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Orthopathic Home Study Course Lesson 8 Breathing Herbert M. Shelton

There are numerous magic breathing methods being exploited. We have "deep breathing", "costal breathing" "diaphramatic breathing," "full breathing," the 'Yogi breath," "dynamic breathing," "superdynamic breathing," "rythmic breathing," "brain breathing," "vitalic breathing," etc. We hear of the "head breath," the "bowel breath," the "lung breath," the "kidney breath," the "regenerative breath," and other breaths and also "air massage."

The exploiters of this form of hocus pocus claim wonderful, even miraculous things for their methods of breathing. The great virtue in their methods lies in the peculiar way you fix your lips or your tongue in breathing, or the funny noise yon make in exhaling, or in the positions you get your body into or the motions you go through while breathing. This brand of bunk appeals to that element in human nature which loves the weird, the mysterious, the ceremonial.

The purpose of breathing is to supply the body's need for oxygen. When the chest wall is raised, by the action of the muscles of the chest and the diaphragm is depressed, the chest cavity is enlarged. A vacuum is formed into which the air rushes, as into any vacuum. When the chest in contracted and the diaphragm raised, the air is forced out of the lungs. The blood flows through the lungs and gives off, in exchange for oxygen, which it carries to the cells, carbon dioxide, which it has brought from the cells.

This whole process is automatic. The rising and falling of the chest is automatic, The rapidity of breathing is automatically controlled. The respiratory center in the medulla is stimulated by carbon dioxide. The more carbon there is in the blood, the more stimulation the respiratory center receives and the faster we breathe. Oxygen inhibits this center so that the more oxygen me blood possesses the slower we breathe. Thus the breath rate and volume is always automatically adjusted to the body's actual needs.

If the lungs are forcefully and perhaps rapidly expanded and contracted, no more of this air can get into the body than the blood, takes up and it can only take up what the body needs. So-called deep breathing, which is not the result of an internal need for more oxygen is a snare and a delusion. All the claims made for it are false.

Deep breathing forces nothing out of the body. It burns up nothing in the body. It does not feed the nerves. The breath cannot be forced into the head, or the kidneys, or the bowels, or in any organ of the body, except the lungs. There is no "regenerative breath," Air does not stagnate in the lungs and become poisonous, the lungs cells do not collapse and become diseased due to "shallow breathing."

We learn to breathe a few seconds after we are born. When we forget how to breath we die. We begin to breathe naturally from the start and we keep it up throughout life, unless the process is interfered with.

The things which interfere with breathing are. Disease of the nose and throat; (2) disease of the lungs and chest; (3) disease In the abdomen; (4) tight bands (belts, corsets, brazzier,, etc.) around the chest and abdomen; (5) faulty positions of sitting and standing which cramp the chest; (6) "breathing courses" which deliberately cultivate wrong habits of breathing, among these the habit of breathing through the mouth and the habit of holding the breath.

Proper and sufficient breathing depends on: (1) Health of nose, throat, chest lungs and abdomen; (2) Proper body posture; (3) Freedom of movement (lack of restricting bands) of the chest and abdomen; (4) pure air well ventilated homes, bed rooms, offices, shopsand out door life. Given these few simple conditions and breathing will take care of itself.

Chest gymnastics to develop the chest, to expand the chest and increase its capacity; to develop its muscles and strengthen its frame work, are commendable and advisable. The majority of men and women in civilized life are flat chested and weak for lack of these. Their chests when fully expanded are about the size they should be and give the appearance they should present, when passive. Modern life does not develop the chest. For this reason the modern individual's BREATHING RESERVE is small compared to that of savages and animals.

Herbert M. Shelton