Okay. We all know that breathing is important. However, proper breathing will make a substantial difference in so many areas of your life: toxin removal, increased energy, speech (strength and articulation), and the ability to do Brain Vibration Chanting in the most effective manner. So, today, let breathe!
I will begin with some basic reminders from the past to remind you of how to do deep belly, or deep diaphragm, breathing:
I started with the basics. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Here is a method to assist with bringing in the most amount of oxygen possible. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. This should have lowered the small of your back to the floor. Place one hand on your chest and one on your navel. Inhale slowly and see which hand rises. If it is your navel hand, you are breathing into your diaphragm and you are in good shape for deep breathing exercises. If it is your chest hand, you need to practice. When I first learned diaphragm breathing, I would push out my stomach prior to the inhale and try to direct the airflow down to my expanded stomach. With Parkinson’s, rigidity will fight this, so be patient.
Once you have mastered diaphragm breathing, do this:
1. Inhale deeply for a count of 4.
2. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
3. Exhale for a count of 4.
4. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
If you can do this set of breathing four times in a row, it should go a long way to helping with the breathing issues you are facing with Parkinson’s.
If you are having a difficult time taking in a large breath, In “Not Always So,” Shunryu Suzuki suggests starting with an exhale…he says to exhale like it is your last breath before you die. Keep pushing out air until your body forces an inhale. This method will certainly force your system to comply. Another way he discusses breathing and exhaling first is in how you view the process. He says, first exhale to blow out all of the toxins and impurities, then you are ready to receive a breath of the world’s nourishment. Instead of “taking” a breath or air, you are “receiving” Mother Nature’s nourishment. I like these ideas and practice them, but the key is to breathe deeply and exhale fully.
Practicing this type of deep breathing gets you ready to work on your speech. Here goes:
1. Sit up straight and inhale a deep breath. The sitting up straight will open up your abdomen and allow the lungs to push down the diaphragm and fully fill with oxygen.
2. Exhale through your mouth while saying aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Say this as loud as you can for as long as you can. This will help shake loose phlegm and other toxins on your vocal cords and help you feel the strength of your breath and your voice.
3. Repeat four more times.
To add in better articulation, do this:
For one minute each, repeat the following sounds.
This is strengthening your tongue for better articulation. When you put this together with the aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you will build a stronger voice with better articulation.
Finally, for Brain Vibration Chanting in the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery®:
I would sit up straight, take a deep breath, and then I would chant as many times as possible on that breath. When I ran out of air, I would pause, take another deep breath, and then continue. This meant that I did not have to focus on my breathing while doing the chanting, and it prevented yawning from lack of oxygen, which can interfere with getting a good pace going while doing Brain Vibration Chanting.
Since you have to breathe to live, why not breathe in a manner that also will improve the quality of your life and your recovery!
You are worth it!!!
All my best,