Glossary >


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Breathing, also known as respiration, is the process by which our body takes in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide. It is essential for life and is controlled by the respiratory system, which includes the lungs, diaphragm, and other muscles involved in breathing.

During breathing, the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles contract to expand the lungs and draw air in through the nose or mouth. Oxygen from the air is then absorbed by tiny air sacs in the lungs and transported through the bloodstream to the body's cells, where it is used for energy production. Carbon dioxide, a waste product of this process, is then transported back to the lungs and expelled from the body through exhalation.

Breathing is automatic and controlled by the brainstem, but it can also be influenced by conscious effort and various factors such as exercise, stress, and environmental conditions. Abnormal breathing patterns or difficulties in breathing can be a sign of underlying health issues, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart disease.

Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, can help improve lung function, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. These exercises involve taking slow, deep breaths through the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth while focusing on the sensation of the breath moving in and out of the body.

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  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2021). How the Lungs Work.
  • American Lung Association. (2021). Breathing Techniques.
  • Harvard Health Publishing. (2021). Breathing Exercises for Relaxation, Stress Relief, and More.
  • Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Mouth Breathing: What Every Parent Needs to Know.
  • Mayo Clinic. (2021). Breathing Problems: Causes, Tests, and Treatments.