relationships.

There has never been a better time to stretch beyond your comfort zones and get good at becoming a beginner. After all, it’s in the spirit of anti-aging and health, which is TOTALLY WORTH IT!


Action Item:
Try one new thing this week.


You May Also Like: