Mental Health / Soulhub News

Season of the Lungs

by Luiza Kirk

In QiGong practice as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Autumn is the season associated with the Lungs.

The Lungs are the most external organ in our bodies and therefore the first to be attacked by external pathogens. TMC calls lungs a sensitive organ which means that possibly every person on earth has or will experience some kind of dis-ease associated with the Lungs in their lifetime.

Good breathing habits are therefore an essential tool to look after the wellbeing of our lungs.

How we breathe in many ways reflects how we live. In urban environments, where we tend to live with more speed and stress, we often develop breathing habits that help us get through the day with a high velocity of activity but we then can’t always unplug, don’t get good quality of sleep and develop a cycle where rest and activity are out of balance.

We tend to breathe higher in our chests, tightening our belly, jaw and many other areas of our bodies in an unconscious attempt to defend ourselves against stressful situations. Often, these habits become so ingrained, that after a while we no longer can find our way back to ease that is our birthright.

The first step to break out of this cycle is to develop an awareness of our breath so that we notice when our breath is shallow, gets stuck in the upper the chest, stops when we are lost in our heads or gets held as we can’t deal with challenging situations. Learning to direct our attention is an empowering and stabilising practice.

Once awareness is there, we can then consciously breathe through uncomfortable situations and emotions, allowing them to pass through rather than getting trapped in our bodies, only to resurface at the least expected and convenient times, often in an explosive and damaging way to our relationships. Once we have a practice that can support us, even a few minutes of full, relaxed breath can restore us back to balance.

By far the most rapid way to initiate the relaxation response is by taking long, slow, diaphragmatic breaths. You do this sitting or standing, although the easiest way to learn is lying down and allowing the belly to move down with gravity on exhalation.

It is good to remember that although we can easily cope with short bursts of stress, biologically, we are not designed to be in continual fight or flight. If we want well-being, the stress response has to be the exception, and equilibrium the norm.

To find out more about Luiza and her QiGong Practice, visit here

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