Posted by: coachingparents | December 9, 2007

Children Need More Oxygen


Have you noticed a higher incidence of asthma occurring in both children and adults these days? Pollution, particularly in large cities and industrial corridors, is causing an increase in respiratory illnesses as high as 50% in some areas. When the quality of our air is poor, we tend to breathe shallowly, and we absorb more toxins in the process. Rapid or shallow breathing leads to poor oxygen supply, respiratory disease, fatigue or heart disease. Poor breathing also robs us of energy and mental alertness.

Children are especially at risk because their growing bodies require more oxygen, and their bodies must be capable of using that oxygen efficiently. Unless the muscles responsible for respiration are exercised through deep breathing techniques, the rib cage and surrounding tissues get stiff, which makes inhalation more difficult. Less suppleness and weak muscles leave stale air in the tissues of the lungs and prevent fresh oxygen from reaching the blood stream. This stunts growth, depresses the immune system and contributes to disease. By teaching children to breathe fully and deeply, you can positively impact their health for a lifetime.

Full-Wave Breathing
Breathing well is so easy a baby can do it. Have you ever watched a newborn sleep? Babies breathe deeply with a full, rounded abdomen. Then their breath expands into the diaphragm and chest cavity, and, finally, is released in a sigh, where the process begins again in a continuous cycle. This method of breathing is duplicated in what the International Breath Institute calls TransformBreathing (TM) or full-wave breathing. TransformBreathing can be learned easily, and, as a parent, you can encourage the practice of full-wave breathing in your children.

As managing director for IBI, I’ve had the opportunity to study breathwork and its applications around the world. Deep breathing for Asian children begins as early as age eight to build breath capacity and strengthen organs. But in Western cultures, the importance of good breathing habits has not been emphasized. Instead, we’ve developed inhibited and restricted breathing most likely due to a high-stress, fast-paced, ever-changing environment.

Full-wave breathing fights the toxins that pollute our cities by strengthening the lungs, relieving bronchitis, improving circulation, oxygenating the blood and minimizing the reoccurrence of respiratory ailments.

First Grade Gets A+
IBI recently conducted an experiment in teaching Full Wave Breathing to 22 six-year-olds. Though there was some initial difficulty in understanding parts of the body for this age group, these first-grade children learned abdominal breathing with a minimum practice time of five minutes a day for five days! 

Their teacher also noted that full-wave breathing before an academic test helped the children to pay attention and focus. Deep breathing also proved to be an excellent transition to other tasks such as going to recess, walking down the hall to the library, and reading. TransformBreathing also may serve as an excellent tool to calm excitability and distraction.

The power of the breath and the breath-mind relationship has been recognized for centuries by many cultures and religious traditions. Deep abdominal breathing affects the hypothalamus gland, which controls the autonomic nervous system, reducing heart rate, respiration, temperature, blood pressure, anxiety and stress. It also may lessen pain. 

You can’t breathe for your children, but you can instill healthy breathing practices that will give them that extra edge in fighting illness every day. Full-wave breathing is the way.

Copyright © Dr. Caron Goode. All rights reserved worldwide.

About The Author …
Caron Goode’s (EdD) insights are drawn from her fifteen years in private psychotherapy practice and thirty years of experience in the fields of education, personal empowerment, and health and wellness. She is the author of eight books and the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents, a training program for parents & professionals who wish to mentor other parents. A mom and step-mom, she and her husband live in Whitney, Texas. Reach her at caronbgoode@inspiredparenting.net

Dont forget:  Join Dr. Caron Goode, Founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents, in the FREE Truth about Parent Coaching Teleconference on Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 pm (Mountain Time).  This one hour Truth about Parent Coaching Teleconference will answer all of your questions!

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