Deep breathing does more than take weight off of your mind—it also gives your organs a massage. Literally.
Practicing a deep belly breath provides a supportive foundation for a properly functioning digestive system.
Your largest diaphragm of the five diaphragms in your body is a thin, dome-shaped layer of muscle and tendon that separates your abdominal cavity from your chest cavity. The proper contraction and expansion of your largest diaphragm effectively massages your small intestine, stomach, liver, and pancreas when you breathe into your lower lungs, encouraging the proper digestion of food.
The average person retains about ten pounds of impacted waste in their colon—exacerbating the cyclical problem by blocking the absorption of new and needed nutrients. Breathing deeply encourages peristalsis—the normal, rhythmic muscular action of the intestine that pushes food down and outward—and also fully oxygenates your blood, which in turn allows nutrients and vitamins to be absorbed more efficiently. Proper diaphragmatic breathing aids your body in eliminating waste and allows your digestive system to be more effective with new nutrient absorption.
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Slow, deep breaths help activate the parasympathetic nervous system—the state that allows your body to recuperate and regenerate or “rest and digest”—the only state when your body can digest food efficiently.
The proper digestion of your fuel is critical to avoiding and preventing inflammation—a synergist of weight gain and innumerable autoimmune diseases. In fact, nearly 70% of Americans struggle with obesity and 20% live with autoimmune diseases.
Upward of 80 percent of our immune system is located inside our gastrointestinal tract.
Food sensitivities are a major cause of an immune system imbalance and a direct consequence of improperly digested foods, effecting an estimated 15 million Americans. Undigested foods, particularly proteins, are often mistaken as viruses and bacteria by our immune system and attacked accordingly. This is present in cases of anaphylactic shock to nuts or shellfish. In less dramatic cases, but not necessarily less life threatening, food sensitivities are represented by inflammatory diseases, allergies, bloating, eczema, fatigue, fever, general malaise, mood swings, migraines, and nervousness. Improperly digested food allows our immune system to wage war on itself.
Take Home Message:
You can help prevent the occurrence of autoimmune, obesity and other digestion-related diseases by simply improving your breathing! Stay tuned for the next blog post when we will reveal a useful technique on how to practice deep breathing.
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