Taken from my book "Superior Health : The Secrets Of The Chinese And Eastern Way."
So what way should we breathe ?
Well, the proper way is complete breathing. It involves expanding both the belly and the lungs as you take each breath in; then letting the lungs deflate back into place and at the same time, pulling the belly back in to its original starting position.
If you look at animals, children or babies asleep, you will quite often see their abdomen naturally move up and down in a similar fashion as they are breathing.
1) The first step is to breathe through your nose for everyday normal breathing. The tiny hairs in the nose help to trap and filter, dust, toxins and other airborne pollutants. Breathing through the nose also heats and moistens the air, so it is particularly useful in winter.
However, if you find you are overheating, it is best to temporarily breathe through your mouth to cool yourself down and regulate your temperature.
When you breathe out, pull the belly in. This will push the diaphragm back up into your lungs, helping them to squeeze out any waste and fluids, and will again massage the lower organs.
Until you get good at this, it is sometimes useful to practice by standing with your back against a wall. Then place your hand on your abdomen and feel it move out as you inhale and pull in tightly as you exhale. Over time you will find it easy to extend your belly in and out, moving it over four inches and more, every time you breathe.
3) Finally, when you are breathing through your nose and your abdomen is moving properly as well, you can then apply the last stage, which is to expand your chest as you breathe in and then simply let it drop back into its lower position as you breathe out.
Now in every breath you are completely maximizing oxygen and energy intake, and expelling waste as effectively as possibly from the lungs.
Before the body will adopt it, it needs to be implanted into your subconscious mind. If you practice this method daily for twenty breaths or about two or three minutes, you will find that it eventually sinks into your subconscious and becomes your normal everyday method of breathing.
At this stage, even if you are sitting at your desk using a computer or behind the steering wheel of a car, your abdomen will now be moving in and out and you will be breathing correctly. When this happens you will also find that your system will be generally more alert, productive and energetic.
In some people this will gradually happen over a month or two, some others however may take up to a year to perfect and retain this method.
But no matter how long it takes, stick with it. It produces so many great health benefits for your mind, body and spirit. And is therefore definitely worth the small amount of practice required to implement it into your daily routine.