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Benefits of Medical Massage for Improving Breathing
Do you often think about breathing? Most people don’t, assuming as an “automatic” activity their breathing will take care of itself. It may be true that your body will make sure to take its next breath, but how can your awareness of your breathing benefit you? Does how you breathe affect other aspects of your health?
Clinical studies prove that oxygen, wellness, and life-span are totally dependent on proper breathing. Lung volume is a primary marker for how long you will live.
The average person reaches peak respiratory function and lung capacity in their mid 20's. Then they begin to loose respiratory capacity: between 10% and 27% for every decade of life! So, unless you are doing something to maintain or improve your breathing capacity, it will decline, and with it, your general health, your life expectancy, and for that matter, your spirit as well.
Breathing comprises over 99% of your entire oxygen and energy supply. Poor breathing causes or worsens chronic maladies such as asthma, allergies, anxiety, fatigue, depression, headaches, heart conditions, high blood pressure, sleep loss, obesity, harmful stress, poor mental clarity plus hundreds of other lesser known but equally harmful conditions. ALL diseases are caused or worsened by poor breathing.
We focus on the entire body but we begin with breathing because over 99% of your energy should come from breathing yet most of us breathe at only 10-20% of our potential. Optimal breathing gets you more vitality and better quality of life. It is not the only part but it is for many the most important part of getting and staying healthy. Better breathing is possible for anyone.
Many of your health concerns connect to how you breathe. After all, it is the mechanism that provides every cell in your body with life-giving oxygen. When your ability to breathe properly is compromised, you can expect some physical problems to develop.
One of the most common habits is shallow breathing—breathing that focuses in the upper lungs and uses the muscles in the neck and upper chest area. Research has shown that slowing down and deepening our breath shifts us from the stress response to the relaxation response; this slows the heart, normalizes blood pressure, increases blood flow to the digestive system, deepens sleep, increases energy, focus, concentration, and memory—optimal breathing not only helps prevent or cure disease, it raises performance levels in school and sports.
Why does abdominal (deep) breathing provide you with all these health advantages? Due to gravity, the lower portion of your lungs has a higher rate of blood flow. So your lungs and heart don’t have to work as hard and your circulatory system profits from this efficient means of oxygenating the blood. Deep, slow breathing is shown to release endorphins (the body’s natural pain suppressors) that bring about a feeling of relaxation and general well-being—a benefit you also get from massage.
As you incorporate better breathing into your life-style, try to do what you can to get as much fresh air as possible. In today’s society, with so many forms of air pollution, this can be a challenge. Your body will benefit from your efforts!
Learning to breathe more naturally can benefit your health and well-being. Massage can help you breathe easier and more efficiently.
Breathing properly involves more of your body than you may realize. Tension in any area can make it very difficult to breathe deeply. Try to take a slow, deep breath while tightening the muscles in your feet or your hips. Now try it again with all your muscles relaxed. You should notice quite a difference in your ability to breathe easily.
Your regular massage sessions can help to relax and normalize muscles throughout your body that can facilitate improved breathing. Your adoption of better breathing techniques can help to prevent a build-up of tension. When you maintain a regular schedule for therapeutic massage, you will probably notice you feel much better on a day-to-day basis and experience fewer recurring physical complaints.