YES! Breathing consciously can feed the body up to 600% more oxygen than chest breathing. This is how to get more oxygen.
It sounds a little ridiculous because the thought of pulling that much more air into the lungs seems impossible. But it isn’t about how much air we pull in. It’s about how much of the oxygen in that air that our body absorbs.
The alveoli are the oxygen receptor sites in the lungs. The lungs are cone shaped and it is at the base of the lungs where 70% of the alveoli live. When we breathe from the muscles of the upper chest, we aren’t bringing the breath down deep enough into the lungs to reach this concentration of receptors.
In fact, there is just a sprinkling of alveoli at the top of the lungs, and shallow, rapid chest breathers are only absorbing enough oxygen to survive, not thrive. When we breathe fully with the diaphragm muscle, we pull the oxygen to the base of the lungs, allowing the air to reach the huge concentration of alveoli and thereby dramatically increasing the absorption of oxygen into the blood.
How to get more oxygen?
It is in the book, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self Stephen Cope states that “breathing diaphragmatically feeds the body up to 600% more oxygen than breathing through the muscles of the upper chest.” In fact, there is an entire section in that book on the difference between the diaphragmatic breather and the chest breather, right down to the brain patterns of each. Changing the breath affects everything about us, physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.
How to get more oxygen to the brain
In Eckhart Tolle’s, The Power of Now he says that stress lives in the chest breather as that which connects us to the past and the future, both of which aren’t real. The past is based on our perception of what happened and the future hasn’t happened. When we breathe through the muscles of the upper chest it links us to the brain pattern that keeps us locked in fear. He shares that if your house is on fire, you don’t stress, you act. You do what you have to do to survive. Now, if you are worried about your house catching fire, you are bringing stress into your inner world, but it isn’t a reality, simply a fear. Living in a state of worry affects the autonomic nervous system and shuts down the immune system. Many of the illnesses we live with result from stress, and stress is directly connected to the way we breathe.
How to increase oxygen intake
There is a fantastic book called, The Science of Breath by Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine M.D. and Alan Hymes, M.D., that explains the particular mechanics and the complex relationship and the brilliance of the body as it relates to conscious breathing. For anyone wanting to understand this more fully, it is a great resource.
Breathe & Believe,