To choose a suitable set of exercises, it is important to understand the goal you are pursuing. Traditional ancient techniques like yoga or qigong, which are used in spiritual, religious and national rituals, take a lot of time.
And they imply work not only on breathing, but also on consciousness, and often the body.
If you do yoga on the run between the office and the house, it is unlikely to achieve the desired result. Breathing psychotechniques – reberfing or holotropic breathing – are suitable exclusively for working with the deep layers of the unconscious, under the control of a psychotherapist.
It is extremely dangerous to go into a trance on your own and, all the more so in complete solitude.
Healing breathing exercises of Strelnikova or Buteyko are not suitable for healthy people. In addition to them, there are medical contraindications. But simple breathing exercises do not require any special training, nor volitional or physical super-efforts.
But even with their choice it is better to take into account several subtleties.
A man is alive as long as he breathes. All thanks to the oxygen that we get with the air, every schoolchild will say. Not so simple, doctors parry.
Oxygen is really needed in every cell, not just the brain. Lack of this chemical element leads to failures in all organs and systems.
Many diseases can be treated not only with medication, but also with an additional influx of oxygen. But he is not omnipotent.
Scientists have long proved that the level of carbon dioxide is equally important for all metabolic processes. There is very little CO2 in the air.
It is produced directly in our body, and its blood level should normally be constant.
If the volume of carbon dioxide changes, gas exchange in the lungs is disturbed. Not only the rate of penetration of oxygen molecules through the pulmonary membrane into the blood, but also their delivery into tissues depends on the CO2 content in the blood.
We lose carbon dioxide as we exhale, and the scale of the “losses” directly depends on its duration and strength. Some techniques advocate the complete elimination of CO2 through intense exhalations, but this is unwise.
When we breathe superficially, taking short breaths and exhalations, doctors talk about hypoventilation, when deeply – about hyperventilation. In the first case, we will not use the entire volume of the lungs, and in the second – almost all.
It is on these two principles that all breathing techniques are based, both healing and non-healing.
Hypoventilation is considered safer and more useful: it allows you to keep CO2 at the proper level. Its mechanisms are used, for example, in gymnastics Buteyko.
Initially, these exercises were developed for the treatment of diabetes and endocrine disorders, and not for asthmatics. As a result, it turned out that during hypoventilation of the lungs, all metabolic processes are improved, so the Buteyko method has a complex positive effect on the entire body.
When hyperventilation occurs, the CO2 concentration drops rapidly, the oxygen level decreases, and oxygen starvation begins. This mode of inhalation and exhalation is used, in particular, in respiratory psychotechnics.
When the brain lacks oxygen, the person feels dizzy and loses consciousness, which is what happens during the sessions of holotropic breathing and reberfing. In addition, deep breaths can cause bronchospasms even in healthy people.
Nevertheless, it is on the principles of hyperventilation of the lungs that the complex of therapeutic gymnastics Strelnikova is also based. As it turned out, in some diseases (severe asthma or pneumonia) this technique works well.
Considering these nuances, before making a choice, it is better to consult a specialist.
Breathing can be “chest”, “abdominal” and mixed. It is believed that men actively use the diaphragm – a powerful muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal. Therefore, when breathing, they usually move the stomach.
Women due to anatomical features and taking into account the reproductive mission most often breathe through the chest. The aperture of the weaker sex, as a rule, less mobile.
By the way, up to 10 years, both girls and boys breathe in the “female” type.
To say which way is best is impossible. While a person is healthy, both types of breathing provide the correct gas exchange, and it does not make sense to change your rhythm.
Retraining is necessary only in the presence of medical indications. For example, asthmatics, to breathe out, have to strain the muscles of the chest, back and neck.
To remove hypertonus, doctors recommend them to master breathing along the abdominal type.
There are other parameters taken as the norm. Thus, the respiratory rate decreases in sleep, and increases after eating, when moving from a lying position to a sitting position, during a fever, in a hot room, or in hot weather.
It can double during physical exertion and in moments of stress, including under the influence of the hormone adrenaline.
On average, at rest, an adult makes 14–16 inlets and exhalations. This value is considered optimal for normal gas exchange. But some breathing techniques, such as yoga, intentionally reduce it.
It is difficult to say how necessary it is from a medical point of view.
Inhalation and exhalation by physiological standards should be approximately the same in duration. If their relationship shifts, it means that the person makes a conscious effort for this. For example, asthmatics instinctively try to take a deeper breath because they feel psychological discomfort when they begin to choke.
Therefore, if the inhalation and exhalation become of different longitudes, this is the first signal to check the respiratory system.
While representatives of fundamental medicine talk about the potential benefits of breathing practices with a certain amount of customary skepticism, psychologists do not know any doubts. And they also have convincing arguments. Breathing is the only physiological process that we can control, unlike digestion or blood circulation.
After all, when an unpleasant smell hinders us, we consciously hold our breath and accelerate our pace. Once on the nature, we deliberately breathe deeply to get drunk clean air.
This means that some breathing parameters can be customized to your taste, and with minimal effort. Moreover, psychologists promise “dedicated” attractive bonuses.
Breath is associated with our experiences. When we get upset or rejoice, get angry or laugh, his rhythm quickens.
All methods of influencing a person through breathing consist precisely in reversing this mechanism and, learning to breathe slowly, curb their emotions.
Doctors say that a healthy person to engage in respiratory exercises is not necessary. However, there will be no harm from it.
The only problem is that the simplest practices do not have names and clearly defined rules. Their effectiveness, unlike medical techniques, is not tested by scientists.
Contraindications to them in official sources are also not given. Their authors, as a rule, are psychologists who often rely on personal experience.
However, this is not a reason to not trust them. The main thing to remember is that the technique chosen for leisure should in no way impair your well-being.
As soon as discomfort has appeared, it is necessary to stop training. Most likely, this “author’s method” does not suit you, and it is better to choose another.