The human body cannot survive without air. Whether the breathing is exchanged in the lungs or between various tissues of the human body, the purpose is to absorb beneficial oxygen and exhale harmful carbon dioxide, so as to clean the blood, and then transport it from the heart to various tissues of the human body to promote metabolism. It thus maintains the normal functions of the human body, helps the human body to eliminate fatigue, and improve our physical health.
There are certain natural laws in breathing. Generally speaking, chest breathing is not beneficial to the human body, and abdominal breathing is better.
The meaning of tuna, which Huainanzi put it most concisely and clearly, is to exhale the old and get the new, meaning the exchange of air. In a nutshell, it is equivalent to modern deep breathing plus vital energy circulation.
Thus the breathing guidance technique is an ancient fitness method characterized by a combination of stretching exercise, breathing exercise, and massage exercise.
According to Huangdi Neijing, an ancient medical book:
People who eat miscellaneous foods but do not do physical labor will have illnesses arising from dysfunction, cold and heat. The treatment should be guidance and stilts.
It came with an original note that said:
Guidance refers to shaking the muscles and bones and to moving the branches. Stilts refer to pressing the skin and flesh and to lifting the hands and feet.
According to an ancient book Zhuangzi:
Blow and breathe. Spit out the old and accept the new. The bear and the bird thus live a long life.
Its interpretation is:
A bear climbs a tree and draws air; a bird throws out air when it sighs.
The book Cheng Shu further interpreted:
Similar to a bear climbing a tree and walking on its high legs. Similar to a bird flying in the air and stretching its feet. These are all motions of the guidance of breathing technique, used to keep the body and mind fit.
02 The wellness efficacy
Thus we use the breathing guidance method, the stretching method, and the massage method to assist us in doing proper breathing. The passive method of massage and the active method of guidance will interact with each other.
We use tapping, stretching, massage and whole body movement to improve our blood circulation and metabolism, to excite our subcutaneous nerves and soft tissues, muscles and blood periosteum, and even deep nerve trunks, thereby obtaining benign stimulation. It will affect our complex viscera to allow it to adjust functions of the whole body.
Abdominal breathing will promote abdominal muscles and diaphragms and other tissues to participate in the exercise to strengthen the compression force of abdominal wall muscles, make N-muscles and abdominal muscles perform strong stretching activities. It thus strengthens the contraction of the intestines. It thus promotes the secretion of various matters in the digestive tract, thereby enhancing digestion.
Because of this action, the viscera, the meridians and collaterals are simultaneously depressed. The anus, testes, bladder, etc. will be improved for excretion. The genital organs will be lifted. Thus, it has an overall effect on rising yang-energy, nourishing qi, and filling the true essence.
03 Breathing Guidance Preparatory Style
Stand naturally with your feet apart shoulder-wide. Look ahead. Raise your head and chest. Droop your hands by the sides of your body naturally to guard your heart.
You now inhale. Follow the inhalation, with your fingers facing each other, slowly raise your palms upwards. When your palms reach your chest, turn your palms facing inward. When your palms are flushed with your eyebrows, turn your palms downward. Now your inhalation should be full.
After the inhalation is complete, you pause for a while and make a quick exhale like a jet of air. Press your hands down quickly, straighten your elbows, and hold your palms parallel to the ground.
One exhalation and one inhalation is counted as one breath. You do three breaths in a row if you are a beginner. Then you may rest. If your body condition is good, you may do six breaths, nine breaths, up to twenty seven breaths before you rest.
Note that you should not bend or swing your lower limbs when you do the jet-like exhalation.
04 Breathing Guidance Squatting Style
The inhalation and its movements are the same as the preparatory style. When you do the jet-like exhalation, you squat down. At the end of exhalation, you place both hands on the outside of the knee joint, with the palm surface parallel to the ground.
After that, you stand up while inhaling, and squat down while exhaling.
You decide on how far you want to squat, but your body must be vertical. Actually how far you can squat depends on your body condition.
The rule on the number of times for squatting is the same as the preparatory style.
05 Breathing Guidance Horse-sitting Style
Stand naturally. Inhale with both hands half-fisted raising until eye-level then you make a cross with your hands. You should be in full inhalation now.
Then you exhale with your hands sliding down from your chest. Swing out to the left and right and stretch out your hands, palms facing down. Squat down and make a jet-like exhalation.
Then you inhale again. Raise your hands over your head, with half-clenched fists, and stand up.
The rule on the number of times for squatting is the same as the preparatory style.
When you inhale, you must inhale full. While you inhale, you must compress your abdomen simultaneously to allow air to come in. When you exhale, you must fully clean out the old air. Allow the abdomen to relax and the lungs to open simultaneously so that the breath can be exhaled slowly to increase the volume. The purpose of this process is to help ventilation.
Abdominal breathing can effectively relieve fatigue and keep the mind in a clear state. At the same time, it has a regulating effect on organs and also plays a certain role in the adjustment of meridians.
06 Secrets in practice
From the perspective of vital energy circulation, the secret method of breathing in and out of the abdomen can promote blood circulation in the body through the breathing process of one inhalation and exhalation. It will help to unblock the meridians in the body. It can also indirectly stimulate the blood vessels.
From the perspective of kinematics, the abdomen is retracted when inhaling, and the abdomen is emptied when exhaling. When performing breathing and exhalation exercises, you should try to relax the muscles of the body and let the body be in a calm state for inhalation.
Put your hands on your waist, with your thumbs facing forward, let air enter your lungs through inhalation. The breath must be full until you know that you cannot breathe in any more air. Then you transport the inhaled air to the dantian, and then adjust your breath for a few seconds by holding your breath for five seconds, then spit the air out through the lungs, trachea and throat.
After inhaling the air and sending it to the qihai acupoint at the dantian area, the breathing time is usually three to five seconds. If you just start to practice abdominal breathing, you can take a shorter time. Then you can increase the time to eight to ten seconds when you are well versed with the technique.
The Breathing Guidance Technique can increase the content of alkaline substances in the body, speed up the body’s blood circulation and heartbeat, speed up the delivery of body nutrients, and improve the body’s immunity. Toxins are excreted from the body through perspiration or defecation, reducing the content of acidic substances in the body, allowing the body’s pH to balance, and quickly improving chronic diseases.
All in all, the breathing technique is to exchange body air, rub the viscera to expel toxins and promote blood circulation.
If you choose to learn and practice the Mustang Breathing Technique, then go on to read and practice from the Practice Guide presented in a series of posts with pictures to guide you.
Read More: Mustang Breathing Guide Technique I
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