The Benefits of Cooking Less and Breathing Better
by Michael Grant White
"Man lives on 1/4 of what he eats. The doctors live on the other 3/4”. Dr. Andreas Buchinger, Third generation physician administrator of the Buchinger Fasting Clinic in Bad Pyrmont Germany. At a 1998 lecture on fasting at Fort Mason, San Francisco.
There is a direct relationship between breathing and aliveness. Oxygen is our primary nutrient. Breathing is also related to positive emotions. Stop now and hold your breath and try getting real excited. You can’t. Nobody can. Passion, laughter, and high states of energy all require maximal breathing ease and volume.
We have approximately 70 billion cells and they all interrelate with each other and are involved in countless biochemical reactions. And if you under breathe, your cellular functions and entire body machinery will become sluggish and you’ll lose your vitality and age quickly.
If you under breathe you will have insufficient blood oxygen, and that forces your enzymes to do extra work. We can think of enzymes as the labor work force of our body chemistry system. Without them, chemical reactions slow to a halt. Most of our metabolic enzymes are manufactured by our bodies. Relatively few are needed for the digestion of the food we eat if the food is live and has its own enzymes intact. If our food has been cooked and the enzymes destroyed, then the body must work extra hard to manufacture and secrete extra quantities of enzymes to do the digestion work of the “fired" ones.
Most people breathe from 10 to 20% of what they optimally could. A 30 year 5,200 person study (Framingham) showed that breathing volume was the most significant factor in longevity. Your breathing is the primary source of your energy; more so than food by several thousand times. (How long can you hold your breath? Compare that to how long you can go without food.) Unless you are breathing inside of a oxygen poor environment like a “sick” building that restricts the amount of fresh air that comes inside it, how much oxygen you take in is largely dependent upon the way that you breathe.
There is a calming, easy way to breathe and a harder, stimulating/increased oxygen usage way. Most people breathe the hard way due to stress and mild or severe breathing blocks. That’s a little or a lot like swimming upstream. Environmental, immune system and food issues aside, asthmatics largely breathe in an over stimulating way. Some people can be over calmed; they may call it depression or malaise. People who under breathe are hard to motivate. They don’t have the “juice” to do much about getting more “juice”. Some realize they are under energized but most think their breathing is “normal” and overlook the opportunity to improve their most profound energy source. This is why I talk so much about properly assessing your breathing. This brings the blocks up to the level of conscious awareness so we can work on their removal.
Improving your breathing will almost always improve your metabolism. The more oxygen you breathe into your system, the more efficient your body will be at metabolizing nutrients and creating energy in your cells, as it won’t need to dip in to its own oxygen and enzyme reserves. When we consistently breathe better we need less food and can go comfortably longer between feedings; if it’s living food instead of cooked, we have even more “energy to burn”. If you have been eating predominantly cooked foods, you will find that eating more living foods with live enzymes adds immensely to the entire process. Enzymes and breathing are totally synergistic.
Breathing blocks can stay in place for a lifetime, including with world class athletes and opera stars. The elite breathers get them just like anyone else; from trauma, bad body dynamics, improper or excessive exercise or misuse of the breathing system as in over-blowing a saxophone repeatedly over many years. I suspect that Flo Jo, the Olympic champion sprinter who recently died at age 38 of a heart attack, had developed breathing blocks and was unaware of them. If she did have them they could have been eliminated.
These blocks do not usually go away by themselves. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Many people over breathe or breathe “out of balance”. This can stimulate excessive adrenaline, thicken blood, rob one of sleep, increase heart rate, anxiety and blood pressure, invite headaches and hot flashes, and increase pain responses, to mention but a few problems. These responses use up oxygen. Under breathing causes oxygen deprivation and nerve force depletion, and can make even the best diets ineffective.
Combine breathing easier, bigger, fuller, and deeper together with living foods which are full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, alkaloids, and enzymes. Since the food is fresh, and not compromised, it may well be easier to digest and assimilate. It hopefully has a high water content, good fiber, and being live, an unquestionably higher quality and larger supply of life force. In addition, as Ed Baumann, Ph.D Nutritionist, says “ I see the nutrients being the building blocks of enzymes, a bit of a conservative view, but nonetheless, a defensible one. More potassium, magnesium, B complex zinc, vitamin C with flavanoids help the mouth and small intestine maintain alkalinity and support the salivary and pancreatic glands to make sufficient digestive enzymes. Furthermore, the nutrients allow the liver and membranes to make metabolic enzymes.”
Breathing is not the panacea for all of your problems, but breathing is at the top of the list of MY priorities. You can learn to breathe better safely and easily, and with an increased amount of live nutrient and enzyme rich food in your diet, you will become healthier and happier and get lots more out of life.
God bless you,
Michael Grant White,
References: 1. ”Energies of Transformation”, Bonnie Greenwell, Shakti River Press 2. ”Radiance Breathwork, Movement and Body Centered Psychotherapy” by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Wingbow Press
Thanks to David Klein of www.livingnutrition.com for editorial assistance.