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Breathing is something we do and rarely think about unless it becomes restricted. Many people don't realize that breathing is a powerful healing tool. It brings valuable oxygen into the system and eliminates carbon dioxide from it. Most women are such shallow breathers that they are oxygen deficient. As often as you remember, fill your lungs with air deep into your abdomen through your nose. Then, slowly exhale from your mouth until your lungs are empty. Repeat this five times in a row several times a day. Not only will this destress you, it will help you feel more refreshed. This exercise is especially important if you are bedridden and cannot exercise. By practicing deep breathing, you are bathing your cells in much-needed oxygen and exercising your lungs.

Although one can temporarily hold one's breath or breath in and out quickly (hyperventilating), automatic mechanisms control and coordinate most respiratory and cardovasular activity. The medulla oblongata, assisted by the pons (what a cool word...), serves as the control center of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The medulla, located near the brain's stem, sets the breathing rythm and moniters rises in the CO2 level. (because CO2 is a byproduct of oxygen consumption, O2 leves are not closely monitered).

If you got one interesting fact from this, it should be this: Difference in the atmosphere's amount of oxygen affects breathing levels only slightly, while even a minute change in CO2 levels in the atmosphere will drastically change it.

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