Saturday, June 14, 2008

How to Breathe


Rapid and shallow breathing is strictly unhygienic. It leaves a great portion of the lungs entirely unused and part of the air in them unchanged.

Deep breathing strengthens and increases the muscles of the chest and the abdomen. The abdominal muscle directly overlies the intestines, and its motion stimulates the whole digestive apparatus, thus contributing to its healthful activity.

Persons who occasionally or continually suffer from cough should take pains to cultivate deep breathing. Almost all such persons breathe improperly. In many cases lack of lung power is inherited; in others habit or occupation plays an unfavorable part; in not a few instances a fear of the lungs being delicate superinduces a habit of shallow breathing from an erroneous idea that the lungs are in this way favored.

The health of an organ depends largely upon a proper exercise of its functions. Diseases of the lungs, of a chronic nature especially, are often wholly, always partially, chargeable to an unhygienic method of breathing. The part of the lungs most likely to become affected with disease is the apex, or uppermost portion. The reason for this lies in the fact that this part of the lung is fully expanded only on taking a deep inspiration. In many persons this part of the lung is, therefore, seldom expanded, its function is impaired, and it falls more readily a prey to disease.

Tight clothing is especially harmful about the neck and shoulders, and in this respect men err as often as women. A tightly constricted waist, while limiting free respiration, is perhaps not so harmful to the lungs as to other adjacent organs of the body. — Youth's Companion.

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