Rather belatedly here is the 3rd part in the series on chronic systemic inflammation. In Parts 1 & 2 we took a brief look at how breathing too much can relate and create a lot of stress in the system and why this may be the case. This 3rd and final part will take a quick look at how to identify if you are not breathing effectively, how to tell if you may have chronic systemic inflammation, and what to start doing about it if you think you do.
Signs of chronic “over breathing”, i.e. breathing at a faster rate than physically required and systemic inflammation have (un)surprisingly similar symptoms. These symptoms include:
Digestive issues (including food intolerances)
Excessive yawning and sighing
Disrupted sleep (either getting to sleep or waking through the night)
Never feeling rested when waking up
Elevated breathing rate
Uneven breathing pattern (for example a number of small breaths followed by a big one)
Chest breathing or mouth breathing
Lack of durability in stressful environments
Big "bags" under eyes
Quite the list, and that is not exhaustive, and you may notice that a lot of these symptoms are also similar to those who suffer with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Fortunately if these problems are in any way related to breathing then there are often some very simple things that you can start doing to improve a lot of things.
Start breathing through your nose. If you notice that you are breathing through your mouth then close it and breathe through the nose, there are a HUGE number of benefits to doing this. This needs to become habitual so if you find that you keep reverting to mouth breathing then you may want to consider taping your mouth closed whilst you sleep, providing you are comfortable doing this. This will habituate you to breathing through your nose. Nasal breathing prompts diaphragmatic breathing (rather than chest breathing), and this is important to get your lymphatic system working more efficiently, particularly whilst you are asleep.
Start practising holding your breath for easy lengths of time just after taking a normal easy breath in and out of your nose. Don’t force these, only hold it for long enough that you can breathe normally afterwards and are not left gasping for air.
Take a couple of minutes to practise periods of restricted breathing, so breathe intentionally little for a couple of minutes just to become more used to doing it.
Take your shoes and socks off and go and walk around the garden or a local park. Research indicates that “grounding” or “earthing” provides a big boost to the immune system boosting numbers of white blood cells among other things. There are also bits of technology that can provide this earthing that you can add to your bed when you can’t get outside. Fortunately this is the right time of year to do it.
Another great thing to boost the immune system is to expose yourself to cold water. So when you shower at the end run the shower cool (as cold as you can tolerate) for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes this invigorates your system and provides a boost to the immune system.
Finally, get hold of some local raw honey and add it to your diet. Not only may this help with hay fever but will also provide another boost to the immune system as honey is anti-bacterial and anti-viral. So honey can be a great thing to add to a diet either before or after you exercise or undertake something stressful as both stress and exercise (physical stress) actually lower the immune system and so make you more susceptible to picking up bugs.
So there you go, 4 very simple, effective, and almost entirely free, things that can be used to provide an immune system boost and get things working more effectively, not a drug or pill in sight. Start slowly integrating these into your life, get yourself breathing less, and breathe through your nose and quality of sleep, susceptibility to picking up illnesses, quality of sleep, concentration levels, and many more things may also start to improve.
Often these very simple changes can go a long way to start improving someone’s problems. Just yesterday we had a report back from a woman who has had a nasal drip for years that consciously breathing through her nose has cleared the problem up. Just remember that if your system is ramped up and you have been in a heightened state for many years to start experiencing these symptoms then these things are something that you will likely have to work on consistently for an extended period of time to start making an impression and experience a notable change. That being said some people note remarkable changes pretty quickly. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
I am currently working on a resource which looks into what I have discussed in this last 3 part series in much more detail including more detailed practical application as well as a lot more of the science behind it all. If you are interested then keep a look out for it in the next few weeks.