Salt pipe and deep breathing
So, what are the benefits of using a salt pipe?
Breathe better and easier
A lot cheaper than visiting a salt mine/room
No side effects
You can have the salt therapy at home
Quick and easy treatment
The natural salty fumes will reduce the swelling in the nasal passages and has a thinning effect on mucus, resulting in improved breathing.
You can feel instant relief from the phlegm which feels stuck deep in your lungs, irritates your breathing, and often causes you to cough non-stop.
Salty air has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence it helps to clear your entire respiratory tract of bacteria that could trigger an asthma attack.
It was at a seminar when this method of breathing was first introduced to me. At first, I bought a salt pipe for my husband, who suffers from asthma, and then I started to use it. I found that my breathing became deeper, after I used it, and so I rested better. I use it each morning just before journaling. Salt pipes contain small salt particles in an inhaler type device, which are thought to help with the conditions COPD and Asthma, but they also help people when they are deep breathing. The idea was derived from people visiting salt mines and caves many years ago in central Europe, which appeared to help with their breathing problems.
Later on, I began using the alternate nostril breathing method for my deep breathing. I began teaching this to my coaching clients who have said that it has really helped them to relax more and give them a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Alternate nostril breathing is one technique, designed to calm a busy mind and induce deep relaxation and helps restore any imbalances in the brain. It also helps with pain, plus it is free! We all know a restless mind cannot relax, this technique balances both sides of the brain and thus calms your thinking. This helps you access true rest and relaxation much more effectively.
Try this alternate nostril breathing exercise:
Step one: Use right thumb to close off right nostril.
Step two: Inhale slowly through left nostril and hold the breath
Step three: Pause for a second
Step four: Now close off left nostril with ring finger and release thumb off right nostril
Step five: Exhale through your right nostril
Step six: Now, inhale through our right nostril and hold the breath
Step seven: Pause
Step eight: Now close off right nostril with right thumb and release left nostril
Step nine: Exhale through left nostril
Step ten: One round complete, try it again.
Start slowly with 1-2 rounds and increase gradually. Never force it. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished. Doing this for 5 minutes every morning is very beneficial. I used to do this exercise a lot in the steam room. Keeping myself warm and relaxed, and doing my breathing exercises, made me feel much more energised when I came out after 5-10 minutes.
If alternate nostril breathing is not for you then try breathing deeply from your abdomen, to allow as much fresh air as possible into your lungs. This way you inhale more oxygen than you would if you took shallow breaths from your upper chest. The more oxygen you get the less tense, short of breath and anxious you feel. The more relaxed you feel the quicker you will get to bed and sleep.
I found deep breathing particularly good for helping me to get rid of anxiety and reduce my pain levels. When I started to feel a bit stressed I would deep breathe. This could be at home when my family made me anxious, or if I started to have unhealthy thoughts. I would just deep breathe to relax myself. I found that when I was driving in the car or I was in the supermarket feeling tense, I would use these breathing exercises for two or three minutes to calm my nerves.
Deep breathing also helped to reduce the pain I was in. When I felt pain in a particular part of my body, I would start deep breathing. As I was deep breathing I would focus on the area that was causing me pain. After 15 – 20 minutes of doing this the pain would reduce and feel more bearable.
How to Deep Breathe
Sit comfortably if you can, or stand with your back straight, one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, the hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should hardly move. Exhale through your mouth, push out as much air as possible, while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, the other hand on your chest should again hardly move. Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so your lower abdomen rises and falls.
If you find this difficult while sitting up, try lying down and put a small book on your abdomen. It should rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. After practicing this kind of deep breathing for six months - one year, you will find that you get into the habit of deep breathing and will not need to use your hands to assess if you are breathing more from your stomach anymore.