A book excerpt from Green Body Green Birth
by Mary Oscategui
Green Body Green Birth’s #1 Protective Device from toxins and disease is a healthy body. Although we can all do our best to prepare and prevent toxic exposure outside of us, the best prevention begins inside, with our health. By caring for our body and strengthening the immune system, our body can be better equipped to handle the toxins around us. If our body is overburdened with toxins from within, it can’t sufficiently handle the toxins without. In addition, when we feel lethargic, weak, or are too busy trying to deal with our own health problems, how can we be prepared to give, get active, and work together with one another as a society to initiate change?
In this chapter, we are going to take a look at what keeps us and our earth thriving.
Most often we attribute the cause of disease, and the cure to disease to one major factor depending on the latest information that has entered our brains. We have developed an A to Z mentality. The cure for A is such and such. The cure for B is such and such. However the more we understand how intricately related all diseases and cures are, the more it becomes evident that it is not just one thing causing imbalance— it is a bit of everything.
How many times have you read a book or article about toxins in the environment, or one about candida, or mercury, or exercise, or diet, or stress, or sleep, or nutrition, or parasites, and immediately become convinced that this one factor is the cause of ALL disease and ALL your aches and pains? Of course what usually happens is that a couple months later you read another book or article and become convinced that some other factor is the ‘big one’, and is ‘definitely’ the missing link and the cure for everything. It’s amazing how many missing links there are—an infinite number it seems!
In order for us to function our best and contribute our best to the world around us, the following spectrum of components are necessary to support optimal functioning and sustainability of our body and our environment:
• Stress Management
The air we breathe and how we breathe are both very important. In Chinese Medicine, breathe or prana is also linked our life force. There is no question that we should pay attention and stand up for clean air in our environment, however, our bodies would benefit tremendously with the same kind of awareness and attention to how we breathe. After all, breathe is the one essential component of living that we can live the least amount of time without.
According to dancer and teacher Michelle Ava “Proper breathing has profound effects on our health. Over 70 percent of waste by-products are eliminated through our breathing and our skin. When our blood is heavily oxygenated it becomes very difficult for virus and bacteria to grow.”
Let’s look at some of the common ways people breathe and their effects.
• Shallow Breathing (Chest) vs. Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly)
• Reverse Breathing
Shallow Breathe, also known as chest breathing, limits our breathing capacity to the lungs and upper thoracic area whereas diaphragmatic breathe, considered the healthiest way to breathe, allows oxygen to travel deeply into the lungs and abdomen. We are all born diaphragmatically breathing, but overtime, due to a variety of reasons like stress, poor posture, poor habits, fast-paced lifestyle, etc…., we become conditioned to a more shallow breathe.
Shallow breathing is actually more common that you might think. Often times this shows up as mouth breathing.
According to the researchers at normalbreathing.com,
“Over 90% of modern people suffer from breathing problems. The common problems include chest breathing, mouth breathing, and hyperventilation (increased minute ventilation). All these abnormalities reduce oxygen levels in body cells and promote chronic diseases. We can find solid medical evidence testifying that sick people have too heavy automatic breathing (hyperventilation) at rest.”
The researchers go onto say, “When seeing modern people on Western streets and in public places, one may easily notice that up to 30-40% of them can breathe through their mouths when walking or even while standing or sitting. Most people these days are mouth breathers. The same can be easily observed during night sleep. Some decades ago mouth breathing was socially abnormal and unacceptable. However, it is very common these days. In adults, mouth breathing causes advance of many chronic diseases, including sleep apnea, snoring at night, morning fatigue, dry mouth syndrome, headache, morning fatigue (or morning headache fatigue) and other symptoms. Children mouth breathing (especially during sleep), as well as in infants, toddlers and older children, are new health problems that promote chronic diseases, including frequent infections, asthma, rashes, diathesis, bed wetting, etc. However, for a healthy person, nose breathing should be the norm 24-7.”
There is also known as what is referred to reverse breathing. Reverse breathing happens when during inhalation instead of your chest and abdomen expanding outward, your chest and abdomen draw inward. When exhaling, your abdomen and chest push outward instead of inward. Many women have been conditioned to this style of breathing due to the “suck it in” cultural standards, corsets, and so on. Reverse breathing is not a natural way of breathing. It is a style of breathing known to be used in yoga and qigong, but it is important to understand that there is an intention and purpose behind it.
To find out if you are a chest breather or reverse breather, simply lie down on your back and place your hand on your abdomen. When you inhale, notice if our hand rises up toward the ceiling or pulls in further in toward your back and when you exhale notice if your abdomen draws in or pushes out. If when inhaling, your abdomen pulls in and if when exhaling your abdomen pushes out, you are reverse breathing.
By learning to breathe more effectively, it can do wonders for our health.
About Green Body Green Birth
Your body is your first and foremost environment. It is the environment that you never leave, nor enter. Green Body Green Birth provides an in depth understanding of your body’s own toxins and terrain and shows you how greening your body and mind leads to a healthier body, a healthier pregnancy, and a greener world outside.
Whether one is a soon to be mother, or just someone looking to gain deeper insights into their health, Green Body Green Birth is for everyone. Readers are provided with simple, practical, yet effective solutions to empower their health and their life.
Mary Oscategui, The Baby Planner is an international maternity business consultant and holistic educator who specializes in maternal health, fitness, nutrition, green living, and sleep. Mary is a leader in educational development and has been consulting and guiding hundreds of clients for the last 17 years. She is the Founder, CEO, and President of the International Maternity Institute (IMI), International Academy of Baby Planner Professionals (IABPP), and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC). Additionally Mary also offers health and fitness services through Physical Awakening.com, a holistic integrative approach offering the services of yoga, meditation, pilates, fitness, and nutrition and TheBabyPlanner.com, offering services, guidance, and support tailored to pre-conceiving, expecting, and new families.
Green Body Green Birth Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.