The second organ used for detoxification is the lungs. Oxygen is one of the most important nutrients in the human body. It is possible for the body to go months without food and days without water, but only a few precious minutes without oxygen before the body suffocates.  Take a moment and focus on your breathing – you may be surprised at the shallowness of your breath.

Although breathing really is the source of life, we usually take for granted and don’t give it much thought. Take a moment and focus on your breathing…you may be surprised at the shallowness of your breath. The benefits of deep conscious breathing cannot be over-emphasized. By focusing on the breath, and by practicing deep breathing, we give the body a chance to pump a healthy shot of oxygen into our lungs and bloodstream.

If you’re interested in detoxing, here’s why breathing matters: oxygen helps your body absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients more efficiently, and it actually creates more white blood cells, helping to speed up the process of out-with the-old, in-with-the-new inside your body. When you inhale and fill your lungs with oxygen it gets transported in your blood throughout your body, including those other detox organs: your lymphatic system, kidneys, bowel (or colon), liver, and uterus (for women). Then in exchange, a deep exhale is one of the best ways to get more of the blood’s waste, or carbon dioxide, out of the body. Deep-breathing techniques are extremely effective in handling depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders.  Just take a second and allow yourself to breathe deeply for a few moments.  You will immediately notice your heartbeat slows and you will feel significantly more relaxed.

When people do not take in enough oxygen and exhale enough carbon dioxide, it can have consequences such as fatigue, mental fog and decreased tissue function. These problems are often thought to be problems with diet, but the brain cannot function properly if it is not receiving an adequate supply of oxygen.  Shallow breathing (or chest breathing) causes a constriction of the chest and lung tissue over time, decreasing oxygen flow and delivery to your tissues.  Deep, rhythmic breathing expands the diaphragm muscle, which expands the lung’s air pockets, invoking a relaxation response within the body, and massaging the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system acts sort of like the body’s sewer system.  While blood flow carries nutrients and ample amounts of oxygen to the body, the lymphatic system carries away destructive toxins.  The consequence of a sluggish lymphatic system is that you cannot detoxify properly. Deep breathing serves as a kind of pump for the lymphatic system.  If you aren’t breathing deeply or moving regularly, chances are your lymph fluid is not flowing as well as it could. This can lead to health problems, including weight gain, muscle loss, high blood pressure, fatigue, and inflammation.

Learning how to breath more deeply and fully is a vital way to keep the body’s cleansing and detoxifying systems working at full capacity.  By taking a few moments in your day to really pay attention to the inhalation and exhalation that supports your life, you will balance and clean the body. Remember, small changes add up to big improvements. Try Dr. Weil’s recommended 4-7-8 Deep Breathing Exercise. He recommends three “reps” of this exercise done about twice a day for maximum benefits:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge behind your upper teeth and exhale completely through your mouth so that you make a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale deeply through your nose for a count 4, hold your breath for 7 counts, then exhale through your mouth for a count of 8.
  3. Repeat three times.

This is something you can start right now. Take action…Inner toxins, be gone!

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