I have had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful lady who has changed my life! We bumped into each other on this journey. I need to mention her because at 58 years old she is the first true friend I have ever had! My Definition of someone who is special is they make you want to be a better person! You want to be completely honest, appreciative, authentic and trustworthy because you are blessed to have someone like this in your life. We should all be this way with each other. Maybe it begins here with this blog? Right now, today! She is an incredible artist in so many ways, is already an incredible healer, intuitive and empath. I feel blessed to have her in my life more than she will probably ever know! If life gets better than this I am even more grateful than I can put into words!To have an Ally in this life is such a blessing, especially her!
I am so very grateful as I am for the incredible people listed below. You will be truly missing out if you pass up the opportunity to watch these videos and the many more they have! I am blessed to have come across these people and I want to share them with you! Please enjoy and book a massage today and take care of you! Remember your body is your temple! Please call or text 609-647-0049 Gotcher’ Back Therapeutic and Sports Massage Therapy or email me at SnewmanLMT@gmail.com
It has taken quite some time, but oil pulling has finally gained some popularity in the United States.
Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a fantastic oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of oil (typically coconut oil, olive or sesame oil) in your mouth for 10-20 minutes.
Oil pulling works by cleaning (detoxifying) the oral cavity in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks the dirt (toxins) out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid that is needed to prevent cavities and disease.
This unbelievably effective procedure has been used for centuries as a traditional India remedy to:
Most of us cannot even imagine what life would be like without brushing and flossing our teeth everyday. However, in the scheme of things, tooth brushing is relatively, new since nylon bristle toothbrushes didn’t become part of our normal American experience until the late 1930s!
It’s important to remember that, in spite of the fact that most people in American today were all raised with toothbrushes in our mouths, our ancestors didn’t brush their teeth with toothpaste for thousands of years. And, as far as archeological evidence Pyramides of Gizeh – Cairo, Egyptsuggests, most people throughout history lived until a ripe old age with most of their teeth intact and in a strong, healthy state.
Why didn’t their teeth rot?
Well, first of all, they ate real food and didn’t consume processed sugars and grains filled with phytic acid, which destroy tooth enamel. Secondly, they took care of their teeth through natural means like chew sticks that they rubbed against the teeth as has been found in Egyptian tombs dating to 3000 B.C. Third, depending on the culture and region of the world, many people also oil pulled.
Oil Pulling Research
coconut oil jarBy now, you’ve probably heard of the phrase “oil pulling.” Not quite a household name just yet, people in natural health circles are adopting the procedure as part of their daily regimen by the droves because of the hype that is being placed on it about it lately on the Internet.
To date, there are just 7 oil pulling research studies reporting on the health benefits of oil pulling. Although it is unfortunate that science has taken so long to take this ancient art seriously, it IS encouraging to see the literature database grow. I’m excited to read more as researchers catch on to how oil pulling can help transform someone’s life.
The Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, for example, recently highlighted a study that reviewed holistic approaches to oral health and discovered that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural health solutions known to scientists that prevent tooth decay and loss. (1) Praised for curing more than 30 systemic diseases, the authors of this study have some profound things to say about this ancient natural healing practice:
“Oil pulling is a powerful detoxifying Ayurvedic technique that has recently become very popular as a CAM remedy for many different health ailments. Using this method, surgery or medication could be prevented for a number of chronic illnesses. The oil therapy is preventative as well as curative. The exciting aspect of this healing method is its simplicity.
Ayurveda advises oil gargling to purify the entire system; as it holds that each section of the tongue is connected to different organ such as to the kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine, similarly to reflexology and TCM. (1)”
I really like this passage because it highlights how the detoxification effect that oil pulling has on the entire body reaches far beyond oral health. This is especially important for people who have conditions that contraindicate brushing such as mouth ulcer, fever, indigestion, those who have tendency to vomit, have asthma, cough, or thirst. (2)
In addition, I found these three studies showing how sesame seed oil pulling affects a wide range of oral health issues particularly helpful as I considered making it a part of my natural health regimen:dental hygiene
According to researchers from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in Tamil Nadu, India, oil pulling reduces Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay – in the plaque and saliva of children. (3) In the authors’ words, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”
As uncovered by researchers from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in Chennai India, oil pulling can significantly reduced aerobic microorganisms in plaque among children with plaque-induced gingivitis. (4)
From the same researchers in Chennai, oil pulling has been shown to be as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and reducing the microorganisms that may cause it. (5)
Why Coconut Oil is the Best Oil to Use
One important note to make is that the studies I referenced above only tested the effects that sesame seed oil had on patients who oil pulled. Being a staple in India, it’s no wonder why many Ayurvedic medicinal practitioners would naturally gravitate toward sesame. However, I would like to suggest using coconut oil instead.
Why?coconut oil on wooden spoon
Because coconut oil has been shown to:
Decrease Wrinkles and Age Spots
Balance Blood Sugar and Improve Energy
Increase HDL and Lower LDL Cholesterol
Because it is highly absorbable, you can experience many of these benefits simply by oil pulling!
Coconut Oil Pulling: How-To
This is how I like to do coconut oil pulling:
Make sure to oil pull first thing in the morning right after you get out of bed before you brush your teeth or drink anything.
Gently swish 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10-20 minutes making sure that you don’t swallow any of the oil. (Do this gently so you don’t wear out your jaw and cheeks!)
Spit out the oil in the trash (not the sink so it doesn’t clog up the plumbing…ask me how I know) and immediately rinse your mouth out with warm water (use salt water for added antimicrobial properties).
Finally, brush your teeth as normal.
Voila, easy as that!
I recommend oil pulling 3-4x per week with coconut oil and also adding essential oils to your mixture.
Coconut Oil Pulling Guide
As you can see, oil pulling with coconut oil is a simple procedure with very effective results. If 10-20 minutes sounds like a long time simply do oil pulling while in the shower or while driving to work in the morning or while doing work around the house to help pass the time.
Here’s a Quick “How-to” Coconut Oil Pulling Video Demonstration:
Next I want to share with you how you can use essential oils to take your oil pulling benefits to a whole new level!
Essential oil and mint on green background close-upCoconut Oil Pulling with Essential Oils
Essential oils carry some of the most potent antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on the planet, and they can easy, and safely enhance the oil pulling experience. Additionally, as essential oils absorb into your oral mucosa, your body will enjoy the antioxidant and medicinal powers inherent in these potent compounds.
Here are two of my favorite ways to use essential oils during my morning oil pulling routine:
For everyday use: add 3 drops of wild orange, lemon and peppermint with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
When battling an infection or sickness: Change it up a bit and mix clove oil, cinnamon oil, or tea tree oil as a homeopathic remedy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
1. What age is good for oil pulling?
Sure! Since the oil swished around in the mouth and spit out, then there should be no harm in oil pulling even at a young age. Try a smaller amount of oil though, say about 1/2-1 teaspoon. You would want to make sure they are able to comfortably and it should be an enjoyable experience, not a dreaded one. If they don’t like it, and they need healing for their teeth, then I would focus on adjusting their diet to heal cavities naturally.
2. Can I pull oil if I have fillings?
According to the Coconut Research Center (6),
“Oil pulling will not and cannot loosen properly placed crowns or fillings. The only time oil pulling will affect crowns or fillings is if the teeth underneath have decayed and are full of infection. In this case, the foundation on which the crowns or fillings are secured to is badly decayed and unable to hold the dental material. Oil pulling removes bacteria, pus, and mucus. It cannot pull out porcelain, amalgam, or composite dental materials from the teeth.”
The only reason that a filling will become loose is if you have a rot or infection in the tooth. Then you will want to address this issue to keep the infection from spreading to your body.
3. Why do I have to oil pull in the morning?
You don’t. The best time to oil pull is in the morning on an empty stomach, but you can certainly try other times during the day or before eating.
4. Why do I have to oil pull for so long?
When you oil pull, you are actually using up the oil in the process of swishing the oil. It will become watery and sometimes milky after about 15 minutes. If you pull with less oil you may notice it change texture sooner, but you want to make sure you have enough oil to really clean your mouth and teeth.
5. How long does it take to see a difference with my teeth and mouth?
Within one week, most people notice a cleaner mouth and change in their breath. Within a month, some people have experienced dental repair or healthier gums.
6. Are there oil pulling side effects or symptoms?
– Every person is different. For some people they may have a release of mucous in their throat or nose as the swishing can release your sinuses and cause drainage. This is harmless, but if it is uncomfortable to you, then you may want to blow your nose before oil pulling.
– Also some people experience jaw soreness. If this happens, try swishing more gently and don’t pull between your teeth as hard, or maybe cut back a few minutes down to 8-10 minutes, and then build back up once you get adjusted to this exercise.
– Occasionally, oil pulling can trigger the gag reflex in some people. If this happens, then try leaning your head forward just slightly and using a little bit less oil. Also warming the oil a little can make it thinner and less likely to cause any gagging.
7. Can I oil pull while pregnant?
Because you spit out the toxins that are “pulled” out when swishing, there should not be any harm in oil pulling while pregnant. In fact, it can be a soothing way to clean your teeth if you experience any gum sensitivity.
I personally use the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil found here.
When you try coconut oil pulling, let me know what you think? Do you have any essential oils that you like?
Pure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is apparently a powerful de-toxifier and is extremely good for gums and teeth, a dentist told one person her gums are now so healthy! I plan to start myself soon:
Step 1: First thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and before drinking any liquids (including water), pour exactly one tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth. Use one teaspoon for children old enough to be able to swish it without swallowing it – most sources suggest an age of five. If you wear dentures, oil pulling is done with the dentures out of your mouth. Some people choose to accelerate oil pulling’s effects by doing the procedure two or three times per day. It should be done before meals or several hours after a meal, on an empty stomach.
Step 2: Swish the oil around in your mouth (without swallowing it) for about twenty minutes. Move it around in your mouth and through your teeth. Sip and suck it through the teeth. Use a gentle chewing motion from time to time. Don’t tilt your head back to gargle. Keep swishing. If your cheek or jaw muscles get sore while swishing, you are putting too much effort into it. Relax your jaw muscles and use your tongue to help move the liquid around the inside of your mouth. When you do this correctly, you will feel very comfortable. Soon it will become second nature. You will find that the oil starts to get watery during the first minutes, as your saliva mixes with it.
Step 3: As the end of the oil pulling session approaches, the oil/saliva mixture in your mouth becomes thicker. This is quite normal, since it is pulling out toxins from your body. When twenty minutes are up, spit out the oil into the toilet. (It is best if you do not spit into the sink.) Do not be alarmed if it looks yellow or whitish – this also is normal
Step 4: Rinse out your mouth twice with warm water. and spit into the toilet. One method is to rinse and spit with diluted hydrogen peroxide. Once again, do not swallow. The hydrogen peroxide is very effective in rinsing out any toxins or organisms which may be left in the mouth.
Step 5 : Brush your teeth. Use a damp toothbrush with a small amount of baking soda. A small amount goes a long way, and minimizes the abrasive effect of the baking soda. The baking soda will normalize the pH of the mouth.
Hippocrates Pure Food-Grade Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (undeodorised, unbleached, unhydrogenated, unrefined, cold-pressed) is available at www.hippocrates.com.au/coconut.htm
The Amazing Kinesio Taping® Suzanne Newman Gotcher’ Back Massage Therapy
I am amazed at the results I am getting with my clients as much as they are. This is truly fascinating relieving pain and edema so quickly in most cases. The Tape is water proof so it can stay on up to 5 days. The increased lymphatic circulation in muscle and joint pain relief is astounding. There is a vast amount that can be done with taping. Please call for an appointment today 609-683-1608.
Kinesio Taping® is a technique based on the body’s own natural healing process. This Kinesio Taping® exhibits its efficacy through the activation of neurological and circulatory systems. This method basically stems from the science of Kinesiology. Hence the name “Kinesio” is used. Muscles are not only attributed to the movements of the body but also control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature and much more. Therefore, the failure of the muscles to function properly induces various kinds of symptoms in the body.
Consequently, so much attention was given to the importance of muscle function that the idea of treating the muscles in order to activate the body’s own healing process came about. Using an elastic tape, it was discovered that muscles and other tissues could be helped by outside assistance. The use of Kinesio Taping® creates a totally new approach to treating nerves, muscles and organs. The first application of Kinesio Taping® was for a patient with articular disorders.
The first 19 years Kinesio Taping was used by Orthopedists, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and other medical practitioners, where the main users of Kinesio Taping®. Olympic volleyball players discovered Kinesio Taping® and soon there after the word spread to other athletes. Today Kinesio Taping® is accepted by medical practitioners and athletes.
Muscles constantly extend and contract within a normal range; however, when muscles over extend and over contract and a good example of a muscle in this condition is a person lifting an excessive amount of weight.The muscles can’t recover and becomes inflamed, the fatigue also comes from the muscle being swollen and stiff. The space between the skin and muscle is compressed, resulting in constriction to the flow of lymphatic fluid. The compression also applies pressure to the pain receptors beneath the skin, which in turn communicates,” discomfort signals” to the brain thus the person experiences muscular pain.
Conventional athletic tape is designed to restrict muscle movement of affected muscles and joints.For this purpose, layers of tape are applied around and / or over the injury. This pressure causes a significant obstruction of natural flow of body fluid. This type of tape wrapping is applied before a sport activity and removed immediately when the sport is finished. Kinesio Taping® is based on a different philosophy that aims to give free range of motion in order to allow the body’s muscular system to heal itself bio- mechanically.
To ensure that the muscles have free range of motion, elastic tapes with an elasticity of 130-140% of its original length are recommended for Kinesio Taping®. This specific elasticity also will not allow an over stretch of the muscles themselves. It may look like conventional athletic tape, but tape and Kinesio Taping® is fundamentally different in many ways.
Kinesio Taping® alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. The taped portion forms convolutions in the skin, thus increasing interstitial space. The result is that pressure and irritation are taken off the neural and sensory receptors, alleviating pain. Pressure is gradually taken off the lymphatic system, allowing it to channel more freely.
This is a must read for every runner. I am now carrying Foot Wheels and Foam Rollers, a must have for every runner!
“I have great results with Plantar Fasciitis with all most 90% cure rate with special Massage Techniques.” Anchor an exercise band in a loop on a desk chair leg. Put the arch of your foot in the loop/sling working against the resistance pull the exercise band toward your body 10 times. Relax and repeat the exercise 10-15 times. I also do Kinesio tapping which works great too. Arch Strengthener I highly suggest buying Foot Savers sold on www.yamun … Read More
The Neurac Institute in Princeton New Jersey has been the first physical therapy, that I have received that actually works. After having a car accident in April of 2007, I had constant unbearable pain for full-year and in that year I went seven different physical therapists. That’s right, seven different physical therapists, none of them were able to read.an MRI properly and I was treated with the good old electric stimulation, moist heat in the good old wham, bam thank you man service. There was never any hands-on it was all weight lifting or neck exercises that could be taught in one session, Basically from the standpoint of the information that they gave me I could have went for four sessions and then went home and continued to do it on my own with no improvement.
This was the outcome for me, but it was a hell of a lot more than four sessions in a hell of a lot of money. I have been a massage therapist/body worker for 18 years. I would say close to half of my clients came to me after having no results from physical therapists, and I was there last resort and for a good percentage of the time, I know I helped them more than these PT’s did. Believe me, I know how frustrating that is. It is time consuming, it costs a lot of money, it also wastes insurance money.
Here is my advice to you: If you want to get better get massage and go to the The Neurac Institute in Princeton, NJ 800 Bunn Drive Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 683-1010. One more location in New Jersey is in Hopewell, NJ 83 Princeton Avenue Hopewell, NJ 08525 (609) 466-9004. I have never missed a therapy session without hearing another patient saying how quickly they got to the issue and how much improvement was made!
I am more impressed each time I go not only by the technique but, the incredible staff with their kindness, and most importantly, their ability to communicate effectively, and the knowledge. Thank you Neurac Institute for the first time since 2007 I feel like I might be able to soon be an athlete again!
Please do yourself a favor and make an appointment today, either at the Princeton office 609-683-1010 or the Hopewell office 609-466-9004
Redcord is offering a unique treatment method for musculoskeletal ailments called Neurac® (Neuromuscular Activation). NEURomuscular Activation (NEURAC)
Neurac is an abbreviation of Neuromuscular Activation and consists of therapeutic exercises in Redcord slings. The aim of the Neurac Method is to restore pain free movement patterns and improve function. Neurac Treatment challenges the interplay between muscles and is focusing on what is causing the problem – not only the symptoms.Science shows that pain and/or inactivity can disturb signals sent to the muscles from the brain. This disturbance can lead to impaired muscle interaction causing some muscles to be overloaded and painful. The method includes testing procedures, called Neurac Testing, to identify dysfunctions and muscular imbalances. Neurac Testing is systematically examining the body to identify weaknesses in the muscle chains. If a weakness is identified it is called a Weak Link. Neurac Treatment focuses on correcting the Weak Links thereby reducing the strain on the overloaded muscles. Often immediate pain relief and/or improved function can be achieved.
Neurac is performed with the Redcord Workstation Professional, ant the treatment consists of especially tailored exercises and techniques. To enhance treatment outcomes vibration can be applied with the patentedRedcord Stimula. Many patients experience additional pain relief when the vibration stimulus is applied. Read more about Neurac treatment – Step by step.Neurac Treatment aims to be pain free and without negative side effects. The treatment requires motivation and concentration from you as a patient. The exercises can be both hard and challenging but should always be performed controlled and with good movement quality. To obtain long term treatment effects individual exercise for maintenance is recommended. Read more about follow-up here.
Neurac treatment is indicated for musculoskeletal ailments such as:Low back pain and pelvic girdle pain Neck pain and neck pain with headache Shoulder / arm dysfunction (eg impingement and Tennis Elbow) Leg dysfunction (eg patellofemoral pain syndrome)
Redcord offers a special course program for therapists, doctors and health professionals.
Read more about Neurac® (neurac article by Gitle Kirkesola)
Please contact us if you want more information of how Redcord can help you achieve better function and less pain!
Redcord stands as a resolute and innovative leader in corrective exercise and neuromuscular activation techniques for rehabilitation, fitness, and sports performance. Redcord’s patented suspension equipment, scientific training methods, and accredited educational courses are centered on the clinical foundation and therapeutic approach in treating neuromuscular dysfunction with the Neurac™ (NEURomuscular ACtivation) treatment method. We believe that repetitive injury should not be tolerated; that a decrease in function should not be accepted; and that you should strive for nothing less than your full potential. We believe this because a comprehensive knowledge of physical medicine and exercise science are at the core of everything we do. And we don’t mind taking a leading stance on this view. Redcord is leading the Neuromuscular Revolution. Join us for the beginning.
This is a letter to all the wonderful people in Princeton and surrounding areas who helped our little homeless lady, Ms. H. (U.S. 1, September 28, 2011 archives). For those of you who are reading this for the first time,
Ms. H. is a 72-year-old homeless woman who has lived outside until late December when it was too cold to stay outside. She did this for more than 13 years. For the past seven years she has been assisted by the lovely woman who remains anonymous, who paid for her stay in the winter months at the Sleepy Hollow Motel. They charged over $1,000 a month. I would pay each month along with the help of wonderful people who offered to help.
Finally, after endless attempts of trying to get her help in finding a place to live, Patrolman Pete Hanna didn’t just drop her off at the horrible Trenton crack shelter all by herself after she was asked to leave for good from Windsor Green for good. He stayed and met with her social worker and made sure that she was taken care of.
Miss H. is an intelligent, kind wonderful woman whom I feel blessed to have in my life, but she is mildly schizophrenic, and it is not okay by any means, for any of our elderly people in Princeton to be living on the streets at the age of 72. The most important thing is that, Ms. H. is safe, warm, and looked after, like each and every one of us wants for the ones we love. Her social worker, Renee Swain (after me being a very persistent pain in the ass.) has found her a permanent residence, an apartment in Trenton.
The Happy, Happy Update:
I want all the kind people who I know care deeply for Miss H. that she is okay. She loves her new apartment. Although it is not in a good neighborhood, so I pray a lot! The three of us and some wonderful people helped furnish it. She is cooking, has a nice new bed, a bath tub. She is just all smiles. We are still going to have to fund raise a wonderful man from Merrill Lynch is helping thru his church and himself. I thank GOD for Ed!
What I would like to ask of you is to write her a letter and tell her about you. She likes to help people with problems, so ask her for your prayers or anything you would like to write to her about just don’t tell her we are paying. She is very proud and has issues with the government and charity.
Please send prayers and your letters to SuzanneNewmanCMT@gmail.com I will take them to her when I visit her. I am sure your letters will mean a lot to her as your visits did when she was sitting outside on those terribly hot days and cold nights. Remember she is very isolated.
Thank you so very much again for all your help, Suzanne Newman
It is thought by many cultures that the process of breathing is the essence of being. A rhythmic process of expansion and contraction, breathing is one example of the consistent polarity we see in nature such as night and day, wake and sleep, seasonal growth and decay and ultimately life and death. In yoga, the breath is known as prana or a universal energy that can be used to find a balance between the body-mind, the conscious – unconscious, and the sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system. Unlike other bodily functions, the breath is easily used to communicate between these systems, which give us an excellent tool to help facilitate positive change. It is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. We can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. Pranayama is a yoga practice that literally means the control of life or energy. It uses breathing techniques to change subtle energies within the body for health and well-being. Breathing exercises can act as a bridge into those functions of the body of which we generally do not have conscious control.
An example of how life affects physiology:
During times of emotional stress our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and affects a number of physical responses. Our heart rate rises, we perspire, our muscles tense and our breathing become rapid and shallow. If this process happens over a long period of time, the sympatric nervous system becomes over stimulated leading to an imbalance that can affect our physical health resulting in inflammation, high blood pressure and muscle pain to name a few. Consciously slowing our heart rate, decreasing perspiration and relaxing muscles are more difficult than simply slowing and deepening breathing. The breath can be used to directly influence these stressful changes causing a direct stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in relaxation and a reversal of the changes seen with the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. We can see how our bodies know to do this naturally when we take a deep breath or sigh when a stress is relieved.
The breathing process can be trained:
Breathing can be trained for both positive and negative influences on health. Chronic stress can lead to a restriction of the connective and muscular tissue in the chest resulting in a decrease range of motion of the chest wall. Due to rapid more shallow breathing, the chest does not expand as much as it would with slower deeper breaths and much of the air exchange occurs at the top of the lung tissue towards the head. This results in “chest” breathing. You can see if you are a chest breather by placing your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. As you breathe, see which hand raises more. If your right hand raises more, you are a chest breather. If your left hand raises more, you are an abdomen breather.
Chest breathing is inefficient because the greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs, areas that have limited air expansion in chest breathers. This kind of chest breathing which is rapid, shallow, results in less oxygen transfer to the blood and subsequent poor delivery of nutrients to the tissues. The good news is that similar to learning to play an instrument or riding a bike, you can train the body to improve its breathing technique. With regular practice you will breathe from the abdomen most of the time, even while asleep.
Note: Using and learning proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health.
The benefits of abdominal breathing:
Abdominal breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm is a large muscle located between the chest and the abdomen. When it contracts it is forced downward causing the abdomen to expand. This causes a negative pressure within the chest forcing air into the lungs. The negative pressure also pulls blood into the chest improving the venous return to the heart. This leads to improved stamina in both disease and athletic activity. Like blood, the flow of lymph, which is rich in immune cells, is also improved. By expanding the lung’s air pockets and improving the flow of blood and lymph, abdominal breathing also helps prevent infection of the lung and other tissues. But most of all it is an excellent tool to stimulate the relaxation response that results in less tension and an overall sense of well-being.
Abdominal Breathing Technique:
Breathing exercises such as this one should be done twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing pain.
* Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs.
* After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose imagining that you are sucking in all the air in the room and hold it for a count of 7 (or as long as you are able, not exceeding 7)
* Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. As all the air is released with relaxation, gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs. It is important to remember that we deepen respirations not by inhaling more air but through completely exhaling it.
* Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths and try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds (or 6 breaths per minute). At this rate our heart rate variability increases which has a positive effect on cardiac health.
Once you feel comfortable with the above technique, you may want to incorporate words that can enhance the exercise. Examples would be to say to yourself the word, relaxation (with inhalation) and stress or anger (with exhalation). The idea being to bring in the feeling/emotion you want with inhalation and release those you don’t want with exhalation.
In general, exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. The use of the hands on the chest and abdomen are only needed to help you train your breathing. Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, they are no longer needed.
Abdominal breathing is just one of many breathing exercises. But it is the most important one to learn before exploring other techniques. The more it is practiced, the more natural it will become improving the body’s internal rhythm.
Using breathing exercises to increase energy:
If practiced over time, the abdominal breathing exercise can result in improved energy throughout the day, but sometimes we are in need of a quick “pick-up.” The Bellows breathing exercise (also called, the stimulating breath) can be used during times of fatigue that may result from driving over distances or when you need to be revitalized at work. It should not be used in place of abdominal breathing but in addition as a tool to increase energy when needed. This breathing exercise is opposite that of abdominal breathing. Short, fast rhythmic breaths are used to increase energy, which are similar to the “chest” breathing we do when under stress. The bellows breath recreates the adrenal stimulation that occurs with stress and results in the release of energizing chemicals such as epinephrine. Like most bodily functions this serves an active purpose, but overuse results in adverse effects as discussed above.
The Bellows Breathing Technique (The Stimulating Breath):
This yogic technique can be used to help stimulate energy when needed. It is a good thing to use before reaching for a cup of coffee.
* Sit in a comfortable up-right position with your spine straight.
* With your mouth gently closed breathe in and out of your nose as fast as possible. To give an idea of how this is done, think of someone using a bicycle pump (a bellows) to quickly pump up a tire. The upstroke is inspiration and the down stroke is exhalation and both are equal in length.
* The rate of breathing is rapid with as many as 2-3 cycles of inspiration/expiration per second.
* While doing the exercise, you should feel effort at the base of the neck, chest and abdomen. The muscles in these areas will increase in strength the more this technique is practiced. This is truly an exercise.
* Do this for no longer than 15 seconds when first starting. With practice, slowly increase the length of the exercise by 5 seconds each time. Do it as long as you are comfortably able, not exceeding one full minute.
* There is a risk for hyperventilation that can result in loss of consciousness if this exercise is done too much in the beginning. For this reason, it should be practiced in a safe place such as a bed or chair.
This exercise can be used each morning upon awakening or when needed for an energy boost.
I think experiencing tragedy, abuse and pain are the greatest gifts we are given. Letting go of the victim role, I believe opens up infinite possibilities of healing and growth. I truly believe that nothing happens without there being a higher purpose behind that incident, especially the incidences that cause the most pain. We learn to lead by example when we stop following the flock and walk the journey with trust from within and stop relying on others opinion’s, admiration or disproval. We learn to stop caring how other people view us. My favorite self-quote is, “feel free to project your intentions on me but, remember they have nothing to do with me”.
We remain stuck when we don’t look for the solution to the situation at hand. There are a million reasons we can come up with just like our ways of avoiding moving through issues or letting go of/ moving on from a situation. We drink way too much, smoke, over eat, over spend, become caretakers, create crisis, surround ourselves with crisis, become a victim, think we are helpless, make ourselves feel lesser than. We stay in dysfunctional relationships, re-create childhood dysfunction, make excuses, don’t ask for help, and the list goes on. God, for me my childhood and early adulthood was a living hell. Christ, I went through holly hell ½ of my life. First, I had to feel and understand what I went through as a child and that is the hardest to let go of. It is unjust as a child to go through horrible trauma, abuse and neglect. If we look at those demons and get the pain out, we are at the beginning steps to our healing. Then looking at the traits we took on to survive that childhood we can see those traits no longer serve us as an adult. Shedding that dysfunctional skin is a slow and steady process. Then for me, it was cleaning up my thinking. That meant becoming a more positive person, not focusing on the negative bullshit that I had no control over, like others drama. I believe I deserve all good things and that my thoughts create my reality.
Courage is the biggest key. I believe that the harder our fall is the higher we bounce and the taller we grow. When we can look at adversity with solutions in mind, then I believe we are on the right track. When we can walk away from relationships that are hurting us and wish the other person who is still prepared to stab us in the back, a prayer of healing, Cheers… Walking on a path alone can be difficult but, I have found when I have let go of things, people or places a higher level replaces what I have let go of or the exact same replica will replace what which I let go of if I did not finish my business with the situation.
I think once you truly know yourself, the darkness of you, the greatness of you and why you do what you do and humble yourself to pray, you are on your way. I truly never believed I could ask for anything, not on damned thing. That to me is truly sad but, once I realized and began to wake up I am learning to ask and although it is painful for me at times because of illusions of the past. The good news is with courage and strength the illusions fade to almost not being there anymore.
The clearer I become and the more I clean up my own back yard the better healer I become. I am much more present to be there for myself, to lead by example and help others. After all isn’t that why we are all here? I also now know that I owe no one a thing and I sleep without guilt. I do what I do because it makes me feel good/God inside.