Ways to everyday wellnessBy Cory Quirino
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The human body can survive under extremely advanced conditions. This has been proven time and again in the past through biblical and wartime upheavals or climatic tragedies.
Today, there exists a new kind of challenge that may not be immediately seen or felt—the Modern Age.
We all seem to be swept up by the pressures of the 21st century.
Here’s the tug-of-war: If we could speed up life’s momentum in order to squeeze in all of what is considered desirable, successful, wealthy and powerful, then we could feel a sense of fulfillment. And yet, here’s the contradiction—we wish to move faster, but want to slow down aging.
Note the challenge: To overcome the ravages of time, you and I need to slow down. A compromise of sorts is at hand, a balancing act we need to come to terms with. Here are several everyday wellness regimens for your consideration.
Breathless in the Philippines
So essential to life itself, breathing is an involuntary action of the body designed to keep us alive. Whether you like it or not, you will breathe. As Jac Vidgen, promoter and instructor of the Buteyko Method, emphasized, even if you pinch your nose closed, it won’t stop breathing. Nobody commits suicide by simply holding one’s breath.
Q: Is there a proper way to breathe?
A: Yes. In the past, what was considered the right way is no longer enough—if you wish to have optimum health. Parents constantly nag children to keep their back straight, hold their head up high, inhale by raising their chest, and exhale while deflating their lungs.
There is a better way.
The Buteyko Breathing Technique is a complementary approach to natural health through a specific breathing regimen, developed in the 1950s by physiologist Konstantin Buteyko in Russia. The first official study into its effectiveness on asthma was undertaken in 1968 at the Leningrad Institute of Pulmonology.
The theory here is the concept of hyperventilation caused by overbreathing. This leads to low carbon dioxide levels in the blood, which causes disturbances of the acid-base balance and the lowering of oxygen levels in the lower tissues of the body.
The core principles of Buteyko are nasal breathing, reduced breathing through controlled retraining of the breath and relaxation.
Nasal breathing humidifies, warms and cleans the air we inhale. This is the basic problem of asthmatics who try to catch their breath through the mouth during asthma attacks.
In reduced-controlled breathing, breath control is key. By learning how to comfortably hold the breath after an exhalation, asthmatics will gradually increase their lung capacity and strength.
By relaxing and breathing less, asthma attacks can be avoided and stress-related hyperventilation is placed under control.
Advocates of Buteyko have reported improvement in their health challenges, like diabetes, respiratory illnesses, sinusitis, anxiety/panic attacks, and sleep apnea. Call (0919) 6356060 or log on to www.buteykoasia.com.
Want to grade your wellness aptitude and lifestyle? Answer honestly the following checklist.
How do you rate your present diet plan?
Very healthy and green (30 points)
Moderately healthy (20 points)
Very bad (10 points)
What are your energy levels?
Excellent (30 points)
Okay (20 points)
Low (10 points)
Which describes your fitness level?
Regular exercise plan and/or a very active job/life (30 points)
Moderate exercise but a sedentary life/job (20 points)
No exercise or active life/job (10 points)
How is your mood?
Positive (30 points)
Erratic (20 points)
Negative (10 points)
How much water do you drink?
1.5-2 liters (30 points)
3-5 glasses (20 points)
1-3 glasses (10 points)
How much coffee, tea and canned drinks do you consume daily?
None/few (30 points)
2-3 (20 points)
6 or more (10 points)
How much alcohol do you drink per week? (Note: 1 unit/serving equals 1 glass of wine, 1 pint of beer or 1 measure of spirits)
4-6 units (30 points)
8-12 units (20 points)
15 units or more (10 points)
How much fruits/vegetables do you eat daily? (Note: 1 portion is 1 cup)
5-6 portions (30 points)
2-4 portions (20 points)
1/none (10 points)
How often do you meditate/relax weekly?
7x weekly (30 points)
2x weekly (20 points)
1 or more (10 points)
Add up your scores.
Your wellness grade:
100 and below: You have to drastically change your lifestyle for the better. See your doctor, enroll in a health center and take control of your life.
180 and below: While you may have some form of commitment to healthy living, it is not enough. Strive to put in more effort and you will be happy with the result
270 and below: Congratulations! You are a health advocate. Longevity is yours to claim.
You definitely need to unwind.
The wellness way expects this for you.
1. Drink anything warm, soothing and nonalcoholic. A comforting tea is best. Whether it’s mint, lavender or ginger, it will definitely raise your energy calmly.
2. Draw a warm bath in a tub. Mix 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp olive oil. Add 1 cup of sea salt. This is a beauty and relaxation bath.
Affirm today: “I am the miracle!”
Love and light!