In the last two blogs for my Breathing Series for The Shala, I have really emphasised the importance of slow, conscious and coherent breathing on regulating emotions and inducing tranquillity. One of the things that amazes me most about conscious breathing at a rate of 6 seconds in and 6 seconds out, through the nose, with the belly rising on the inhale and falling on the exhale is the near-instant and miraculous correcting effect it has on your blood pressure. Try it and you'll see. You don't need any fancy equipment. Just what you normally take your blood pressure with. This is ideal for those who suffer from "White Coat Syndrome" who, like my mum, find their blood pressure rise off the scale in the presence of a doctor!
You see, breathing in this manner corrects your blood pressure. Incredible. No medicine that I know of can do that. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can have prescriptive medicine that lowers it. Low Blood Pressure has medication that raises it. None though corrects both, immediately, with no side effects - or rather, only positive side effects.
This is important, not least for the reasons Stephen Elliot, Life Scientist and the inventor of Coherent Breathing states:
"Hypertension tops the list of underlying health conditions, relative to COVID risk, with essential hypertension constituting 90% of cases both in the US and the industrialized world. In the US it affects 25% of the adult population and 63% of those over 60, with prevalence in children on the rise, so we’re talking about a number close to 100 million people in the US alone. Essential hypertension is “idiopathic”, excessive pressure with no known cause. This is poppycock and can easily be proven wrong."
So in the traditional view, High Blood Pressure is a symptom with no known cause. Yet breathing correctly makes it vanish. Does that not imply that it's something to do with the breath in the first place?
Hmmmm. Whilst I'm a big supporter of what Western medicine can do and has done for our life quality and life expectancy - currently in the USA alone hypertensive medicine generates over $100 Billion a year for the big pharmaceutical companies. And that's not including the secondary medication required for the side-effects that so commonly occur as a result of taking medication, as you'll know very well indeed if you've ever had to take it.
As Stephen continues "The medical establishment steers away from anything to do with conscious breathing, and in so doing relegates breathing to the unconscious, the autonomic. Of course, the problem with this is that in the world we live in, when left on its own, automatic breathing spirals completely out of control such that the typical adult breathes at a rate between 17 and 19 breaths per minute with insignificant depth, this resulting in circulatory pathology affecting much of the public. This is even more true for those that are under a high-stress burden, a growing percentage of the US". Indeed what's true of America is true of the whole world in the time of Covid and high anxiety. Now, if this is right this is hugely important. Don't hold your breath for this to become common knowledge. If it's not, then "oh dear, what a shame, never mind." No harm done. Can we say that about over medicating though? I don't know. So easy is this to measure you can find out for yourself, safely. Freedom might just be a few breaths away…..
Coherent Breathing Vol 2(4)
*Disclaimer: If one has symptoms of hypertension, consult your physician before beginning this practice. Once one begins, be sure to assess your blood pressure before and after breathing practice. Prove it to yourself. Ø Nominal normal resting blood pressure is 120mmHg/80mmHg. Elevated blood pressure is considered anything over this. Ø Stage 1 hypertension is defined as systolic pressure of 130-139mmHg and/or diastolic pressure between 80-90mmHg. Ø Stage 2 is defined as systolic pressure greater than 140mmHg and/or diastolic pressure greater than 90mmHg. (Note that the nominal normal of 120/80mmHg is derived from a population that is not breathing slowly and deeply.) Obtain a pulse oximeter and use it daily. Try and keep blood oxygen levels at 95% and above as this is understood to confer heightened immunity