Between the First and the last breath


In novel The Man Who Laughs , Victor Hugo wrote:

“Generations are nothing but bursts of breaths that fade and end. He aspires, and then breathes his last! ”

Victor hugo

New born baby declares his entry to this world by inhaling the air, and he leaves our world when he dies by exhaling the last breath.
In general most of breathing techniques helps in improving lifestyle whereas daily breathing exercises makes the body feel comfortable and healthy.
Correct breathing is able to reduce depression, anxiety andstress to more than 60%. In addition it prevents insomnia, control the feelings, and activate the power of our brain.

To be more specific, breathing is exactly like solar energy to induce relaxation, a source to regulate emotions.

Scientists show that breathing is able to influence both physiological factors (by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system) and psychological factors (by diverting attention from thoughts).

Breathing process is fundamental to life. Immortality, is not only a survival, but also it is used for body and mind to perform their functions, without the ability of surviving, breath couldn’t be controlled. Immortal breath is a process to improve well-being.

Taoist religion in China for example and the Hindu religion was concerned about “vital principle” A type of energy or internal respiration, flows through the body. The Chinese call this energy Qi, and Hindus call it “Prana” – one of the basic concepts of Yoga. Both religions considered breathing as one of the manifestations of this principle.

Where in the West, the Greek term “pneuma” and the Hebrew term “narrated” by Rûah were used to refer to breath and divine existence, and in Latin languages, the word “Spiritus” represents the linguistic root of the two English words “Spirit” and “Respiration”. Respiration.

So many advices appeared to control the breathing process that affect both health and mind. Yoga for instant is a treatment based on controlling the breathing status. (Pranayama) was the first doctrine to develop a theory that says: “controlling breathing is a way to extend life.”
Yoga and meditation were the inspiration for many of the breathing exercises used today, and many centuries ago, practitioners of breath-control yoga (Pranayama) were the first to provide a theoretical conception of the benefits of breathing control, centuries ago.

In the modern era, during the 1920s, German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz developed “self-training” as a method of relaxation, and this method is based in part on slow and deep breathing, and it is still probably the best breathing method known today in the West to achieve relaxation, and contemporary forms From “Mindfulness meditation” stresses the importance of breathing exercises.

In fact, all methods of relaxation, calmness, or meditation depend on breathing, which is the least common denominator in all methods used to calm the body and mind. In addition, research conducted on the fundamentals of physiology and the implications of applying respiratory control techniques supports the importance and value of monitoring and regulating The processes of inhalation and exhalation.

Impact on the mind
Understanding the principles of physiology helps explain the ability of breathing control to induce relaxation.
Everyone knows that emotions affect the body. When you are happy – for example – the corners of your mouth automatically open and the edges of your eyes shrink in a distinctive expression of happiness, and likewise, when a person feels Calm and secure, or feel at ease, or when he participates in a joyful social interaction, his breathing tends to be slower and deeper, at these times a person is under the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces a relaxing effect, and conversely, when a person feels fear, pain or Tension or discomfort, his breathing accelerates and becomes shorter, and then the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which is responsible for the body’s various reactions to stress, and what many do not know is that these effects arise in the opposite direction as well, that is, the state of the body in turn affects feelings, and studies have proven that When a face smiles, the brain reacts similarly, and then one sensesSensations more pleasant, breathing specifically, has magical power and special effect on the mind.

This effect is evidence of patients who suffer from breathing problems, when these difficulties are sporadic and severe that may cause panic attacks, and when they are chronic, they often cause a state of silent anxiety. It is estimated that more than 60% of people with COPD suffer from disease anxiety or depressive disorders, and these disorders are often due, in part, to concerns about the consequences of the disease.
However, purely mechanical factors may also play a role; The difficulties these patients experience often lead them to breathe faster, which does not necessarily improve the quality of the oxygen supply they receive, but it may worsen their feelings of anxiety and physical discomfort.

Rapid breathing may contribute to panic attacks, and it may even make them more dangerous by entering a vicious circle. Fear causes an increase in the speed of breathing, and an increase in the speed of breathing causes an increase in fear.

Whether the anxiety stems from breathing problems or other causes, it can be alleviated through a number of breathing techniques that are based in essence on traditional oriental techniques
For example, the “follow-up breathing” exercise, which focuses attention on breathing, is one of the first steps in mindfulness meditation, while reciprocal breathing between nostrils is a technique derived from yoga.

(Sophrology), a method that focuses on achieving harmony between body and mind and employs exercises used in many other techniques, including yoga and mindfulness meditation.

Overall, research shows that these methods lead to a reduction in pathological anxiety, although this anxiety does not disappear completely, so breathing is a better tool and not a cure for all diseases, and while clinical studies have confirmed the validity of some methods, some other methods have not been confirmed.
Yet, all of the techniques we cover in this article apply proven principles that aim to slow, facilitate, or deepen breathing, and use breathing as a fulcrum or a rhythmic pendulum to divert attention from negative thoughts.
given the feeling of discomfort and distress that we all frequently experience in our daily lives, and the negative consequences of this feeling on our health, we would all be better off if we focus regularly on the way we breathe, starting with short periods of calm, conscious breathing several times. During the day , breathing works like solar energy in the way that induces a feeling of relaxation, it is a free way to regulate emotions, an inexhaustible and easy-to-use way that you can turn to whenever you want.

In fact, I am surprised that breathing control is not among the techniques that are recommended to be used and practiced more broadly, perhaps because it seems a simple, familiar and clear method to a large degree that does not allow it as a type of treatment, and many may assume – given the complications they face in their dealings with The ups and downs of human life – simple solutions may not be effective.
When is the best time to use slow breathing techniques?

Perhaps the sacred aura that surrounds the process of breathing and its connection to life, and even death in particular, frightens us.
Not only do breathing techniques work for severe stress or sleep problems, but they can also help relieve chronic anxiety, and are especially effective for people who have mental disorders, such as phobias, depression…
At the end of the day, we as human beings do not like the idea that we are nothing but “bursts of breath.”

By Malak El Siblani

Journalist and Digital developer

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s