Almost every malfunction in the physical body is initiated, aggravated, or sustained by stress. Our bodies get away from us like a stampeding herd and create a series of responses prompted by radical contraction which interferes with most functions in the body. Experience the process first hand by actively pulling inward with your muscles until you feel like a piece of furniture.
Notice how the breathing stops and the belly area feels frozen. It’s impossible to breath diaphragmatically because the diaphragm won’t drop to draw in air. Everything is rigid, restricted, held back. Many of us are walking around in this state 24/7 and the effect is devastating. One becomes a metal square moving through space and time instead of a flowing stream caressing the environment – the implications should be evident.
Change at every level is called for and most importantly – allowing for enjoyment, fun and play every day. Taking the time to travel within and discover what is really going on in terms of how one feels. Are you in the process of contraction or expansion? What can be done to stop the upward spiraling contraction madness that grabs hold of everything negative in our physiological process.
Diaphragmatic breathing lowers blood pressure and stabilizes the heart beat. This can be seen by way of a blood pressure monitor. Take a reading in your usual state with high chest breathing and contraction under way. Then go through the very simple exercises below and watch blood pressure and heart rate lower. I know it works because I’ve performed the little experiment with many students. You will be amazed.
First it’s good to become familiar with the feeling of RELEASE. Lie on the floor and starting at the feet tighten the body, moving upward until reaching the head at which point let go of everything simultaneously. Do this process several times until you can feel the difference between the two states of being.
Next, practice Zen breathing until you can maintain it for a long period. Under the condition of release and zen breathing take your blood pressure and find how much the numbers have gone down. Imagine what it will feel like to live in this expanding state on a regular basis.
And here’s the rub…..it seems to be a difficult process for the elderly. I had great success with my NYU university students but with older friends no so much. After many years of constant illness and discomfort and much $ spent on esoteric medical treatments they continue to practice high chest breathing and find no relief from daily discomfort.
You will find numerous videos on this subject at Youtube; type diaphragmatic breathing for stress control.