Even before I started working toward my LMT license, I was always aware and taught the importance of breathing and oxygen being vital for our body.
I attended an intro to breath-work workshop taught by Tom Tessereau, CBC, LMT, Certified Transformational Breath Facilitator and Headmaster at the Healing Art Center and really learned much more about the benefits of breathing correctly and tools we can use to create a healthy and happier life.
In short, "Breath = Life".
When we are born, it is the first thing we experience as we exit the womb and enter this world.... we "breathe in".
When we experience death, it is the last thing we will do.... we will "breathe out".
In between those two momentous experiences, there's a whole hell of a lot of breathing going on! Typically 21,000 breaths per day!
We often hear common phrases such as, "take a deep breath", "just breathe", "I need some air", ect... It's the first thing our bodies need in times of unusual excitement or to calm ourselves. Our bodies are marvelous machines and when deprived of or in lack of anything, it will tell us! Oxygen is vital for our vitals!
We breathe because oxygen is needed to burn the fuel in our cells to produce energy. Oxygen is brought into the lungs, where it is transported by red blood cells to the entire body to be used to produce energy. Once the red blood cells return to the lungs, the "burnt" carbon dioxide is exhaled and offered to our neighboring trees and plants.
The Christian faith (among many religions) know only too well that breath equals life. Breath being referred to as life, given or taken, is mentioned multiple times in the King James Version of the Bible. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7
A few years ago while touring at our local fire house with a group of young boys, we were led by one of the EMT's who respond to 911 medical emergencies. He shared with us one of the first thing they do is put an oxygen mask on their patients before anything else. They know that by getting clean oxygen into their system, will often provide immediate calmness among a multitude of other benefits.
In this hurried world we live in, our bodies are in constant stress. Pay attention to your breathing, be aware especially in the stressful moments. Are you breathing through your chest? Are you breathing through your belly? For 40+ years I've been breathing wrong! I still work at it in fact. Breathing through your chest is shallow breathing and not as healthy for us. Breathing through our belly opens blood vessels that are found deeper in the lungs.
So when things become overwhelming or stressed or just a bit too much, stop take a deep breath through your lower belly (not the chest!), and exhale slowly. Repeat as necessary and often!