• Quintin Derham



Within our QMBF sessions we teach employees Basic Tai Chi and Qigong that can greatly benefit there breathing. We are breathing coaches which help people across all parts of a business from from a busy executive to people working on the factory floor or sitting down in the office. Many people find it difficult to sustain focused deep breathing particularly at work. Our methods, once established are easy to apply even in high stress situations.

Getting started can be difficult however once you make are taught the basic principles and make a commitment to improve your breathing you will never look back.

With consistent practise improved breathing can transform our physical, emotional, mental and health as well as improve your focus, creativity and ability to release tension or stress.

Let’s look at some basic principles of anatomy to better understanding the role breathing plays everyday.

The lungs are one of the 3 primary organs of detoxification. When applied skillfully, your breathing practise will produce many benefits. Here are a few:

  • Psychological, neurological, immune and endocrine equilibrium will be restored and invigorated.

  • Blood becomes saturated with oxygen, delivering to each body cell, while eliminating carbon dioxide and other toxins.

  • Mental and physical relaxation is induced via activation of the para-sympathetic system.

The parasympathetic nervous system is sometimes called the ‘rest and digest’ system. It conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Heart rate and blood pressure decrease. With each breath, the movement of the diaphragm also gently massages the abdominal viscera and significantly increases lymphatic drainage.

General Breathing tips

  1. Adopt a comfortable seated, standing or lying posture

  2. Always inhale and exhale through your nose. If you have allergies or sinus problems, you may try, as an alternative, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth until the sinuses clear.

  3. Feel, listen and visualise the breath moving in your body.

  4. Long, slow breathing is optimal, however don’t force your breath to slow down rather relax into it mindfully.

  5. In the beginning, the exhalation usually feels easier and longer than the inhalation and should be emphasised.

  6. Focus on the exhale as a release - stress, carbon dioxide/toxins, etc.

  7. Focus on the energising quality of inhale - energy, vitality, etc.

  8. Do not practice holding your breath if you have high blood pressure.

  9. Do not take in too much air at the beginning of your inhalation. Let the breath enter and exit the body evenly.

  10. Breathing exercises should never cause distress; they should be relaxing and/or energising.

Breathing rate and depth greatly influences the mind and the emotions, and vice versa.

“Agitated” breath (shallow, rapid) can create an agitated mind, whereas a calm and focused breath can help us feel relaxed and at peace. Breathing techniques are used to increase energy flow and reduce obstructions in both the body and the mind.

Basic Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing occurs when the abdominal muscles are engaged to drive both the inhale and exhale. The diaphragm is the main driving action, not the ribcage. This is a relaxing breath and directly influences the visceral organs as the diaphragm compresses them upon inspiration, releasing them upon expiration.

This action promotes blood flow that acts to “massage” the organs, and will stimulate digestion. If abdominal breathing is practiced regularly it can again become second nature and is a good habit for promoting wellness as it is a natural way to reduce stress and improve circulation.

Very important tip for breathing and reducing lower back pain

When you inhale, feel your belly expand and your lower back drop gently. When you exhale feel the belly gently contract and the lower spine (lumbar) return to its natural curvature. Avoid lifting your backside or tilting the pelvis, aim for subtle fine movements that are not forced but guided by intent.

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