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Keeping your lungs healthy

Written by Shay Grant

“For breath is life, so if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” – Sanskrit Proverb

The breath

Stress relax relief nature woman breath breathe

The breath is revered across cultures as a grounding force which ultimately connects us with life, and that marks the beginning and end of life.  We can go for days without water, weeks without food but only minutes without air.

 In Chinese medicine it is where circulating qi is generated, in Ayurveda it is where prana is received. Both of these terms essentially describe our life force. In TCM the lungs are the source of our vitality, and they extract qi from the atmosphere (“heavens”). You can read more about the TCM perspective on respiratory health here, and more about the Ayurvedic perspective on respiratory health here.  

“Heaven’s Qi flows freely to the Lungs”

“The Lungs are the root of Qi” (10 p69)

Every single system in our body relies on oxygen, the breath and therefore our lungs. Effective breathing can have remarkable effects for mental wellbeing, and there are even studies being conducted for using breathwork to deal with PTSD. It can also help us sleep better, improve immunity and digestion. It is key for regulating our nervous systems, which are vital for mental health and clarity. A healthy respiratory system is key for processing oxygen in our body, as well as removing carbon dioxide and our lungs are the main organ responsible for this. 

“When the breath is unsteady, all is unsteady; when the breath is still; all is still. Control the breath carefully. Inhalation gives strength and a controlled body; retention gives steadiness of mind and longevity; exhalation purifies body and spirit.” – Goraksasathakam

Optimising our breath and respiratory system is critically important for restoring the body and minds harmony. Ayurveda offers practices such as pranayama, and TCM offers Qigong as a way to work with the breath. Breathwork is increasingly popular across Western cultures now too.

Shay Grant is a qualified Medical Herbalist. She had her first introduction to herbalism in 2016 where she was a residential apprentice with Keith Robertson. She has since graduated from Betonica School of Herbal Medicine with distinction. She has also been a yoga teacher since 2014.

She believes that the power of herbal medicine is far reaching. She seeks to empower her patients so that they are an active participant in their own health and wellbeing. She is currently based in Lewes, where she practices clinically as well as teaching about the benefits of herbs. Her website is www.9herbs.co.uk

Shay Grant

Shay Grant is a qualified Medical Herbalist. She had her first introduction to herbalism in 2016 where she was a residential apprentice with Keith Robertson. She has since graduated from Betonica School of Herbal Medicine with distinction. She has also been a yoga teacher since 2014.

She believes that the power of herbal medicine is far reaching. She seeks to empower her patients so that they are an active participant in their own health and wellbeing. She is currently based in Lewes, where she practices clinically as well as teaching about the benefits of herbs. Her website is www.9herbs.co.uk

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