Breathing Exercises and Air Quality
Part 1 in the series: 9 Foundations of Naturopathic Health
I’m starting a series about the nine naturopathic foundations of health. Now, there’s a lot more to health of course than just nine things, but if you can really pay attention to these foundations, it’s going to tremendously help your health and enhance your life, and it’s just going to be amazing for you.
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So, let’s get started. The first foundation is air, and that means both breathing and the air we breathe in our environment. Breathing is one of the top ways to detoxify the body, to calm the nervous system, and to help us feel more peaceful. So it’s really important that you take a few minutes every day and do some deep breathing. I recommend a cadence of four seconds in through the nose filling up as big as you can. You can go up to six seconds if you want, that’s fine. And then exhaling for eight to 10 seconds. And as we exhale slower than we inhale, we actually calm our nervous system, we get into what’s called parasympathetic mode in our nervous system. This can really help take the edge off of any situation, and help improve digestion. So what I teach patients here is to try to do at least three bouts of deep breathing per day. And it can be very brief. The goal is to get 30 deep breaths in per day. So if you break it up into maybe 10, upon waking, 10 after lunch, and then 10 before bed. Those are really great times during the day to be parasympathetic or very calm.
My most important one though, that I always teach to get great results is going to be morning breathing. That’s because we set the tone for our nervous system for the rest of the day. And it’s really important to start your day with peace. As the day goes on it can get hectic and a lot of things get added to your pile, and your stress load and your nervous system get more frazzled as we go through the day. We can start the day with peace and return to it throughout the day.
Most of us are in a sympathetic dominant type position when we breathe , which means you’re going to be breathing with a default position through the neck. Try to get those shoulders down out of your ears when you start your breathing practice.
You take 20,000 breaths a day on average- that’s a massive volume of air! Gallons- it’s bigger than what fills a swimming pool, believe it or not. So if the air quality in your environment is not good, you are the filter. Think about that. You’re literally a human filter just like the furnace filter in your home. You’re going to be filtering whatever’s in your environment.
Change Your Furnace Filter
So it’s worth every penny to get the most expensive, highest rated filter you can in your home. If you have more allergens and sinus issues, I recommend changing your furnace filter in half the time that the manufacturer says- so maybe even every three months. It may feel like you’re wasting money, but you’re not. You’re able to trap a lot more allergens, take that filter out, toss it, and get the next one in there. Every three months I’d recommend putting in a new top rated filter.
Open Your Windows
As we get into winter here, we close up our windows to conserve energy, to keep our heating bill down, but guess what we do? We trap more allergens and more junk and more pollutants in our dwelling. So, I do recommend at least a little bit throughout the week, crack those windows for a few minutes. Especially if you have a home office and you’re working from home.
Upgrade Your Air Purifier
And then going another step further, something like an Air Doctor, or something that can actually really purify the air. Top rated furnace filters are great, but they’re not going to be able to really kill microbes and really get the molds and yeast and everything out of the air. And even if you don’t have a mold problem, like an actual black wall in your basement, you’re probably going to have some mold spores; we all do. So the more you trap, the better. You can even look into an Ionizing Air Purifier. And that means we have particles so small in the air they’re hundreds of times smaller than an actual air molecule. They actually stay suspended in the air and it could be trillions of them. And the only way to get rid of those is with ionic type technology. So basically it changes the charge of the molecule. Let’s work on improving air quality inside your home.
Clean and Dust
Let’s make sure we stay on top of dusting and cleaning our home because well over half of the dust in our home is human skin. Now, not only is it dead tissue, but we slough it off on purpose, there’s toxins in there. And if you’re not cleaning your home regularly you’re breathing that back in – remember you are the filter unless you create filtration in your home.
Stay tuned for more practical tips you can implement to improve your health!
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