Man breathes throughout his life. One cycle of digestion of food takes twenty-four hours. One cycle of respiration, or digestion of air, takes three seconds. During the course of a day, one breathes about 28,000 times. If one observes closely, he will find that every breath brings a new thought to mind or a new turn of repetition to an old thought.
The most obvious, and the most vital function of our psychosomatic organism, is the function of breathing. How vital and basic it is, we can gauge from the fact that we can live without food for a number of weeks, without drink for a few days, but without, air hardly a few moments.
We can relinquish even consciousness as in deep sleep, or under narcosis, or in states of catalepsy, but we cannot relinquish breathing as long as we are alive. Breathing, therefore, is the most subtle function of our organism, a function that can be both conscious and unconscious, volitional and non-volitional. This is in contrast to most of our other functions such as the beating of the heart, the circulation of the blood, the currents of nerve energy, the function of digestion, assimilation, and secretion, etc.
Breathing is the only vital function which, in spite of its independence from our normal consciousness, and its self-regulating and self-perpetuating subconscious function is accessible to the mind. Due to this double nature, breathing can be made the mediator between mind and body, or the means of our conscious participation in the most vital and universal functions of our psychosomatic organism.
Thus, the conscious control of the breath affects the electrical polarity of the brain and our bio-physical luminescences.
Breathing becomes the first step toward the transformation of the body from a state of a more or less passively and unconsciously functioning physical organism, into a vehicle or tool of a perfectly developed and enlightened mind, represented by the radiance and perfection of the body.
The fact that all the major functions of the body have become automatic: i.e. self-regulating, unconscious, and beyond the interference of will power or intellect, with the exception of breathing, is an achievement of our biological evolution, or the super individual power of our depth consciousness. Through breathing, we achieve the synthesis of all our functions, and realize the dynamic and universal nature of life.
Breathing enlivens and vitalizes the physical body with life energy, and also balances the flow of life energies within the body.
The primary “conductor” for the life energy in our body is the cerebrospinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid is ionized by breathing exercises.
The cerebrospinal fluid is generally believed to be produced by the Choroid Plexuses, located in the ventricles of the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain, within the spinal column and nerve fibers. The pumping action which circulates the cerebrospinal fluid is created by the cranial bones in the skull, in conjunction with our breathing.
Life energy which sustains our physical being is a “subtle” energy that exists at a higher nutational rate than physical vibration. In esoteric teachings, life energy is generally referred to as Kundalini energy.
I quote from the Philosophy of Osteopathy by A. T. Still, page 39:
“The results obtained are not satisfactory, and another leaf is opened of why no results are obtained and where is the mystery, what quality and element of force and vitality has been withheld. A thought strikes him that the cerebrospinal fluid is the highest known element that is contained in the human body, and unless this fluid is furnished in abundance, a disabled condition of the body will remain. He who is able to reason will see that this great river of life must be tapped and the withering field irrigated at once, or the harvest of health will be forever lost.”
So, breathing, both conscious and unconscious, becomes a vital factor in the flow of cerebrospinal fluids that carries the life energy.
A balanced breath is a must for a long, interesting, healthful and youthful life. Through the breath, the body and nervous system receive life giving oxygen, but it also receives life giving ether-prana-Universal Life as well. Unbalanced breathing disturbs the sleep pattern. Unequal length of breathing cycles have a very negative effect upon the mind, brain, nerves, and body. The unequal length of the cycle causes the unfortunate victim to seek various ways of quieting his screaming nerves, overcome his excessive irritability, or eliminate his fears, timidity, and bashfulness.
Recent research has shown there is a nasal rhythm which is one of the body rhythms. The nasal rhythm reflects hemisphere activity in the brain. The right nostril dominance goes with the left hemisphere of the brain. The left nostril dominance goes with the right hemisphere of the brain.
The breathing must be done through the nostrils and not the mouth. The air must contact the olfactory nerves; if it doesn’t, you’re only half alive.
When the physical body has been stressed and one feels fatigued, a deep breath inhaled through the nostrils, held for a number of seconds, and suddenly expelled through the nostrils will usually strip the unwanted charges from the body and bring the body to a state of balance and well-being. When you think, an energy emerges from the body. That energy has a distinct, precise pattern to it. That energy is controlled by the breath. As a man breathes, so is he. The science of breath is vital to every individual. Through breath we move through the various levels of consciousness to which we manifest these energies in space.
When the life energy is jammed, the breath can not flow through the body. This problem is in part the result of the psychological and physical trauma people have suffered, including the emotional element in which they grew up. Yet, the basic problem relates to birth. As Leboyer recommends,
“. . . the umbilical cord is kept pulsating so there is a gradual change over from the oxygenated blood, and if the baby is now lying peacefully on the mother, the baby’s first breath will expand all the skull bones and all the bones of the body. The baby’s body has been put in a certain compact form for delivery, and after birth, it has, in a sense, to be ‘reassembled.’ This is done with the breath.”
After a gentle birth, there will be a complete expansion of the body throughout. Unfortunately, in most people this does not happen, and the body never fully expands from birth. Thus it is predisposed to misusage and ultimate imbalance, distortion and spiraling effects.
I will now discuss discoveries from the book, The Baby’s Cry, by Truby, published in 1978:
Truby got his Ph.D. research work on the baby’s cry in Stockholm, Sweden. A study of 15,000 sound and spectrographic analysis. He recorded the moment of the child’s first cry and followed up with studies through the first seven years of development. So he got a pattern of the growth and development of the personality of the child. From the first breath, or baby’s cry, he could determine the personality of the child, its weaknesses and the degree of health and well-being.
The mouth breather presents several problems. Perhaps the most common situation is that most people jam their breath as soon as they are stressed. The slightest trauma, psychological or physical, causes an activation of the solar plexus, which produces an emotional stimulus and the holding of the breath. Perhaps, more than any other factor, this causes a shock to have a traumatic effect, when it jams our breath, devitalizes us or weakens our life energy at a moment when we need it most. The trauma leads to our present patterns of abnormal behavior that gets into the body and has its effect. Thus, the more our breath is freed up, the less the effect of the trauma.
Strangely, many people actually turn against their breathing. Breathing itself has become an unnatural act for them, a stress, a chore. Basic to all work on anyone’s physical body, we must teach them to like breathing. Then, they will relax. There will be ease and a peace. Then at last, they can appreciate, like and value their most vital vital function, breathing.
There is an interplay between the Etheric matrix and the gases, liquids and solids of the physical body. There is a constant balance between the vital regenerative forces of the Etheric Matrix and the degenerating and decaying forces of the physical body and the environment.
A physical body is, and has, its essential form in the bony structure. A bio-energetic field exists around the body maintaining the balance and total functioning of the physical form. If we become attached to a thought process which has a high emotional content, that thought pattern will be locked into the bio-energetic field which surrounds the physical body. The physical body will manifest itself in a distortion pattern, i.e., a slumping of the shoulders, a shortening of the leg, a twisting of the body, a pulling of the muscles of the eye or mouth. If continued for an extended period of time, these patterns will become chronic and locked into the body form. Thoughts are things.
The significant point is that all awareness and behavior is derived primarily from very limited perception.
We do so much harm to our emotional and physical bodies from the lack of forgiving. We must learn to love ourselves. For, in the act of loving, we fill the energetic field, that we need to maintain life.
When you can love without constraint, you maintain a balance of force that keeps your mind and body and spirit functioning and moving in a direction for growth and development.
To heal is to bring an individual to a state of wholeness and well-being. This is accomplished with breath and love.
by Robert Fulford, D.O.