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What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter


Smoking or Smoke and Breathing Recovery

"He who breathes most air lives most life"
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

If you smoke, then you need to stop. If you have been exposed to smoke as in firefighting then you had best regain as much as you can after every exposure. Tobacco smoke is even more cancerous than previously thought, for both smokers and nonsmokers who breathe in the fumes, causing cancer in many more parts of the body than previously believed, an authoritative panel of experts has concluded.

Breath is life. Smoking hooks up breathing to a death wish. When I quit smoking after 14 years of a pack and a half a day of unfiltered Camels, I said yes to life.

There were no smoking cessation medications or programs when I quit. The only option I had was to withdraw from nicotine cold turkey or.... I chose the "or" and it happened to be marijuana. What a dumb tradeoff!! So now I had to get off marijuana.

I turned to breathing techniques to help me quit smoking marijuana. By rebalancing my breathing I soon realized that breathing better not only gave me peace, it made me feel alive and energetic as well. A lot of the reason I smoked was to relax or energize. When experiencing the tremendous impact that breathing has on our psychological well-being in addition to our physical health. There it was, right under my nose all along!

Air is the primary food for our body's health. Without it, we can suffer permanent brain damage within a few minutes, or die within a few minutes more. Breathing is the most readily available source of vital energy we have. And once we learn how to maximize it, it's FREE.

In other cultures, the word for breath has been synonymous with life, spirit and soul. The connection between breathing and our physical and psychological state of well-being has been taught for many thousands of years in Eastern teachings.

Recently, the connection has also been "discovered" by Western science. Breathing skills are being used with childbirth, pain control, stress management, high blood pressure, some world class athletics, and classical voice.

If you smoke, you definitely do not know how to breathe. Nicotine creates the illusion of satisfying breathing. Most smokers are not aware that they breathe poorly and the way they breathe can affect their feelings and their state of mind. If we are born without serious pre, or postnatal trauma most of our breathing is deep, rhythmic and effortless. As we grow, stress, cultural expectation or restrictions, anxieties and posture restrict our natural breathing pattern. We may have learned to hold in our bellies to look thinner or to breathe with only the top portion of our lungs when we are sitting. When we are surprised or stressed, we hold our breath or pull our belly in and up. Poor breathing can cause chronic fatigue, constipation, headaches, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and heart disease and uncontrollable cravings for almost anything from food to sexual relationships as smoking is a leading cause of impotence.

Nicotine gives one the feeling of oxygen without the oxygen itself. 

Natural breathing is made up of a relaxed and flowing inhalation, a relaxed and flowing exhalation and then an effortless pause before the next inhalation begins. The stomach and chest are relaxed, and they expand and contract easily as we fill and empty our lungs. As we inhale, air fills the bottom our lungs, expanding the abdomen and then when we need to take a larger deeper breath catching breath, expanding the rib cage and chest until our inhalation is complete. There is a pause as the body naturally rests and prepares for our next inhalation and then the whole process repeats itself. It should be one thing and not a series of events.

You don't try to cure an alcoholic by giving them a small drink every day. They need to completely eliminate the addictive substance and then you support them with nutrition, psychological reinforcement and proper breathing. By paying more attention to your breathing and allowing your body's natural breathing rhythm to occur, you can infuse more vitality into your life and increase the chances of successfully quitting smoking.

I have been studying breathing for thirty years. When you compare smoking with breathing you see many identical results.
What helps you deal with stress?
Calms down when you were feeling tense?
Peps you up when you are feeling lethargic?
Helps you concentrate more effectively?
Makes it easier to control unpleasant feelings?
Produces a mild state of euphoria?

The good news is that you can get almost identical results from nicotine by just breathing. The question is HOW are you supposed to breathe and for how long? And does your body, chemistry, structure, tensions, postures, and unresolved emotions block a fully functional breath?

People smoke for POSITIVE BENEFITS, not because of fear of withdrawal: that comes much later. Nicotine temporarily improves brain chemistry by enhancing pleasure, decreasing anxiety, and stimulating an alert relaxation.
Insight: If you want to feel energized you need to do a different breathing exercise than if you want to sleep or relax.

Smoking also helps concentration, helps keep one from being bored, boring or confused (lighting a cig gives you time to collect your thoughts during conversation). So will specific ways of addressing how you breathe.

Adrenaline and dopamine are influenced by nicotine. By selecting the desired nicotine dose, smokers can choose the state of mind or being most suited to an activity.
So can the way you breathe. That is a key way actors create the mood and emotions they need for the parts they are playing. Their thoughts can guide their emotions that are expressed or limited by the way they breathe.

Smoking Helps Maintain Alertness for Boring Tasks.
Smoking helps you narrow your attention to the most important aspects of the task at hand.
So will a simple breathing exercise.
Smoking helps control anger and anxiety. So will a simple breathing exercise.
Thatís because you have to breathe more deeply and in a certain way to inhale the smoke.
Smoking helps deal with stress.

Smoking helps smokers deal with pain.
So will a simple but different breathing exercise.
Smoking gives smokers a sense of control. You control your breath and you literally control your life.

From Tom Ferguson, MD*
"When you breathe in a lung-full of smoke the carbon monoxide passes immediately into your blood binding to the oxygen receptor sites and figuratively kicking the oxygen molecules out of your red blood cells. Hemoglobin that is bound to carbon monoxide is converted into carboxyhemoglobin, and is no longer able to transport oxygen."
Thus breathing in nicotine gives you the perception of having breathed in oxygen but without the actual oxygen.
If you continue to smoke for several weeks, your number of red cells begins to increase, as your body responds to chronic oxygen deprivation. This condition of an abnormally high concentration of red blood cells is called smokerís polycythemia*.
Your blood clots more easily as well, increasing risk of heart attack or stroke. Smokers bodies get less oxygen because carbon monoxide lowers their blood oxygen carrying capacity. But you get the perception of oxygen from the nicotine. The high concentration of carbon monoxide reduces the brain oxygen supply causing lethargy, confusion and muddled thinking. The nicotine brings many factors back into balance; synthetically. So does oxygen; naturally.

Those who quit reduce the risk of cancer almost immediately .
Smoking will reduce functional lung volume by as much as 50% (FRAMINGHAM STUDY) and weaken long term diaphragmatic strength. Functional lung volume is different from real lung volume. Modern medicine seems to say that one cannot add lung volume. I agree. The way I see it and after studying the AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE newest manual, it is not the volume that is increased but more lung tissue is engaged; even reactivated.

When the diaphragm increases its rise and the ribs increase their usual expansion, they allow more tissue to expand. Like blowing up a three liter balloon in a one liter bottle then getting a two liter bottle that allows the balloon to expand more in the larger bottle. Cessation of smoking will arrest the deterioration but you have to do specific exercises and techniques to increase the functional volume and regain what you lost.

"The ones who participated in aerobic exercise were the ones most likely to quit." stated psychologist Olvide Pomerleau, director of Behavioral Medicine University of Michigan School of Medicine. 

Regular physical activity induces biochemical changes within the body. Some of these changes are similar to those produced by nicotine. Exercise boosts catecholamines, producing increased mental alertness. And sustained exercise increases the brainís production of endorphins, which produce euphoria and a pleasant relaxed feeling.

Hundreds of letters came in telling how impossible cessation had been before beginning an exercise program. When smokers start exercising they frequently find themselves quitting even without meaning to.

The most aerobic exercise there is is to breathe in a certain way and not move at all to use up the oxygen you are getting from breathing more.


If oneís breathing is blocked enough they may well be less likely to relate to or accept support from others. Abuse and trauma victims, including recent surgery recipients, the homeless and prison inmate populations are particularly vulnerable to this.

Drinking alcohol
Driving a car or waiting for people ("doing time" included)
Sitting in class
Talking on the telephone
Attending business meetings
Not busy doing something with your hands
Sitting at my desk at work
After meals or with coffee
In any relaxed situation such as watching TV or reading
Socializing at parties.

You don't try to cure an alcoholic by giving them a small drink every day. They need to completely eliminate the addictive substance and then you support them with nutrition, psychological reinforcement and proper breathing. Both of those products try to wean you off slowly by providing small amounts of nicotine. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin, cocaine or alcohol.

Bottom line is that you make the decision to quit. Then support that with daily breathing development techniques and exercises and. They will smooth our your energy and greatly increase your success rate. Breath IS life.

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"He who breathes most air lives most life."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.