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My Breathing

December 25, 2019

By J. L. McDaniel                                 December 25, 2019

Take a deep breath Means take a lot of air in the lungs not the chest. Try it! What moved – your shoulders, chest, or stomach?

It Isn’t That Easy

I didn’t realize it, until I started reading a book on Chinese Medicine, The Way of Qigong that I am not breathing naturally.  I have formed a dysfunctional Habit, like many others by breathing with my upper chest instead of into the full lung.

Improving but,

Years ago, I was sick, very sick.  Some of my conditions were COPD, Not being able to catch my breath (“Air Hunger”), Chronic Fatigue, Lack of Energy to even perform normal ADL’s like walking. Unable to stay awake “Brain Fog” to list a few.

My health has improved by eating natural foods and making other natural adjustments in my life.  Yet, I was still was experiencing periods of “Air Hunger” and “Chronic Fatigue” – extreme fatigue (like the extreme case of falling asleep while driving), and other indications of not feeling healthy and energetic.  I was still having  periods at work where I could not keep my eyes open even while having a conversation. Or I found myself saying “I can’t catch my breath”

This book on Chinese Medicine talked about Energy and Healing including breathing.  Breathing is a normal topic of most natural medicine procedures and I didn’t think much about it.  I said “We all have to do it — So What?

Chinese Medicine



The book asked me a simple question.

Well, I though “I’ll give it a try, I’ll try anything at least once” … so I read on.

Take a deep breath and what moved?

I took the deep breath, and read and suddenly stop reading dropped the book on the table, and realized I was doing dysfunctional breathing. I have been doing dysfunctional breathing for a long long time plus looking around most people were also doing dysfunctional breathing without realizing it.

Place you hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach and take a deep breath what moved?


Different forms of breathing:

Chest vs. Stomach Breathing

Proper breathing is essential.  Not only is proper breathing essential during running and other intense exercise, it is essential for daily living. Natural Breathing is essential for a healthy body.  If you are not breathing properly or naturally you may experience periods of “Air Hunger”  or even  Hyperventilation.  Lack of oxygen isn’t good for the body and is responsible for most illness.

Air Hunger is a frightening feeling. It’s often attributed to “Getting Older” or “aging” and the need to slow down and take it easy. This feeling is not natural.  This feeling is simply your body asking for more air. Your body compensates with yawns or sighs, but this isn’t always very effective for more than a second or two. You quickly return to the un-natural condition, leaving you tired and unable to continue significant movement or exercise.

The condition is also call “Respiratory Acidosis” which refers to pH. An Acid balance means illness and pain.


resp acidosis_1

Stomach Breathing


There Is An Easy Correction

There is something easy that can be done to help correct this condition and get more Oxygen.  It is so simple I could hardly believe it.  Just take a deep breath.  The hard part is —- Breath into your stomach not your chest. Many people, I know I’ve tested have resorted to upper chest breathing.  Ask them to take a deep breath and almost immediately you see the chest rise and even the shoulders.  They hold their breath showing how good they did.  But that isn’t a deep breath it all went into the top part of the lungs and that isn’t deep.

Breathing can come from one of two primary regions: your chest or your stomach: Understanding the differences between the two can have a significant impact on your endurance and energy throughout the day.  If you notice, while you’re resting and/or dropping off to sleep most people revert back to Stomach Breathing.  It’s during the day with it’s increase anxiety load, many people convert to only breathing with the chest and not the stomach.

Stomach Breathing is also taught in the gym, and/or natural healing procedures like Yoga, Chinese medicine, and many others.

This isn’t easy but I found it was best to blow out first then take the breath using your stomach works. Blow out saying “Phew” like blowing at a bug or shewing a fly. “Shew”

Shew Fly


Chest Breathing

Chest breathing refers to breaths from the top lobes of the lungs that use the chest muscles to inflate the lungs by pulling on the rib cage. In chest breathing, the chest expands and contracts with each breath while the abdominal area does not. These breaths tend to be short and quick, using only a small portion of the lungs and delivering a relatively minimal amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. Chest breathing is often associated with hyperventilation and a sensation of feeling out of breath, as you attempt to take in oxygen quickly despite the low air volume from each breath.

Stomach Breathing

Stomach breathing, also called belly or diaphragmatic breathing, refers to breaths that use your entire lung capacity. The diaphragm and abdominal muscles pull down on the abdominal cavity to fully inflate the lungs. The chest expands very little if at all while stomach breathing, while the abdominal area expands significantly. Breaths taken while stomach breathing are slow and deep, taking longer to inhale and exhale and delivering a significantly larger amount of oxygen to the bloodstream. The larger amount of air intake also allows you to exhale a larger amount of carbon dioxide, eliminating it from your body at a faster rate.

Breathing and Energy

Oxygen is essential for endurance and energy: Without sufficient oxygen, the body can’t produce the energy that the muscles need to continue performing under stress. If you’re chest breathing during exercise or competition, the relatively low volume of air that you take in with each breath significantly hinders your body’s ability to provide oxygen to the bloodstream for use in the energy conversion process. Stomach breathing increases endurance by providing much more oxygen to the bloodstream, allowing the body to convert fuel to energy for longer periods.

Improving Breathing

Lie on your back with your hands on your abdomen to see whether you typically are a chest or stomach breather. If you see your hands rise and fall, you’re a stomach breather, but if your hands remain mostly stationary, you’re a chest breather. Take a deeper breath, contracting your chest muscles slightly as necessary until you see your hands start to rise. Practice this several times until you can feel the pulling in the abdominal cavity and are able to take deep stomach breaths without significant effort. Place books or other light weights on your abdomen and repeat these deep breaths for three to five minutes to provide exercise for the diaphragm and abdominal muscles involved. Repeat this exercise regularly and make a conscious effort to breathe from the diaphragm whenever you notice that you’re breathing from your chest; as your muscles become stronger and your body becomes accustomed to stomach breathing, you’ll take deeper stomach breaths more naturally and without conscious prompting.

IT Isn’t Easy But It Works

It Isn’t Easy – I Know I have Tried.  Here are some pictures that might help.  Once I found a way to relax and take some deep breaths using my stomach, I found the major feeling of fatigue (Where I couldn’t keep my eyes open like while driving) have significantly improved.  I found all sorts of things improving like feeling stronger, better concentration, more endurance.  I can now walk without feeling the pain and panic of “I Can’t Breath”.  I can simply continue walking.  I may have to stop and think about taking some stomach breaths but I almost feel like a kid again


You get twice if not more oxygen belly breathing then chest.  I try to remember to take some deep breaths during the day.  It has taken a while but the body is almost doing it automatically now.  At first I thought it was impossible.

Till Next Time,


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