For prevention of diseases of the broncho-pulmonary system, breathing exercises play an important role. Their therapeutic effect is based on the ability to regulate the depth and frequency of respiration, to reduce or increase ventilation in different parts of the lungs. Directed and controlled breathing thus enhances blood flow and lymph movement in the chest area, strengthens the respiratory muscles, improves mucus discharge in the lungs, prevents the development of congestion, etc.
At the time of birth, the baby has the right breathing mechanism. But over the years, it is gradually lost, and bad habits, a passive lifestyle, and a polluted environment become the causes. The full functioning of the cells depends on the incoming oxygen. As soon as its amount decreases, brain cells are the first to respond.
Now, during the development of the epidemic of coronavirus, the most vulnerable are the nasopharynx, bronchi, and lungs. At risk are those who are over 50 years old. It is important to pay attention to the fact that after 40-50 years, the elastic elements of the lung tissue are penetrated by the formation of connective tissue. Ossification of costal cartilage leads to a decrease in the amplitude of the chest. To complete the exhalation, especially when lifting up, you have to breathe deeper. In the absence of respiratory training, the desire to gain as much air as possible leads to stretching of the lung tissue, enlargement of the chest – emphysema. Special exercises help strengthen the respiratory system, as well as increase resistance to viruses, speed recovery and shorten the recovery period after an illness.
In Eastern medical systems, respiratory practices are an integral part of both the treatment and prophylactic and the process of self-knowledge. One of the oldest is Indian pranayama. The technique is to increase prana (vital energy) and its controlled distribution by respiration (the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide). The duration and fluctuations of inspirations and exhalations affect the functioning of the brain, run it at full capacity. Thanks to this, stress resistance, concentration and memory increase. Studies confirm that conscious breathing strengthens the immune system, facilitates the course of diseases such as diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, migraine, hypertension.
There are many practices of pranayama. You can learn one of them with Ayurvedic doctor Krishnapriya K. during a video lesson.
Instructions for the implementation of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama. Since ancient times, doctors have recommended this technique for chronic coughs and colds.
1. Sit comfortably, while the spine should be straight, the head is looking forward.
2. Close the left nostril with the ring finger, and the right with the index finger.
3. Consciously, feeling the breath, remove one of the fingers from the nostril, breathe it for several minutes.
4. Then close this nostril again and open another.
5. Having completed several cycles in this way, make the amount of time for inspiration and expiration the same.
6. After changing hands and do the same breathing cycle from opposite sides.
Master Thai chi
Thai chi or thai chi chuan is Chinese therapeutic gymnastics, which originated in the Shaolin monastery and was part of martial art, is gaining more and more popularity in the world. There are several forms of this gymnastics, today thai chi is an exercise to improve body coordination and develop flexibility through concentration of consciousness, breathing and smooth movements that gently flow into one another, without stress and effort. The peculiarity of thai chi is that it has no age restrictions.
The breath in this gymnastics is paramount. Unlike other sports loads, it is breathing that leads to movement. The depth and rhythm of inspiration and exhalation well ventilates the lungs, saturates the body with oxygen, which results in the strengthening of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Among the other therapeutic properties of thai chi are the development of coordination of movements, normalization of the digestive tract, strengthening immunity, alleviating or reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis, heart failure, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis.
In thai chi, there are different breathing techniques, each of which has its own purpose. In today’s epidemiological situation, the masters of Vietnamese thai chi recommend practicing the complex with focusing exclusively on breathing (inhaling and exhaling through the nose). For us, these exercises are demonstrated by the teacher of Vietnamese thai chi Khue Trinh.
In order not to be unfounded, let us cite as an example a study in the sphere of the influence of respiratory practices on well-being. Measured breathing, for example, affects the activity of the nervus vagus. Vagus controls the work of the heart, lungs, stomach and pancreas. With slow breaths and exhalations, it reduces the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes muscles. A signal about this is transmitted to the brain, and there is a feeling of peace.
Basic breathing technique for relaxing and pumping the lungs
1. Take a comfortable sitting position.
2. Close your eyes and listen to the surrounding sounds.
3. Inhale through the nose, as usual, tune.
4. The second time, inhale more deeply, using the diaphragm.
5. Breathe your nose in such a rhythm, while focusing on how the air passes through the body, how it moves through the nostrils to the lungs, fills the chest and stomach. And just like exhaling.
6. Repeat each cycle of inhalation and exhalation 5 times.
Breathing exercises should be done before meals or after 1,5–2 hours.
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