Breathing has an important effect on the entire body. Think about how long you can survive without breathing, how long without water and without food. Then think about how much attention you put into breathing properly, drinking enough, and how much into a healthy diet. A parent’s satisfaction and pride in a successful child cannot justify the damage caused by prolonged stress. Unfortunately, most parents are so focused on their own problems that they do not notice their child’s irregular breathing. In contrast, they usually quickly notice an irregular attitude towards drinking and eating.
Most people wrongly think that we breathe only with our lungs, while in reality, we breathe with our whole body. With proper breathing, the lungs expand with the expansion of the chest and abdominal cavity. Proper breathing involves the head, neck, chest, and lower torso muscles, including the pelvis. It stands to reason that chronic contraction in any part of the musculature prevents the natural movement required for proper breathing.
Breathing is a rhythmic process. The usual breathing frequency in a calm adult is 8 to 10 inhales and exhales a minute. We breathe quicker when we are anxious and slower when we are relaxed, sleeping, or depressed. The depth of the inhale depends on our mood. It is shallower when we’re afraid or anxious or when we aren’t allowed to feel ourselves and respond based on these feelings.
With every inhale and exhale, we can observe this wave of air. The inhale begins deep inside the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. The wave then moves up the body as the whole body expands. In recognition, the head moves forward to suck in air while the nostrils open. Exhalation begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head moves back, the abdomen and chest are compressed, and the pelvis tilts forward.
What is the real image of breathing in most cases? Deep, slow, inaudible abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing is more the domain of infants and young children than of adolescents and adults. Why does the change in breathing occur?
As children, we face many situations throughout life that create emotions that are too painful for us to face. This forces us to learn ways to lower our sensitivity; this happens when we begin breathing shallowly or holding our breath. We protect ourselves from overwhelming anger, fear, sadness, and injustice, but unfortunately, also from experiencing happiness, joy, joy, and love. We also learn very early that older people, our parents, for example, do not accept or condone certain emotions. They find certain emotions, especially intensive ones, unacceptable and undesirable. We shield ourselves from expressing such emotions by holding our breath.
The second reason for the absence of abdominal breathing, especially in women, is also the belief in how we should look. When breathing correctly, our stomach expands due to the lowering of the diaphragm into the abdominal cavity, which many people do not find attractive. I remember that in childhood, we were taught: “Belly in, chest out!” However, this was intended for an upright, level posture.
And the third reason is, once again, stress. A person responds reflexively to stress. Of course, reflexive responses can be useful, but they become problematic if they are too common due to a stressful way of life. In that case, we don’t even notice the reflex anymore, we lose conscious control over certain muscles, our body adopts a very specific posture, and our movement adjusts accordingly. A reflex that strongly influences the quality of our breathing is the so-called red light reflex. It activates when we face danger and as a defense mechanism against sudden change. Tense abdominal and chest muscles cause the body to tilt forwards, protecting our vital organs – however, years of unconscious red light reflex activation cause our breathing to become shallow and insufficient. In order for the most important respiratory muscle – the abdominal diaphragm – to move satisfactorily and thereby enable sufficient ventilation, we must have a proper body posture, and the abdominal diaphragm must have an appropriate position in the body.
By performing AEQ breathing exercises, we begin thinning the muscular armor in our torso. The muscles, which are usually chronically tense, begin to relax and expand, and your body posture improves, affecting the quality of breathing. With improved breathing, we consequently improve our immune system and general well-being; we become more energized, our mind performs better and faster, and we can properly express our emotions.
In other words, our quality of life greatly improves.
During my career as a teacher of the AEQ method, I have observed stressful breathing in clients, even when there is no reason for it. Such breathing patterns were integrated into their personality over time, and they themselves did not perceive it.
The 30-day AEQ breathing program has the most time dedicated to understanding the causes that lead to the creation of incorrect breathing. We must understand the role of the membrane for the proper functioning and existence of the body and some, as well as bodily conditions, which generally occur during childhood and cause our membrane to harden. This hardening is especially strong in the area of the chest and breathing muscles.