Articles on respiration

Biofeedback - Interactive Training of Body, Breath and Mind

Dr. Kshamashree Madle, Yoga and Naturopathy
Recently, there has been a renewed interest in mind-body interactions. During eating, your hands reach out to the plate, lifts up the food, takes it to the mouth; you chew and then swallow it. You are consciously “aware” of the motions that are under your “voluntary” control. What we do not notice are the subtle things that follow like the salivary and gastric juice secretion, the peristaltic movements of the Digestive system etc.These actions are regulated by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which does not require any conscious control. ANS consists of:Sympathetic Nervous System –‘Fight or Flight response’ to Stress             Parasympathetic Nervous System – ‘Rest and Digest’ for the maintenance of HomeostasisTogether these two components of ANS regulate the Heart Rate, Respiratory rate and the activity of various glands.Changes in the Heart rate under Different conditions - Relaxation and Appreciation shows a uniform pattern and values fall within the normal safe rangeBiofeedback is a technique that can help you gain more control over these normally involuntary functions. The idea behind this is that, by harnessing the power of your mind and becoming aware of what's going on inside your body, you can gain more control over your health. This feedback helps you focus on making subtle changes in your body, such as relaxing certain muscles, to achieve the results you want, such as reducing pain, To make the breathing pattern more deep, long and slow which automatically reduces the heart rate and so on.Working of Biofeedback TherapyBiofeedback is used to improve Health, Performance and the Physiological changes that occur in association with Emotions, Thoughts and Behaviors. Eventually one would learn to manipulate the functions even without the help of the Biofeedback.In this Process, electrodes are attached to the skin and a respiratory belt is wrapped to the chest. These electrodes send signals to the monitor that shows wave patterns of heartbeat and respiration moving across a grid. During the session you will be taught to practice particular Relaxation techniques and Breathing practices. The changes and improvement in the pattern of Heartbeat and Respiration can be viewed real time.Skeletal muscle Biofeedback in Sleep - With InstructionsBiofeedback, or in other words Biofeedback Training can be used to manage various physical and mental illnesses like – Anxiety disorders, Asthma, Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, Headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc. Since it is Non invasive, may reduce or eliminate the needs for medications and helps people to take charge of their own health, it is gaining popularity. Biofeedback is considered be safe. No negative side effects have been reported till date.

Breathe Your Troubles Away

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
Imagine yourself in a desert, surrounded by hot hills of dry sand and your throat parched with not a drop of water to drink. Suddenly you spot an oasis. You rush to quench your thirst and keep gulping water till your body is satiated.We call this human instinct. The craving and the urge for satiation. Same rule applies to food, air and so many other bodily needs that need no mention here. Since I deal with a therapy primarily related to breathing, maybe I can restrict myself to air for the moment. Have you ever noticed a baby sleeping? Notice how its tummy moves up and down to the rhythm of its heart beat. Rhythm is so inherent to nature, everything in nature from the sky to the stars, from the nights and days to the seasons, from the wind to the water, everything follows a rhythm. The rhythm of movement. The biggest testimony to this rhythm is the human body. With each and every part and even the smallest curve and crevice blended together in perfect harmony and rhythm. Yet as we grow older, we somehow lose that rhythm in our body. At the risk of sounding far-fetched, I would say we forget to breathe. Breathing becomes just another mundane chore that our body is doing for the sake of living. Just like so many other things that we do mechanically throughout the day. We basically lose the rhythm of life.Real breathing is real living. Where every part of your body awakens to the gush of oxygen right into your lungs. And with every exhalation your tummy digs into the diaphragm. Where you see and feel your breath every moment of the day.Breath is held with great reverence in the Indian culture, its called the ‘Pran-Vayu’. ‘Pran’ meaning life and ‘Vayu’ meaning air, so literally speaking the air of life. ‘Pran’ also refers to the life giving force of nature, an embodiment of God himself in his most diminutive form present inside each human body. Ancient scriptures lay great stress on the simple exchange of air in our body and have prescribed various simple yet scientific breathing techniques called 'Pranayam'. An hour long ‘Pranayam’ session can do to your lungs what let’s say a one hour of jogging time will do to your leg muscles.Scientific wisdom tells us that the oxygen we inhale is carried though blood to each and every living cell of our body. And the air that we exhale cleanses the body. Simply put, breathing is the internal cleaning mechanism of our body. An efficient system of cleaning will ensure to remove all toxins and ‘bad’ air.That’s we do at our salt therapy clinic. Make you breathe. As you breathe in the pure salt aerosol it enters your lungs to cleanse them of all toxins, accumulated mucous and impurities. You feel fresh, rejuvenated and cleansed. That’s what breathing is all about!

Get Relief From Stuffy Nose Through Yoga & Naturopathy

Dr. Harini, Yoga and Naturopathy
Stuffy nose is the most common problem we face during this weather. Very tough to handle. Medicines only suppress the problem so that you can get frequent cold attacks after that. So be sure that you are helping and supporting your body to eliminate the organisms completely from your body.So what can we do for this stuffy nose?1. Steam inhalation:As we all know steam inhalation will help to eliminate the phlegm and also helps to get relieve from sinusitis. Steam inhalation can be taken as such or by adding some eucalyptus oil in hot water. It works best when the water is boiled with some cinnamon.2. Turmeric Inhalation:Take a whole turmeric (dried one) and burn it in fire. When it starts smoking, take it out of fire & inhale the smoke deeply. You will feel slight burning sensation inside your nostril. Don't worry it will get resolved by itself.3. Pepper Inhalation:Prick a pepper in a long needle or a pin, burn it in fire. When it start smoking, inhale the smoke deeply. It will produce cough for sometime and get resolved on its own.4. Cinnamon Tea:Cinnamon tea is too good for relieving cold and sinusitis. Can be taken 2-3 times a day 5. Ajwain/Oregano - Cumin seeds decoction:Ajwain/oreganao & cumin seed decoction will help to reduce your cold and improve digestion.6. Jala- neti:Jala neti is a cleansing procedure for nasal passage in yoga. It helps to eliminate the phlegm from you stuffy nose. Most effective treatment for stuffy nose & sinusitis. Should be strictly practised under a well trained Yoga doctor or yoga therapist qualified from a university like Svyasa, Bangalore, Bihar school of yoga etc.       

Simple Breathing Exercises for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases

Dr. Radhika Bharath, Physiotherapist
What is COPD?Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by breathlessness (short of breath) or getting tired while breathing. COPD is an umbrella term for conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema or a combination of both.Exercises of COPD• Deep breathing exercise:1) Diaphragmatic Breathing:- Sit Upright with back support- Look straight with chin neutral.- Place both your hands (palms one over the other) on your stomach (mid- abdomen)- Now take a deep breath in through your nose and feel your stomach move out (like an air filled balloon)- Make sure your chest does not move while breathing.- Once you have breathed in maximum, slowly breath out only through your mouth (as you blow a whistle) and feel your abdomen going inside.- Repeat this 10 time x 3 times a day2) Collateral Breathing: - Sit upright with back support - Look straight- Place your hands on the side of your chest wall (one hand on either sides)- Now take a deep breath in through your nose and feel the walls of your chest (rib cage) moving outwards as your chest expands.- No upper chest movement to be performed.- Now blow out the air through your mouth (as you blow a whistle) and feel the chest wall coming inside.- Repeat it 10 times x 3 times a day3) Apical Breathing:- Sit upright with a back support- Look straight, chin up- Place your palm across your upper chest (as the tips of your finger touch the collar bone).- Breath in through nose and feel the upper chest moving up.- Now once you have completely breathed in, slowly blow out through your mouth (as you blow a whistle) and feel your chest coming down to normal.- Repeat it 10 times x 3 times a day• Chest Expansion Techniques:1) Sit straight on a chair with back support (can also be done in lying).- Keep both the arms stretched out in front of the chest.- Now take your arms to the side and breath in through nose.- Slowly bring back the arms back in front of the chest and breath out through mouth.- Repeat 10 times 3 times a day.2) Sit on a chair with back support.- Keep both the arms stretched over head.- Bring both the arms to your shoulder level and breath in through nose.- Now gently take the hand back over head and breath out through mouth.- Repeat 10 times x 3 times a day.STAY HEATH WITH REGULAR EXERCISE!! GOOD LUCK!!

Self Help Tips to Manage Panic Attacks

Udayan Bhaumik, Psychiatrist
When it comes to panic attacks, professional treatment and therapy can make a big difference. But there are many things you can do to help yourself, too:Learn about panic. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You’ll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren’t going crazy.Avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it’s wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications.Learn how to control your breathing. Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious. If you know how to control your breathing, you are also less likely to create the very sensations that you are afraid of.Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation strengthen the body’s relaxation response—the opposite of the stress response involved in anxiety and panic. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, but they also increase feelings of joy and equanimity. So make time for them in your daily routine.These are not easy to do but can be managed with a little please remember and practise!!!

5 Yoga Poses to Stay Ahead in Life

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Yoga is a way of living; one should try to make use of it in life for a healthy body and mind. So for those who think they cannot stretch, twist and fold their body like professional yogis, we have chosen some of the easiest Yoga techniques or Yoga poses, anyone can do at home or at work, with minimal experience. All you need is a yoga mat, some willingness to stay ahead and change your life. These Yoga poses for beginners are so easy that you can do it at home, on the roof terrace or wherever there is a comfortable place to sit down.Basic meditative Position:These 5 Yoga exercises start with a basic meditative position so it is necessary to get familiar with it. First sit on the Yoga mat relaxed,legs crossed and spine straight as shown in the picture below.1.KAPĀLABHĀTI (Forceful Inhaling and Exhaling exercise.) Sit in the basic meditative position with your eyes closed and body relaxed. Now you have to inhale deeply so that your lungs get filled with air, wait for 1 second and forcefully exhale the air from your lungs by contracting the abdominal muscles. Do this 20-30 times per round and then take rest by deep breathing and slow exhaling.Good for: Sinus problems, Asthma, Fatigue, dust allergies and other respiratory diseases. It increases the blood flow to the lungs and face.People with heart ailments, high blood pressure, nasal bleeding, vertigo, and stroke should avoid this exercise.2. PRĀNẠ̄ YĀMA (Alternative breathing) Sit in a comfortable position ,slowly inhale through the right nostril with blocking the left nostril by the thumb, wait for as much as you can then slowly releasing the thumb and exhaling the air out. Repeat the same process with the right nostril this time. Increase the duration according to your strength.Good for: It provides the oxygen to the deeper parts of the lung and increases the lung capacity to fill the oxygen. It helps in relieving anxiety, stress and refreshes the mind. The best exercise for most respiratory disorders like Asthma, Sinus, Seasonal allergies.3. BHRAMARI (The Humming Bee buzzing sound)Bhramari word comes from the buzzing sound coming from bees. It is a type of Pranayama with focus basically on sound. Sit in the basic meditative position, with the eyes closed and relaxed breathing. Take a deep breath; focus on the area between the eyebrows and humming the (Om or Hmm) sound while exhaling. Make sure your jaws are locked so that the (Om or Hmm) sound creates a vibration in the head.Good for: Stress, Anxiety, Anger, hyperactivity of the mind, boosts concentration, great for attention deficit disorders. It has a tranquilizing effect on the mind.People with Ear and Nose disease should avoid this.4. DHYĀNA (Meditation)DHYĀNA is to dig deep within your soul to find all the answers to the questions asked by life. It is a good way of soul-searching.Sit in any meditative posture, keeping your back straight and body relaxed. First focus on the toe then shifting the focus on the knees, after sometimes shifts your focus on the genital area, next on to the heart area and at last the area between the eyebrows.Try to practice this technique in a peaceful area. Some people recommend soft music, but it can turn your focus to the music itself and here we are trying to dig deep in our soul, so music should be avoided.Good for: Concentration, attention deficit Disorders, Stress, Anxiety, Hyper activity, Soul Searching. Helps in drug abuse, smoking, alcohol or any kind of addiction, self-improvement and temperament.5. SANKALPA (The Vow)Sankalpa is all about determination and will power. I vow to change my life; I will do anything to achieve my Fitness, peace, love and Aim.At the end of the session make a Sankalpa every day stay focus on your goal to do whatever you want to.Good for: DE-addiction-Tremendous Will power is the most important ingredient to conquer any kind of addiction. Sankalpa practice gradually increases the will power,determination and could be used effectively against addiction.

Don't Let the Festival of Lights Burn Up Your Lungs!

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
We celebrate Diwali each year with loads of sweets, savouries, gifts, fetes, parties, get-togethers and of course crackers. How can we forget crackers? The festival celebrations have barely died down when the spike in pollution levels post Diwali becomes the media’s favorite new topic of discussion and debate. Newspapers and medical journals carry regular stories on soared levels of particulate matter every year post festive season. The fact that rise in particulate matter goes hand in hand with the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali makes one wonder whether all the celebration was worth the price!Dip in air quality in the NCR reaches dangerous levels post Diwali each year owing to incessant fireworks and crackers. Massive quantities of fireworks go up in smoke during the festival leaving a demonic toxic haze filled with noxious pollutants suspended over our heads.Air pollution soars to hazardous levels across Delhi NCR each year a day after Diwali and is at times upto 20 times worse than what’s recommended by the World Health Organization. A survey conducted by WHO in 2014 found that 13 of the most polluted cities in the world were in India with Delhi being the front-runner in this race of doom.Air pollution is also a leading cause of premature deaths in India, with about 620,000 people dying every year from pollution-related diseases, says the WHO. Children are the most vulnerable to developing lung ailments including asthma and bronchitis since their lungs are not fully developed and absorb much more air. This can severely damage their cognitive abilities and nervous systems. The rise in air pollution has serious health implications for all of us as air particles tend to get lodged deep in the lung cavities and can even enter the bloodstream.There is no easy solution to the problem. Either we shun crackers completely and make Diwali totally pollution free or start looking for a solution that can keep our lungs clean and disease free over a long period of time. Salt Therapy is one powerful, natural and effective treatment to combat respiratory ailments caused due to exposure to high pollution levels called triggers or genetic factors. It is a world-renowned and scientifically proven therapy providing drug free solution to respiratory problems without any side effects. The therapy helps to clean airways and speed up muco-ciliary transport thereby enhancing body immunity. It is very effective and absolutely safe for children and even pregnant women.So let the natural goodness of salt treat and heal you!

Reduce Belly Fat With This Exercise

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
You have to admit that belly fat hanging around your belly is the worst enemy of your figure and it is very very hard to get rid off.Here is an exercise that reduce the belly fat around your waist.One should be well prepared prior to this exercise i.e warm up,hydration.For quick result,this exercise should be done in conjugation with diet.About this Exercise:In this exercise, breathing activated and strengthen the deepest abdominal muscles by simply doing contraction.If you’re doing this exercise correctly, you will strengthen the entire central part of the body and stabilize the spine which will remove the pain from the lower back and improve your posture. This technique of deep breathing and ‘suction’ air from the stomach is part of the Pilates and yoga, but you can do apart from these types of exercises. As soon as you wake up (ideally on an empty stomach, and while you are still in bed) lie on your back with knees bent and feet laid on the mattress. Inhale, then deeply exhale and pull your stomach so hard as you want to ‘clung’ navel to the spine. The more you inhale your belly it will be stronger contractions and efficiency of movement. Hold pulled stomach 15 seconds to start, and as you progress to extend the grip of up to 60 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.When you are ready for a more difficult version of stomach vacuum exercise, you should do exercise kneeling on your knees and hands, sitting straight in a chair or on the ball for Pilates. After a certain time of exercise, you will be able to hold your stomach compressed while sitting or standing throughout the day.If you perform this easiest exercise for a flat stomach regularly, eat healthy food, you will see the results already for 2 weeks.