The lungs – and why we need to keep moving!

Mike Overend takes a look into the wellbeing of your lungs from a physical, mental/emotional and spiritual point of view.

I was fortunate enough to attend an online talk on respiratory fascia at the end of last year. Part of the talk involved a demonstration of the inflation and deflation of a complete set of human lungs following a dissection. I was struck by how beautiful the lungs are and how their regular, rhythmical movement was synonymous with life itself.

What I had’t fully appreciated was the potential effect of the inflation and deflation of the lungs on other parts of our body, and hence, our overall physical health (over and above the movement of oxygen and carbon dioxide). In particular, the effect on the heart, abdominal organs and the lymphatic system, and the physical connection of the diaphragm to muscles affecting our stability and mobility.

Even if we do not suffer from particular conditions affecting respiration, the full beneficial functioning of our respiratory system can be restricted by our posture, stress and anxiety, pain elsewhere in the body, and not being sufficiently hydrated. This is why the Bowen ‘diaphragm’ move is such an efficient and effective move, which, I have observed, can drive an overall change in the physical and emotional tension held in the body, and hence, can help to restore balance and the full potential of the breath.

So what do we need to do to help ourselves?

The answer is ‘to keep moving.’ Staying in any position, whether in front of a computer, smartphone, television, or in an armchair, for a prolonged period of time will tend to restrict movement in the thorax and hence potentially restrict the operation of the lungs, especially if we do this day after day. Stress and anxiety will cause us perhaps to hunch our shoulders or tense our muscles, or perhaps we have a tendency to bring our head forward, or look down at our feet when we walk, which can result in stiffness in the neck, and at worst, a hunched posture, impacting on the ability of the lungs to inflate fully.

So, a few simple exercises, in particular, upper body exercises involving the arms, can help the upper body to flex and move, allowing the lungs to inflate and deflate to their optimum extent. Exercise may also help to reduce the effects stress and anxiety. If you would like some suggested exercises to help, please do contact me.

Of course, the breath is also of great significance in connection with the mind and spirit, as it is often the focus or means by which we are able to bring ourselves to a place of calm and awareness. Which leads me nicely on to..

Spiritual energies, minds and moods!

A recent study by Oxford and Birmingham Universities [reported in an article in The Guardian 21.1.21] has investigated ’emotional contagion’ among teenagers to see the impact of individuals’ moods within a shared social network. One of the authors of the study, Dr Per Block said, “Mood is contagious, and though both positive and negative moods are ‘caught’ bad moods are more potent”.

This may not come as a surprise, as we have all, no doubt, been aware of how other people’s energies affect our own, even if it is just a feeling that we need to move away from someone who is being negative or a ‘mood hoover’.

It is now becoming even more important to keep our energies high and positive, and hence to be discerning about what we allow into our minds, emotions and energy fields. This is why tuning into negative media or television programmes which create or perpetuate fear, hatred and violence is distinctly unhelpful.

I think many of us have realised instinctively that we need to limit our exposure to these aspects of our ‘culture’, to the media, and in particular, social media. An analogy may be that when we have spent time cleaning and ironing our clothes  (i.e. keeping our thoughts and energies positive and high), we do not allow other people’s dirty clothes (i.e. low and imbalanced energies) to be mixed with our clean clothes!

Jesus gave us a teaching (Luke 11:33) which I believe may be pertinent here. His teaching referred to the ‘light’ and he said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel, but on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness.”

So for our spiritual growth and our mental and emotional health we need to be discerning, taking time each day to nurture and be kind to ourselves, to raise and keep our energies as pure and high as possible. This could be as simple as taking a walk in nature, caring for our pets, listening to or playing an inspiring piece of music, practicing mindfulness or meditation, taking exercise, spending time with our spirit guides and the angels or receiving healing. We must prioritise our own energetic, physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of others, as we are all inter-dependent and connected.

If you have experienced Reiki or Angelic Reiki with me, or attended one of my courses, you will perhaps be aware of how healing through our chakras can help us with this nurturing and caring. Our twelve higher-energy chakras are now opening and raising our frequency and vibration. I’m preparing to run several courses in the coming months to help us to become aware of this to help with our healing and growth. You can find out more about these here or contact me for more information about these or the other services I offer.

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