Six Foundation Principles of Health – BREATHING

We breathe 26,000 times a day, if we stop breathing the brain starts to die in 3 minutes so it is fair to say its quite important to do & do properly wouldn’t you say?

For those that missed my last BLOG here are the 6 Foundation Principles of Health again.







Today I am moving on to “BREATHING” we all do it! but how well? Keep reading!

We breathe some 26,000 times a day so it is fair to say if we are doing it incorrectly we are doing it wrong a lot!

Because the human body is a system of systems whenever something is not working properly it is always effecting something else, if not the whole entire system.
As a CHEK Trained Practitioner we are taught to look at the body & any current issues as a whole & not as an isolated problem in one specific area.

The human body has a hierarchy of survival reflexes & as you can see in the photo of the CHEK Totem pole that I have attached breathing is at the top.

Meaning breathing “can” effect anything below it on the Totem pole, anything from mastication, hearing, vision, neck, spine or lower back, digestion, emotions all the way down to hip, knee or ankle problems.

The key word above is “can” effect anything below but with the invention of a chair, computers & the ever increasing postural issues out there it is amazing how much correcting breathing mechanics & muscle imbalances can make.

Just take a look around next time your down the beach at most people’s slouched upper back, forward head & rounded shoulders. They were not born that way! They have just become there environment (seated computer position or couch potato)

One of the first things I assess with a new client is there breathing mechanics & breathe rate, this Indicates how hard the nervous system, heart & lunges are working on a daily basis. Breathe rate can vary up to 10,000 breathes per day between people depending on stress levels.
I can have the most diligent client on the best postural correction program but if breathing mechanics was over looked it can be the very thing that stops the postural corrections from taking place.

Poor posture, aches & pains can all be corrected within weeks or months if everything is considered when writing a specific program to an individual.

Poor posture & sitting all day restricts breathing mechanics.
If you look at any baby on the “in” part of breathing the belly fully expands allowing for a much fuller, deeper more relaxed breathe.

A large percentage of people these days breathe with their mouth for many different reasons, using their neck muscles to lift the chest to breathe in rather than a much more satisfying diaphragmatic breathe through the nose into the belly & expansion laterally of the rib cage.

When breathing through the nose it filters, humidifies & warms the air before it hits the lungs.

These corrections in most people can be made within weeks & make such a difference to overall postural appearance, confidence, stress levels & yes fat loss.. fat loss you ask?? Yes!!

When we breathe properly it stimulates the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system.

This side of the nervous system is responsible for relaxation, digestion, repair & elimination. The more often this is happening the better.

Think about it.. is there anything truly more important to the human body than breathing?

You are literally dead within minutes if you stop doing it, a faulty breathing pattern creates chaos in the nervous system, so our control centers are much happier when we do it correctly.

If you are not breathing correctly you are using more of the sympathetic side to the nervous system, this is where “fight & flight” responses come from when we are scared, in danger or having fearful thoughts.
Cortisol & adrenalin are released which are great at encouraging the body to store body fat. Not ideal!!

Finding something natural to help unwind is a great place to start, practice Tai Chi, yoga, Chi Gong, meditation or anything that is Yin (relaxing) dominant to improve nervous system & heart related issues, just take some time out from life & sit with yourself for a few minutes a day & breathe slowly with your belly.

Air quality is always at least ten times cleaner outdoors compared to indoors – Furniture, carpet, glues, paint & house hold cleaners leave us breathing in unwanted chemicals with each & every breathe.
When inside open up the windows & allow the day & fresh air in. Once upon a time there wasn’t really any inside, only caves & man made shelter. We are supposed to breathe fresh air all the time.

Foam rollers are a great one off purchase to allow for a fuller deeper breathe while helping to improve posture, below is a link to a youtube clip I did a while ago on how they can help you breathe better & relax more.

In closing it is important to point out that even if you consider yourself relaxed this does not mean you are breathing correctly, in the last 4 years or so since I started assessing breathing i have not come across one client or friend that I couldn’t improve with a few simple technique adjustments practiced regularly, we are all busy people these days & every time we feel that rushed feeling you can bet our breathing has changed to a sub-optimal pattern.

If you are interested in having me asses your breathing let me know, I am happy to help – it only takes 5 minutes





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