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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Power of Deep Breathing

Let’s get started.

A healthy bloodstream is key to a healthy body. It is responsible for transporting all of the oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in body. Having a fully functioning circulation system means a healthy body free from illness and disease. The captain of this system is breathing.

Let’s look a little closer at this.

If you’ve been meditating for any length of time, or even if you’re just making a start, you will know that the breath forms a cornerstone of many of an effective meditation practice. But it is also the way that you fully oxygenate the body and charge the electrical energy of every one of your cells.

Okay, nothing radical there, that’s covered in a basic elementary biology class. But one fact that is not so well known is how your breathing helps drive the function of the lymphatic system. This is a crucial network to consider when looking to achieve optimum health.

It is, for all intents and purposes, the body’s sewer system.

The Lymphatic system is crucial in maintaining good health and acts as a secondary circulatory network alongside the blood circulation system. Lymph is the fluid carried by the lymphatic system, and is a clear or slightly yellow fluid that originates as blood plasma leaked from the blood vessels.

The lymphatic system has several functions:

  • Drains fluid back from the body tissues to prevent dehydration
  • Fights infections and prevents invasion by bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Recycles plasma proteins
  • Filters the lymph fluid of waste

This system is so important to our health and well being that Gerald M. Lemole, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Christiane Health Services of Delaware, called it ‘our river of life’. This river can be kept healthy through exercise, healthy diet, stress reduction, massage, and deep breathing.

Which is just about where we came in.

The lymphatic system isn’t closed, like the circulatory one, and it has no central pump like the heart.

Instead, this system is powered by the breath.

Any health system worth it’s salt will, first and foremost, teach you how to fully cleanse your body through effective breathing. Effective breathing is characterised by deep inhale, pause at the end of the inhale to allow transfer of oxygen, and a slow exhale to ensure effective removal of toxins.

We can think of this breathing technique in a three stage cycle.

By using deep diaphragmatic breathing, a vacuum is created that effectively sucks the lymph through the blood stream. As oxygen content is key to healthy non-malignant cells, fully oxygenating your system would seem to be the number one priority.

This is one of the reasons that yoga focuses so much on healthy, deep breathing.

Here is the most effective breathing system for ensuring that your lymphatic system operates to full effectiveness.

1. Breathe in for one count

2. Hold this inhale for four counts

3. Exhale for two counts

So just remember those ratios. Inhale for 1, hold for 4, out for 2.

Those counts are relative to each other, you can use them simply as ratio guides. So in actual fact you might breathe in for 4 counts, hold for a count of 16, and then exhale for a full count of 8. That’s okay, just follow the ratio guideline.

What you are doing, with this breathing pattern, is allowing enough time for cells to be fully oxygenated from the blood, and for toxins to be transferred back into the blood and lymph to be expelled.

Glow of Self Awareness

A timeless concept

Meditation is said to have been first mentioned in the Vedas in 1500 BCE. It has been mentioned numerous times in great detail in all schools of philosophy – from Tao to African culture.

Why is this idea so important? Think of meditation as a cleaning process. By focusing and getting rid of mind clutter, you’re smoothening out your life force and creating a strong balance between all the energies. Alertness and self awareness will cause your body to grow without being stunted by external hurdles. Refined mental peace is the fundamental reason why positive, calm people are more likely to be healthy and successful than distressed people.

Of course, every mind is different and while everyone is capable of self alertness, a person should look for a technique that best suits their state of mind.

Point source meditation

This method involves focusing on a single point, single mantra, your own breath or single image. You must not allow your mind to think about anything except that point. If you’re focusing on a flame, you must reflect on the appearance of the flame and be aware of it, and avoid any unnecessary thoughts. It is effective if a person does this ten minutes every day, but for better results, you must try to increase your
concentration span periodically.

Wandering meditation

This method is for the abstract minded. Instead of an external source or word, simply watch the thoughts that pass through your head. The key is to not think too deeply about these thoughts or shift to memories. Do not judge these thoughts. Simply watch them.

Having a detached view of your own thoughts is a remarkably effective way to develop self alertness.

Void meditation

This is a rather challenging form of meditation, but once you’ve mastered point source meditation, it is a good idea to advance to void meditation.

Void meditation requires you to keep your mind blank- create a vast nothingness in your mind. The only thought you must have is the awareness that your mind is empty. This prominently reduces the clutter of the mind and is super effective for the anxious.

Action meditation

For the fitness freaks, focusing on your body movements is also a meditation technique (this is essentially yoga!). Action meditation also includes focusing on music or beats, or any complex dynamic in your environment.

Spiritual Meditation Can Improve LIfe

One of the major benefits of spiritual meditation is stress management. Not only does meditation release any stress that has accumulated over time, but it also helps prevent stress from entering the system in the first place. Both of these positive benefits are experienced simultaneously, resulting in a relaxed, joyful, and refreshed state. Many people are able to quickly return to a calm, peaceful state of mind when faced with a challenging situation by simply meditating for a few minutes.

During meditation, brainwave patterns are brought into an Alpha state, which naturally promotes healing. With regular sessions it is common to experience an increase in creativity, decreased anxiety, and improved emotional stability. Problems are dealt with easily and happiness increases.

In addition to the numerous mental benefits of spiritual meditation, people reap a wide variety of health benefits. Meditation helps lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, and decreases pain that is caused by tension. Some examples of tension related pain are insomnia, tension headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, and ulcers. Anxiety attacks are reduced because blood lactate levels are lowered. Meditation is known to increase the production of serotonin, which results in improved behavior and mood.

In order to reap the many benefits of spiritual meditation, it is necessary to practice regularly. It takes practice, but the rewards are well worth the effort. It doesn’t take much time; just a few minutes each day. Once meditation becomes part of your routine, you’ll wonder how you functioned without it. Meditation will likely become the part of the day that you look forward to most. Some people start their day with meditation and others end the day with a session.

No special equipment is required for traditional meditation; just a few minutes and a quiet place. It can be practiced at any time and nearly anywhere. People from all walks of life are enjoying the benefits of regular meditation. It takes just a few minutes to pause and refresh themselves. Spiritual meditation is an ideal method for busy people that want to enjoy a happy, healthy stress free lifestyle.

Meditate for Improved Productivity

– Mindfulness meditation can improve your multitasking skills

– Learn to work fast without raising your stress levels

Most of us experience situations in our private or professional lives where the to-do-list seems to be overwhelming and almost never-ending. Finding a way to deal with all tasks effectively and preferably at the same time can be challenging and causes some of us to struggle more than others.

Meditation training can enable you to deal with those kinds of situations better in that they don’t represent as much of a strain anymore. It has been found in a study on multitasking that after an eight week long meditation training, the ability to stay on task for a long period of time had already improved and people were less easily distracted. Participants with meditation experience switched between the tasks less often, but completed the overall workload just as fast. This way of approaching multitasking led to reduced stress (relative to non-meditators) and also allowed participants to memorize the tasks they were performing better.

Mindfulness meditation is a tool that allows you to train your mind: Just like you go to the gym to exercise your body, you can practice meditation to to exercise your mind. Over time you will notice changes in your abilities and even thinking patterns. Day-dreaming, rumination and worrying can be reduced through regular practice, and this effect is beneficial especially during multitasking. For example, worries about not getting everything done in time can be justified and sometimes seem to recur although they slow down your progress. Learn to focus your mind on what matters in the present through mindfulness meditation practice. At the same time you can work on extending your attention span by a little more every time you practice. All of those effects are beneficial in situations that challenge your mind at various levels.