Whilst the world is distracted by global events in the last few years, a silent revolution is taking in our very lives that many are not aware about. The realms of esoterica, quantum biology and energy medicine are slowly moving closer to conventional medicine, thanks to new fields such as epigenetics and neurobiology that are discovering things about our cells.
Many years ago, when my soulmate and I were in our learning phase, we went to an Ayurveda doctor together. He, the doctor, listened to our pulse through his two fingers, checked our tongues and breathed with us to understand our breaths. And then he came up with a rather accurate diagnosis of our characters and ailments (including those not yet manifest).
I wasn’t quite ready to let go of my allopathic beliefs at that time and saw the afternoon as an interesting excursion. But he, my soulmate, who was looking to change his life, embraced the prescribed breathing exercises.
A couple of weeks ago, I commented in annoyance to him, “I notice your eyes glaze over and you go into a trance each time I am trying to discuss something important with you.”
“I am fully present, Jac,” he protested. “I’m just changing my breathing pattern, that’s all, so that I don’t fight with you. When I fight you, I fight myself. So I am learning how to embrace all that is you, all that is I.”
Rather New Age-y, I thought, coming from the mouth of a heart surgeon, and then he sent me this article from the reputable Journal of Neuroscience, published on the 6 December.
Neurologists at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, led by Jay Gottfried, Professor of Neurology, showed for the first time that our breathing patterns create electrical impulses in our brains. For the first time, we have direct evidence that breath affects the brain.
This evidence, in the form of electro-physiological data, was obtained when Gottfried’s team implanted electrodes in the brains of epileptic patients scheduled for surgery to identify the origin of their seizures. The recorded electrical signals showed brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity occurs in brain areas where emotions, memory and smells are processed.
This stunning results show that breath stimulates neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system. How you breathe, whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth bring about different effects in the parts of the brain that creates our thoughts, experiences and hence, life.
As this forward-thinking heart surgeon had been telling patients, you need to find peace in yourself before you can lead a happy and healthy life. Because illnesses and happiness all start in the brain. And it seems, you get into your brain through your breath.
The article in Neurocience News can be accessed here.
Related post: Introduction to meditation