Monday, February 19, 2018

The Art of Breathing Correctly

The Art of Breathing Correctly
We all know that breathing is the key to life; if we cannot breathe we will die. What most people do not know is how to breathe correctly. We associate breathing with the lungs which is partly true. The lungs are paired, cone-shaped organs located in the thoracic cavity. They are separated by the heart and by the plural membrane that encloses each lung. They are also separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm.

The lungs mix blood with oxygen, and expel used air, carbon dioxide, and other toxins. According to the Taoist Five Element System, the lungs are the Metal Yin organs and autumn is the season of Metal. The large intestines are the yang organs of autumn and during this time both should undergo a detoxification process to prepare for winter. A Chunsoo Treatment at the Harlem Taoist Ki Center is a way to start the detoxification process for the lungs and large intestines

Abdominal breathing is an ancient method used by Taoist and martial artist to detoxify the lungs. I was taught this many years ago by my teacher Great Grand Master Leon Wallace while studying Goju karate under him. His favorite Kata and what became my favorite was Sanchin also known as the breathing Kata. The Sanchin Kata was developed over 100 years ago by the founder of the Goju (hard/soft) Karate system Miyage Chojun as an exercise to develop breathing, thrusting and footwork.  Grand Master Wallace would always say Sanchin will make you strong and keep you healthy; it took me many years to truly understand his wisdom.

I always gave abdominal breathing instructions before giving a Chunsoo treatment. Abdominal breathing is bring in air through the nose to expand the abdominal area not the diaphragm (a common mistake that people make when taking a deep breathe). When exhaling we push the abdominal area as far back as possible. This method allows the lungs to better expel toxins. When learning to meditate abdominal breathing is very important, it will help to relax the mind.

When you were in your mother’s womb you used abdominal breathing to receive and expel nutritional fluids produced by your mother. That is why many Taoist call abdominal breathing baby breathing. During Taoist organ massage treatments like Chunsoo (Korea) and Chi Net Tsang (Chinese) practitioners have their patients use deep abdominal breathing while they manipulate the abdominal area during the exhalation and inhalation phases. Taoist master Mantak Chia describes this method for lung detox in his excellent book Chi Nei Tsang: Internal Organs Chi Massage.

If you are interested in this Taoist method of breathing correctly for improving and maintaining strong healthy lungs call the Harlem Ki center at 646 329-6727 to schedule an appointment. During the autumn season I will give a free (donations will be accepted) introductory treatment for first time callers. Remember learning to breathe correctly will improve your health and the quality of your life.

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