The Art of the Breath
Breathing for Pelvic Floor Health: The Surprising Connection
Breathing is a fundamental part of our daily lives, yet most of us don’t give it much thought. However, recent research has shown that proper breathing techniques can have a significant impact on pelvic floor health.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. These muscles play a vital role in controlling urination, defecation, and sexual function. Pelvic floor dysfunction, which can occur due to weakened or tight muscles, can lead to a variety of issues such as incontinence, pain during sex, and pelvic organ prolapse.
One often overlooked aspect of pelvic floor dysfunction is the role that breathing plays. When we inhale, our diaphragm descends, creating pressure in the abdomen. This pressure, when properly controlled, can help activate and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
On the other hand, if we breathe in a shallow manner or hold our breath, we increase intra-abdominal pressure, which can put undue stress on the pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to overuse and strain, resulting in pelvic floor dysfunction.
The good news is that proper breathing techniques can help alleviate these issues. One such technique is diaphragmatic breathing, which involves breathing deeply into the lower abdomen, expanding the diaphragm and ribcage. This type of breathing can help reduce stress and tension in the pelvic floor muscles and promote relaxation.
In a study published in the International Urogynecology Journal, researchers found that diaphragmatic breathing can significantly improve pelvic floor muscle function and reduce symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction in women with stress urinary incontinence.
In addition to diaphragmatic breathing, other breathing techniques such as pursed lip breathing and paced breathing can also help promote relaxation and reduce stress on the pelvic floor muscles.
It’s important to note that breathing alone may not be enough to fully address pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, may also be necessary. However, incorporating proper breathing techniques into a pelvic floor exercise routine can help maximize their effectiveness.
In conclusion, proper breathing techniques can play a significant role in promoting pelvic floor health. By incorporating diaphragmatic breathing and other breathing techniques into a daily routine, individuals can help strengthen and relax their pelvic floor muscles, leading to improved bladder control, sexual function, and overall quality of life.
- Sapsford R, Hodges P. Contraction of the pelvic floor muscles during abdominal maneuvers. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;82(8):1081-1088. doi:10.1053/apmr.2001.24201
- Sapsford R. Rehabilitation of pelvic floor muscles utilizing trunk stabilization. Man Ther. 2004;9(1):3-12. doi:10.1016/S1356-689X(03)00051-9
- Sampselle CM, Miller JM, Mims BL, et al. Randomized controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle exercises and aerobic exercise for pelvic floor dysfunction. Obstet Gynecol. 2011;118(4):876-883. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822ad943
- Jundt K, Scheele S, Tunn R. Diaphragmatic breathing as a therapeutic intervention for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction – a pilot study. Int Urogynecol J. 2016;27(1):23-28. doi:10.1007/s00192-015-2783-3
Breathing is an essential bodily function that is often taken for granted. However, proper breathing techniques can have a significant impact on our overall health and wellbeing. In fact, studies have shown that proper breathing can help reduce stress, improve lung function, boost immune function, and even enhance athletic performance.
One of the most important aspects of proper breathing is the ability to breathe deeply into the lungs. This type of breathing, known as diaphragmatic breathing, involves using the diaphragm, a muscle located below the lungs, to expand the ribcage and draw air into the lungs. Diaphragmatic breathing can help increase the amount of oxygen that enters the body, which can have numerous health benefits.
Deep breathing has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps promote relaxation and calm. In fact, studies have found that deep breathing can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Proper breathing can also improve lung function, which is important for overall health. By breathing deeply, we can increase the amount of oxygen that enters the body and improve the efficiency of the respiratory system. This can help reduce the risk of lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
In addition to improving lung function, proper breathing can also boost immune function. Studies have found that deep breathing can help increase the production of natural killer cells, which are white blood cells that help fight off viruses and bacteria. This can help reduce the risk of infections and improve overall health.
Proper breathing techniques can also enhance athletic performance. By improving the amount of oxygen that enters the body, deep breathing can help increase endurance and reduce fatigue. Studies have found that athletes who practice deep breathing techniques have better endurance and perform better in high-intensity workouts.
Overall, proper breathing techniques can have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. By practicing diaphragmatic breathing and other breathing techniques, individuals can improve lung function, reduce stress and anxiety, boost immune function, and enhance athletic performance. It’s important to incorporate proper breathing techniques into a daily routine to reap the many health benefits they provide.
Jerath, R., Barnes, V. A., & Crawford, M. W. (2015). Mind-body response and neurophysiological changes during stress and meditation: central role of homeostasis. Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents, 29(4), 563–576.
Sharma, M., & Smith, A. (2014). The effects of controlled deep breathing on anxiety. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 19(3), 195–201.
Kox, M., van Eijk, L. T., Zwaag, J., et al. (2014). Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(20), 7379-7384.
Lin, I. M., Tai, L. Y., Fan, S. Y., & Breathing for Relaxation Group. (2017). Breathing at a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute with equal inhalation-to-exhalation ratio increases heart rate variability. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 113, 33-38.
Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 8(3), 201-217.
Breathing is an essential part of our daily lives, yet it is often overlooked and taken for granted. Proper breathing techniques can prevent numerous health issues, including pelvic floor disorders. Pelvic floor disorders affect millions of people worldwide, and they can significantly impact one’s quality of life. However, by breathing correctly, one can prevent pelvic floor issues and improve overall health and wellbeing.
Research studies have shown the importance of proper breathing techniques in preventing pelvic floor issues. Here are five studies that support the importance of breathing in pelvic floor health:
A study published in the International Urogynecology Journal found that deep breathing exercises improved pelvic floor muscle strength and reduced urinary incontinence in women. The study concluded that deep breathing exercises should be included in pelvic floor muscle training programs to improve outcomes.
In another study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, researchers found that breathing retraining reduced pelvic pain and improved pelvic floor muscle function in women with chronic pelvic pain. The study suggests that proper breathing techniques can be a valuable tool in managing pelvic floor disorders.
A study published in the International Journal of Urology found that women with pelvic floor dysfunction had significantly lower diaphragmatic breathing amplitudes compared to healthy controls. The study suggests that diaphragmatic breathing exercises can improve pelvic floor muscle function and reduce symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.
In a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, researchers found that deep breathing exercises improved pelvic floor muscle function and reduced urinary incontinence in postpartum women. The study concludes that deep breathing exercises should be included in postpartum rehabilitation programs to prevent pelvic floor disorders.
Finally, a systematic review published in the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy found that breathing exercises are effective in improving pelvic floor muscle function and reducing symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. The review suggests that breathing exercises should be included in pelvic floor rehabilitation programs.
In conclusion, proper breathing techniques are crucial in preventing pelvic floor disorders and improving overall health and wellbeing. The five studies cited in this article provide evidence that deep breathing exercises and diaphragmatic breathing can improve pelvic floor muscle function and reduce symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. It is never too late to start breathing correctly and improving your pelvic floor health.
To begin the secret to making one of the most powerful throat chakra smoothies is by utilizing one of the strongest phenomena in this universe. This phenomena is the placebo effect. Many people are aware that this effect happens, but they never use it in their everyday lives. For this smoothie we will most certainly be taking advantage of it. It would appear the placebo effect has different levels of strength. Based on a research study called, Components of placebo effect: randomized controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. In this study 262 people who had irritable bowel syndrome were placed in 3 groups. The first group simply had their bowel syndrome observed over the course of the study. The second group every so often would visit a doctor who would prescribe them a fake acupuncture session, a session where fake needles were used, which in theory should have no effect on bowel syndrome. The third group was similar to the second, but had much more encouraging interactions with the doctor. The second and third group, but especially the third group, had significant relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
It would seem that the more steps done to help the patient the more the patient believed they were being helped. This intern managed to help their irritable bowel syndrome more. For this smoothie recipe we will include many additional steps that most likely aren’t in your everyday smoothie, to increase your placebo effect, and thus more effectively heal your throat chakra.
The energy vibrating in your throat has a wavelength of the color blue, which is why blue is commonly associated with the throat chakra. Many of the ingredients used will be blue, and that way when it turns into energy in the body it will go to the throat. The physical body, and the spiritual body are two sides of the same coin. If your physical body is unhealthy then your spiritual body will be unhealthy and vice versa. So foods that help your physical throat will help your spiritual throat, your throat chakra. For most ingredients the better the quality, such as freshness, the greater effect it will have on the throat.
Fresh Blueberries: Blueberries contain omega 3’s, anti-inflammatories which can help reduce neck pain. Blueberries have astringent tannins that help a sore throat. Overall they keep your throat hydrated and protected, which will help the chakra.
Blue Spirulina: Blue spirulina is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-angiogenic agent. Antioxidants help prevent your cells against free radicals. While the other properties help in preventing cancer. It reduces bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol. In a study called Anti-Cancer effects of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis 52 people were given one gram of blue spirulina a day, had LDL cholesterol decreased by 10.1%.
According to a new study utility of spirulina as protein source and immunobooster in covid period. Spirulina has the highest amount of protein per gram than any other substance. It can enhance the body’s ability to make new blood cells, bone marrow, and stem cells. It was also concluded it can help fight itchy throats due to allergies.
Overall Blue spirulina is omnipotent, and you should most certainly include it in your smoothie.
Honey: Honey is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial capacity, anticancer activity, anticancer activity, antiviral activity, antifungal properties, and antidiabetic properties.
So overall it can help with almost any illness. In a study called honey for acute cough in children. The study pointed to showing that honey can relieve cough symptoms better than a placebo, and diphenhydramine. However the results were not statistically significant. What was statistically significant was coughing suppression in each one.
Blackberries: Black Berries contain a lot of vitamin C, K, and E. As well as anthocyanins which reduce body inflammation, protect brain health, regulate blood pressure, and enhance cognitive function. Blackberries like blueberries have astringent tannins that are helpful for sore throats.
Blueberry yogurt: Many different options can be used for this. I prefer using greek yogurt since it is protein- rich, and usually contains less sugar than most other yogurts. Also in study called Dairy and Bone it was found that dairy yogurt is great for your bones due to calcium, protein and potassium, that are in far greater quantities than plant based yogurt.
The most important thing to watch out for is added sugar. Most yogurt has far too much sugar. Find one that is low. Also make sure the yogurt comes from organic and grass fed sources, instead of coming from industrial milk. There haven’t been too many studies on the benefits of plant based yogurts, but a plant based yogurt can be used as a supplement. Just make sure it doesn’t have too much sugar.
Plant based milk: Many different options can be used for this. I prefer to use unsweetened organic coconut milk. Just make sure when you purchase a plant based milk it is low in sugar similar to that of yogurt. If you do decide to use dairy milk make sure it is farm feed, and organic not from factory farms. I prefer not to consume a lot of dairy since our ability to consume dairy is a fairly new evolutionary ability. For example if you live in areas where dairy wasn’t a relevant part of your diet like west africa, and china many are lactose intolerant. Even most people that aren’t lactose intolerant develop lactose intolerance starting at age 20. Right now the human race is not made to consume large amounts of dairy, and since I use a lot of milk in my smoothies I like to use plant based milk.
Plant based protein powder: I prefer to use plant based protein powder over whey protein powder, for similar reasons to why I use plant based milk. Also plant based protein powder was found to have the same ability to promote muscle thickness as whey based protein powder in a study called Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training.
If you worked out the day you are making this, there is no reason to not add protein powder to make your muscles stronger. I would use vanilla flavored protein powder since it goes better with blueberries.
Oatmeal: This is a personal preference of mine. Oatmeal is super cheap, has a lot of calories, and is very healthy. I struggle with gaining weight so I always include oatmeal in my smoothies. It was found that oatmeal reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations without affecting high density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglyceride concentrations in a study called State of the Art Reviews: The oatmeal-cholesterol connection: 10 Years Later.
Enchanting your smoothie
Now in order to maximize this smoothie to open up your throat chakra it’s time to add some additional steps, to increase the placebo effect. The best way to do this is to add a ritual to it. Add some of your own personal beliefs and faith into this smoothie. For example, if you believe that crystals hold power, add some lapis lazuli to your throat smoothie at the end. Leave the crystals in the smoothie for a couple of minutes, then remove it. Another example is if you believe that the moon holds power, leave some fruits you use in moonlight the night before. If you believe praying to be powerful then pray. The more things you can do the better, so you can come up with your own additional step that you believe would work then add it!
Something to invest in is an enchantment table/ alchemy table and create the smoothie on top of this table. I will have an article going in detail on how to make one. But essentially it is very similar to something you would see in a movie or game, just a little bit more tricked out for cooking. Witches have used alchemy tables to cast their spells, and brew potions for eons. When someone prays in front of an altar/shrine to God that altar/shrine is acting very similar to an alchemy table. So if you have an altar or shrine it can easily be turned into an enchantment table. An altar is a place of sacrifice and a power point to draw spiritual and supernatural strength (Genesis 8:20-21). By preparing your smoothie on the altar you can draw in energy from the supernatural and the table to use in your smoothie.
Use the power of words. In movies and games sorcerers always say words when producing a spell. This is not far off from what many religions do today. In Hindu and Buddhist religions they use mantras to help improve whatever they are doing. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam they use words in prayer, and during baptisms, calling on the holy spirit. In a study called Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on Autonomic Cardiovascular Rhythms: Comparative Study 23 healthy adults were required to say rhythmic formulas such as saying the rosary and yoga mantras to see if it can reinforce inherent cardiovascular rhymes and modify baroreflex sensitivity. There was significant evidence of enhancement in heart rate variability, and increase in baroreflex sensitivity. This is just evidence to show that when you say words arithmetically there is power there.
I like to pray a throat chakra prayer 3 times into my smoothie, then ask the holy spirit to allow this smoothie to purify my throat 6 times, and then chant the throat chakra mantra, HAM, 9 times. Watch out! You may find yourself being a priest or a yogi shortly after drinking this smoothie if you start going this route.
Next up you can purely meditate on the intention of the smoothie to heal/open up your throat chakra. In a recent study called effects of distant intention on water crystal formation a triple blind replication scientists placed stem cells in a media that contained water. One media had monks that were concentrating on the water to make the stem cells proliferate more. The other had no outside influence. The one that the monks concentrated on proliferated much more. Now you aren’t a monk, but the power of intention is real, it is demonstrated again, and again in science. The only difference is monks are able to tune out thoughts of doubt, and distracting thoughts from their head for a long period of time making it more effective for them. However if you understand how to meditate properly you can still produce a measurable effect. I like to meditate, and just simply picture the drink glowing blue, and what it will make my throat feel like, for 10 min, and yes 10 minutes straight.
With any of these things it’s best to have people help you, for example, a significant other. A significant other who helps prepare the smoothie with you will only amplify these effects, especially the meditation one. Lynne Mctaggart studies the power of group intentions, and finds when many people are all focusing on one intention that intention gets far more powerful. This has been demonstrated when many people will meditate on peace in certain places, and crime rates will drastically fall during the meditations. By having multiple people speak mantras, prayers, and perform rituals the effects will be greater.
Lastly when drinking the smoothie focus on the intention of it opening up your throat, feel the drink flow down your throat, and see if you can remember this feeling. Many of us when eating/ drinking think of other things. Doing this for the smoothie will be a waste, prepare yourself before drinking it to concentrate on the taste, and the experience. Make sure you can remember the taste and feel of it 5 min after drinking it.
Drink this smoothie a couple times a month, and I guarantee that your communication skills will skyrocket.
Sources are in order that they appear in article.
Kaptchuk, T. J., Kelley, J. M., Conboy, L. A., Davis, R. B., Kerr, C. E., Jacobson, E. E., Kirsch, I., Schyner, R. N., Nam, B. H., Nguyen, L. T., Park, M., Rivers, A. L., McManus, C., Kokkotou, E., Drossman, D. A., Goldman, P., & Lembo, A. J. (2008). Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 336(7651), 999–1003. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39524.439618.25
Koníčková, R., Vaňková, K., Vaníková, J., Váňová, K., Muchová, L., Subhanová, I., Zadinová, M., Zelenka, J., Dvořák, A., Kolář, M., Strnad, H., Rimpelová, S., Ruml, T., J Wong, R., & Vítek, L. (2014). Anti-cancer effects of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis, a natural source of bilirubin-like tetrapyrrolic compounds. Annals of hepatology, 13(2), 273–283.
Heaney R. P. (2009). Dairy and bone health. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28 Suppl 1, 82S–90S. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2009.10719808
Babault, N., Païzis, C., Deley, G. et al. Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 12, 3 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-014-0064-5
Andon MB, Anderson JW. State of the Art Reviews: The Oatmeal-Cholesterol Connection: 10 Years Later. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2008;2(1):51-57. doi:10.1177/1559827607309130.
Bernardi, L., Sleight, P., Bandinelli, G., Cencetti, S., Fattorini, L., Wdowczyc-Szulc, J., & Lagi, A. (2001). Effect of rosary prayer and yoga mantras on autonomic cardiovascular rhythms: comparative study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 323(7327), 1446–1449. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7327.1446
Bonnet, U., Specka, M., Soyka, M., Alberti, T., Bender, S., Grigoleit, T., Hermle, L., Hilger, J., Hillemacher, T., Kuhlmann, T., Kuhn, J., Luckhaus, C., Lüdecke, C., Reimer, J., Schneider, U., Schroeder, W., Stuppe, M., Wiesbeck, G. A., Wodarz, N., … Scherbaum, N. (2020, September 22). Ranking the harm of psychoactive drugs including prescription analgesics to users and others–a perspective of German addiction medicine experts. Frontiers. Retrieved February 15, 2023, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.592199/full
Bonnet U;Specka M;Soyka M;Alberti T;Bender S;Grigoleit T;Hermle L;Hilger J;Hillemacher T;Kuhlmann T;Kuhn J;Luckhaus C;Lüdecke C;Reimer J;Schneider U;Schroeder W;Stuppe M;Wiesbeck GA;Wodarz N;McAnally H;Scherbaum N; (n.d.). Ranking the harm of psychoactive drugs including prescription analgesics to users and others-A perspective of German addiction medicine experts. Frontiers in psychiatry. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33192740/